The results of our performance tests can be divided into two groups. The first includes applications that do not always use all available cores and do not fully utilize them.
Here the top LGA1155 Pentium processor can outpace Core i3-2100T due to its higher clock frequency.
The second group includes application that create heavy computational load and distribute the load evenly over all available cores: computational and virtual.
Hyper-Threading technology is of great help here. Due to this technology the OS sees Core i3-2100T processor as a quad-core CPU that is why it runs faster than all Pentium processors, even though its clock frequency is 16% lower.
We should pay special attention to video transcoding speed measured in Cyberlink Media Espresso 6.5. The thing is that this application can benefit from Quick Sync technology present in Core i3, but absent in Pentium.
This is where Core i3-2100T finally justifies its higher price in full. Quick Sync support allows it to transcode HD video three times faster than Pentium processors, which until now seemed like a great alternative. Therefore, if video transcoding is one of your priority tasks, then Pentium G850, G840 and G620 are automatically off your list of options.
The gaming tests showing the performance of the Intel HD Graphics core integrated into the processors are also very interesting.
Although the graphics core in Pentium processors is called HD Graphics, and Core i3-2100T formally has a more advanced version of it called HD Graphics 2000, in reality top Pentium processors outperform Core i3-2100T. The thing is that the number of graphics execution units in different versions of the HD Graphics core is the same, but the graphics core frequency in Pentium is higher than that in the energy-efficient CPU. Besides, don’t forget that Hyper-Threading isn’t that essential for gaming applications anyway.
So, if we compare Core i3-2100T and the new Pentium processors, the only indisputable argument in favor of the more expensive “officially energy-efficient” processor will be Quick Sync support beneficial for video transcoding tasks. In all other cases our assumptions about the new Pentium being fit for HTPC proved totally correct. Only under very heavy computational load Core i3-2100T proves better, but in many other applications it falls behind Pentium CPUs. And the lower Vcore as well as lower TDP of the Core i3-2100T in reality result only in 2-5 W of energy savings at the most.