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Is Intel i3 Better Than Pentium?

Last Updated on April 26, 2023
Is Intel i3 Better Than Pentium
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When given the option to choose from a couple of CPUs or processors, one would prefer the one with higher speed, efficiency, and performance. Though Pentium is half the price of Intel, is it as efficient as the i3? If you are low on budget and wondering which option is better to go with. Don’t worry, and continue reading below to learn more about it. We have a few things covered for you to make the right decision.

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Core i3 Vs Pentium

Pentium may be one of the best lines of processors that Intel has ever produced. But it’s now getting out of the picture since new core lines are here already. However, since both Intel Core i5 5xxx series and Pentium G6950 have been introduced, we now again need to differentiate between the two to see which one is better.

Generally speaking, both the i3 and Pentium systems are identical and have a lot of similarities in terms of features. Despite that, there are still some features that it has got disabled in them. This differentiates it from the Core i3 and makes them lower-end price models that are more affordable yet have fewer features to count.

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The Comparison

For beginners, the Pentium comes with only 3MB of L3 Cache. At the same time, Intel has a little advantage with 4MB of L3 Cache. Pentium has slower controllers than the ones found on the Core i3 systems. The Core i3 has memory controllers that support 1066MHz and 1333MHz. In contrast, the Pentium model only supports 1066MHz and would then slide down to 1333MHZ modules automatically only if you put them inside.

The same applies to their Graphics controllers that run at 733MHz for the i3. On the other hand, the Pentiums only run around the speed of 533MHz. The HD technology of Clear Video, considering their Integrated Graphics, Pentium lacks support again. It covers the video play backing with features such as dual-video decoding for the Blu-rays, extended gamut, deep colors, and other high-quality video playback options. You will only find these technological advancements in Intel’s Core i3.

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Last but not least, the most important feature of hyper-threading, Pentium, is disabled in them. However, the Core i3 in them makes them a more efficient option. The Hyper-Threading option helps the operating system in seeing each one of the cores as two virtual cores. Where the Pentium’s operating system only sees its cores as a dual-core system, the i3, on the contrary, has four of these cores in the total present in them. 

Hyper-threading contributes to the processor’s overall performance improvement for applications optimized for multi-threading purposes. It helps by breaking up the tasks; their pieces are then assigned to different cores for better performance.

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It wouldn’t be wrong to call a Pentium processor a lower-end version of a Core i3. It’s because they have a lesser Cache of 3MB compared to the 4MB size of Intel’s core i3. Memory Controllers and Graphic Controllers are a little slower for the Pentiums than Intel’s Core i3. 

Most importantly, the Hyper-threading feature is unavailable in the Pentium to the Core i3. Therefore, Pentiums cannot do multi-tasking as efficiently as the Core i3 can, which makes them less superior. However, one would clearly understand all this when they compare the price for both. A lower price, like half the price difference of Pentium processors compared to Intel’s Core i3, would indicate fewer features in Pentium.

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Buying a CPU or processor entirely depends upon the requirements of its user. Sometimes even fast CPUs or processors become unbearable for a user since they surpass their needs. Therefore, if you choose between a Pentium and Core i3, we prefer the Core i3 to be your first choice. 

It does multitasking, basic programming, web development, and even gaming better than the Pentiums. However, if you have the most basic personal or office work, the Pentium is enough to suffice your needs.

Si Yan contributed to PC Guide in 2022 and supported with content creation. Previously working at a major electronics company, she brought her knowledge of consumer tech to the site.