Intel i3 6300T and 6320 Skylake Review
Published: 6th November 2015 | Source: Intel | Price: from £95 @ OCUK |
Does the old OC3D adage that you're better off spending a fortune on your GPU if you're mainly going to game hold true? Unquestionably.
The new Skylake chipset is positively bristling with desirable features from the support from the immense bandwidth and speeds of DDR4, to the equally impressive capabilities of USB 3.1. Like most new chipsets they require a new processor, and this is usually the sticking point of an upgrade. You want the modern technologies, but don't want to spend the earth having to obtain them. That is the basis of why we say you need to set aside the majority of your budget for graphics, because that is a transferable piece of hardware much like a golden PSU.
The object though is to see whether the new Core i3 CPUs had enough performance to produce usable gaming frame rates whilst retaining the affordability and well-roundedness that might otherwise stop you upgrading. Obviously nobody would intend to form the next Pixar, or have a Core i3 at the heart of an HD editing suite and the results we obtained backs this up. Both the i3-6300T and i3-6320 are not terrible by any stretch, but neither are they such calculation powerhouses that you're making the best of them by utilising them in that manner. One of our favourite "old" processors was the Pentium Anniversary edition, and these two i3s steal a march on it in nearly every test, despite having no overclocking capabilities.
Once we move from synthetic benchmarks into the avenues of real-world usage it becomes clear that both of these CPUs might be dual-core but they combine beautifully with the rest of our hardware to give surprising responsiveness. When you consider the other options in our graph are all based around the quadcore/octothread i7-6700K, a CPU that's easily more than double the price of either of these two i3s, then the ability of these little dual-core offerings is even more impressive.
Gaming is absolutely the star of the show though. At lower resolutions the GPU is idle enough that a better CPU makes a difference, but once you move into the realms of 1080P with a little anti-aliasing it's obvious that there is nothing to choose between the stock 3.2GHz Core i3-6300T and a 4.8GHz Core i7-6700K. We don't mean "nothing much considering the price", we mean nothing. At all. So if gaming is the main area of use for your home computer, with some light every day tasks mixed in, you'd be foolish to spend more than you have to just so that the specifications read better than the actual results. These Intel Core i3s are both brilliant processors with plenty of performance at an affordable price, and both win our OC3D Value For Money awards.