The CPU market is insane. Maybe not as crazy as motherboards or graphics cards, but pretty crazy nonetheless. For a newcomer, and even people with a little bit more experience, the sheer amount and different types of CPUs can get overwhelming. So this week, let’s look at the most Interesting CPUs, from their price points, their performance, and their unique features. Not in any order, just looking at some interesting chips.
Pentium has been around for as long as the internet, if not longer. So to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Pentium name, Intel released the G3258. While to most, it looks like a relatively low end chip. Dual core, no hyperthreading, 3.2Ghz standard. But what wasn’t expected, and something that surprised a ton of people, was how well this chip could overclock. With an unlocked motherboard, this chip can easily get up to 4.0Ghz with even a stock cooler, and can hit 4.5Ghz with a bit of experience, fine tuning, and a decent cooler.
When overclocked, this CPU wrecks games, even being able to hold its own against the big i5 and i7 CPUs. And for less than $80, this is definitely an option for a lot of upcoming PC gamers. If you’re a content creator, it’s not too great of a CPU, because the 2 cores hold it back, but it’s still a really good chip for the money, and if you couple it with an inexpensive Z97 board, it’s a perfect way to get an upgrade path down the line.
Now, on the complete other end of the price spectrum, there’s the i7-5820k. It’s been deemed an “affordable” six core CPU, with hyperthreading, pushing it to 12 logical cores. It would be a relatively affordable six core in terms of features, performance, etc., but it gets expensive after you get the other needed components. This chip only runs with an X99 motherboard and requires DDR4 RAM, all of which is very expensive.
If you have the kind of money to spend on a system like this, the 5820k is definitely a recommended chip, but only if you aren’t going to use it as a gaming build. This chip demands you push it with video rendering, editing, 3D art, and anything else you can throw at it. The main reason this chip is interesting is because it could be the first step in seeing more affordable six core CPUs from Intel.
A CPU that can run games at medium settings on 1080p and get 30FPS, or even run at 720p and get 60FPS without the need of external graphics? At first you had my curiosity. Not only can it run games rather well for a single chip, it uses up very little energy doing so, meaning your electricity bill will be happy. Furthermore, it is a quad core, and can have the onboard graphics turned off when you feel you need to add a powerful dedicated graphics card. And even then, you can still overclock it and get performance similar to the Pentium G3258, which doesn’t have graphics onboard that are worth the silicone they’re put on.
Also, HSA development is going interesting places thanks to AMD’s APUs, which means even better performance in the future. And then there’s Mantle, which when used in conjunction, will give even more performance. Now you have my attention. The only major downside was the price, but even that has been tailored down to a mere $140. Definitely one of the most interesting developments in CPU technology, and with AMD’s road map, it could get better.
4. AMD FX-8320
A chip using 3+ year old technology is interesting in 2015. The reason being is Twitch and Hitbox. The AMD eight core CPUs are stream beasts. Compared to their main competition, the Intel i5 line, these things beat it while streaming in most instances. If you lower the resolution of the stream, they demolish their competition, which is crazy coming from a $130 chip. They also overclock like crazy, which is usually needed, and they don’t require expensive boards to overclock either.
All of this is good for budget minded consumers who want to become Twitch streamers. It also performs equally well when overclocked in other applications such as video rendering and 3D art, making it a good choice. The only downside is the power draw, which is a lot higher than their competition. Still one of the most interesting chips, especially at it’s price point.
So what do you guys think? Are there any CPUs that should have eyes on them? Let us know in the comments, and expect some awesome discussion.