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The dual-core i3 4000 series CPUs turn out to be quite ordinary Haswell-based products. Although Intel added an extra megabyte of L3 cache and unlocked additional instruction sets in them, the new Core i3 CPUs don't behave in any unexpected way. Such fundamental features as the number of x86 cores, clock rates and lack of Turbo Boost have been retained with the transition to the new microarchitecture, so the dual-core Haswell-based products differ from their predecessors just like the quad-core CPUs do. It means that they are 10% faster on average. According to our earlier tests of Haswell-based CPUs, this is a typical performance improvement ensured by the new microarchitecture.

So, you can’t expect anything extraordinary from the new Core i3 series. They are the same-class dual-core processors as they used to be. They can only make an alternative to quad-core CPUs if the latter are AMD. Neither the new microarchitecture nor Hyper-Threading lets them reach the performance level of the Core i5 series (even of the earlier generations). The Core i3 CPUs can only be recommended for midrange computers which are not intended for authoring and processing of HD content. They are no good for enthusiasts, either. They lack any overclocking capabilities.

Although we’re talking about the Core i3 as a kind of compromise solution, this CPU series is actually optimal not only for office machines but also for home PCs. They are fast enough for office applications, for playing multimedia content, and for using the internet. They are also good enough for 3D games, even newest ones. The Core i3 should also be given credit for low power requirements. The Haswell microarchitecture lowers the computer's power draw to unprecedented levels in idle mode.

Moreover, the Haswell-based Core i3 CPUs can work without a discrete graphics card. Their integrated graphics cores (HD Graphics 4600 and 4400) are sufficient for a wide range of applications and support hardware acceleration of video transcoding, even at 4K resolutions. Although they are not fast enough to run today’s games in Full-HD mode, they are quite suitable for entertainment and multimedia applications.

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