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Budget Sandy Bridge Processors

A few pairs of inexpensive Sandy Bridge CPUs in tests.

September 10, 2012



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Of course, the development of the three low-end Intel Pentium and Celeron series has been thoroughly planned by Intel: these models are supposed to be stepping up gradually, so the fastest G5xx CPUs would replace the slowest G6xx, and the fastest G6xx models, the slowest G8xx, accordingly. However, due to distribution issues, sometimes we can see pairs of twin-like processors with just tiny differences coexisting on the market. We've picked three such pairs (well, actually four), with an old and a new CPU in each, and now have a perfect chance to investigate how variation of same CPU parameters influences performance.

Testbeds

CPU Celeron G550 Pentium G620
Core Sandy Bridge Dual-Core Sandy Bridge Dual-Core
Process technology, nm 32 32
Core clock (std/max), GHz 2.6 2.6
Cores/threads 2/2 2/2
GPU HD Graphics HD Graphics
RAM 2 x DDR3-1066 2 x DDR3-1066
L1 cache, I/D, KB (per core) 32/32 32/32
L2 cache, KB (per core) 256 256
L3 cache, MB 2 3
Socket LGA1155 LGA1155
TDP, W 65 65

The first pair is the new Intel Celeron G550 and the old Intel Pentium G620. Apart from the names and prices, the only difference is the L3 cache size: all Celerons have 2 MB of it while all Pentiums have 3 MB. Everything else is just the same, so we can clearly see what the extra megabyte of cache gives.

CPU Pentium G640 Pentium G840
Core Sandy Bridge Dual-Core Sandy Bridge Dual-Core
Process technology, nm 32 32
Core clock (std/max), GHz 2.8 2.8
Cores/threads 2/2 2/2
GPU HD Graphics HD Graphics
RAM 2 x DDR3-1066 2 x DDR3-1333
L1 cache, I/D, KB 32/32 32/32
L2 cache, KB 256 256
L3 cache, MB 3 3
Socket LGA1155 LGA1155
TDP, W 65 65

The second pair is the new Intel Pentium G640 and the old Intel Pentium G840. Here the difference lies in supported memory: G8xx series with modules up to DDR3-1333 while G6xx, with modules up to DDR3-1066. Taking into account the RAM overclocking feature in some of the supported mainboards, the comparison looks interesting.

CPU Pentium G870 Core i3-2100
Core Sandy Bridge Dual-Core Sandy Bridge Dual-Core
Process technology, nm 32 32
Core clock (std/max), GHz 3.1 3.1
Cores/threads 2/2 2/4
GPU HD Graphics HD 2000
RAM 2 x DDR3-1133 2 x DDR3-1333
L1 cache, I/D, KB 32/32 32/32
L2 cache, KB 256 256
L3 cache, MB 3 3
Socket LGA1155 LGA1155
TDP, W 65 65

The third pair is formed of processors from different families. However, the only critical distinction lies in Hyper-Threading support. As a result we'll get a clear view on how useful HT is. Of course, the GPUs are also different but our tests ignore them all the same.

Socket Motherboard RAM
LGA1155 Biostar TH67XE (H67) Corsair Vengeance CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9B (2x1333; 9-9-9-24 / 2x1066; 8-8-8-20)

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Article navigation:

Page 1: Introduction, testbeds

Page 2: Tests

Page 3: Tests cont'd, final thoughts



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