Intel Pentium G4560 Review: Cannibalizing the i3

By Patrick Lathan & Steve Burke Published May 06, 2017 at 1:24 pm
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Additional Info

  • Component: CPU
  • Awards: Editor's Choice
  • Original MSRP: 64
  • Manufacturer: Intel

Gaming Benchmarks

Watch Dogs 2 CPU Benchmark - Intel G4560

Watch Dogs 2 places the Intel Pentium G4560 at around 53FPS AVG, with 1% lows at 42 and GN’s 0.1% lows at 37FPS AVG. Considering we’re operating with High settings, this isn’t too bad – and we’ve got a Watch Dogs 2 tuning guide for geometry reductions to help save on performance, if that’s needed. But we’re not testing in a vacuum. Versus the Intel i3-6300, which we purchased last year for $145, the G4560 is nearly equal in performance – it’s a difference of about 2% in average FPS. We don’t have the i3-7100 or 7300, but the i3-6300 is only a few percentage points different in performance from either of these – the $120 i3-7100 clocks at 3.9GHz, making it 11% faster in frequency than the 3.5GHz G4560, and the i3-7300 clocks at 4.0GHz and costs $150. To be fair, the 7400 also has an extra megabyte of cache, but it’s also about 2x the cost of the G4560.

Regardless, we do have the 7350K stock CPU with its higher base and boost, and that one holds a lead of about 25% over the one-third-the-cost G4560. The G4560, with its i3-6300-matching performance, looks to be a good deal so far. This is somewhat reminiscent of the G3258, but better. It is a challenger to Intel’s own i3 market, with performance levels comparable to a 2500K.

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Just for some perspective, we’ll highlight the i5-7500 and the R5 1500X. Respectively, these chips run averages that are 52% and 39% faster than the G4560. That said, if you’re going to be on a tight budget where high-end GPUs are not possible, the gains aren’t going to actually matter until a point where the GPU becomes powerful enough to push into bottleneck territory.

Ashes of the Singularity & Escalation - G4560 Benchmark

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The AOTS and Escalation benchmarks completed flawlessly this time, again unlike the Phenom IIs. Predictably, the G4560 scored poorly in both, although results look less favorable in Escalation due to limited data. 18.9 FPS is nearly as good as the stock 2500K and the FX-8370, but the 0.1% low is (slightly) higher than both. Ashes of the Singularity is a DX12 benchmark optimized for high-threadcount CPUs, though, and the G4560 is certainly not that.

GTA V CPU Benchmark - Intel G4560 vs. i3

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Playing GTA V at 1080p and with Very High and Ultra settings, the Intel Pentium G4560 operates an average FPS of 101, with GN 1% lows at 72 and 0.1% lows at 66FPS. This leads the CPU to be flanked by the FX-8370 and i5-2500K stock CPUs, with the G4560 mostly tied to the latter and outperforming the former by 7.9%.

The more SKU-comparable i3-6300, meanwhile, runs an average FPS of 112, with 1% lows at 80 and 0.1% lows at 73. The 6300 is about 11.5% faster than the G4560, here, showing some meaningful gains in this particular game. The i3-7350K, for what it’s worth, runs its averages stock at 121FPS, leading the G4560 by 20% in performance. Overclocking the i3-7350K doesn’t appear here, as it encounters the same GTA V issue that we’ve been profiling throughout the first quarter.

With an adequate GPU, GTA V is completely playable on a CPU with an MSRP $4 higher than the game itself on Steam.

Metro: Last Light CPU Benchmark - Intel Pentium G4560

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Metro was the only test that visibly stuttered more than expected. The uncharacteristically low 0.1% and 1% lows reflect this, although the average is normal. The i3-7350K experienced similar issues to an even greater degree, and we chose not to include those results in the final review. The same effect is visible on many of the other i5s, i3s, and HT-disabled i7s that we’ve tested, i.e. CPUs with fewer than 8 threads.

Total War: Warhammer CPU Benchmark - Intel Pentium G4560

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Keep in mind that Total War: Warhammer received an update back during our Ryzen Revisit, improving the game’s frametime performance and consistency on both Intel CPUs and Ryzen CPUs. Only the line items with asterisks have thus far been updated, so we need to rerun some of the lower-end Intel CPUs. That said, the difference in averages is a couple percent at best; this update was really something that primarily affected 0.1% low performance and AMD SMT performance.

That made clear, the Intel Pentium G4560 operates at 109FPS AVG in Total War: Warhammer, with its lows at 64FPS. We are approaching performance levels of the i3-6300 CPU at 114FPS AVG and 66FPS 1% lows, with the i3-6300 running about 4.6% faster than the G4560, despite its initial cost of $145. The i3-7100 and 7300 would perform similarly to the 6300, with a couple percent gain on the 7300.

The Intel i3-7350K stock CPU operates an average framerate of about 122FPS, leading the G4560 by about 12% in performance, and leading by about 2.5x in price.

Again with this game, as long as you’re not going to be running a GPU of $200+ class anyway, there’s not a huge concern of bottlenecking.

Battlefield 1 CPU Benchmark - Intel Pentium G4560

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Finally, Battlefield 1 will round-out our testing for the video, with the rest of the benchmarks taking place in the article linked in the description below.

The Intel Pentium G4560 is able to handle our Battlefield 1 test at 112FPS AVG, but keep in mind that 64-slot servers with a large amount of actors near the player will linearly drive numbers down. Ultimately, we’re just looking at deltas between parts, anyway.

So, 112 – that puts us fairly close to the i5-2500K stock CPU, again ahead of the FX-8370 CPU, and puts the i3-6300 about 7.7% ahead of the Pentium G4560. These gains for the i3s would be reasonable, except the price makes it sort of a tough argument – price jumps of $50 minimum, $70 for the 6300 and 7300 line, and gains of under 10%. Considering someone in this price bracket is on a tight budget, the $50 or $70 would better go toward other components.

Conclusion: Intel Pentium G4560 Value Exceeds i3-Class

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In gaming, the closest equivalent seems to be the stock i5-2500K, which we just revisited. For a more modern comparison, something like the i3-6300 (comparable to the i3-7100 and, although it has more cache, i3-7300) perform not too distantly from the G4560. Considering the price disparity is about 2x versus the i3-class CPUs for a ~10% gain (ignoring the 7350K), we cannot reasonably recommend the Intel i3 line for gaming at this time. Intel’s armor is starting to crack: The i5 range is under heavy assault by R5 CPUs (like the R5 1600 - $220), which we now recommend in most cases, with HEDT thoroughly challenged by lower-cost R7 CPUs. Intel holds its ground in two places, now: The absolute high-end for gaming-only builds, where the i7-7700K remains uncontested, and the absolute low-end for gaming-only builds, where the G4560 takes shots at Intel’s own i3 CPUs.

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We shouldn’t even get started on the 7350K, really, seeing as we already remarked on its “good idea plagued with bad price” model in our review: i3-7350Ks are going for $170 on Newegg at the time of this writing (ostensibly on sale), a whopping 2.65x of the G4560’s MSRP.

For pure gaming, the price-to-performance ratio is truly impressive: paired with an inexpensive GPU like a GTX 1050 ($110) or forthcoming RX 560, it can run new games at 1080p/High readily. There are at least a couple other use cases: the very low temperatures and compatibility with modern hardware make it a possible candidate for a cheap small form factor PC, the LGA 1151 socket means that it could be used as an inexpensive placeholder for a better processor. The integrated GPU, which we don’t typically test as a gaming-centric site, means that a functional system could be built for $65 plus the cost of a motherboard and PSU and upgraded later.

Two cores and no capacity for overclocking limit its useful lifespan in the AAA gaming realm, but at the end of the day, $65 is about as cheap as a brand-new processor gets. The competition from Intel is mainly their low-end i3 CPUs. Ignore the 7350K -- we felt that it was priced a bit too high at the time, and in that respect the G4560 clearly wins out. For a budget with hard limits, this is a good fit.

Editorial: Patrick Lathan & Steve Burke
Video Producer: Andrew Coleman


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Last modified on May 06, 2017 at 1:24 pm

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