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on September 27, 2012
In my quest to build a quality gaming PC on a budget I stumbled upon the i3-3220. It's a powerful current generation processor that will ensure your system is future proofed for several years to come. For $5 you get a 10% improvement in performance over last year's i3-2120 so, why not? I bought this off Newegg but there are no reviews up on Amazon, so I'll give you one!

While there are games out that can utilize four cores there aren't a whole lot of them out there. Including new releases you'll be able to play 99% of what's out on maximum settings providing you have the graphics card to match. The only titles that won't stay at a consistent 60+ fps are games like Battlefield 3 where you have enormous 64 player games.

In my Steam library the most graphic intensive games I have are the Crysis games, a heavily modded Skyrim, Arkham City, and Max Payne 3. So far, they've all been at a consistent 60+ fps with everything turned up. I know for a fact the upcoming titles I'm interested in (Black Ops 2, Tomb Raider, Crysis 3) will play the same.

So, if you're on a budget and want to save the $100 I can safely recommend this over the 3570K. You also save money on a third party heat sink. At idle I'm seeing 28-33c and 60ish on a full load. I'm very happy with this purchase.

My Build:
Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H
Intel Core i3-3220
G. Skill Ares Series 8GB (2x4) RAM
HIS Iceq X 7850 (OC'd)
99 comments42 of 44 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 20, 2012
Well, first of all the CPU is great, i used to have the Celeron G530 paired with the HD6850 from AMD, and it was ok at gaming but sometimes the bottleneck from the CPU was annoying so i decide tu upgrade to the i3..(not enough money for the i5).

The "problem" that i have is with the temperature of the cores, i read reviews here and on another sites and it seems that the idle temps are between 28 and 33, my cores are at 38c on core0 and 14c on core1 with a room temp of full load the temps are more close, 56c on core0 and 48c on core1, i thought that maybe the motherboard wasn't reading the heat sensor right so i try the i3 on another board and the result is the same, it kind of worries me that i received a faulty chip, and that at some point it may fail on me, because right now is very cool where i live, and it idles at almost 40c, so i don't know what is going to happen when the ambient temperature rise to 30-35.

I still think that the CPU deserves a 5 stars rating because the performance/price is great, and i do understand that when you buy electronics, something can be happens.

Any ideas about the high temperatures?


P.S. I apologize if my English is not right.

UPDATE 01-21-2013

I decided to return the CPU to amazon after the user M.Zaurov told me on the comments of this review that it was possible (i didn't know that) and i have to say that i'm very impressed.

I sent an email to amazon support at 12 pm on January 7th and in less than 5 hours i received an email telling me that a new order was placed for me at no charge and with the prepaid labels from UPS for the return of the defective CPU. Amazing.

The new i3 i recieved is working as it should, the idle temperatures are between 26-28c on both cores and on a very cold night it goes down to 18c using the Hyper 212+ and 43-45 at full load. With the stock cooler i didn't notice a big difference at idle, 27-29c but on full load it goes up to 51-54c so i decide to use the Hyper 212+ although the stock fan is quieter.

Yes, i'm happy now :)
99 comments24 of 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 27, 2012
Built a budget rig today, this with an 7850, 8 gig of memory and 120G SSD pretty much handles everything I can throw at it.
If you are building a game rig and really on a budget I recommend getting this instead of an i5 and put the extra 100$ in a better video card, which makes all the differences in terms of gaming. This won't be a bottleneck for most of the games. However if you're doing a lot of cpu-intense tasks like video capturing/editing a better cpu does make the difference. But as I said before, for gaming, this little cpu is a solid performer and a better video card is way more important.
44 comments16 of 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 9, 2013
- The price
- Great performance for all but the most CPU intensive tasks (video encoding, very large file compression, etc...)
- Max power dissipation of 55W leaves it running cool all day and all night
- Supports virtualization (VT-x), hyperthreading, and Intel Speedstep

- The graphics aren't all that
- No overclocking

First, let me say that for a budget processer, the i3-3220 is, in my opinion, as good as it gets. I purchased it for a gaming and photoediting rig that I built recently and it has been performing splendidly. Hyperthreading allows two cores to act as four, increasing performance even further. The Intel Speedstep technology lets the clock rate dynamically adjust to the load being put on it and by doing so saves power and keeps your fan(s) quieter. My temperature typically idles around 30 degrees celsius, which is terrific, and will get no higher than 38 degrees celsius under load. I use the Rocketfish Universal CPU Cooler, linked to in my build info at the end. The virtualization technology can be helpful in a lot of situations, the most important to most users probably being that this allows you to run Mac OS X inside of a VM in Windows.

As for the graphics, they will work fine for anyone not playing games or viewing very high quality movies. That being said, anyone who will be playing games or watching high quality movies/film should invest in a graphics card, even if it is cheap it will likely outperform integrated graphics. This chip uses Intel HD 2500.

And the fact that this does not support overclocking is to be expected and absolutely no reason to deduct a star. Of course I wish it did support overclocking because I believe it would have a lot of headroom but it is in the lowest series of current desktop processors for Intel so if you are looking for overclocking get the i5-3570K, that thing can overclock!

All-in-all, this processor should be the go-to for anyone looking to build a budget PC. It can run anything I throw at it and handles internet browsing, emails, gaming, Photoshop, etc... with a breeze.

My build:
Computer Case - Rosewill Challenger Black Gaming
Power Supply - Raidmax Hybrid 2 RX-530SS 530W
Motherboard - Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H
RAM - Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB)
CPU - Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz
CPU Cooler - Rocketfish Universal CPU Cooler
Thermail Paste - Arctic 5 Silver
Hard drive - Hitachi Desk Star 500GB
Graphics - EVGA Nvidia GTX 460

I would highly recommend any or all of these products for a budget PC build.
Currently triple booting Windows 7, Mac OS X Mountain Lion, and Backtrack Linux.

Amazon sells both the CPU cooler and thermal paste, and you can bundle them for even more savings!
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on October 8, 2012
I picked up the 3220 to replace a G630 in a recent build nothing wrong with the Pentium chip just that the 3220 is so much better at all task. IMO unless your into maxed out gaming quad cores are a waste of money for home use. I coupled the 3220 with a mid range video card and 4gb of memory couldn't be happier with the results with those components bought at sales I'm under the cost of a single good quality quad. The 2500 IG on the 3220 has gotten decent reviews so for high def. playback a video card is not needed. I use an external 3.0 USB HD, performance was not a step up but a leap forward with the 3220 compared to the 630. To top it off it uses ten watts less than the 630, a good value for a work horse of a processor.

cons: The miserable excuse for a cooler Intel provides. I replaced it with an inexpensive 92mm aluminum after market unit it runs quiet and keeps the chip cool.
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on December 31, 2012
I have been building a gaming rig and choose this processor as a start. What is excellent about this processor is the power comsumption and the hyper threading feature.
- The hyper threading feature allows you simulate two more cores at fast speeds, is being recognized for some programs as a 4 core cpu.. The 3.3 ghz on this baby make it very fast!!
- The temperature is not high at all but I have it with an aftermarket NZXT respire T20 and it idles at 28-31 C and while gaming it reaches 48C as a maximun that I have recorded. (Awesome) The stock fan was at 31-33C in idle and reached 54C while gaming. So you can compare.
- It does not bottleneck my AMD Radeon XFX 7850, I have played games like Hitman absolution, Dishonored, Torchlight 2, COD black OPS 1 and 2, Dirt 3, Mass effect 3, all of them at the highest settings without lag.
- If you do not have a dedicated video card, the Intel Hd graphics 2500 perform very good. I was able to play movies at 1080p and to stream them to my PS3 using the PS3 media server, and all the movies played fine.
- The integrated 2500 graphics are for casual gaming, but I played before DMC 4, dishonored, dirt 2 and medium to high settings but in 1280x600. You need to tweak a little bit the settings.
- Excellent processor for multitasking and daily basis computer programs.
- It scores 7.2 in windows experience in Windows 7 ultimate.

- Not a good processor if your stuff is video editing. Although this processor is good and fast at it, you might need an i5 or i7.
- It might give you lag while playing Battlefield 3 multiplayer, since that game is very processor demanding. But the single player story runs fine.

I highly recommend this processor for anyone building a gaming rig and for daily basis tasks.
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on June 21, 2013
Incredible bang for the buck and great for a gaming build. Solid choice for anyone building a non CPU heavy PC.
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on August 3, 2013
Intel has ALWAYS been my brand of choice for processor, hands down. This processor continues the reliability and power that all processors from Intel boast. I almost went for the i5, but didn't need a quad core processor. However, I felt a little regret with not spending $90 more to get it, but after installing this i3 into my desktop build, I am happy to have saved the money because the dual-core i3 does everything I want and more.
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on July 7, 2013
Bought it for my first build. had it a little cheaper but I had some Amazon credit so purchased it from here. I mainly surf the web, play a little Diablo III/SC2, some word processing from time to time. It does what I need it to do stays at 36 degrees unlike some AMD CPU's I have had in the past that would get as hot as the sun. Great for entry level computer builds.
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on February 25, 2013
I use this processor on my media box in my living room every day. I upgraded from a dual core 65w AMD processor that worked great, but paled in comparison to the performance this processor gave me. I would recommend this to anyone who looks to use this for light gaming AND or for a 1080p capable HTPC. Its low power and puts out great performance for your buck.
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