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Intel Core i3 2120 Review



Testing the Intel Core i3 2120 will include running it and comparison products through the OCC test suite of benchmarks that include both synthetic benchmarks and real world applications to see how each of these products perform. The gaming tests will also include both synthetic benchmarks and actual game play to see if similarly prepared setups offer any performance advantages. Instead of leaving the gaming tests to a discrete video card, the gaming prowess of the IGP will get a small workout as well. The system will receive a fully updated, fresh install of Windows 7 Professional 64-bit edition and I've used the latest drivers for each board and the latest AMD Catalyst drivers for the XFX HD 6970. To ensure as few variables as possible, all hardware will be tested at their stock speeds, timings, voltages and latencies — unless otherwise stated.


Testing Setup: Intel Core i3/i5 Socket 1155


Testing Setup: AMD Socket FM1


Comparison CPUs:




Overclocked Settings:

  • Processor: Intel Core i3 2120 105.8 x 33

As we all know with the Sandybridge lineup, there is only so much bclock headroom, with most CPUs coming in around the 103 to 106MHz mark — a really nice one may scale a little further, with some even reaching 110MHz. Those samples are difficult to find and are almost as common as chicken's teeth. What I found with this Core i3 2120 from Intel is that it scaled up to 105.8 MHz, to drive the CPU clock speed close to 3.5GHz, or 3491MHz to be correct. Very little was tweaked to reach this speed other than a small tweak to the I/O and system agent voltages. Very typical Sandybridge, no fuss overclocking. Graphics overclocking fared a little better, with the HD 2000 GPU core clock reaching 1300MHz, driving performance higher in some 3DMark Vantage testing. All in all, not much to work with, but there is some headroom to be had if so inclined. C'mon, it's free performance, so who wouldn't want to go and grab it?!


Maximum Clock Speed:

The maximum stable clock speed attained during the overclocked part of the testing phase. Each processor was able to pass Prime 95 for several hours at these speeds.




  • Scientific & Data:
  1. Apophysis
  2. Bibble 5
  3. WinRAR
  4. Geekbench
  5. Office 2007
  6. POV-Ray 3.7
  7. PCMark 7 Professional
  8. Sandra 2011
  9. ScienceMark 2.02
  10. Cinebench 10
  11. Cinebench 11.5
  12. HD Tune 4.60
  • Video:
  1. Aliens vs. Predator
  2. Civilization 5
  3. Batman: Arkham Asylum
  4. 3DMark Vantage

  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Specifications & Features
  3. Testing:Setup & Overclocking
  4. Testing: Apophysis, WinRar, Geekbench, Bibble 5
  5. Testing: Office 2007, POV-Ray
  6. Testing: Sisoft Sandra 2011
  7. Testing: Sciencemark, Cinebench, HD Tune, PCMark 7
  8. Testing: Aliens vs. Predator
  9. Testing: Sid Meier's Civilization V
  10. Testing: Batman: Arkham Asylum
  11. Testing: Futuremark 3DMark Vantage
  12. Testing: IGP testing
  13. Conclusion
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