Kaby Lake Pentiums gain Hyper-Threading and lose ECC support


— 3:25 PM on January 10, 2017

Up until now, the biggest difference between Intel's budget Pentium chips and its Core i3 offerings has been the presence of Hyper-Threading. The line between Pentiums and Core i3s is blurring with the release of Kaby Lake Pentium chips, though. Eagle-eyed Hardware.info forum user J_C_W spotted the HT-enabled Pentiums in Intel's ARK and tipped off his forum mates to the change. Here's a list of the SMT-enabled Pentiums arriving with Kaby Lake:

Aside from the clock speed boosts common to many Kaby parts and the addition of Hyper-Threading, there's little difference between these chips and their Skylake counterparts. In its endless march to segment its product lineup, however, Intel has decided to cut out ECC RAM support from these CPUs. That could annoy folks who relied on Pentiums to power home servers or NAS boxes.

The lower-end G4560 and G4560T models come with Intel's HD Graphics 610 IGP, while the more expensive chips come with the HD Graphics 630 processor. The only difference we can spot based on the information in ARK is a 50-MHz clock speed deficit in the HD Graphics 610 when compared to the 630's 1.10 GHz max frequency, though it's possible that there are also differences in shader count in play.

We published a story about rumors of a multiplier-unlocked Core i3 back in November. That story mentioned the possibility that HT-enabled Pentiums and Core i3s with Intel's Turbo Boost could appear. Thus far, no Turbo Boosting Core i3 CPUs have been released, but the unlocked Core i3-7350K is real.  The addition of Hyper-Threading could make the Kaby Lake Pentiums a bit more attractive for usage in an entry-level gaming system, and it's entirely possible they may eventually find their way into some budget builds in our System Guide.

Tip: You can use the A/Z keys to walk threads.
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