Kaby Pentium is The New Budget King

The Pentium G4560 really is the best budget processor we've seen in some time and if I'm completely honest, it's the only Kaby Lake processor worth buying.

In fact, it's so good we wonder how Intel is going to sell any Core i3 processors going forward. Here's a quick look at the current generation Pentium and Core i3 line-up...

Model Price Cores/Threads Base Frequency Boost L3 Cache TDP
Pentium G4560 $64 2C/4T 3.5 GHz N/A 3MB 54W
Pentium G4600 $82 2C/4T 3.6 GHz N/A 3MB 51W
Pentium G4620 $93 2C/4T 3.7 GHz N/A 3MB 51W
Core i3-7100 $117 2C/4T 3.9 GHz N/A 3MB 51W
Core i3-7300 $147 2C/4T 4.0 GHz N/A 4MB 51W
Core i3-7320 $157 2C/4T 4.1 GHz N/A 4MB 51W
Core i3-7350K $168 2C/4T 4.2 GHz N/A 4MB 60W

The G4560 at $64 is pretty amazing. It not only invalidates the Core i3 range but it also kills off the higher end Pentiums as well. It's 22% cheaper than the $82 G4600 and yet it's clocked just 3% lower. Similarly, it's 31% cheaper than the G4620 while it can't possibly be more than 5% slower.

Intel's Core i3 range doesn't look any better. For instance, the i3-7100 retails for $117 and besides a bump in operating frequency and a slight change in iGPU, this is the exact same processor as the G4560. Clocked at 3.9GHz, the i3-7100 is up to 11% faster, but that doesn't make it worth 80% more.

Comparisons only get worse as you go on: the Core i3-7300 costs well over twice the price but comes clocked less than 15% greater. Realistically, your choices are the G4560 at $64 or the Core i5-7400 at $190, everything else in-between is a bit pointless.

Against older chips such as the Skylake Core i3-6100, the Pentium G4560 wasn't a great deal slower in our Excel and Photoshop workloads and the same was true when looking at encoding performance.

The chip is no slouch in gaming either, proving to be the perfect companion for a graphics card akin to the RX 460, GTX 1050 or 1050 Ti (it worked also well with the GTX 1060 though we think a sub-$200 GPU makes more sense for playing CPU-intensive games on the G4560).

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With two cores and no Hyper-Threading, Intel's previous entry-level Pentium G4400 struggles in today's games. By adding Hyper-Threading to its Kaby Lake Pentiums, Intel has given this series a new lease on life, albeit while cannibalizing sales of its Core i3 range.


Pros: Very affordable, killer value. Hyper-Threading support is a first in this class of processor. Performance shines across the board. You have to spend considerable more money to get a truly better CPU.

Cons: It's not unlocked.