Anandtech Examine Core i3 Overclocking: Is It Really Worth It?

Ian Cutress (known to many of us on HWBOT as Borandi) has written a pretty definitive and detailed look at what you are getting when you overclock a Skylake Core i3 processor. Ian delves in the moderately murky back story that has unfolded in recent months with the arrival, disappearance and apparent re-emergence of Non-K SKU and Non-Z chipset overclocking. As well as re-telling the story in a historical context, Ian also offers an in-depth review of a Supermicro motherboard (a rare enough thing in its own right) as well as a technical comparison of a (base clock) overclocked i3-6100TE and its performance compared to more expensive i5 and i7 offerings.

“The 1080p gaming tests show that an overclocked Core i3 can easily knock on the door of a stock Core i5 for $100 less, or the rough equivalent of another Core i3 sale. The situation is a little muddier on CPU benchmarks; with single-thread responsive getting a benefit but many workload based tests showed you need real cores to get a benefit. It doesn’t matter much at the higher end, where it won’t cannibalize sales, and it didn’t matter much on the overclockable Pentium where two threads and low cache were bottlenecks you can’t overcome.

So if you want that performance, you need to spend the extra money.”

Make sure you check out the full, detailed article here on Anandtech.


Taiwan sdougal says:

Doubtless this is a pretty meaty topic. Chime in with your thoughts and opinions as always guys.

Indonesia Lucky_n00b says:

Informative article, although I would've preferred if Ian used the 'vanilla' i3-6100, since those can really be cranked to at least 4.4 - 4.5Ghz range with reasonable VCore, and at that speed I think those i3s will start to catch up or even outperforms some cheap skylake i5. But I understand that using the 6100TE will give higher 'percentage' to show a meaningful overclock. Now what would be interesting is comparing [i3-6100 overclocked + cheap Z170] vs [i5-6400 + H110] and see who got the best price/performance. I've been meaning to test those configs when I have the time(too much fun doing competition right now hahah :D).

Belgium Massman says:

I briefly read the conclusive lines of the article and found the arguments a bit lacking. I loved Ian's AMD article and found his logic and argumentation a lot better. Will read the full article though - always informative!

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