Hyper-Threading on a Budget with Kaby Lake Pentium
Kaby Lake Pentium processors have hyper-threading capabilities—or HT enablement—which is exciting news for budget-level system builders. Specific vector process extensions (AVX) features have meaningful implications for HPC and scientific computing applications; x264 video encoding programs gain a performance boost, as do systems for multi-core gaming.
If you use VEGAS Pro for content creation, or play titles like DOTA 2 and League of Legends, this applies to you.
From the Intel ARK page we see Kaby Lake Pentiums get a two-thread bump, up to four, over its Skylake predecessors. Specific Pentium SKUs with HT enablement include: Pentium G4560, Pentium G4560T, Pentium G4600, Pentium G4600T, and Pentium G4620.
Core i3 vs Pentium vs. Celeron?
This further differentiates Pentium CPUs from Celerons in Intel budget range processors. Well, sort of.
The argument can be made that Celerons tend to aim more at business users running embedded system and NAS boxes. Celerons support error correcting memory (ECC), have VT-X extensions for virtual machines, AES instructions for building in encryption features, are most inexpensive CPU with 2 MB of L3 cache.
However, caveat emptor, these features may or may not be available for Intel Core i3 and Intel Pentium processors—which vary on a SKU by SKU basis according to the Intel Ark page. The waters are muddy without a convention that ties feature sets to name and number that I can identify. Make sure to check individual product pages for the features you want before making a purchase.
In previous generations, Pentium had been geared for home users. This unlocked Haswell Pentium was a hot seller for Newegg fueled in part by the first wave of Bitcoin mining. The company expects new the HT Pentiums to be competitive with value buyers as well—but it will be tough to wrest market share away from AMD at the bargain build level.
One place I see Intel having the advantage is that Intel systems can take advantage of DDR4 memory whereas AMD cannot yet at this time. “Intel always has tried to compete in the market in that price range,” notes Newegg CPU merchandizer Michael Tran. “But AMD offers so much value there that it is hard to break in—those APUs play the same [multi-core] games without needing a discrete GPU, and the motherboards tend to be less expensive.”
Look here for Kaby Lake Intel Pentium processors as they become available on NeweggBusiness.