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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game APU A6-9550 4-Core 3.8GHz Core i3-2120T 2.6GHz
Cyberpunk 2077 135% 119%
Hitman 3 217% 195%
Assassins Creed: Valhalla 217% 195%
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War 128% 112%
FIFA 21 120% 105%
Grand Theft Auto VI 287% 260%
Far Cry 6 271% 245%
Genshin Impact 78% 66%
Battlefield 6 229% 206%
Resident Evil 8 161% 143%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core i3-2120T 2.6GHz is very slightly better than the AMD APU A6-9550 4-Core 3.8GHz 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 A6-9550 4-Core was released over three years more recently than the Core i3-2120T 2.6GHz, and so the APU A6-9550 4-Core is likely to have far better levels of support, and will be much more optimized and ultimately superior to the Core i3-2120T 2.6GHz when running the latest games.

The APU A6-9550 4-Core and the Core i3-2120T 2.6GHz both have 2 cores, and so are quite likely to struggle with the latest games, or at least bottleneck high-end graphics cards when running them. With a decent accompanying GPU, the APU A6-9550 4-Core and the Core i3-2120T 2.6GHz may still be able to run slightly older games fairly effectively.

The Core i3-2120T 2.6GHz has 2 more threads than the APU A6-9550 4-Core. The APU A6-9550 4-Core has one thread per physical core, whereas the Core i3-2120T 2.6GHz 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 A6-9550 4-Core and Core i3-2120T 2.6GHz 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 A6-9550 4-Core has a 1.2 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. In this case, however, the difference is probably a good indicator that the is superior.

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 A6-9550 4-Core has a 512 KB bigger L2 cache than the Core i3-2120T 2.6GHz, and although the APU A6-9550 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 Core i3-2120T 2.6GHz has a 30 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the APU A6-9550 4-Core. However, the APU A6-9550 4-Core was created with a 4 nm smaller manufacturing technology. Overall, by taking both into account, the Core i3-2120T 2.6GHz is likely the CPU with the lower heat production and power requirements, by quite a wide margin.

The Core i3-2120T 2.6GHz 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 A6-9550 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 2000 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 RidgeSandy Bridge
MoBo SocketSocket AM4LGA 1155/Socket H2
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date27 Jul 202004 Sep 2011
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores2vs2
CPU Threads2vs4
Clock Speed3.8 GHzvs2.6 GHz
Turbo Frequency4 GHzvs-
Max TDP65 Wvs35 W
Lithography28 nmvs32 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature90°Cvs65°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size160 KBvs128 KB
L2 Cache Size1024 KBvs512 KB
L3 Cache Size-vs3 MB
Max Memory Size-vs32 GB
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 2000 Desktop
Base GPU Frequency-vs850 MHz
Max GPU Frequency-vs1350 MHz
DirectX-vs10.1
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 A6-9550 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 4.0GHz in boost mode. It has an unlocked multiplier and therefore can overclocked using traditional methods. It has 1MB of L2 Cache. This processor also supports DDR4 based RAMs with maximum memory support of 64GB. It has a maximum Thermal Power Design of 65W, making it an averagely 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 A6-9550 4-Core 3.8GHz features integrated Radeon R5 3rd Gen GCN graphics with 384 Shaders and a base clock speed of 1,029MHz. This is a low-end graphics chip that will struggle to run any modern game at 720p.Core i3-2120T 2.6GHz is a super power efficient CPU based on the 32nm, Sandy Bridge architecture.

It offers 2 Physical Cores (4 Logical), clocked at 2.6GHz and 3MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, Turbo Boost and HyperThreading are activated.

The processor integrates weak Graphics called Intel HD Graphics 2000, with 6 Execution Units, initially clocked at 650MHz and that go up to 1100MHz, 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 35W.

It offers average performance. This means it will become a bottleneck in some demanding applications.