Intel Core i3-3210 3.2GHz
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Intel Core i3-2130 3.4GHz
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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Core i3-3210 3.2GHz Core i3-2130 3.4GHz
Battlefield V 229% 220%
Shadow of the Tomb Raider 128% 121%
Assassins Creed: Odyssey 87% 82%
PlayerUnknowns Battlegrounds 109% 103%
Farming Simulator 19 51% 52%
Red Dead Redemption 2 159% 153%
Fallout 76 128% 122%
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 69% 64%
Hitman 2 (2018) 134% 128%
FIFA 19 14% 11%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core i3-2130 3.4GHz is marginally better than the Intel Core i3-3210 3.2GHz 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 a year more recently than the Core i3-2130 3.4GHz, and so the Core i3-3210 3.2GHz is likely to have better levels of support, and will be more optimized for 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 i3-3210 3.2GHz and the Core i3-2130 3.4GHz 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 i3-2130 3.4GHz may still be able to run slightly older games fairly effectively.

Both the Intel Core i3-3210 3.2GHz and the Intel Core i3-2130 3.4GHz have the same number of threads. Both the Core i3-3210 3.2GHz and the Core i3-2130 3.4GHz use hyperthreading. The Core i3-3210 3.2GHz has 2 logical threads per physical core and the Core i3-2130 3.4GHz has 2.

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 i3-2130 3.4GHz 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 i3-2130 3.4GHz 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 i3-3210 3.2GHz and the Core i3-2130 3.4GHz have the same L2 cache size, and the same L3 cache size, so in terms of cache-related gaming performance, the two CPUs are too similar to judge.

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 i3-2130 3.4GHz, and was created with a 10 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 and the Core i3-2130 3.4GHz 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.

Can I Run It

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CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameIvy BridgeSandy Bridge
MoBo SocketLGA 1155/Socket H2LGA 1155/Socket H2
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date20 Jan 201304 Sep 2011
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores2vs2
CPU Threads4vs4
Clock Speed3.2 GHzvs3.4 GHz
Turbo Frequency-vs-
Max TDP55 Wvs65 W
Lithography22 nmvs32 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature65°Cvs69°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size128 KBvs128 KB
L2 Cache Size512 KBvs512 KB
L3 Cache Size3 MBvs3 MB
Max Memory Size-vs32 GB
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 2500 DesktopIntel HD Graphics 2000 Desktop
Base GPU Frequency650 MHzvs850 MHz
Max GPU Frequency-vs1350 MHz
DirectX11vs10.1
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 i3-2130 3.4GHz is a middle-class CPU based on the 32nm, Sandy Bridge architecture.

It offers 2 Physical Cores (4 Logical), clocked at 3.4GHz and 3MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, Turbo Boost and HyperThreading are activated.

The processor integrates weak Graphics called Intel HD Graphics 2000, with 6 Execution Units, initially clocked at 850MHz and that go up to 1100MHz, 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 65W.

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