Intel’s i3/i5/i7 and AMD’s R5/R7 CPUs are the big competitors in the PC gaming world, but they aren’t the only options out there: AMD released cheap but capable Athlon X4s in 2016, and in January of this year Intel released the 2C/4T Pentium G4560 ($70), a 14nm Kaby Lake processor for ~$64~$70. We didn’t fully review the older and (briefly) popular Pentium G3258, but it has showed up in Ask GN and individual benchmarks, so we were excited to do comprehensive testing on this modern iteration.
The G4560 lacks the feature that made the G3258 so popular: the ability to overclock. Buying a dirt-cheap dual-core processor and cranking the frequency up was enough for decent performance in limited-thread games, although the G3258 often suffers from extreme stuttering in more modern titles. The limitations lead us to believe that Intel doesn’t want to compete with its own more expensive 2C/4T unlocked i3 and locked i3-7100 ($120) & 7300 ($150).
Intel Pentium G4560 Specs
|Dynamic IGP Frequency||1050MHz|
The Intel Pentium G4560 is a ~$70 CPU that operates a frequency of 3.5GHz fixed, with no Turbo support. It’s also got a weaker IGP in it than nearby i3 alternatives – though we’re ignoring that, as it’s not something we recommend using for our audience. The CPU sockets into modern Kaby Lake-ready motherboards with LGA1151 socket types, meaning that you could purchase a higher-end board and later upgrade to an i5/i7-class CPU. A bit of an odd approach, but doable.
The CPU’s frequency is about 11% slower than the i3-7100 at 3.9GHz, with both CPUs carrying equal 3MB cache and stock heatsinks. Given the price disparity of $70 versus $120 for a 7100, or $150 for a 7300, the G4560 is poised to embattle Intel’s own i3 line with its Pentium-class chips, while the i5s fight a losing battle against the R5s, and the i7 consumer CPUs hold strong for gaming.
Intel’s G4560 positioning is promising for budget gaming machines, as we’ll find out in these tests, and would likely couple best with something like an RX 560, GTX 1050, or similar sub-$200 GPU. If not hoping to upgrade the CPU to another KBL part later, more savings can be had on B250 (or similar) motherboards with more conservative chipsets.
CPU Testing Methodology
GAME TEST METHODOLOGY
NVIDIA 376.33 drivers were used for benchmarking. Game settings were manually controlled for the DUT. All games were run at presets defined in their respective charts. All other game settings are defined in respective game benchmarks, which we publish separately from GPU and CPU reviews. Our test courses, in the event manual testing is executed, are also uploaded within that content. This allows others to replicate our results by studying our bench courses.
Windows 10-64 build 14393.1066 was used for testing.
Some benchmarks disable EIST, Turbo, and other features -- please check each section to learn if that is the case. Otherwise, for game benchmarks, assume stock settings (Turbo enabled). We always disable C-states.
Average FPS, 1% low, and 0.1% low times are measured. We do not report maximum or minimum FPS results as we consider these numbers to be pure outliers. Instead, we take an average of the lowest 1% of results (1% low) to show real-world, noticeable dips; we then take an average of the lowest 0.1% of results for severe spikes. GN originally coined the phrases “1% LOWs” and “0.1% LOWs” for these metrics.
EVGA Supernova 750 G2L 80+ Gold
HyperX Savage 32GB 2400MHz (4x8GB)
Corsair Force LE 240GB SSD
Open Air Test Bench
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW
Note: fan and pump settings are configured on a per-test basis.
970 (RD9x0) Platform:
-ASUS 970 PRO GAMING/AURA
-Phenom II X6 1055T (125W TDP)
-Phenom II X6 1090T
Core Components (Unchanging)
- NZXT 1200W Hale90v2
- For DDR4 platforms: Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB 3200MHz
- For DDR3 platforms: HyperX Savage 32GB 2400MHz (note: only 2133MHz was supported on our SNB platform)
- Intel 730 480GB SSD
- Open Air Test Bench
- Cooler #1 (Air): Be Quiet! Dark Rock 3
- Cooler #2 (Cheap liquid): Asetek 570LC w/ Gentle Typhoon fan (this is the one we used for this particular article)
- Cooler #3 (High-end): Kraken X62
- Video Card: EVGA GTX 1080 FTW1
- Note: fan and pump settings are configured on a per-test basis.
- MSI Gaming Pro Carbon
- i7-7700K (x2) samples from motherboard vendors
- i5-7600K purchased by GN
- MSI Gaming M7
- i7-6700K retail
- Gigabyte Z97X G1 WIFI-BK
- MSI GD65 Z77
- i5 3570K
- ASUS Crosshair VI
Dx12 games are benchmarked using PresentMon onPresent, with further data analysis from GN-made tools.