The Matchup

The Sandy Bridge Pentiums go head to head with AMD's Athlon II and to a lesser extent the new triple-core AMD A6. At the low end we have the Athlon II X2 260 vs. Intel's Pentium G620. AMD has the clock speed advantage (3.2GHz vs. 2.6GHz) but Sandy Bridge does offer better performance at the same clock, we'll have to see if the 600MHz advantage is too much for Intel to overcome.

Moving on up AMD gets to throw more cores at the competition. The Athlon II X3 455 (3.3GHz) has three cores to the Pentium G840's two (2.8GHz), although the clock speed advantage shrinks a bit.

Finally compared to the Pentium G850 we have two options from AMD. If you can find one there's the Athlon II X4 635. The clock speed advantage goes away completely but AMD delivers twice the cores of Intel's Pentium G850. The 635 is no longer on AMD's price list so your chances of finding one at a reasonable price go down considerably. The Athlon II X3 460 is the only other similarly priced competitor, and its performance should be similar to the 455 I mentioned above.

Meet the A6

Although at a slightly higher price point than the most expensive Sandy Bridge Pentium, we also have a lower cost member of the Llano family: AMD's A6-3650. For $20 less than the flagship 3850, the A6-3650 loses 300MHz on the CPU clock and lops off 80 GPU cores. The GPU also runs at a slower 443MHz frequency. The TDP remains unchanged at 100W. Given the small price difference between a 3650 and a 3850 I'd much rather opt for the latter but we'll see what the slower GPU does to performance when every dollar counts.

Gallery: AMD A6-3650

Introduction CPU Performance & Power Consumption


View All Comments

  • frozentundra123456 - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    Isnt the clockspeed of the i3 2100 3.1ghz??

    It is listed in the chart as 2.93 or something like that, less than 3.0 anyway.
  • zero2dash - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    I'm sorry, I don't know how you can mention SNB Pentium being devoid of HT AND having lower clocks, but then continue on in the same sentence that they're "very similar" to i3.

    That makes no sense at all. The only way they are "very similar" is if you lower the bclk and turn off HT in the bios and then bench them against each other.

    That's like saying a Chevy is just like a Cadillac with cheaper doors, wheels, and less than half of the horsepower and resale value.
  • erickdingess - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    I'm looking to upgrade and was wondering how the two compare. I don't do a lot of gaming on my PC but I don't want a slower GPU. Reply
  • frozentundra123456 - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    Kind of off topic, but from looking at the graphics card heirarchy on Tom's Hardware, looks like the 9600GT is quite a bit faster, even though it is very old now. Reply
  • Roland00Address - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    It does bring dx11 and lower power consumption though.

    An A8-3850 is about 75 to 90% the speed of a ati hd5570. They have the same stream processors, but the 5570 has a 8% clock speed advantage. The times that the A8-3850 scores less than 90% of the ati hd5570 is when it is memory starved. There should be no times that the hd5570 should be scoring less than an A8-3850.

    The 9600gt is about 10 to 30% faster than a 5570. See here for 5570 vs 9600gt benchmarks.
  • erickdingess - Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - link

    Thank you for the reply. Reply
  • mino - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    That is, until I have noticed the removal of any idle power data ... AMD would not loose terribly on power so those are apparently unanacceptable in Intel PR.

    Nice AT, keep up the good work!
  • Concillian - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    Low end processors were quite interesting when you could squeeze extra performance out of them.

    Now with locked everything, this stuff is boring.

    Intel has succeeded in eeking every dollar out of the low end, but I've spent less money on my computer this year than perhaps any yearr in the last decade as a result. Just so 'bleh' out there unless you're spending $400 on mobo + CPU, which is something I haven't done since the 386/486 days.

    I need a new hobby
  • ikeke1 - Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - link

    I was about to build a basic web box for my GF sister, almost about to go for i3-2100 - but at the last minute spotted the G620. So few minutes later i had ordered:

    Msi ITX H61I-E35 motherboard
    2x2GB 1333Mhz ddr3
    and a cheap ITX case

    All in all ~€150.

    Scavanged a 2,5" HDD from GFs dead laptop, had a spare DVD writer and Win7 HP x64 licence. Now shes got a SILENT and classy box :) The UPS is showing ~50W consumption with the crappy 300W PSU i have feeding it - so most likely with a brick-psu or efficient one it`ll draw 35-40`ish.

    The sister is most pleased - she was going to buy a last gen mac mini :D
  • superccs - Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - link

    This is clearly Intels attempt to dip into AMDs low end turf. Just like AMD attempted to counter the SB with the X6 line up. They are both only attempts. Reply

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