AMD typically dominates at offering excellent price-to-performance ratios with its processors. However, the Intel Pentium G4560 is a beast in the budget processor realm. Unfortunately, rumors suggest Intel plans to discontinue or slow production of the G4560.
That’s because the Pentium G4560 absolutely cannibalizes Intel Core i3 sales.
Among budget gamers and home theater PC (HTPC) buffs alike, the G4560 comes highly-lauded. But there are tons of G4560 alternatives. Check out what processor you should buy if Intel discontinues the Pentium G4560!
Why the Intel Pentium G4560 Is Such a Gem
The Intel Pentium G4560 is a true cult favorite. As PC Gamer raved, the G4560 is a “great budget gaming CPU.” In fact, its performance nearly matches that of the Kaby Lake i3 7100. For under $100, you can snag an ultra-affordable dual-core CPU with solid performance and hyper-threading. While there’s no AVX extension support, and a heavy workload admittedly bottlenecks the G4560, it’s been a reliable budget CPU notably for gaming.
Since most current games are more GPU intensive, it’s essential to have a beefy graphics card rather than a top-of-the-line CPU. In fact, for a media server, you’ll likely require increased CPU processing than with a gaming rig. In light of a price hike, the G4560 isn’t the deal it once was. Since the G4560 aims at the budget crowd, we’ll explore CPUs below $150.
5 Alternatives to the Intel Pentium G4560
AMD is renowned for its high-performing budget offerings. The AMD Sempron 3850 is an AM1 processor. It’s a low power, low-cost CPU. However, while its power draw might be low, the Sempron 3850 sports solid benchmarks. The quad-core chip features a 1.30 GHz CPU frequency, 128 GPU cores, and a 450 MHz GPU frequency. According to CPU Boss, the 3850 even bested the Athlon 5350 in several tests like CompuBench benchmarks. However, keep in mind that CPU Boss scores are poor representations of real world performance.
The 3850 performed moderately on multi-core benchmarks in Anandtech testing. On the other hand, its integrated GPU performance dominated. In short, the AMD Sempron 3850 shines by offering modest CPU performance and best-in-class graphics output — compared to Intel’s Atom processors. For integrated video, you’ll find a Radeon HD 8280 which will handily trounce Intel HD graphics offerings.
Yet the AMD Sempron 3850 admittedly won’t win any CPU benchmarking tests. It’s better suited to basic applications like general browsing, or as an HTPC CPU. Since cryptocurrency mining is GPU-intensive, not CPU-intensive, an AMD Sempron could provide a steady foundation for an Ethereum mining rig.
Gamers, look elsewhere. Even coupled with a beefy GPU, this CPU will bottleneck the GPU severely. An AMD 3850 could act as a server base, providing you don’t need to transcode at all. At a sub-$50 price point, it’s tough to complain about this processor. Still, you can even play Doom with it, although don’t expect to max out all the settings or play in 4K. You may consider the AMD Athlon 5350 as an alternative which offers a bit more horsepower.
- Respectable benchmarks
- Low power consumption
- Excellent integer performance
- Built-in graphics processor
- Measly 1.3 GHz
- Poor multi-core performance
The G4400 scores slightly lower than the G4560. However, it’s substantially cheaper. The G4400 clocks in under $60, compared to the G4560 sitting around $80. Like the G4560, the G4400 is a dual-core processor. Unfortunately, you won’t find the hyper threading the G4560 to share resources between its physical cores and accordingly benefit from a 50 percent performance boost over two physical cores.
Similarly, its multi-core benchmarks aren’t fantastic. Since the G4400 is an LGA 1151 CPU, there’s a clear upgrade path to a better Intel CPU in the future. A lack of hyperthreading is a major con. Still, the G4400 remains a top budget processor pick. Intel engineered the G4400 to deliver stellar single-core floating point speeds. On top of that, it comes in at a low price point. Legit Reviews noted that the Intel G4400 lacks technology found in the G4560 as well a K-series CPUs and is admittedly a budget CPU offering. Nevertheless, in its hands-on look at the G4400, Legit Reviews found this a capable processor what’s perfect for a budget gaming system, and ideal for the average user.
Because the Intel Pentium G4400 doesn’t carry the hyperthreading afforded to its older siblings in the G4600 and G4560, it’s severely limited in multi-core processing. Despite its limitations, the G4400 maintains respectable benchmarks. A reasonable price and opportunity for upgrades make this a top pick for users with less demanding power needs.
- Excellent price-to-performance ratio
- Surprisingly solid benchmarks
- Capable of intensive tasks like gaming (when coupled with a good GPU)
- Built-in Intel HD Graphics 510
- Lacks hyperthreading
- No overclocking
- Not compatible with Turbo Boost
3. AMD FX-4350
Among the many advantages of AMD, overclocking even with budget processors is pretty feasible. The AMD FX-4350 ranks as one of the best Intel Pentium G4560 contenders on account of its overclocking capabilities and great integer processing. Whereas AMD CPUs such as the FX-8350 and FX-6300 bested the FX-4350 in many tests, the 4350 won in single-core performance for GeekBench and PassMark benchmarks.
However, the FX-4530 lacks integrated graphics. Plus, the AM3+ socket means compatibility with the FX-6350. Therefore, for around $25 more you can snag the FX-6350 which adds six-core processing. The FX-6350 scores a 6971 Passmark rating. So for transcoding with Plex, that’s around three simultaneous streams. Compare that to the FX-4350 which is limited to quad-core processing and achieves a 5299 Passmark. For keeping your CPU under $100, the AMD FX-4350 is a fantastic option.
But if you’re willing to shell out the extra cash, the FX-6350 presents a worthy upgrade. If you’re considering an FX-4350, check out our beginner’s guide to CPU overclocking and get maximum performance from your AMD processor.
- Great single-core benchmarks
- Solid PassMark rating
- Quad-core CPU
- Excellent overclocking capability
- Performs more like a dual-core
- Mixed multi-core performance
- High power consumption
Since the G4560 currently sits at the $80-ish mark, you have two options: the under- and over-$100 ranges. The Intel i3-6100 and i3-7100 are around the same price. Therefore, the most economical solution is an i3-7100. Once you hit the $100 mark, an i3 is your best bet for Intel CPUs. The 3.9 GHz Intel CPU is roughly the equivalent of a six-core AMD CPU like the FX-6300 or 6350.
The Intel i3-7100 performs incredibly well on its single-core benchmarks and features high memory bandwidth. This benefits memory-bound apps. Plus, the integrated Intel HD 630 graphics are perfect for almost any application except moderate to hardcore gaming. Power consumption is fairly low.
With its high processing power and low power consumption, the i3-7100 is an awesome alternative to the Intel Pentium G4560 for those willing to jump to a higher price tier. Hardware Secrets revealed that the 7100 benefits from a 5 percent faster performance over the i3-6100. Still, since its clock rate is 5 percent higher, performance gains are minimal. Yet 4K decoding is a major upgrade. Don’t expect an i5-7600K, but for the price the i3-7100 is tough to beat.
- Excellent price-to-performance ratio
- 4K decoding engine
- Faster clock speed than i3-6100
- Solid gaming performance
- Minimal real-world performance gains over previous generation
5. AMD FX-8370
I’ve always been an AMD fan for the price to performance gains. The AMD FX-8370 is the perfect example. For slightly more than a dual-core Intel CPU, you get an octa-core AMD processor. The AMD FX-8370, like many AMD CPUs, features an unlocked clock multiplier for seamless overclocking. Additionally, its additional cores lead to massive multi-core processing advantages over an i3. It’s among the best multi-core processors at such a low cost.
However, as with many AMD offerings, you’ll suffer high power consumption. Further, the FX-8370 for its substantial multi-core processing falters with single-core processing. Memory bandwidth is another failure as even an i3-7100 utilizes a higher memory bandwidth with DDR4-2400 compatibility. Also, there’s no built-in GPU, unlike Intel competitors. Plus, the new AMD Ryzen chips are significantly better than previous-generation AMD CPUs. Granted, that performance boost comes at a price. In the future though, more cores will arguably beat better cores.
- 8 cores
- Excellent multi-core performance
- Decent gaming performance
- Good video encoding and decoding
- Poor single-core processing
- Average power consumption
- Low memory bandwidth
- No built-in GPU
Final Thoughts on Intel Pentium G4560 Alternatives
Though the Intel G4560 once reigned supreme in the budget CPU realm, its potential discontinuation or limited production poses a threat. The price skyrocketed to the point where it’s no longer an economical choice. Luckily, there are plenty of choices from both Intel and AMD. Although CPUs vary, and performance ranges by application, generally AMD CPUs are better for multi-core processing on a budget. AMD processors yield higher CPU core counts at lower prices. More cores usually signify better multi-core processing.
However, Intel wins at power efficiency and single-core processing. Even a dual-core i3 often dominates beefy eight-core AMD CPUs at single-core processing. Still, AMD compensates through ease of overclocking.
For the price, you can snag an AMD CPU with more cores compared to Intel. But for more balanced processing power with respectable multi-core processing and fantastic single-core performance, Intel is king. Make sure that when you compare different CPUs, you contrast processors the right way and don’t fall prey to the megahertz myth.
Which Intel G4560 alternatives do you suggest?
Image Credit: Evdokimov Maxim via Shutterstock.com