The Pentium N3700 is a quad-core processor with a TDP of only 6 W, 1.6 GHz base clock and turbo clock of 2.4 GHz, targeted on low-cost desktop computers. Let’s see how it performs, compared to its main competitors.
Intel launched recently their new low-cost, low-TDP desktop processors, named Braswell. They come to replace the Bay Trail-D CPUs, actually using the same microarchitecture, but with 14 nm manufacturing process and a new 8th generation graphics engine. They have a 2 MiB L2 cache and support DDR3L-1600 dual channel memory.
The table below shows the Braswell CPUs launched so far.
|CPU||Cores||Base Clock||Turbo Clock||TDP|
|Pentium N3700||4||1.6 GHz||2.4GHz||6 W|
|Celeron N3150||4||1.6 GHz||2.08 GHz||6 W|
|Celeron N3050||2||1.6 GHz||2.16 GHz||6 W|
|Celeron N3000||2||1.04 GHz||2.08 GHz||4 W|
Braswell processors are SoC (system on a chip) CPUs, which means the processing cores, memory controller, video engine, and even the chipset are integrated in a single die. It helps to keep the cost and the thermal dissipation low.
Figure 1 unveils the Pentium N3700 CPU. As well as the other processors of this family, it comes soldered to the motherboard. In this case, it comes with the ASRock N3700-ITX motherboard, which we analyzed recently.
Let’s compare the main specs of the reviewed CPUs in the next page.
[nextpage title=”The Reviewed CPUs”]
To have an idea of the Pentium N3700’s performance, we ran some benchmarks comparing it to other two similar CPUs (also with four cores, low cost, and low TDP), the AMD Athlon 5150 and the Intel Pentium J2900, besides its “brother” Celeron N3150, which we tested recently.
In the tables below, we compare the main features of the CPUs included in our review.
|CPU||Cores||HT||IGP||Internal Clock||Turbo Clock||Core||Tech.||TDP||Socket||Price|
|Pentium N3700||4||No||Yes||1.6 GHz||2.4 GHz||Braswell||14 nm||6 W||FCBGA1170||USD 100*|
|Celeron N3150||4||No||Yes||1.6 GHz||2.08 GHz||Braswell||14 nm||6 W||FCBGA1170||USD 70*|
|Pentium J2900||4||No||Yes||2.41 GHz||2.67 GHz||Bay Trail-D||22 nm||10 W||FCBGA1170||USD 104*|
|Athlon 5150||4||No||Yes||1.6 GHz||No||Kabini||28 nm||25 W||AM1||USD 50**|
* The price includes the motherboard, since this CPU is soldered to the motherboard
** Motherboards can be found starting at USD 30
Prices were researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review. TDP stands for Thermal Design Power and states the maximum amount of heat the CPU can dissipate.
Below you can see the memory configuration for each CPU.
|CPU||L2 Cache||L3 Cache||Memory Support||Memory Channels|
|Pentium N3700||2 MiB||No||Up to DDR3L-1600||Two|
|Celeron N3150||2 MiB||No||Up to DDR3L-1600||Two|
|Pentium J2900||2 MiB||No||Up to DDR3-1333||Two|
|Athlon 5150||2 MiB||No||Up to DDR3-1600||One|
Below we have a quick comparison of the video engine of the CPUs.
|Pentium N3700||Intel HD||12||400/700 MHz||16|
|Celeron N3150||Intel HD||12||320/640 MHz||12|
|Pentium J2900||Intel HD||11||688/896 MHz||4|
|Athlon 5150||Radeon R3||11.2||600 MHz||128|
[nextpage title=”How We Tested”]
During our benchmarking sessions, we used the configuration listed below. Between our benchmarking sessions, the only variable device was the CPU being tested and the motherboard and memory, which had to be replaced to match the different CPUs.
- Motherboard (Pentium N3700): ASRock N3700-ITX
- Motherboard (Celeron N3150): ASRock N3150B-ITX
- Motherboard (Athlon 5150): ASUS AM1M-A
- Motherboard (Pentium J2900): ASRock Q2900M
- CPU Cooler: Intel/AMD stock
- Memory (Pentium J2900 and Athlon 5150): 8 GiB DDR3-2133, two G.Skill Ripjaws F3-17000CL9Q-16GBZH 4 GiB memory modules configured at 1333 MHz or 1600 MHz depending on the CPU
- Memory (Pentium N3700 and Celeron N3150): 8 GiB DDR3L, two Kingston KVR16IS11/4 4GiB modules, configured at 1600 MHz
- Boot drive: Kingston HyperX Savage 480 GB
- Video Card: integrated
- Video Monitor: Philips 236VL
- Power Supply: Corsair CX500M
Operating System Configuration
- Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
- Video resolution: 1920 x 1080 60 Hz
- AMD driver version: 15.7
- Intel Inf chipset driver version: 10.0
- PCMark 8 2.4.304
- Cinebench R15
- DivX 10.2.3
- Media Espresso 6.7
- DVD Shrink 3.2
- 3DMark 1.5.915
- Adobe Photoshop CC + Retouch Artist Speed Test 1.0
We adopted a 4% error margin. Thus, differences below 4% cannot be considered relevant. In other words, products with a performance difference below 4% should be considered as having similar performance.
[nextpage title=”PCMark 8″]
PCMark 8 is a benchmarking software that uses real-world applications to measure the computer performance. We ran three tests: Home, which includes web browsing, writing, light gaming, photo editing, and video chat tests; Creative, which includes web browsing, photo editing, video editing, group video chat, media transcoding, and gaming; and Work, which runs tasks such as writing documents, web browsing, spreadsheets, editing, and video chatting. Let’s analyze the results.
[nextpage title=”Video encoding”]
We used the DivX converter, a tool included in the DivX package, in order to measure the encoding performance using this codec. The DivX codec is capable of recognizing and using all available cores and the SSE4 instruction set.
We converted a Full HD, six-minute long .mov video file into a .avi file, using the “HD 1080p” output profile.
The results below are given in seconds, so the lower the better.
On DivX encoding, the Pentium N3700 was 10% faster than the Celeron N3150, 10% slower than the Pentium J2900, and 19% faster than the Athlon 5150.
Media Espresso 6.7
Media Espresso is a video conversion program that uses the graphics processing unit of the video engine to speed up the conversion process. We converted a 1 GiB, 1920x1080i, 23,738 kbps, .mov video file to a smaller 320×200, H.264, .MP4 file for viewing on a smartphone. The results below are given in seconds, so the lower the better.
Here the Pentium N3700 was 11% faster than the Celeron N3150, 8% slower than the Pentium J2900, and 27% faster than the Athlon 5150.
DVDShrink is an old but still very useful program to “shrink” video DVDs that have more than 4.7 GiB of data to fit single-layer DVD media. We used it to compress the DVD of “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” DVD to 4.7 GiB. The results below are given in seconds, so the lower the better.
In this test, the Pentium N3700 was 13% faster than the Celeron N3150, 10% slower than the Pentium J2900, and 10% faster than the Athlon 5150.
[nextpage title=”Cinebench R15″]
Cinebench R15 is based on the Cinema 4D software. It is very useful to measure the performance gain obtained by the presence of several processing cores while rendering heavy 3D images. Rendering is an area where a bigger number of cores helps a lot, because usually this kind of software recognize several processors (Cinebench R15, for example, can use up to 256 processing cores).
Obviously, none of the tested CPUs is targeted to rendering, but we included this benchmark because it can give us a great notion of multiple core performance.
We ran the CPU benchmark, which renders a complex image using all the processing cores (real and virtual) to speed up the process. The result is given as a score.
We also ran the OpenGL benchmark, which shows a 3D animation rendered with the GPU, which gives a frames per second (fps) result.
On the CPU benchmark, the Pentium N3700 was 27% faster than the Celeron N3150, 13% slower than the Pentium J2900 and 8% faster than the Athlon 5150.
On the OpenGL benchmark, the Pentium N3700 was 14% faster than the Celeron N3150, 128% faster than the Pentium J2900, and 6% faster than the Athlon 5150.
[nextpage title=”Photoshop CC”]
The best way to measure the performance of a CPU is by using real programs. The problem, of course, is to create a methodology that offers precise results. For Photoshop CC we used a script named “Retouch Artist Speed Test”, which applies a series of filters to a standard image and gives the time Photoshop takes to run all of them. The results are given in seconds, so the less, the best.
In this test, the Pentium N3700 was 14% faster than the Celeron N3150, and performed similarly to the Pentium J2900 and to the Athlon 5150.
3DMark is a program with a set of several benchmarks. We choose to run the Cloud Gate, Sky Diver, and Fire Strike. The 3DMark Cloud Gate benchmark measures DirectX 10 performance, while Sky Diver and Fire Strike measure DirectX 11 performance.
On the Cloud Gate benchmark, the Pentium N3700 was 15% faster than the Celeron N3150, 58% faster than the Pentium J2900, and 12% faster than the Athlon 5150.
On the Sky Diver benchmark, the Pentium N3700 was 9% faster than the Celeron N3150, 100% faster than the Pentium J2900, but 12% slower than the Athlon 5150.
On the Fire Strike Benchmark, the Pentium N3700 was 13% faster than the Celeron N3150, 57% faster than the Pentium J2900, but 30% slower than the Athlon 5150.[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]
When we compared the earlier generation of the low-consumption Intel CPUs (Bay Trail-D) to its competitor, the AMD Athlon 5150, we concluded that the quad-core Intel models offered higher processing power than the AMD’s, but they had a weaker GPU.
Now, Intel launched the new low-cost Braswell processors, with even lower TDP and a new graphics engine. That we could see about the Pentium N3700, as we had noticed with the Celeron N3150, is that it is slower (in CPU performance) than the Pentium J2900 (which is expected because it uses the same architecture, but with a lower clock rate). However, it was clear that the GPU on the Pentium N3700 is way more powerful than the Pentium J2900’s, almost reaching the performance of the GPU present on the Athlon 5150.
Anyway, what we could conclude on this test is that the Pentium N3700 is a CPU fast enough for simple tasks (like web surfing or text editing) and that its low price and energy consumption makes it excellent when you want to build a small, quiet and energy-conscious computer, with no need for high performance.