Intel Core i3-3220 review
Intel’s Core i3 processors have always offered decent performance and good value. The latest Core i3 to hit our labs, the third- generation Core i3-3220, appears to follow in that tradition. It’s a dual-core Ivy Bridge CPU that runs at a maximum clock speed of 3.3GHz and has 3MB of Intel Smart Cache.
The Core i3-3220 doesn’t have a K suffix, which means you can’t easily overclock it, and it doesn’t have Turbo Boost, which would overclock it automatically and safely within certain thermal conditions. It does have Hyper-Threading, so each physical core runs as two logical cores, which should increase multitasking performance.
To test the Core i3-3220, we fitted it to an Asus P8Z77-V LX motherboard with 4GB of RAM and connected a monitor to the board’s HDMI port. The Core i3-3220 isn’t the most exciting processor, and its benchmark results back this up, with the chip scoring 60 overall. It scored 56 in the video-editing and multitasking benchmarks, and an impressive 76 in our image-editing benchmark. Our reference CPU, which scores 100, has four cores. The fact that the Core i3-3220 has two cores partially explains its middling performance.
The Core i3-3220 has Intel HD Graphics 2500 on-chip graphics, which runs at a clock frequency of 650MHz. We had no problem when running productivity applications or web browsing, but it isn’t suited to playing modern 3D games. The Core i3-3220 failed our Crysis 2 benchmark, and Dirt Showdown gave us an average of 16fps when its graphics settings were set to low with no anti-aliasing and a resolution of 1,280x720. That frame rate still isn’t fast enough to enjoy the game, though.
The Core i3-3220 may be an entry-level CPU, but it isn’t cheap, especially when compared with some of the competition from AMD. It isn’t a CPU for overclockers and tinkerers, but it’s great for general desktop use and browsing the web. If you want a more powerful processor for video-editing or games, you're better off with AMD’s A10-5800K (see Reviews, Shopper 299), which is faster, and has four cores and more powerful graphics.
Find a review
- Best Buy
- AMD A10-6790K
- Best Budget Buy
- AMD Phenom II X2 560 Black Edition
- Intel Core i7-4770K
- AMD Mullins tablet chip brings impressive gaming power to tablets
- Intel Merrifield smartphone review - hands on with 64-bit Atom reference device
- ARM Cortex-A17 processor promises 60% more performance for sub-£150 smartphones and tablets
- Nvidia Tegra K1 review - Hands on with new 'Super Chip'
- CES 2014: Qualcomm Snapdragon 802 to power 4K TVs, Snapdragon 602a for connected cars