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I have a terrible habit of picking up computer components when they go on sale. A few weeks ago Newegg had a Pentium G3258 + Gigabyte GA-H81M-DS2V combo for just $80. You just can’t miss a deal like this.

A pair of Samsung 4 GB DDR3 1600 has been lying around for a long time, so now I have collected enough for a brand new platform.

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I do not need a third computer, so I decided to replace the Clarkdale system. GA-H81M-DS2V is microATX size but all my cases are Mini-ITX. But I promptly realized that Lian-Li PC-Q11 is actually large enough to house this particular microATX.

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One question you may ask is whether there is regression on performance, as I am replacing an HT-capable i3 (2C4T) with a Pentium (2C2T). To the Pentium’s advantage the G3258 does run at a higher frequency albeit not significantly so, and then there is also the IPC improvements over Clarkdale. It is not immediately obvious which one would be faster. Benchmarks seem to favor the G3258 slightly.

Ultimately performance is usage model-dependent. I do not have a benchmark myself to test these two processors against my needs. But as long as they are in the same ballpark, I am happy. I am counting more on the 4 GB extra RAM because I find myself running over 4 GB quite frequently. Power consumption should go down significantly as well.

After two weeks of use I can say that the upgrade is worth while. The Windows Experience Index backs me up:

Windows Experience Index Old New
Processor 6.9 7.1
Memory (RAM) 5.9 7.7
Graphics 7.3 5.8
Gaming graphics 7.3 6.5
Primary hard disk 7.8 7.9

Overall score decreases because HD 5750 is no match for Intel HD Graphics in  terms of graphics performance. But all the other categories see a healthy improvement.

Clarkdale WEI
i3-530, 2 x 2 GB DDR3-1333, HD5750 1 GB
Pentium WEI
Pentium G3258, 2 x 4 GB DDR3 1600, Intel HD Graphics
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