Intel Core i3-530 Processor Review

My Intel Core i5-750 Experience

This is the new, upcoming Intel Core i3-530 processor. The Core i3-530 also part of Intel’s first line-up of 32nm CPUs, codenamed Clarkdale.

The Processor

The Core i3-530 with us today has a max TDP of only 73w, basically it consumes less power compared to the 45nm Core i5 and i7 processors.

The thing to note is that the i3-530 is technically still a dual-core processor but with hyper-threading, this means each core has 2 threads and making it 4 threads in total. This is just like how the Core i7 is a quad-core processor with hyper-threading, hence working like an Oct-Core processor.

My Intel Core i5-750 Experience

My Intel Core i5-750 Experience

My Intel Core i5-750 Experience

Here’s the CPU-Z capture of the processor specification.

My Intel Core i5-750 Experience

And here is the CPU-Z capture of the processor specification, after I overclocked it. And guess what I just pumped the vcore to 1.313 in the BIOS and kept my fingers cross as I set it to 3.9ghz – the processor reached the set speed with ease and even passed all the benchmarks I threw at it.

My Intel Core i5-750 Experience

And I was using stock heatsink all the way! For more technical details, read this article.

Test Setup

For this article, I’ll be comparing the i3-530 to the i5-750 and Xeon 3320.

First up, the Core i3 / i5 setup.

Processor Intel Core i3-530 / Intel Core i5-750
RAM OCZ 1066mhz 4GB Dual-Channel Kit
Motherboard MSI P55-GD65
Cooler Stock heatsink
Monitor 20″ Dell Ultra-sharp Wide-screen LCD
Power Supply Gigabyte Odin GT 550w
Operating System Windows Vista Home Basic 32bit

And the contender, the Xeon 3320 setup.

Processor Intel Xeon X3320
RAM Kingston HyperX 4GB Dual-channel Kit
Motherboard Jetway X-Blue P45
Cooler Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme
Monitor 20″ Dell Ultra-sharp Wide-screen LCD
Power Supply Gigabyte Odin GT 550w
Operating System Windows Vista Home Basic 32bit


Here are the results of the benchmarks I’ve thrown at these processors.

i3-530 is at 2.93ghz | i3-530 OC is at 3.9ghz CPU-Z validator link
i5-750 is at 2.66ghz | i5-750 OC is as 4.26ghz.
Xeon 3320 is at 2.5ghz | Xeon 3320 OC is at 3ghz.

i3 – 4MB cache. i5 – 8MB cache. Xeon 3320 – 6MB cache.

Do refer to Intel for specifications.

Super PI 1.5 Mod

The value chosen for Super PI was 1M.

i3-530 i3-530 OC i5-750 i5-750 OC X3320 X3320 OC
14.508 10.889 15.975 10.623 20.171 17.056
* Lower the better

At 2.93ghz the i3-530 beats the overclocked Xeon 3320. On stock it beats the i5-750 at 2.66ghz and when at 3.9ghz it’s just slightly behind the i5-750 OC. I’m just putting the table into text, this doesn’t mean the i3-530 is the clear winner. I’ve compared the i3-530 3.9ghz Super PI result for 32MB value and it was behind the i5-750 and i7-860 of similar speed by quite about 2 minutes, I don’t think any amount of memory fine-tuning could beat them.


Processor i3-530 i3-530 OC i5-750 i5-750 OC X3320 X3320 OC
Single CPU 3323 4425 2984 4628 2697 3250
Multiple CPU 7511 10004 10688 14955 9454 11330

While the single core scores look impressive (on stock it beats the i5-750, and even the overclocked Xeon 3320) but the multi-processor rendering score doesn’t seem so. Besides cache issue, it looks more like a bottleneck for having 2 threads on 1 core.

PCMark Vantage

i3-530 i3-530 OC i5-750 i5-750 OC X3320 X3320 OC
5392 6483 5094 6440 4949 5457
* Higher the better

I don’t know what to make of this one. 🙂

Fritz Chess Benchmark

Processor i3-530 i3-530 OC i5-750 i5-750 OC X3320 X3320 OC
Relative Speed 10.93 14.73 16.28 22.34 14.54 17.25
Kilo Nodes/second 5246 7068 7812 10722 6977 8280

Yet again, looks like it’s a matter of bottleneck for having 2 threads on 1 core.

SiSoft SANDRA Lite

Processor i3-530 i3-530 OC i5-750 i5-750 OC X3320 X3320 OC
Aggregate Arithmetic 34.6
Dhrystone ALU 36.45
Whetstone iSSE3 32.74
Aggregate Multi-Media 58.79
Multi-Media Int 64.64
Multi-Media Float 53.00
Multi-Media Double 27.51

Wow, a wall of numbers! To make it simple, just compare the i3-530 stock vs the i5-750 stock and Xeon 3320 overclocked. Ideally the i3-530 works as a quad-core processor. Looks like another it’s another 2 threads on 1 core, either that or it’s the cache issue but I think it’s due to both factors.

Operating Temperature

Processor i3 530 i3 530 OC
Idle 34°C 39°C
Load 40°C 50°C

I’m very impressed. The Xeon and i5-750 that I’ve used were hot, both had max TDP of 95w. The i3-530 on the other hand is only maxxed out at 73 Watts. I’ve even tried Folding@home SMP with the overclocked setting overnight with no air-conditioning and it was alive and kicking when I checked on it 9 hours later.

Concluding Thoughts

The i5-750 is retailing for around RM 700 while the i3-530 is at around RM 450 (not official price, at least at this point of time). So that’s paying about 65% of the price of i5-750 for something that performs really close to it (subjective to application), consumes less power, generates less heat and overclocks well!

As of now, I’m a very happy user of the Core i3-530! It’s good to see powerful processors are available at affordable price.

The Intel Core i3 530 is a dual-core processor that provides you quad-core processor performance without you having to put up with higher power consumption and higher heat generation. It overclocks very well too, great for enthusiasts on a budget!

goldfries recommended

Next thing to do is to find me an Intel H55 based motherboard to test out configuring a VALUE-FOR-MONEY rig.

58 thoughts on “Intel Core i3-530 Processor Review

  1. As a power saver, I’ve always been a fan of dual-core instead of quad-core. Now with 32nm technology, even less power consumption (for an acceptable performance). @_@

    I’ll consider this processor if I’ll ever set up a new rig for myself.
    .-= apamise´s last blog ..Anugerah Juara Lagu 24 =-.

  2. thanks all.

    @syazwanreno – sorry dude, no benchmark on games. I see there are other sites that benchmark processor with games but I’m not doing so as I find it misleading because FPS is heavily reliant on the graphic system than the processor.

  3. Intel Core i3 launch for Malaysia is on 13th January, but my fren bought his at low yat last year. water product??

  4. @soket

    no its not water product, its product introduction and supply to the retail channels and logistics before the official launch.

    think of it this way. when the products are launched you expect it to be at retail stores already right? 🙂


    mana my pic :p

  5. I need help, I have to say i am bad at these computer terminologies & analysis like the above mentioned article…..I have a question………with core i3 530 & H55 chipset with DDR3 RAM, ..can i install Windows XP? ( (Because i brought a new XP SP3 8 months ago, also have XP SP2)) will it run with optimum levels? or should i buy a new OS like Windows 7 to run it……….Will the above mentioned System configuration run on Win XP at all?…………….Any advice or suggestions are atmost welcome..

  6. Hi

    Can we install the windows XP on the new i3 based system. And can it run effectively and faster than Core 2 duo. somebody has told me that windows XP do not run fast on the new i3. Please advise me urgently.

  7. Tej / Padam – Windows XP works fine on any other system old or new. 😀 They will run just fine, some people claimed the feel XP is faster as well.

  8. Hi, I just installed XP sp2 on my i3 330m processor but its creating problem at the time of start up it takes around 5 minutes to start, so i think that xp is not working properly on this processor.

  9. Faruque ,your system may be duplicate thats why your system is slow if u r using xp.

  10. i feel that core i7 extreme is superb………no waiting……with high graphics support……but it is power consuming…………better than core quad@xeon…………………hureeeeeeeeeee………………

  11. Hi ~~Faruque or anybody
    I’m thai boy Now i have a problem to set windows xp on my laptop, my laptop is compaq cq41-203tu cpu corei3 m33o,i have find this problem on website treeday,but can’t find any web to let me download windowsxp or guideline to finish my want somebody to help me,thank you.. [email protected]

  12. Can windowsXP operating system runs on corei3 processor?
    Bcoz i heard dat it ‘ll not work on windows XP?
    And again,windows7 con not supports maximum software which greatly works on windows XP,,
    plz, give me rply as fast as possible…
    boz i want to bye new laptop,so if core i3 with windows7 will not support my reqd software,then tell me what i ‘ll do?

  13. Can windowsXP operating system runs on corei3,corei5 & corei7 processor?

  14. Can we install XP Service Pack 2 on Corei3, i have purchased laptop with Corei3 & having Windows 7 ultimate, but windows 7 wnt support Shree Lipi 7.1 (its an language software) so plz reply me fast can i install XP Service pack 2 (i have Original one)


  15. Hi
    i am looking forward to assemble a new desktop wit i3 processors, can anyone suggest me with a mother board which supports i3 processors and come up wit configurations.?

  16. Hi

    I bought a i3 530 with DH55TC board and 4GB DDR3 RAM (2 X 2GB). I installed genuine windows xp professional 32 bit OS. Eventhough i have not installed any programs It takes 2-3 mins to boot. i am surprised because my core 2 duo 2.93 GHz with 41RQ board and 2GB RAM with lot of programs boots faster than time. the supplier has no say about this. pl check before buying a computer and OS with the above configuration. may be faster with 64 bit OS.

  17. I for one, couldn’t be bothered about boot time since my machines are rarely off to begin with.

    It’s not just the software bit but rather it could be just the OS itself. It’s not surprising if Windows Vista / 7 boost faster.

    Being XP doesn’t mean it will boot faster. In fact, why XP? It’s nearly a decade old or so and inferior to Vista / 7 in many ways.

    If you look at computers today, you’ll see no one uses i3 with XP. All the XP based machines are using slow processors.

  18. hi goldfries

    thanks for your reply. leave alone the OS. my point is if anyone wishs to use XP why should they go for costly and high end i3. they will get better performance with less expensive core 2 duo. i have to install an engineering software and that will work only in XP 32 bit, which forced me to go for xp instead of windows 7. can u suggest anything to improve the performance of my system ?

  19. ahh ok. i think some people go for i3 because it’s something new, it is after all, better to get something of a newer technology. let’s not forget that the LGA1156 setup gives a wider and better upgrade option.

    as to your case, XP 32 bit is limited. 4GB RAM (with 3.x GB usable) and other ways to improve, probably by going SSD or having HD / SSD in RAID setup.

  20. thanks goldfries. i dont know anything about HD / SSD in RAID setup. could you pleas help?

  21. I just built a system with an i3-540 and tried installing XP. Its running pretty slow! I’m going to reformat and try windows 7.

  22. Mr Ian

    Is there any other way to improve the performance with xp? i have some limitations in going for windows 7.

  23. Awwww Lisent,Im fromArgentina Sry for my Bad english..i buy a pc Whit Core i3 530 2Gb Ram on Windows 7 and to much programs dont work!, If i put XP the core i 3 Work fast or Slow?

  24. Hey goldfries,what software did you use to check the i3 temperatures? I oc mine to 3.6 and when i check with real temp its a whopping 81 C on prime95

  25. Hi everyone
    I had an i3 processor machine too with windows 7 installed
    it has multiple issues which Intel hasn’t solved yet
    The processor is pretty slow even slower than a core 2 duo processor
    Gaming software run quite slow and it takes lot of time in booting
    Tried all possible solutions until i returned it to HP and bought a new i5 notebook
    and don’t forget the processor overheats and a blue screen appears and system shuts down

  26. Windows xp2 is 32 bit operating system it can not work properly on icore3 processor. With icore3 u can use windows764 bit OS.

  27. Hello,
    I have a laptop hp g62 with procesor I3 330 , but i can’nt install windows xp in this laptop, and i have a lot of applications don’t work with windows seven pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease help me ????????????????/

  28. i am santosh and i am doing my engineering. i want to know that do i 3 processor support engineering software like c language and solitary edge ? please suggest me

  29. Hello, to all the people ask for XP installation, they work fine on i3, but before you must change the number of active cores to 1 in BIOS setup, and disable hyperthreading. Then update to SP3 and apply all the rest of updates. (Of course, when you finish, active all cores and HT). The i3 is fast than core 2’s.

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  31. i3 is trouble to put into socket. I had to use wood block and tap it into the socket before could close lid. After close lid, could not put fansink on because not straight because socket not proper close. Must undo all work and start from again. After start from again socket too loose and lid not close without glue.

  32. sir,im a photo designing artist i have intel core i3 system with DH61ww mother board .., with win 7 Os., but it,s dos not suports photoshop….so many error are coming..i want to install service pack 2 Os…can i..plz tell me

  33. Cannot be. My Windows 7 and Photoshop works fine.

    Are you using original Windows 7? Are you using original Photoshop?

    If none of them are original, then you know where your problem is.

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