Why an Overclockable Core i3 Might Not Exist: The Supermicro C7H170-M and Intel Core i3-6100TE Reviewby Ian Cutress on March 17, 2016 10:30 AM EST
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- Core i3
Gaming Benchmarks: High End
On this page are our 2015 high-end results with the top models at their respective release dates – the GTX 980 and R9 290X. Results for the R7 240, GTX 770 and R9 285 can be found in our benchmark database, Bench.
If first person survival mixed with horror is your sort of thing, then Alien: Isolation, based off of the Alien franchise, should be an interesting title. Developed by The Creative Assembly and released in October 2014, Alien: Isolation has won numerous awards from Game Of The Year to several top 10s/25s and Best Horror titles, ratcheting up over a million sales by February 2015. Alien: Isolation uses a custom built engine which includes dynamic sound effects and should be fully multi-core enabled.
For low end graphics, we test at 720p with Ultra settings, whereas for mid and high range graphics we bump this up to 1080p, taking the average frame rate as our marker with a scripted version of the built-in benchmark.
Total War: Attila
The Total War franchise moves on to Attila, another The Creative Assembly development, and is a stand-alone strategy title set in 395AD where the main story line lets the gamer take control of the leader of the Huns in order to conquer parts of the world. Graphically the game can render hundreds/thousands of units on screen at once, all with their individual actions and can put some of the big cards to task.
For low end graphics, we test at 720p with performance settings, recording the average frame rate. With mid and high range graphics, we test at 1080p with the quality setting. In both circumstances, unlimited video memory is enabled and the in-game scripted benchmark is used.
Grand Theft Auto V
The highly anticipated iteration of the Grand Theft Auto franchise finally hit the shelves on April 14th 2015, with both AMD and NVIDIA in tow to help optimize the title. GTA doesn’t provide graphical presets, but opens up the options to users and extends the boundaries by pushing even the hardest systems to the limit using Rockstar’s Advanced Game Engine. Whether the user is flying high in the mountains with long draw distances or dealing with assorted trash in the city, when cranked up to maximum it creates stunning visuals but hard work for both the CPU and the GPU.
For our test we have scripted a version of the in-game benchmark, relying only on the final part which combines a flight scene along with an in-city drive-by followed by a tanker explosion. For low end systems we test at 720p on the lowest settings, whereas mid and high end graphics play at 1080p with very high settings across the board. We record both the average frame rate and the percentage of frames under 60 FPS (16.6ms).
No graphics tests are complete without some input from Codemasters and the EGO engine, which means for this round of testing we point towards GRID: Autosport, the next iteration in the GRID and racing genre. As with our previous racing testing, each update to the engine aims to add in effects, reflections, detail and realism, with Codemasters making ‘authenticity’ a main focal point for this version.
GRID’s benchmark mode is very flexible, and as a result we created a test race using a shortened version of the Red Bull Ring with twelve cars doing two laps. The car is focus starts last and is quite fast, but usually finishes second or third. For low end graphics we test at 1080p medium settings, whereas mid and high end graphics get the full 1080p maximum. Both the average and minimum frame rates are recorded.
Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor
The final title in our testing is another battle of system performance with the open world action-adventure title, Shadow of Mordor. Produced by Monolith using the LithTech Jupiter EX engine and numerous detail add-ons, SoM goes for detail and complexity to a large extent, despite having to be cut down from the original plans. The main story itself was written by the same writer as Red Dead Redemption, and it received Zero Punctuation’s Game of The Year in 2014.
For testing purposes, SoM gives a dynamic screen resolution setting, allowing us to render at high resolutions that are then scaled down to the monitor. As a result, we get several tests using the in-game benchmark. For low end graphics we examine at 720p with low settings, whereas mid and high end graphics get 1080p Ultra. The top graphics test is also redone at 3840x2160, also with Ultra settings, and we also test two cards at 4K where possible.
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C.C. - Thursday, March 17, 2016 - linkFirst! Great Article Ian..I really wish Intel hadn't decided to stop the Mobo work around's allowing i3 overclocking..
ImSpartacus - Friday, March 18, 2016 - linkYeah, fantastic article. I loved how he ran benchmarks at various overclocks.
edlee - Friday, March 18, 2016 - linkThis was really a shame that this article was not testing a regular i3 with a normal tdp, it would have shown a definate overclock to 4.5ghz and beating stock i5 by a good margin.
It would become the celeron 300a of this generation
ImSpartacus - Saturday, March 19, 2016 - linkYeah, is there a section that explains why a 6100 wasn't used?
I admittedly still haven't read the whole article, I found the part that states that a 6100te is a very unusual oem-only part.
RobATiOyP - Saturday, March 19, 2016 - linkHardly the 300a was a guaranteed 50% oc affecting both cpu, FSB and memory on a socket giving a clean & supported widely deployed set of frequencies, without any drawbacks. It meant a relatively cheap Celeron could compete with top of the line PII's using slower cache memory on Slot riser cards.
The skylake BCLK oc, seems to come withdrawbacks slow downs have shown up in some benchmarks, probably due to the complexity of multiple timing domains in modern chips.
cobrax5 - Monday, March 21, 2016 - linkThe awesome thing with the 300A was the 128KB of full speed cache. I beleive the PII's had double the cache but at half the speed. I loved the 300A - possibly my favorite processor of all time because of when I got it, etc. I had a friend who did the hack to go dual socket 300A's. I remember this whole problem of wanting to run 98SE, but only the NT kernel supported multiple CPU's/sockets/cores (all the same back then...memories).
Anyone remember the Voodoo 1/2 add-in cards? Those things were pretty sweet for what they did for 3D games, despite the funny VGA passthru cable...
0ldman79 - Monday, April 4, 2016 - linkVoodoo 2 and the 300A. The good old days.
I didn't get to play with the 300A, but I got the Celeron 500 and 533, they'd hit 700+ if done right. I got to play with dozens of them and find a good one. It was fun overclocking a Dell.
RobATiOyP - Sunday, March 20, 2016 - linkThe point is that CPUs get thermally limitted, increasing volts can increase Watts in a very small area. Therefore there's some sense in trying out a power efficient chip, which has headroom.
What the benchmarks really seem to show, is to do well on multi-threaded you need.. 4+ cores. In single thread the cheap Pentium and this i3, do well against the more expensive stock chips.
Flunk - Thursday, March 17, 2016 - linkInteresting article, although it is a little bit skewed to compare the stock performance of that i5 6600 vs the overclocked i3 without including overclocked numbers for the i5, which you could have gotten using the same motherboard you tested the i3 on.
Ian Cutress - Thursday, March 17, 2016 - linkThat might be in a future piece. Depending on how open base clock overclocking is going to be, at this point I'm wondering if each Skylake CPU I get in should have the overclock treatment given how so few motherboards enable it.