Intel Pentium Anniversary Edition Review: Back to its Legendary Overclocking Roots

By Steve · 16 replies
Jul 24, 2014
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  1. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    @Steve Another great review. You nailed the colors this time (the brown is kind of weird, but I can manage xD)!

    Very impressive performance by the Pentium despite being like $50 less than an i3. This seems to be a very nice budget oriented option. I think this will make a nice fit in the "Budget Box Build" in the TS Buying Guide.
    Steve likes this.
  2. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 2,869   +2,039

    Thanks glad you liked it. The brown as you call it is just dark orange, all we are doing here is making the data we want to show you bolder, in this case darken the orange that was already there (the orange from the TS logo).
    Jad Chaar likes this.
  3. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    Ah, I see. Makes sense.
  4. SuperVeloce

    SuperVeloce TS Booster Posts: 133   +34

    Until we get motherboards that costs the same as this Pentium or less, it's futile to even mention the word "budget". And not to mention, in 2014, non HT dual-core is too late to the party (even the anniversary of a first pentium was more than a year ago). Except for some older games, i3 and a cheap mobo would cost the same and more sensible in every way (especially power reqs). Not to mention $100 cooling we are seeing in this review... the magic is gone :(
  5. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 2,869   +2,039

    You can use a $60 motherboard if you want and as we demonstrated in the review you can hit 4.4GHz fine with a $30 cooler.

    Still I agree its not an ideal processor. What we want is an unlocked Core i3 for $150 or less ;) Of course that is never going to happen.
    Jad Chaar likes this.
  6. A $60 motherboard will either not provide the same overclocking capabilities as a $100 one or, more likely, not even allow overclocking to begin with, since at that price range we're most likely talking about H81 motherboards, or H87 at best.
    A $120 Core i3 plus a $50 H81 motherboard total $170, and that's it. Stock cooler is enough and no overclocking is needed (or possible). For the Pentium, you're looking at $70 for the processor, $90+ for a Z-series motherboard and $30+ for an aftermarket cooler, so it's at least $190. And then you have to overclock, which for me as a hassle.
    The way I see it, it's not worth it. It will not be cheaper than a Core i3 if you want to overclock, and due to the four threads the Core i3 will be doing much better in the long run.
  7. I would rather buy FX-6300 for the same money.
  8. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 2,869   +2,039

    It's an apples to oranges comparison. All of this was said in the conclusion anyway but buying a more expensive processor with a featureless motherboard is not better value then buying a cheaper processor with a better quality motherboard with many more features. Especially when both processors deliver much the same performance.

    The Pentium overclocks just fine on H81 boards anyway so you have made an incorrect assumption here...

    Frankly you could go either way and end up with a decent system, there doesn't appear to be a clear right or wrong here.

    That's odd isn't it? We found the Core i3 was faster than the FX-6350 in every single game we tested, in fact the i3 was much faster in a few of them and even beat the FX-8350. The FX-6350 system also used more than twice the power of the Core i3. The encoding performance was much the same on both processors though the FX-6350 does seem to have an advantage in applications, at least the ones we tested with.
  9. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    I am debating what should take the ~$75 category: the Athlon 750K or this unlocked Pentium.
  10. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    Excellent review @Steve as always, I love this new Pentium chip and in my book its one of the best chips released from Intel this year. A sub 70 dollar chip (Newegg) that is unlocked, offers good single threaded performance and overclocking, while staying cool is just a fantastic thing.

    I have 2 of these things right now because clients with low budgets requested some cheap gaming rigs so I picked them up. They perform top notch in all games especially considering the cost and pairing a bundle with a good motherboard (Managed to snag both on a MSI Z97-G55 SLI board with an 8 Phase power system for 35 bucks off total with a Pentium chip) and my god both have clocked so well its shocking (Both have hit 4.7ghz). I am blown away by how fun and awesome this chip is, my only real complaint is I wish it had a slightly higher ram controller (1600 at least lol) because that made things a little hard to play with at first.

    Such a fun chip and great review!
    Steve likes this.
  11. I wouldn't say that. For the large majority of PC owners I have known in my life, special motherboard features bring no actual value, primarily because they don't bother with it and most go unused. From my experience, the only features that people (and I'm talking about PC gamers who built their own systems) concern themselves with when it comes to motherboards is SATA ports, USB ports and expansion slots. In that regard, the H81 chipset alone, which offers SATA 6 Gbps, USB 3.0 and runs one graphics card with no issues, is already enough for the huge majority of people. Besides that, those people only care about advanced overclocking support/features and integrated Wi-Fi, but for either of that you're already looking way past the $100 range.
    So no, buying a slower processor with a motherboard full of features you will never need and/or concern yourself with is not better value than buying a cheaper motherboard that fullfills your needs and a faster processor to go in it. Having more features just for the sake of having is not an indicative of value.
    I did get it wrong on the H-series overclocking though, I didn't know OEMs were making overclocking available on them. That does change things a bit, but personally I still consider the Core i3 + stock cooler a better option.
  12. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 2,869   +2,039

    The H81 chipset for example only offers 2 SATA 6Gb/s ports, 2 USB 3.0 ports, two DIMM slots and one PCIe x16 slot.

    The Z97 offers 6 SATA 6Gb/s ports, 6 USB 3.0 ports, four DIMM slots and multiple PCIe x16 slots.

    If you are building s standard ATX budget box I feel most won’t want to be limited to just 4 SATA ports in total and two USB 3.0 ports. Remember we are talking about folks interested in computers that build their own systems, not the grandparents.

    Every budget builder I know has at least 6 hard drives carried over from their last 2 or 3 builds spanning a decade :)

    Obviously its personal choice but if you were building from scratch I would prefer the Pentium G3258 with the more capable Z97 motherboard over the Core i3 on the older cheaper H81. For roughly the same money the Z97/G3258 combo offers a much smarter upgrade path given it supports Broadwell and no 8-series motherboard will. So if you were a builder that invested in that platform now to save $30 - $40 then I feel that's a bad move as it will be the last and only upgrade that investment sees.

    If you prefer the Core i3 that’s a valid choice, can’t argue with that. It is not necessarily a better choice, it is just a different one.

    Not sure how else to put this other than the Athlon 750K would get hosed by the G3258 before any overclocking even takes place.
  13. Railman

    Railman TS Booster Posts: 708   +101

    There is another good reason for buying the Pentium Anniversary cpu. If you are someone who is a bit tight for cash and needed a reasonable PC then the Pentium could be seen a a stopgap measure whilst awaiting the funds to upgrade to a I5 or I7 cpu.
    Steve likes this.
  14. Ah good old days :) My personal favorite was AMD Duron that worked at 600 MHz but I was able to push it and retain complete stability to 1000 MHz. The best bang for the buck processor ever released, imho.
  15. I didn't even know intel still make dual core desktop CPUs.
  16. Good review, Intel have thrown dirt all over the Pentium name by making them into budget parts so not much to celebrate. Would be fun to build something like this but considering we are seeing a lot more multithreaded software and games I think it would just disappoint in the coming few years, a special 4 core (or even 3) part would have been more interesting...

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