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Take a second to consider what those Crysis 3 results mean. At 4.8GHz, the Pentium G3258 avoids slowdowns much more capably than even AMD's FX-8350. Just like car guys say "there's no replacement for displacement," we've gotta admit that there's no replacement for per-thread performance. In a great many cases, including games, the user experience relies mostly on one single, gnarly thread's execution. With only two cores and two hardware threads at its disposal, the overclocked Pentium G3258 can still feel very snappy thanks to its combination of unusually high revs and prodigious instruction throughput in each clock cycle.

We need to do more testing, but an overclocked G3258 looks to be a truly outstanding gaming CPU—not only on a budget, but just generally compared to much more expensive CPUs.

With that said, it's time to pile on the caveats. For one thing, we can't assume that every Pentium G3258 will reach 4.8GHz at under 1.4V like ours did. Happily, the early reports so far from end users do seem pretty promising, with speeds in excess of 4GHz looking common.

Beyond that, like I said, we need to do more testing. A fast dual-core, two-threaded CPU isn't terribly common these days, and I'm curious how it performs across a range of newer games and other applications. Fortunately, I'm in a position to do something about that. We've already started compiling a pretty good set of results. I'll see what we can do about adding more tests soon.

Also, although the Pentium G3258 kind of left the Athlon X4 750K in the dust in our first round of tests, AMD has newer silicon it could choose to position against the Pentium Anniversary Edition. I wouldn't be surprised to see a more potent response from AMD in the coming weeks.

Our first taste of the Pentium G3258 has been compelling enough that we've cooked up two different sample builds around this processor for our next system guide update. Look for that to go online very soon. Now is a great time to build a new system. I think lots of PC hobbyists, particularly gamers, will find this chip's combination of price and potential almost irresistible. TR

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