Select any two CPUs for comparison
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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Core i3-3217UE 1.6GHz APU A8-3530MX Quad-Core
Battlefield 2042 506% 362%
Grand Theft Auto VI 640% 464%
Resident Evil 8 770% 562%
Far Cry 6 610% 441%
New World 353% 245%
The Ascent 971% 716%
Back 4 Blood 530% 380%
Forza Horizon 5 353% 245%
Star Citizen 384% 269%
FIFA 22 321% 221%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the AMD APU A8-3530MX Quad-Core is noticeably better than the Intel Core i3-3217UE 1.6GHz when it comes to running the latest games. This also means it will be less likely to bottleneck more powerful GPUs, allowing them to achieve more of their gaming performance potential.

The Core i3-3217UE 1.6GHz was released over a year more recently than the APU A8-3530MX Quad-Core, and so the Core i3-3217UE 1.6GHz is likely to have better levels of support, and will be more optimized for running the latest games.

The APU A8-3530MX Quad-Core has 2 more cores than the Core i3-3217UE 1.6GHz. With 4 cores, the APU A8-3530MX Quad-Core is much less likely to struggle with the latest games, or bottleneck high-end graphics cards when running them.

More important for gaming than the number of cores and threads is the clock rate. Problematically, unless the two CPUs are from the same family, this can only serve as a general guide and nothing like an exact comparison, because the clock cycles per instruction (CPI) will vary so much.

The Core i3-3217UE 1.6GHz and APU A8-3530MX Quad-Core are not from the same family of CPUs, so their clock speeds are by no means directly comparable. Bear in mind, then, that while the APU A8-3530MX Quad-Core has a 0.3 GHz faster frequency, this is not always an indicator that it will be superior in performance, despite frequency being crucial when trying to avoid GPU bottlenecking. As such, we need to look elsewhere for more reliable comparisons.

Aside from the clock rate, the next-most important CPU features for PC game performance are L2 and L3 cache size. Faster than RAM, the more cache available, the more data that can be stored for lightning-fast retrieval. L1 Cache is not usually an issue anymore for gaming, with most high-end CPUs eking out about the same L1 performance, and L2 is more important than L3 - but L3 is still important if you want to reach the highest levels of performance. Bear in mind that although it is better to have a larger cache, the larger it is, the higher the latency, so a balance has to be struck.

The APU A8-3530MX Quad-Core has a 3584 KB bigger L2 cache than the Core i3-3217UE 1.6GHz, and although the APU A8-3530MX Quad-Core does not appear to have an L3 cache, its larger L2 cache means that it wins out in this area.

The maximum Thermal Design Power is the power in Watts that the CPU will consume in the worst case scenario. The lithography is the semiconductor manufacturing technology being used to create the CPU - the smaller this is, the more transistors that can be fit into the CPU, and the closer the connections. For both the lithography and the TDP, it is the lower the better, because a lower number means a lower amount of power is necessary to run the CPU, and consequently a lower amount of heat is produced.

The Core i3-3217UE 1.6GHz has a 28 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the APU A8-3530MX Quad-Core, and was created with a 10 nm smaller manufacturing technology. What this means is the Core i3-3217UE 1.6GHz will consume significantly less power and consequently produce less heat, enabling more prolonged computational tasks with fewer adverse effects. This will lower your yearly electricity bill significantly, as well as prevent you from having to invest in extra cooling mechanisms (unless you overclock).

The Core i3-3217UE 1.6GHz and the APU A8-3530MX Quad-Core both have an on-board GPU, which means that they will be capable of running basic graphics applications (i.e., games) without the need for a dedicated graphics card.

For an in-depth GPU comparison, click on the GPU comparison icon that you can find throughout Game-Debate:

On-board GPUs tend to be fairly awful in comparison to dedicated cards from the likes of AMD or Nvidia, but as they are built into the CPU, they also tend to be cheaper and require far less power to run (this makes them a good choice for laptops). We would recommend a dedicated card for running the latest games, but integrated GPUs are improving all the time and casual gamers may find less recent games perform perfectly acceptably.

CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameIvy BridgeLlano
MoBo SocketBGA 1023Socket FS1
Notebook CPUyesyes
Release Date01 Jul 201214 Jun 2011
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores2vs4
Clock Speed1.6 GHzvs1.9 GHz
Turbo Frequency-vs-
Max TDP17 Wvs45 W
Lithography22 nmvs32 nm
Bit Width-vs-
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size128 KBvs512 KB
L2 Cache Size512 KBvs4096 KB
L3 Cache Size3 MBvs-
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 4000 MobileRadeon HD 6620G
Base GPU Frequency650 MHzvs444 MHz
Max GPU Frequency1350 MHzvs-
DirectX11vs11
Displays Supported-vs-
Comparison

CPU Package and Version Specifications

Package Size-vs-
Revision-vs-
PCIe Revision-vs-
PCIe Configurations-vs-

Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

CPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewIvy Bridge is the codename for Intel's 22 nm die shrink of the Sandy Bridge microarchitecture based on tri-gate ("3D") transistors. Ivy Bridge processors will be backwards-compatible with the Sandy Bridge platform, but might require a firmware update (vendor specific). Intel has released new 7-series Panther Point chipsets with integrated USB 3.0 to complement Ivy Bridge. Intel announced that volume production of Ivy Bridge chips began in the third quarter of 2011. Quad-core and dual-core-mobile models launched on April 29, 2012 and May 31, 2012 respectively. Meanwhile, Core i3 desktop processors are said to arrive in the third quarter of 2012.All models feature upgraded Stars (Phenom II architecture) CPU cores (K10.5) with no L3 cache, and with Redwood-class integrated graphics on die (BeaverCreek for the dual-core variants and WinterPark for the quad-core variants).
All models are manufactured on GlobalFoundries' 32 nm SOI process for socket FM1.
All models have an integrated PCIe 2.0 controller.
Select models support AMD's Turbo Core technology for faster CPU operation when the thermal specification permits.
All models support 1.35 V DDR3L-1333 memory, in addition to regular 1.5 V DDR3 memory specified.