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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game APU A12-9800 4-Core 3.8GHz Core i3-4360 3.7GHz
Cyberpunk 2077 35% 41%
Assassins Creed: Valhalla 82% 90%
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War 31% 37%
Microsoft Flight Simulator 53% 60%
Immortals: Fenyx Rising 45% 52%
FIFA 21 26% 32%
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands 110% 120%
Watch Dogs Legion 82% 90%
Genshin Impact 2% 7%
Grand Theft Auto VI 122% 132%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the AMD APU A12-9800 4-Core 3.8GHz is very slightly better than the Intel Core i3-4360 3.7GHz when it comes to running the latest games. This also means it will be less likely to bottleneck more powerful GPUs, allowing them to achieve more of their gaming performance potential.

The APU A12-9800 4-Core was released over three years more recently than the Core i3-4360 3.7GHz, and so the APU A12-9800 4-Core is likely to have far better levels of support, and will be much more optimized and ultimately superior to the Core i3-4360 3.7GHz when running the latest games.

Both CPUs exhibit very powerful performance, so it probably isn't worth upgrading from one to the other, as both are capable of running even the most demanding games at the highest settings (assuming they are accompanied by equivalently powerful GPUs).

The APU A12-9800 4-Core has 2 more cores than the Core i3-4360 3.7GHz. With 4 cores, the APU A12-9800 4-Core is much less likely to struggle with the latest games, or bottleneck high-end graphics cards when running them.

Both the AMD APU A12-9800 4-Core 3.8GHz and the Intel Core i3-4360 3.7GHz have the same number of threads. The APU A12-9800 4-Core has one thread per physical core, whereas the Core i3-4360 3.7GHz uses hyperthreading and has 2 logical threads per physical core.

Multiple threads are useful for improving the performance of multi-threaded applications. Additional cores and their accompanying thread will always be beneficial for multi-threaded applications. Hyperthreading will be beneficial for applications optimized for it, but it may slow others down. For games, the number of threads is largely irrelevant, as long as you have at least 2 cores (preferably 4), and hyperthreading can sometimes even hit performance.

More important for gaming than the number of cores and threads is the clock rate. Problematically, unless the two CPUs are from the same family, this can only serve as a general guide and nothing like an exact comparison, because the clock cycles per instruction (CPI) will vary so much.

The APU A12-9800 4-Core and Core i3-4360 3.7GHz are not from the same family of CPUs, so their clock speeds are by no means directly comparable. Bear in mind, then, that while the APU A12-9800 4-Core has a 0.1 GHz faster frequency, this is not always an indicator that it will be superior in performance, despite frequency being crucial when trying to avoid GPU bottlenecking. As such, we need to look elsewhere for more reliable comparisons.

Aside from the clock rate, the next-most important CPU features for PC game performance are L2 and L3 cache size. Faster than RAM, the more cache available, the more data that can be stored for lightning-fast retrieval. L1 Cache is not usually an issue anymore for gaming, with most high-end CPUs eking out about the same L1 performance, and L2 is more important than L3 - but L3 is still important if you want to reach the highest levels of performance. Bear in mind that although it is better to have a larger cache, the larger it is, the higher the latency, so a balance has to be struck.

The APU A12-9800 4-Core has a 1536 KB bigger L2 cache than the Core i3-4360 3.7GHz, and although the APU A12-9800 4-Core does not appear to have an L3 cache, its larger L2 cache means that it wins out in this area.

The maximum Thermal Design Power is the power in Watts that the CPU will consume in the worst case scenario. The lithography is the semiconductor manufacturing technology being used to create the CPU - the smaller this is, the more transistors that can be fit into the CPU, and the closer the connections. For both the lithography and the TDP, it is the lower the better, because a lower number means a lower amount of power is necessary to run the CPU, and consequently a lower amount of heat is produced.

The APU A12-9800 4-Core has a 19 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Core i3-4360 3.7GHz. However, the Core i3-4360 3.7GHz was created with a 6 nm smaller manufacturing technology. Overall, by taking both into account, the APU A12-9800 4-Core is likely the CPU with the lower heat production and power requirements, but there really isn't much in it.

The Core i3-4360 3.7GHz has an on-board GPU, which means that it will be capable of running basic graphics applications (i.e., games) without the need for a dedicated graphics card. The APU A12-9800 4-Core, however, does not, and you will probably have to look for a dedicated card if you wish to use it at all.

For in-depth GPU comparisons with the Intel HD Graphics 4600 Desktop, click on the following GPU overview comparison icon (visible throughout Game-Debate), and choose a GPU from the list to compare against:

On-board GPUs tend to be fairly awful in comparison to dedicated cards from the likes of AMD or Nvidia, but as they are built into the CPU, they also tend to be cheaper and require far less power to run (this makes them a good choice for laptops). We would recommend a dedicated card for running the latest games, but integrated GPUs are improving all the time and casual gamers may find less recent games perform perfectly acceptably.

CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameBristol RidgeHaswell
MoBo SocketSocket AM4LGA 1150
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date27 Jul 201714 May 2014
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores4vs2
CPU Threads4vs4
Clock Speed3.8 GHzvs3.7 GHz
Turbo Frequency4.2 GHzvs-
Max TDP35 Wvs54 W
Lithography28 nmvs22 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature90°Cvs100°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size320 KBvs128 KB
L2 Cache Size2048 KBvs512 KB
L3 Cache Size-vs4 MB
Max Memory Size-vs32 GB
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 4600 Desktop
Base GPU Frequency-vs400 MHz
Max GPU Frequency-vs1250 MHz
DirectX-vs11.1
Displays Supported-vs-
Comparison

CPU Package and Version Specifications

Package Size-vs-
Revision-vs-
PCIe Revision-vs-
PCIe Configurations-vs-

Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

CPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewThe AMD APU A12-9800 4-Core 3.8GHz is a budget APU based on AMD's 28nm Excavator microarchitecture. It offers 4 physical cores (4 logical) initially clocked at 3.8GHz, rising to 4.2GHz in boost mode. It has an unlocked multiplier and therefore can overclocked using traditional methods. It has 2MB of L2 Cache. This processor also supports DDR4 based RAMs with maximum memory support of 64GB. It has a maximum Thermal Power Design of 35W, making it a low-end, power-efficient CPU. Among its many features are Cool n Quiet, CoolCore Technology, Extended Frequency Range (XFX), Pure Power and Precision Boost are enabled. The APU APU A12-9800 4-Core 3.8GHz features integrated Radeon R7 3rd Gen GCN graphics with 512 Shaders and a maximum clock speed of 1,108MHz. This is a low-end graphics chip that will struggle to run any modern game at 720p.Core i3-4360 3.7GHz is a middle-class CPU based on the 22nm, Haswell architecture.

It offers 2 Physical Cores (4 Logical), clocked at 3.7GHz and 4MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, Turbo Boost and HyperThreading are activated.

The processor integrates powerful Graphics called Intel HD Graphics 4600, with 20 Execution Units, initially clocked at 350MHz and that go up to 1150MHz, in Turbo Mode which share the L2 Cache and system RAM with the processor.
Both the processor and integrated graphics have a rated board TDP of 54W.

It is a powerful processor whose performance is good. It's thus capable of running most applications smoothly without any problem.