TECHNOLOGY X TESTING PROTOCOL
At Technology X, we test our CPUs slightly different depending upon the product’s marketed purpose, whether it be an entry-level budget processor or a high-end workstation CPU. Our goal is to test in a system that has been optimized with our SSD Optimization Guide, however, CPU C State alteration may or may not have occurred depending on the motherboard and BIOS configurations. Additionally, we also try to include links to the benchmarks used in our report so that you as the reader can replicate our tests to confirm that your system performs the way it should.
Today we are putting 2 of the most common CPUs we see people recommend on the “Budget” side, those two are the Pentium G3258 and the i5 4430, while the i3 would be worthy to throw into this test, we don’t often see many i3’s “in the wild” as they say, we have seen a rise in many of the i5 4430s because of the lower price. We have also seen many people make the case that the higher clock speed variants of the i5 “don’t add more performance.” or in the case of the Pentium G3258 that “dual cores are fine for games”. Well today, we are going to lay those claims to rest.
TECHNOLOGY X TEST BENCH
All of the components we use for testing are standard off-the-shelf PC components from major manufacturers, which can be purchased at a variety of local retailers and online. We’ll also provide links to our components for those of you that find an interest in our equipment.
We’d like to thank AMD, Gigabyte, NZXT, Be Quiet and Plextor for providing vital components in this test bench, without which this report would not be possible. Look out for our separate review of the Gigabyte F2A88X-UP4 used in this report, coming soon!
|AMD A8 7650k
|Coolermaster Hyper 212
|G-Skill Ripjaws 8GB (2x4GB) 1866Mhz
|Plextor M6e 256GB, Samsung 830 256GB Intel 740 MSata 240GB
|2x Be Quiet Silent Wings 140mm 2x NXZT FN2 140mm
|XFX R9 290 (4GB)
When we test various PC hardware, we like to use benchmarks that are readily available for you to download and test for yourself. In our analysis today we will be using FutureMark’s PCMark 8 and Maxon’s Cinebench 15, while also measuring the performance of the processor while running a variety of games and applications. During the game tests we run FRAPS, which is a useful tool for measuring and logging the FPS (frames per second) a game is running at and for recording video footage of the gameplay.
For PCMark we test the Home 2.0 with and without OpenCL
As we see here our heavily overclocked Pentium can’t keep up with either the i5 4430 or the a8 at stock or overclocked. We also see a 14% improvement with the overclocked A8 over the stock configuration and the i5.
Without using OpenCL we can see our APU starts to lose ground to the Intel competitors, this is something that shouldn’t be too surprising to those who understand how much AMD puts into hardware acceleration.
Maxon’s Cinebench is a benchmarking tool based on their Cinema 4D software. It measures CPU performance by rendering a photo realistic 3D scene. We test our CPU using it in both single and multicore modes to determine performance gains in multi-threaded tasks.
As we can see in Cinebench, our overclocked APU takes the cake, though it needs a severe clockspeed advantage to beat Intel’s haswell architecture, as well as the Pentium beating the i5 by a single point just due to the overclocked speed. Quite impressive.
In our handbrake tests we’ll be using a very early build which was provided to us by AMD. In this build, AMD has worked closely with the software developers to enable OpenCL in order to allow the software to take advantage of the extra processing power afforded by the integrated graphics on the APU.
We can see that with Intel using Quicksync it delivers a very strong performance from our i5 4430, beating the APU at stock by about 65%, but the overclock closes the gap to about 30%. The Pentium Dual core does an amicable job with its hefty overclock coming closely behind our stock APU, We are surprised at how well Quicksync works for the purposes of this test.
For this test we tested using the current public version of handbrake.
Once again we see our APU at almost half the price keeping very close to the i5 4430 once overclocked and the Pentium takes a bit of a beating here coming in 40% behind the stock APU and 70% behind the overclocked variant. The i5 has a 25% lead over our overclocked APU, which isn’t bad considering it’s about $90 more.