Final Words

Intel's Core i5-3470 is a good base for a system equipped with a discrete GPU. You don't get the heavily threaded performance of the quad-core, eight-thread Core i7 but you're also saving nearly $100. For a gaming machine or anything else that's not going to be doing a lot of thread heavy work (e.g. non-QuickSync video transcode, offline 3D rendering, etc...) the 3470 is definitely good enough. Your overclocking options are significantly limited as the 3470 is a partially unlocked CPU, but you can pretty much count on getting an extra 400MHz across the board, regardless of number of active cores.

Intel's HD 2500 however is less exciting. This is clearly the processor graphics option for users who don't care about processor graphics performance. The 2500's performance is tangibly worse than last year's HD 3000 offering (which makes sense given the 6 EU configuration) and it's not good enough to be considered playable in any of the games we tested. The good news is Quick Sync performance remains unaffected, making HD 2500 just as good as the HD 4000 for video transcoding. In short, if you're going to rely on processor graphics for gaming, you need the HD 4000 at a minimum. Otherwise, the HD 2500 is just fine.

General Performance


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  • etamin - Thursday, May 31, 2012 - link

    I just glossed through the charts (will read article tomorrow), but I noticed there are no Nehalems in the comparisons. It would be nice if both a Bloomfield and a Gulftown were thrown in. If Phenom IIs are still there, Nehalem shouldn't be THAT outdated right? Anyways, I'm sure the article is great. Thanks for your hard work and I look forward to reading this at work tomorrow :) Reply
  • SK8TRBOI - Thursday, May 31, 2012 - link

    I agree with etamin - if Phenom is in there, a great Intel benchmark cpu would be the Nehalem i7-920 D0 OC'd to 3.6Ghz - I'd wager a significant percentage of Anand's readers (myself included!) still have this technological wonder in our everyday rigs. The i7-920 would be a good 'reference' for us all when evaluating/comparing performance.
    Thanks, and awesome article, as always!
  • CeriseCogburn - Thursday, May 31, 2012 - link

    It's always "best" here to forget about other Intel and nVidia - as if they suddenly don't exist anymore - it makes amd appear to shine.
    Happens all the time. Every time.
    I suppose it's amd's evil control - or the yearly two week island vacation (research for reviewers of course)
  • LancerVI - Thursday, May 31, 2012 - link

    Throw me into the list that agrees.

    Still running a i7 920 C0. the Nehalems being in the chart would've been nice.
  • jordanclock - Thursday, May 31, 2012 - link

    That's what Bench is for. Reply
  • HanzNFranzen - Thursday, May 31, 2012 - link

    I have to agree as well. I have an i7 920 C0 and often wonder how it stacks up today against Ivy Bridge. I'm thinking that holding off for Haswell is a safe bet even though I have the upgrade itch! It's been 3 years, which is great to have gotten this much milage out of my current system, but I wanna BUILD SOMETHING!! Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Monday, June 11, 2012 - link

    It's whole video card tier of frame rate difference in games, plus you have sata 6 and usb 3 to think about not to mention pci-e 3.0 to be ready for when needed.

    Buy your stuff and sell your old parts to keep it worth it.
  • jwcalla - Thursday, May 31, 2012 - link

    I'm guessing the stock idle power consumption number is with EIST disabled?

    I've been waiting for some of these lower-powered IVB chips to come out to build a NAS. Was thinking a Core i3 (if they ever get around to releasing it), or maybe the lowest Xeon. Though at this point I might just bite the bullet and wait for 64-bit ARM... or go with a Cortex-A15 maybe.
  • ShieTar - Thursday, May 31, 2012 - link

    If a Cortex-A15 would give you enough computing power, you should also be happy with a Pentium or even a Celeron. The i3 is already rather overkill for a simple NAS.

    I have a fileserver with Windows Server Home running on a Pentium G620, and it has absolutely no problem to push 120 MB/s over a GBit Ethernet switch from a RAID-0 pack of HDDs while running µtorrent, Thunderbird, Miranda and Firefox on the side. Power consumption of the complete system is around 40-50W in idle, and I havn't even shopped for specifically low-power components but used a lot of leftovers.
  • BSMonitor - Thursday, May 31, 2012 - link

    Yeah, the CPU is just 1 part of the power consumption puzzle.. And since in "file sharing" mode, it will almost always be in a low power/idle state... An ARM CPU would show little improvement..

    But if you ever offloaded any kind of work to that box, you'd have wasted your money with an ARM box, as no ARM processor will ever match real task performance of any of the x86 processors.

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