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Home » CPU
A8-5600K vs. Pentium G2120 CPU Review
Author: Gabriel Torres 118,788 views
Type: Reviews Last Updated: October 22, 2012
Page: 1 of 18
Introduction

This month AMD released its second-generation of CPUs with integrated video, dubbed “Trinity.” The A8-5600K is a top mid-range model that runs at 3.6 GHz and costs USD 110, competing directly with the Pentium G2120 (3.1 GHz, USD 100) and the Core i3-2100 (3.1 GHz, USD 120).

It is interesting to see AMD starting to use the same letter as Intel to indicate its CPUs with an unlocked clock multiplier, “K.”

This new generation of AMD APUs, dubbed “Trinity,” uses a new CPU socket, called FM2, which is incompatible with the FM1 socket used by the previous generation of APUs (codenamed “llano”). They are physically different, so it is not possible to install an FM1 CPU into an FM2 socket or an FM2 CPU into an FM1 socket. The Pentium and Core i3 CPUs included in our review use the LGA1155 socket.

AMD A8-5600K APU
click to enlarge
Figure 1: The AMD A8-5600K processor

In the tables below, we compare the main features of the CPUs included in our review. The second-generation APUs (“Trinity”) finally brings support for the SSE4 instruction set (both SSE4.1 and SSE4.2). It also supports the AVX instruction set. More importantly, it has a “turbo clock” technology, which was not available on the previous generation and is not available on Intel’s Pentium and Core i3 processor lines.

The AMD CPUs included in our review are quad-core models, while the Intel CPUs included are dual-core models. However, the Core i3 processors included support the Hyper-Threading (HT) technology, which simulates one additional core per CPU physical core. The operating system “sees” these CPUs as having four cores. This technology is not available on the Pentium CPU, which is one of the main differences between the Core i3 and the current Pentium processors.

It is important to understand that with the second-generation APUs from AMD, each pair of CPU cores share the same front-end engine (i.e., the fetch unit, the L1 instruction cache, and the instruction decoders). So, each pair of CPU cores is part of the same “module,” and the A8-5600K and the A10-5800K are comprised of two of these modules. This concept was introduced with the AMD “Bulldozer” architecture, used on AMD’s FX processor line, and adopted on the “Piledriver” architecture used by the second-generation APUs. With the other CPUs included in our review, each core is a complete CPU, each with its own front-end engine.

CPU

Cores

HT

SSE4

AVX

IGP

Clock

Turbo Clock

Base Clock

Codename

Tech.

TDP

Socket

Price

A8-3850

4

No

No

No

Yes

2.9 GHz

No

100 MHz

Llano

32 nm

100 W

FM1

USD 95

A8-3870K

4

No

No

No

Yes

3.0 GHz

No

100 MHz

Llano

32 nm

100 W

FM1

USD 105

A8-5600K

4

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

3.6 GHz

3.9 GHz

100 MHz

Trinity

32 nm

100 W

FM2

USD 110

A10-5800K

4

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

3.8 GHz

4.2 GHz

100 MHz

Trinity

32 nm

100 W

FM2

USD 130

Pentium G2120

2

No

Yes

No

Yes

3.1 GHz

No

100 MHz

Ivy Bridge

22 nm

55 W

LGA1155

USD 100

Core i3-2100

2

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

3.1 GHz

No

100 MHz

Sandy Bridge

32 nm

65 W

LGA1155

USD 120

Core i3-2105

2

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

3.1 GHz

No

100 MHz

Sandy Bridge

32 nm

65 W

LGA1155

USD 135

Core i3-3220

2

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

3.3 GHz

No

100 MHz

Ivy Bridge

22 nm

55 W

LGA1155

USD 130

Prices were researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review. TDP stands for Thermal Design Power and states the maximum amount of heat the CPU can dissipate. The CPU cooler must be capable of dissipating at least this amount of heat.

Below you can see the memory configuration for each CPU.

CPU

L1 Cache (I + D)

L2 Cache

L3 Cache

Memory Support

Memory Channels

A8-3850

64 KB + 64 KB per core

1 MB per core

No

Up to DDR3-1866

Two

A8-3870K

64 KB + 64 KB per core

1 MB per core

No

Up to DDR3-1866

Two

A8-5600K

64 kB per module + 16 kB per core

2 MB x 2

No

Up to DDR3-1866

Two

A10-5800K

64 kB per module + 16 kB per core

2 MB x 2

No

Up to DDR3-1866

Two

Pentium G2120

32 KB + 32 KB per core

256 kB per core

3 MB total

Up to DDR3-1600

Two

Core i3-2100

32 KB + 32 KB per core

256 kB per core

3 MB total

Up to DDR3-1333

Two

Core i3-2105

32 KB + 32 KB per core

256 kB per core

3 MB total

Up to DDR3-1333

Two

Core i3-3220

32 KB + 32 KB per core

256 kB per core

3 MB total

Up to DDR3-1333

Two

Below we have a quick comparison of the video engine of the CPUs.

CPU

Video Engine

DirectX

Clock

Cores

A8-3850

Radeon HD 6550D

11

600 MHz

400

A8-3870K

Radeon HD 6550D

11

600 MHz

400

A8-5600K

Radeon HD 7560D

11

760 MHz

256

A10-5800K

Radeon HD 7660D

11

800 MHz

384

Pentium G2120

Intel HD Graphics

11

650 MHz/1.05 GHz

6

Core i3-2100

Intel HD 2000

10.1

850 MHz/1.1 GHz

6

Core i3-2105

Intel HD 3000

10.1

850 MHz/1.1 GHz

12

Core i3-3220

Intel HD 2500

11

650 MHz/1.05 GHz

6

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