We’ve seen a few systems (mainly laptops) come with the Intel Core i3, a sort of entry level, dual core processor. The questions on everyone’s mind is, is it a viable processor when it comes to gaming? Apparently so~!
I type this on an overclocked Intel Core i7 860 (up from 2.8GHz to 3.8GHz. I’d go higher but that might require liquid cooling, which I have no idea how to do. I feel like I’d have to get a whole new wardrobe, à la Seinfeld, if I were to start liquid cooling my system.), so I have plenty of sympathy for those looking to squeeze every bit of peformance out of their Core i3. TomsHardware did the heavy lifting, determining once and for all if the Core i3, which can be found for less than $150 online, is worth your time. You know, benchmarks and the like. Benchmarks make the world go ’round.
Conclusion: yes, it’s a good processor. It’s obviously not an Extreme Edition processor or anything (which are silly to begin with), but gamers on a budget shouldn’t be too concerned that the Core i3 will “bottleneck” their performance. It’s an easily overclockable CPU—Toms got it up to 4.3GHz with minimal effort—and it absolutely won’t hold back today’s modern video cards, like the ATI Radeon 5850 and the Nvidia GTX 470. (I’d say GTX 480, but the GTX 470 is Nvidia’s equivalent of the ATI Radeon 5850, one step down from the top-of-the-line, non dual-GPU video card.)