Intel Pentium G3258 On Linux
Up for review today on Phoronix is the Pentium G3258, the new processor Intel put out in celebration of their Pentium brand turning 20 years old. This new Pentium G3258 processor costs under $100 USD and comes unlocked for offering quite a bit overclocking potential while this Pentium CPU can be used by current Intel 8 and 9 Series Chipsets. Here's our first benchmarks of the Intel Pentium G3258 using Ubuntu Linux.
The Pentium G3258 is obviously Haswell based and is a dual-core processor without Hyper Threading. The integrated graphics for this 20th Anniversary Pentium CPU are the Haswell (GT1) and tops out at 1100MHz. There's just 3MB of Smart Cache on the Pentium G3258 compared to 4MB+ with the Core CPUs but at least more than the 2MB found with the current Celeron parts. Like the Celerons, the Pentium CPUs also lack support for the AVX and AES-NI instruction set extensions.
The Intel Pentium G3258 comes clocked at 3.2GHz without any Turbo Boost, but the CPU is at least unlocked compared to other Pentium processors, which will allow for significant overclocking. The TDP on the G3258 is 53 Watts, which matches the other CPUs in the current Haswell Pentium line-up.
Given that we've been testing Haswell processors on Linux for over one year, it should be to no surprise that the G3258 worked without any issues. Popping the G3258 into two different Z97 motherboards had the system quickly booting up into an Ubuntu 14.04 LTS installation without any issues on the CPU side or graphics with everything working just fine out of the box.
In terms of the overclocking potential for the Pentium G3258, Linux users are left just to the BIOS/UEFI with no major motherboard vendors having ported their tuning/overclocking software from Windows to Linux. Intel, motherboard vendors, and enthusiasts already having their hands on this 20th anniversary processor have been promoting this 3.2GHz Pentium CPU as being able to hit 4.5GHz as its sweet spot. Using the ASRock Z97 Extreme6 motherboard, I too was able to hit this number, a 40% improvement over the base clock frequency. However, with some of our more demanding Linux benchmarks, there would be a kernel panic at this elevated frequency -- regardless of the amount of voltage supplied to the Pentium CPU. In the end I was able to run the Intel Pentium G3258 on Ubuntu Linux at 4.4GHz while having 100% stability through our wide-range of open-source benchmarks. 4.4GHz is still great for this dual-core 3.2GHz CPU on air cooling.