Intel Core i3-3210 3.2GHz
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Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0GHz
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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Core i3-3210 3.2GHz Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0GHz
Battlefield V 229% 385%
Shadow of the Tomb Raider 128% 236%
Assassins Creed: Odyssey 87% 176%
PlayerUnknowns Battlegrounds 109% 208%
Farming Simulator 19 51% 27%
Red Dead Redemption 2 159% 283%
Fallout 76 128% 237%
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 69% 149%
Hitman 2 (2018) 134% 246%
FIFA 19 14% 68%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core i3-3210 3.2GHz is massively better than the Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0GHz 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 i3-3210 3.2GHz was released over three years more recently than the Core 2 Duo, and so the Core i3-3210 3.2GHz is likely to have far better levels of support, and will be much more optimized and ultimately superior to the Core 2 Duo when running the latest games.

The Core i3-3210 3.2GHz and the Core 2 Duo both have 2 cores, and so are quite likely to struggle with the latest games, or at least bottleneck high-end graphics cards when running them. With a decent accompanying GPU, the Core i3-3210 3.2GHz and the Core 2 Duo may still be able to run slightly older games fairly effectively.

The Core i3-3210 3.2GHz has 2 more threads than the Core 2 Duo. The Core 2 Duo has one thread per physical core, whereas the Core i3-3210 3.2GHz uses hyperthreading and has 2 logical threads per physical core.

Multiple threads are useful for improving the performance of multi-threaded applications. Additional cores and their accompanying thread will always be beneficial for multi-threaded applications. Hyperthreading will be beneficial for applications optimized for it, but it may slow others down. For games, the number of threads is largely irrelevant, as long as you have at least 2 cores (preferably 4), and hyperthreading can sometimes even hit performance.

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 i3-3210 3.2GHz and Core 2 Duo 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 Core i3-3210 3.2GHz has a 0.2 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 Core 2 Duo has a 5632 KB bigger L2 cache than the Core i3-3210 3.2GHz, and although the Core 2 Duo 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 i3-3210 3.2GHz has a 10 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Core 2 Duo, and was created with a 23 nm smaller manufacturing technology. What this means is the Core i3-3210 3.2GHz will consume slightly less power and consequently produce less heat, enabling more prolonged computational tasks with fewer adverse effects. This will lower your yearly electricity bill slightly, as well as prevent you from having to invest in extra cooling mechanisms (unless you overclock).

The Core i3-3210 3.2GHz has an on-board GPU, which means that it will be capable of running basic graphics applications (i.e., games) without the need for a dedicated graphics card. The Core 2 Duo, however, does not, and you will probably have to look for a dedicated card if you wish to use it at all.

For in-depth GPU comparisons with the Intel HD Graphics 2500 Desktop, click on the following GPU overview comparison icon (visible throughout Game-Debate), and choose a GPU from the list to compare against:

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.

Can I Run It

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CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameIvy BridgeWolfdale
MoBo SocketLGA 1155/Socket H2LGA 775/ Socket T
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date20 Jan 201310 Aug 2008
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores2vs2
CPU Threads4vs2
Clock Speed3.2 GHzvs3 GHz
Turbo Frequency-vs-
System Bus -vs1333 MHz
Max TDP55 Wvs65 W
Lithography22 nmvs45 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature65°Cvs72°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size128 KBvs128 KB
L2 Cache Size512 KBvs6144 KB
L3 Cache Size3 MBvs-
Max Memory Size-vs-
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 2500 Desktop
Base GPU Frequency650 MHzvs-
Max GPU Frequency-vs-
DirectX11vs-
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 ReviewCore i3-3210 3.2GHz is a middle-class CPU based on the 22nm, Ivy Bridge architecture.

It offers 2 Physical Cores (4 Logical), clocked at 3.2GHz and 3MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, Turbo Boost and HyperThreading are activated.

The processor integrates relatively weak Graphics called Intel HD Graphics 2500, with 6 Execution Units, initially clocked at 650MHz and that go up to 1050MHz, in Turbo Mode which share the L2 Cache and system RAM with the processor.
Both the processor and integrated graphics have a rated board TDP of 55W.

It is a powerful processor whose performance is good. It's thus capable of running most applications smoothly without any problem.
Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0GHz is a middle-class Processor based on the 45nm Core micro-architecture.

It offers 2 Physical Cores (2 Logical), clocked at 3.0GHz and 6MB of L2 Cache.
Among its many features, Virtualization is activated.

The processor DOES NOT integrated any graphics. and has a rated board TDP of 65W.

It offers average performance. It will therefore become a bottleneck in today's demanding games.