The Performance & Power Summary

I’ve added the Core i3 530 to our Bench database, if you want a full comparison of results head over there. What I’m providing here is a subset of our tests to show the 530’s strengths and weaknesses.

In every single non-gaming test, the Core i3 530 bests the Phenom II X2 550 BE. In our gaming benchmarks the 550 was faster in two out of our 8 benchmarks. In the rest, the i3 took the lead. The Core i3 530 also manages to outperform the Phenom II X2 550 BE while using significantly less power. In the battle of the dual-cores, the i3 wins. AMD needs to fight with clock speed at at 3.1GHz, the 550 can’t muster enough to beat the i3.

The Athlon II X4 630 comparison is a little more complicated. In single and lightly threaded applications, the i3 is a much better performer thanks to its higher clock speed. The i3's gaming performance is also significantly better across the board. What the Athlon II X4 loses in clock speed, it makes up for in core count. Things like video encoding and offline 3D rendering are almost always faster on the Athlon II X4 630.

Applications that are bound more by the performance of one or two threads are almost always faster on the Core i3 530. As a general purpose desktop microprocessor or a chip for a gaming rig, I’d opt for the Core i3 530. If you’re doing a lot of heavily threaded content creation, then the Athlon II X4 is the chip for you. If you’re somewhere in between, the choice is up to you. Our Photoshop test has the two processors very close to one another, but with the i3 taking the slight lead.

Power efficiency obviously goes to the Core i3 530 thanks to its 32nm transistors.

Index Integrated Graphics - Slower than AMD, Still Perfect for an HTPC


View All Comments

  • loucm - Sunday, August 1, 2010 - link

    using the same motherboard gigabyte h55m-ud2h
    i manage to get my i3 530 @ 4GHZ stable with only 1.184 core voltage.
  • polarq - Tuesday, August 3, 2010 - link

    Hi, I have a core i3-530 and h55m-ud2h, bought a coolermaster 212 and I'm trying to push the limits :) But with the GPU, in bios there's a possibility to change it from 733mhz, which I did, on 900 - but it still shows 733, both in bios and cpu-z.

    So I can freely input the value, but 733 is still lights up white in bios. Is there any possibility it was locked after it couldnt take 900? Can I unlock it again? I tried CLR_CMOS, load fail safe defaults, but nothing changed. Any advice please?
  • Alejo1879 - Wednesday, February 2, 2011 - link

    Need Opinion For Core i3 550
    Hello people, i need some opinions about the intel core i3 550.
    Is this CPU faster than core i3 530, i think so, but in, in the High End CPUs - Updated 1st of February 2011 the core i3 530 is in the top and the i3 550 don't.

    Intel Core i7 995X @ 3.60GHz 10,795
    Intel Core i3 530 @ 2.93GHz 3,546 $124.95*
    AMD Phenom II X4 B40 3,534 NA
    Intel Core i5 655K @ 3.20GHz 3,525 $192.95*
    Intel Core i7 820QM @ 1.73GHz 3,520 $546.00**
    Intel Core2 Extreme @ 2.26GHz 3,518 NA
    Intel Core2 Quad Q9100 @ 2.26GHz 3,428 $385.89**
    Intel Core i7-2620M @ 2.70GHz 3,415 NA
    Intel Core i5 661 @ 3.33GHz 3,295 $209.99*
    Intel Core i3 560 @ 3.33GHz 3,283 $149.99*
    AMD Phenom II X4 910 3,281 $204.19**
    AMD Phenom II X4 B93 3,275 NA
    Intel Core i5 650 @ 3.20GHz 3,120 $182.99*
    Intel Core i5 660 @ 3.33GHz 3,101 $207.99*
    Intel Core i3 550 @ 3.20GHz 3,026 $124.99*

    IS IN FACT THE CORE I3 530 BETTER THAN I3 540, 550 AND EVEN I3 560?
  • angga - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    i like this MOTHERBOARD, may i have this Motherboard please?
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  • dayat - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    I like the article you wrote here; it is very informative and useful for the internet users like me. I will come back to read more blog posts on your website and I have bookmarked your website as well
    Thank You

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  • sarp - Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - link

    Ive i3 530 @2.93

    Ive managed to get it to 4.00GHz with 182 BClk by changing QPI, Graphics and RAM Frequencies accodringly. Sometimes my screen just freezes with a solid color and I have to restart it in order to get to Windows again. Anyway, I want to boost Intel Graphics HD 3000 performance, it's default clock is 733MHz, since Ive changed BClk to 182, to be on the safe side it is 500MHz. I wonder, how much should I increase graphics core voltage in order to get to 900Mhz with 182 BClk?

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