Select any two CPUs for comparison
VS

Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Core i3-3210 3.2GHz Core 2 Extreme QX6850 3.0GHz
Red Dead Redemption 2 128% 131%
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 69% 72%
Cyberpunk 2077 93% 97%
Star Wars: Jedi - Fallen Order 151% 156%
Halo: Reach 6% 4%
Borderlands 3 128% 131%
FIFA 20 63% 66%
eFootball PES 2020 87% 90%
Fortnite: Chapter 2 25% 27%
Detroit: Become Human 95% 98%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core i3-3210 3.2GHz is marginally better than the Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850 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 Extreme, 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 Extreme when running the latest games.

Both CPUs exhibit very powerful performance, so it probably isn't worth upgrading from one to the other, as both are capable of running even the most demanding games at the highest settings (assuming they are accompanied by equivalently powerful GPUs).

The Core 2 Extreme has 2 more cores than the Core i3-3210 3.2GHz. With 4 cores, the Core 2 Extreme is much less likely to struggle with the latest games, or bottleneck high-end graphics cards when running them.

Both the Intel Core i3-3210 3.2GHz and the Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850 3.0GHz have the same number of threads. The Core 2 Extreme 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 Extreme 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 Extreme has a 7680 KB bigger L2 cache than the Core i3-3210 3.2GHz, and although the Core 2 Extreme 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 75 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Core 2 Extreme, and was created with a 43 nm smaller manufacturing technology. What this means is the Core i3-3210 3.2GHz 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 i3-3210 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 Extreme, 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.

CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameIvy BridgeKentsfield
MoBo SocketLGA 1155/Socket H2LGA 775/ Socket T
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date20 Jan 201309 Apr 2007
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores2vs4
CPU Threads4vs4
Clock Speed3.2 GHzvs3 GHz
Turbo Frequency-vs-
Max TDP55 Wvs130 W
Lithography22 nmvs65 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature65°Cvs65°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size128 KBvs256 KB
L2 Cache Size512 KBvs8192 KB
L3 Cache Size3 MBvs-
Max Memory Size-vs-
Memory Channels-vs-
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 Extreme QX6850 3.0GHz is a performance Processor based on the 65nm Core micro-architecture.

It offers 4 Physical Cores (4 Logical), clocked at 3.0GHz and 8MB of L2 Cache.
Among its many features, Virtualization is activated.

The processor DOES NOT integrate any graphics. and has a rated board TDP of 130W.

It is a powerful processor whose performance is good. It's thus capable of running most applications smoothly without any problem.

Title

Body