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Differences What are the advantages of each

Front view of Intel Core i3 3120M

Reasons to consider the
Intel Core i3 3120M

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Much newer manufacturing process 22 nm vs 45 nm A newer manufacturing process allows for a more powerful, yet cooler running processor
Higher clock speed 2.5 GHz vs 2 GHz 25% higher clock speed
Significantly better geekbench 3 Multi-Core score 4,146 vs 997 Around 4.2x better geekbench 3 Multi-Core score
Significantly better PassMark (Single core) score 1,313 vs 634 More than 2x better PassMark (Single core) score
More threads 4 vs 1 3 more threads
Higher Maximum operating temperature 90 °C vs 80 °C Around 15% higher Maximum operating temperature
More cores 2 vs 1 Twice as many cores; run more applications at once
Slightly better performance per watt 3.96 pt/W vs 3.3 pt/W More than 20% better performance per watt
Better overclocked clock speed (Water) 2.5 GHz vs 2 GHz 25% better overclocked clock speed (Water)
Front view of AMD Athlon II 170u

Reasons to consider the
AMD Athlon II 170u

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Much more l2 cache per core 1 MB/core vs 0.5 MB/core 2x more l2 cache per core
Lower typical power consumption 16.25W vs 28.44W Around 45% lower typical power consumption
Better overclocked clock speed (Air) 3.11 GHz vs 2.53 GHz Around 25% better overclocked clock speed (Air)
Lower annual home energy cost 4.82 $/year vs 8.43 $/year Around 45% lower annual home energy cost
Lower annual commercial energy cost 17.52 $/year vs 30.66 $/year Around 45% lower annual commercial energy cost

Benchmarks Real world tests of Core i3 3120M vs Athlon II 170u

GeekBench 3 (Multi-core) Data courtesy Primate Labs

GeekBench 3 (Single core) Data courtesy Primate Labs

GeekBench 3 (AES single core) Data courtesy Primate Labs

Core i3 3120M
131,100 MB/s
Athlon II 170u
78,400 MB/s

PassMark Data courtesy Passmark

PassMark (Single Core)

Specifications Full list of technical specs

summary

Core i3 3120M  vs
Athlon II 170u 
Clock speed 2.5 GHz 2 GHz
Cores Dual core Single core

features

Has a NX bit Yes Yes
Has virtualization support Yes Yes
Instruction set extensions
SSE4a
SSE2
MMX
AVX
SSE3
SSE
SSE4.1
SSE4.2
3DNow!
Supplemental SSE3
Supports dynamic frequency scaling Yes Yes

details

Core i3 3120M  vs
Athlon II 170u 
Threads 4 1
L2 cache 1 MB 1 MB
L2 cache per core 0.5 MB/core 1 MB/core
Manufacture process 22 nm 45 nm
Max CPUs 1 1
Operating temperature Unknown - 90°C Unknown - 80°C

overclocking

Overclocked clock speed 2.53 GHz 3.11 GHz
Overclocked clock speed (Water) 2.5 GHz 2 GHz
PassMark (Overclocked) 1,976.5 1,383.9
Overclocked clock speed (Air) 2.53 GHz 3.11 GHz

power consumption

TDP 35W 20W
Annual home energy cost 8.43 $/year 4.82 $/year
Annual commercial energy cost 30.66 $/year 17.52 $/year
Performance per watt 3.96 pt/W 3.3 pt/W
Typical power consumption 28.44W 16.25W
Intel Core i3 3120M
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AMD Athlon II 170u
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