Intel’s Pentium and Core i3 Desktop Ivy Bridge CPUs Arriveby Jarred Walton on September 7, 2012 3:03 PM EST
We knew the Core i3 Ivy Bridge CPUs were coming, but details on precisely when that would happen and how much they would cost were a bit harder to come by. Just after our recent Budget Buyer’s Guide last week, lower end 22nm processors from Intel showed up at Newegg and other retailers. Let’s quickly run over the chips, their features, and how they stack up compared to existing offerings. There are also a few other new Core i5 processors that recently showed up, which we’ll cover as well.
|New Intel Pentium and Core i3 Processors|
|Model||Pentium G2120||Core i3-3220||Core i3-3220T||Core i3-3225|
|Graphics||HD Graphics||HD 2500||HD 2500||HD 4000|
|iGPU Base Clock||650MHz||650MHz||650MHz||650MHz|
|GPU Turbo Clock||1.05GHz||1.05GHz||1.05GHz||1.05GHz|
|VT-x w/ EPT||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|New Intel Core i3 and Core i5 Processors|
|Model||Core i3-3240||Core i3-3240T||Core i5-3330||Core i5-3350P|
|Graphics||HD 2500||HD 2500||HD 2500||No|
|iGPU Base Clock||650MHz||650MHz||650MHz||NA|
|GPU Turbo Clock||1.05GHz||1.05GHz||1.05GHz||NA|
|VT-x w/ EPT||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Starting from the top, we have the least expensive 22nm Ivy Bridge CPU we’ve seen to date, the Pentium G2120. While Intel’s pricing is slightly lower than Newegg’s $100, it’s still too expensive to actually displace the Celeron G530 as our budget CPU recommendation—especially when you can find sales where the G530 is going for just $39 shipped! The HD Graphics in the Pentium should be slightly faster than the HD Graphics in the older Celeron, as they’re the newer DX11 GPU core (without Quick Sync or some of the other “extras” enabled), but even so they’re not fast enough to really warrant spending three times as much money.
Most of the Core i3 models fall into a similar category, with the exception of the i3-3225. If you’re going iGPU for your graphics, the difference between HD 2500 and HD 4000 is quite significant and makes the extra $20-$25 pretty reasonable. There are also the two lower power “T” parts, which might be of some interest to users looking at building a mini-ITX system or a quiet HTPC, but again the cost is quite high for what you’re getting. In terms of features, it’s also worth pointing out that where the Pentium (and Celeron) line trims a lot of features like Quick Sync and Hyper-Threading, Core i3 still leaves out the AES-NI instructions and VT-d support; if you need full hardware virtualization support, Core i5 might be the better choice.
As for the two new Core i5 processors, the i5-3330 is the least remarkable. It’s basically a lower clocked version of the already shipping i5-3450, but it does add VT-d support. Interestingly, despite similar suggested prices from Intel (the i5-3450 is actually supposed to cost a few dollars more), the i5-3330 ends up being $10 more than the i5-3450. Unless you need VT-d, the choice between the two offerings is clear given the current pricing. The final new CPU is the i5-3350P, and this marks the first time we’ve seen any of the Ivy Bridge processors with no iGPU. Clock speeds aren’t particularly compelling, but the TDP is slightly lower so that might be worth considering, especially if prices come down. It a killer app ever comes out for Quick Sync, though, owners of the i5-3350P might end up regretting their choice of CPU—again, given they’re currently at the same price, we think the i5-3450 is a better option.
Availability of all of the CPUs is somewhat limited right now, with only Newegg stocking the majority of the chips (outside of the OEM-only i3-3240T). We expect that to change over the next week or two, however, and that should force some of the prices down by as much as $15-$20 if you can hold off for a bit longer.