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Early this year we compared AMD's $150 quad-core FX-8320E processor with Intel's $150 Core i3-4360 and $185 Core i5-4430. On paper it looked like a no brainer: the FX-8320E boasts 8-threads capable of running at up to 4GHz out of the box and is fully unlocked to boot.

The Haswell-based Core i3-4360 is a dual-core processor backed by Intel's HyperThreading technology for four threads and unlike AMD's chip, the i3 is locked at 3.7GHz with no hope of being overclocked. It's a similar story with the pricier Core i5-4430, which can only clock its four cores as high as 3.2GHz and without HT support there are only four threads available.

After years of benchmarking AMD's Piledriver-based processors, it's no secret that they aren't the most efficient. That said, we had never looked at power consumption so closely before, especially when overclocking.

We ran the FX-8320E at a reasonable overclock of 4.6GHz and even at that frequency it was for the most part slower than the Core i3-4360 when gaming and shockingly when encoding. Worse still, the overclock made the FX-8320E consume around 60% more power on average.

By the end, it became clear that wise consumers would be looking at the Core i3 and Core i5. Gamers will find the Core i3 to be the better value option, while the Core i5 is better equipped for heavier tasks like encoding.

In the nine months since we published that article, the FX-8320E is still $150 and AMD's go-to option for budget quad-core computing without integrated graphics.

Meanwhile, the landscape has shifted on Intel's side of the fence as we've recently seen the arrival of its new Skylake-based Core i3 and Pentium processors, the first of which was the Core i3-6100. At $125, the new dual-core chip comes clocked at the same 3.7GHz as the Haswell 4360/4170 models, except the i3-6100 has the advantage of being even more efficient thanks to an updated design using the 14nm process.

After being disappointed in August by the marginal performance between Skylake and Haswell Core i7s, we're interested in seeing how the i3-6100 stacks up against the older i3-4360, as well as the i5-4430 and the overclocked FX-8320E.

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