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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Phenom 8850B Triple-Core Core i3-3240 3.4GHz
Cyberpunk 2077 185% 83%
Control 265% 134%
eFootball PES 2020 176% 77%
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 265% 134%
Grand Theft Auto VI 357% 192%
Borderlands 3 185% 83%
Total War: Three Kingdoms 357% 192%
Red Dead Redemption 2 283% 145%
F1 2019 283% 145%
FIFA 20 140% 54%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core i3-3240 3.4GHz is massively better than the AMD Phenom 8850B Triple-Core 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 i3-3240 3.4GHz was released less than a year after the Phenom 8850B Triple-Core, and so they are likely to have similar levels of support, and similarly optimized performance when running the latest games.

The Phenom 8850B Triple-Core has 1 more core than the Core i3-3240 3.4GHz. However, while the Phenom 8850B Triple-Core will probably perform better than the Core i3-3240 3.4GHz, both CPUs are likely to struggle with the latest games, and will almost certainly bottleneck high-end graphics cards. This should not affect games that are a few years old, and even the latest games should at least be playable on very low settings, as only recently have game developers begun to harness the power of multiple cores.

The Core i3-3240 3.4GHz has 1 more threads than the Phenom 8850B Triple-Core. The Phenom 8850B Triple-Core has one thread per physical core, whereas the Core i3-3240 3.4GHz 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 Phenom 8850B Triple-Core and Core i3-3240 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 i3-3240 3.4GHz has a 0.9 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. In this case, however, the difference is probably a good indicator that the Phenom 8850B Triple-Core is superior.

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 Phenom 8850B Triple-Core has a 1024 KB bigger L2 cache than the Core i3-3240 3.4GHz, but on the other hand, it is the Core i3-3240 3.4GHz that has a 1 MB bigger L3 cache than the Phenom 8850B Triple-Core.

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 i3-3240 3.4GHz has a 40 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Phenom 8850B Triple-Core, and was created with a 43 nm smaller manufacturing technology. What this means is the Core i3-3240 3.4GHz 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 i3-3240 3.4GHz 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 Phenom 8850B Triple-Core, 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 CodenameTolimanIvy Bridge
MoBo SocketSocket AM2+LGA 1155/Socket H2
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date21 Oct 200801 Sep 2012
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores3vs2
CPU Threads3vs4
Clock Speed2.5 GHzvs3.4 GHz
Turbo Frequency-vs-
Max TDP95 Wvs55 W
Lithography65 nmvs22 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature71°Cvs65°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size384 KBvs128 KB
L2 Cache Size1536 KBvs512 KB
L3 Cache Size2 MBvs3 MB
Max Memory Size-vs32 GB
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 2500 Desktop
Base GPU Frequency-vs650 MHz
Max GPU Frequency-vs-
DirectX-vs11
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 ReviewPhenom 8850B Triple-Core is a business-class processor based on the 65nm, K10 architecture.

It offers 3 Physical Cores (3 Logical), clocked at 2.5GHz and 2MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, Virtualization is activated.

The processor DOES NOT integrate any graphics. and has a rated board TDP of 95W.

It offers average performance. This means it will become a bottleneck in some demanding applications.
Core i3-3240 3.4GHz is a middle-class CPU based on the 22nm, Ivy 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 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.

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