Select any two CPUs for comparison
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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Core i3-7120 2-Core 4.0GHz APU A8-3820 Quad-Core
Hitman 3 77% 139%
Cyberpunk 2077 31% 77%
Assassins Creed: Valhalla 77% 139%
FIFA 21 23% 66%
Grand Theft Auto VI 116% 191%
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War 27% 72%
Resident Evil 8 46% 97%
Genshin Impact 0% 34%
Far Cry 6 107% 180%
The Medium 126% 204%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core i3-7120 2-Core 4.0GHz is massively better than the AMD APU A8-3820 Quad-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 i3-7120 2-Core was released over three years more recently than the APU A8-3820 Quad-Core, and so the Core i3-7120 2-Core is likely to have far better levels of support, and will be much more optimized and ultimately superior to the APU A8-3820 Quad-Core 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 APU A8-3820 Quad-Core has 2 more cores than the Core i3-7120 2-Core. With 4 cores, the APU A8-3820 Quad-Core is much less likely to struggle with the latest games, or bottleneck high-end graphics cards when running them.

Both the Intel Core i3-7120 2-Core 4.0GHz and the AMD APU A8-3820 Quad-Core have the same number of threads. The APU A8-3820 Quad-Core has one thread per physical core, whereas the Core i3-7120 2-Core 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 i3-7120 2-Core and APU A8-3820 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 Core i3-7120 2-Core has a 1.5 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 APU A8-3820 Quad-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 APU A8-3820 Quad-Core has a 3584 KB bigger L2 cache than the Core i3-7120 2-Core, and although the APU A8-3820 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 i3-7120 2-Core has a 14 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the APU A8-3820 Quad-Core, and was created with a 18 nm smaller manufacturing technology. What this means is the Core i3-7120 2-Core 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 i3-7120 2-Core and the APU A8-3820 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 CodenameKaby LakeLlano
MoBo SocketLGA 1151Socket FM1
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date29 Jul 201701 Jan 2012
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores2vs4
CPU Threads4vs4
Clock Speed4 GHzvs2.5 GHz
Turbo Frequency-vs2.8 GHz
Max TDP51 Wvs65 W
Lithography14 nmvs32 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature100°Cvs73°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size128 KBvs256 KB
L2 Cache Size512 KBvs4096 KB
L3 Cache Size3 MBvs-
Max Memory Size-vs-
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

GraphicsIntel UHD Graphics 630Radeon HD 6550D
Base GPU Frequency350 MHzvs600 MHz
Max GPU Frequency1150 MHzvs-
DirectX12vs11
Displays Supported-vs-
Comparison

CPU Package and Version Specifications

Package Size37.5 mm x 37.5 mm x 4.4 mmvs-
Revision-vs-
PCIe Revision-vs-
PCIe Configurations-vs-

Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

CPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewThe Intel Core i3-7120 2-Core 4.0GHzis a low-end CPU based on Intel's 7th Gen 14nm Kaby Lake microarchitecture. It offers 2 physical cores (4 logical) clocked at 4.0GHz. It does not have an unlocked multiplier and therefore cannot be overclocked using traditional methods. It has 3MB of L3 Cache. Level 3 cache is a static memory bank of a processor and it is used to feed it instructions. This processor also supports DDR4 based RAMs with maximum memory support of 64GB. It has a maximum Thermal Power Design of 51W. It is on par with competitor processors. Among its many features are Intel Enhanced Speedstep, HyperThreading and Virtualization. It integrates Intel HD Graphics 630 on board. It has a base frequency of 350MHz which can go up to 1.1GHz, as well as offering DirectX 12 support. This CPU is likely to offer good computational performance but may suffer from performance dips on higher resolutions and more demanding applications. Despite the HyperThreading, having just dual-cores means this is a bad budget choice for modern gaming.APU A8-3820 Quad-Core is a performance CPU based on the 32nm, Lynx architecture.

It offers 4 Physical Cores (4 Logical), initially clocked at 2.5GHz, which may go up to 2.8GHz and 4MB of L2 Cache.

The processor integrates mildly powerful Graphics called Radeon HD 6550D, with 400 Shader Processing Units, clocked at 600MHz, 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 Quad Core whose performance is good. It's thus capable of running most applications smoothly without any problem.