Intel’s New Cheap Chip Impresses

Over the last several years, Intel (NASDAQ: INTC  )  neglected the very low end of the computing market. This enabled competitor Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD  ) to gain a real foothold in notebooks and cheap desktops. The chip giant finally struck back with the Bay Trail-M and Bay Trail-D platforms for low-cost notebooks and desktops, respectively, and now Intel appears finally ready to fight for lower-end PC gamer dollars as well.

Intel, where have you been?
In the PC enthusiast world, many users like to do what is called overclocking. The idea here is to take a chip rated at a certain speed and then push it to higher speeds. This increases the power consumption of the processor -- often nonlinearly with respect to the performance gained -- but it's a solid option for users looking to eke more performance out of their existing hardware.

Since the release of Intel's Sandy Bridge in 2011, overclocking the company's processors required special "unlocked" chips. No longer could a budget processor be pushed to its extremes -- one needed to pay a premium for that privilege by buying special "K" SKUs that came in i5 and i7 flavors.

While its intent here was to drive up ASPs and mix, the fact that Intel did not offer unlocked processors across the stack gave rival AMD a niche to exploit at the low end.

Enter the Pentium G3258
Alongside Intel's recently launched Devil's Canyon processor (this is a high-end overclocking-focused chip), the company's Pentium G3258 chip became available for sale. This $75 processor sports two Haswell processor cores (with hyperthreading -- a feature that allows one processor core to act as two -- disabled), as well as the obligatory Intel HD graphics block. It's also unlocked.

Tom's Hardware, a leading technology site, was so impressed with this processor's performance and power efficiency that it replaced the AMD Athlon X4 750K with the G3258 as the best gaming CPU for $75 (though the Athlon remains an honorable mention). Legit Reviews, too, wrote favorably on the new part:

If you're looking to build a dedicated LAN gaming machine or Steam Box, the Intel Pentium G3258 is a great option for only ~$60-$65. I found it was able to keep up with the Intel Core i7-4770K in most of the games and even come out ahead when it was overclocked!

Things are looking pretty good for Intel's new chip.

Foolish takeaway
As Intel realizes that over the long term filling its factories with as much company-designed chip volume as possible (and denying that volume to its competitors) is the best course of action, investors are likely to continue to see these types of aggressive moves. The Pentium G3258 in itself isn't going to move the needle for Intel, but a lot of such moves in aggregate could.

Leaked: Apple's next smart device (warning, it may shock you)
Apple recently recruited a secret-development "dream team" to guarantee its newest smart device was kept hidden from the public for as long as possible. But the secret is out, and some early viewers are claiming its everyday impact could trump the iPod, iPhone, and the iPad. In fact, ABI Research predicts 485 million of this type of device will be sold per year. But one small company makes Apple's gadget possible. And its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early in-the-know investors. To be one of them, and see Apple's newest smart gizmo, just click here!


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (3)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 3019546, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/1/2014 11:04:10 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement