Rated 4.3 out of 5 by 3
Rated 5 out of 5 by ThroatWobbler9 If a little of what you fancy does you good, get some more of it...
...which is exactly what this CPU does. At stock speed it is a bog standard Pentium 3.2 Ghz processor and it's performance is exactly what you would expect from a 'Haswell Refresh' era CPU at this speed and this price point.
But wait, there's more. So much more......
I was lucky to have a system with a Haswell Pentium already installed, so it was easy enough to update the bios and support for '4th generation' cpu's. When a CPU with an unlocked multiplier is installed such as the G3258 the bios option of altering the multiplier setting appears. Tremulously at first, then with mounting excitement - 3.4, 3.6, 3.8, 4.0Ghz. This is fun! Games are good at this speed, playable even on the HD graphics core, but bung a decent video card in and you have quite a lot of frame rate power, but the in-between play stuff will show up the lack of multi-thread ability. Maybe it can go a bit faster........?
After a bit of tinkering I'm happy to run it permanently at 4.2 on a stock cooler, it's100% stable running Prime95 and 15c below TjMax. All bios options set to Auto (Asus B85 Vanguard). I think this will be fine at 4.5Ghz on stock cooling, some people report 4.8 with water but that defeats the object of this CPU. Overclock it and enjoy!
09 August 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by Egglybert Excellent chip for messing around with
Where to start with this chip... it certainly not your average CPU, I'll tell you that much.
First off, for single-threaded applications, this ridiculously cheap CPU matches the big boys (4690k, and even the 4790k if you OC the Pentium) point-for-point. A lot of people will say that "games are predominantly single-threaded", so this sounds like the perfect cheap gaming chip, right?
Nope. Don't get me wrong, I love this chip in all its ridiculously cheap, brute force glory... But modern games are increasingly geared towards multi-threaded CPUs, so unless you exclusively play 5 year old games, you really aren't going to be blown away with the performance. Essentially, you get what you pay for in terms of raw power, and you aren't paying much. Overclocking aside, for a budget gaming PC, most reviewing sites (and I would agree with them) would recommend a Core i3 with 4 threads.
Ah, however, the overclocking... this is where this chip really shines. The description doesn't lie, you really can crank this thing up by an extra 1.3GHz (40%!) right out of the box, with a little know-how. My current setup is a seemingly-stable 4.4GHz at 1.24V, but with some people reporting 4.7+GHz, its the classic case of getting lucky with a good chip.
As for cooling, at 4.4GHz, the Prime95 torture test got the poor Pentium up to a pretty toasty 76 degrees on stock cooling... high, sure, but not dangerously so. Indeed, I am very impressed by the ludicrously low-profile, tiny heatsink that comes with the chip, idle temps are around 38, and gaming temps after a good few hours on, say, planetside 2 are around 68. Honestly, I wouldn't recommend buying any third party aftermarket cooler specifically for this chip, but if you have one lying around, it can't hurt to bring those temps down a little.
If you were planning on spending extra cash on a Hyper Evo 212 or similar, I would take that money and buy a core i3 on stock cooling instead. You really don't need extra cooling... if the chip dies after 2 years instead of 5, well, you just got 2 years out of a £45 chip...
Still, as someone who specifically bought this chip to learn about overclocking before upgrading to an i7, the Pentium was an excellent choice simply because of the overclocking potential for the price. Would recommend to a very budget-restricted overclocker, but maybe not to a pure gamer.
07 August 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by FatFred Great price - great overclocking!
The reviews were right - this is a great chip for those willing to overclock. I was looking at getting an i5 for £90 more (!), so more than twice the price, but I reasoned that for my needs (mainly gaming) the four core architecture wasn't a requirement.
Fantastic price for this overclockable chip. I *only* managed a solid stable 4.2GHz (speed will vary) but using a Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO it keeps lovely and cool.
31 July 2014