The Intel core i3 4160 processor is a CPU at the higher end of the i3 family and now available with an affordable price tag. When selecting a processor for any system the task is a trade off between performance and price. More often than not it is a bad idea to purchase the best processor on the market when you can get a lower model that completes all of the tasks you need for half the price. Equally you do not want a CPU that you are going to need to upgrade in less than 6 months time. For a home theatre pc the Intel i3 4160 pretty much hits the sweet spot. In our Intel i3 4160 review we will assess both the features and performance of this CPU and look at how it can benefit your HTPC builds.
Intel i3 4160 Review
At Home Media Portal our focus is geared towards building home theatre PCs and media centres. As a result this Intel i3 4160 review is written in terms of what it can do for your HTPC builds. We do look at the overall specifications and performance of this CPU. The review however is designed for the media centre enthusiast.
For film and music media centres the i3 range will deliver top performance. It is suitable for all operating systems and media centre software packages. With this type of setup you could potentially take a lesser CPU but the i3 4160 will last! For gaming machines the I3 4160 will play the bulk of today’s top games (information correct at time of posting) and performance tests for a selection of PC games are shown below. The I3 4160 will also play all of the latest system emulators that support commercial games in the very best resolutions including Dolphin Wii Emulator, PCSX2 and some of the latest arcade systems.
Intel I3 4160 Price Compare
Use our Intel i3 4160 price compare table below to pitch this product against CPUs of a similar level of performance.
Intel I3 4160 Specifications
In the first part of our Intel i3 4160 review we must address the CPUs specs. The table below provides a brief overview of the Intel i3 4160 specifications. Further advanced features are detailed at the end of the post.
|Frequency / Speed||3.6GHz||Cores||2||Max Memory||32GB|
|Cache||3MB||Threads||4||Memory Type||DDR3 & DDR3L|
|Instruction Set||64-bit||Power Consumption||54W||CPU Graphics||Intel HD Graphics 4400|
The Intel i3 4160 CPU has no special installation requirements. In smaller HTPC cases with little space it is best to install your CPU prior to seating the motherboard. The accompanying CPU heat sink and fan comes with all the paste you need and a single cable to fit to your motherboard. One of the big advantages of this CPU for HTPC use is the fact that it does not require any oversized cooling devices. The standard CPU fan that comes included in the package is more than enough (consider cooler upgrades for over clocking). The Intel i3 4160 will fit all motherboards with a H3 socket type.
Intel i3 4160 Performance
The Intel core i3 4160 will deliver the level of performance required for most home computing tasks (correct at time of posting). You can expect to run Windows 10 with ease and take on a range of multi media processes. For media centre use this i3 will comfortably decode video content and will deliver a solid home theatre experience. In terms of gaming you will be able to play the majority of modern titles. Bear in mind that the resolutions available to you will be graphics card dependant.
The below video shows the gaming performance of the Intel i3 4160. In our Intel i3 4160 review we tested the Call of Duty Advanced Warfare, FIFA 15 and GTA V game titles.
|Emulator Name||System||Compatible||Full Resolution|
|Dolphin||Gamecube / Wii||Yes||Yes|
|Raine||Arcade Taito Type||Yes||Yes|
Reasons to CPU
Below are some of the real pros identified during our Intel i3 4160 review.
- CPU will play the majority of games and system emulators. Resolutions may vary but the CPU is capable of playing most modern titles.
- Low cost due to the availability of i5 and i7 CPUs
- Suitable for almost all HTPC media centre needs. Consider a faster CPU for 4K video decoding.
Use the Intel i3 4160 price compare table above to check the cost against similar CPUs.
Review – HMP Verdict
Our verdict on this product is before the end of this post. The content that follows is geared towards the real computer techies. It shows some of the more advanced features of the Intel i3 4160 CPU and is not for everyone. In our humble oppinion the Intel i3 4160 should be more than enough for most HTPC media centre designs. It will run all of your films and music with ease and rarely go above 50% of its CPU utilisation. For gaming media centres the i3 4160 will run the bulk of todays top PC games and the majority in top resolutions (graphics card dependant). .
If your aim is portability and low power consumption then the Intel Idle States technology (outlined below) will reduce the energy requirements of your media centre. The best feature of this product is it’s price. With the Intel i5 and i7 CPUs now thrust into the market the Intel i3 processor series provides a very affordable option for HTPC enthusiasts and with the CPU more than capable of running the very latest applications it is the perfect media centre CPU choice. Use the Intel i3 4160 price compare feature above to compare this CPU against similar processors. As stated we conclude our Intel i3 4160 review below we detail some of the advanced features of this processor.
Advanced Features & Technologies
Below is a list of the advanced technologies that are built into the Intel I3 4160 CPU.
Intel Hyper-Threading Technology
Hyper-Threading allows multiple threads to execute on each core. This improves the efficiency of applications and allows multiple processor hungry pieces of software to run simultaneously with ease.
Intel Virtualization Technology VT-x
This technology will only aid your media centre if it is running on a virtual machine on either a Microsoft or VMware host but this is something that is growing in popularity. Intel Virtualization Technology works as like a hardware assist to virtualization software reducing complexity in virtual environments. The main aim is to reduce the overheads required for cache, I/O and memory, this improving the performance of your virtual machine and media centre.
Intel VT-x with Extended Page Tables EPT
Intel VT-x with Extended Page Tables EPT or second level address tables (SLAT) is another advanced feature for virtual media centres only and will without doubt aid virtual gaming machines. The technology is designed to improve the performance of memory hungry applications running on virtual machines. Gaming certainly falls into this category if you are operating them from virtual environments.
Intel 64 will deliver 64bit computing to your home theatre solution. At present this is only important if you use your media centre for gaming. Many of the later system emulators are now 64bit installs and many games are now following suite.
Want a low power consumption HTPC? Idle states or C states is designed to reduce the power a processor uses when it is not required.
Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology
Another power saving technology designed to switch voltage and frequency in accordance to the CPU load.
Thermal Monitoring Technologies
TMT monitors the temperature of the CPU and regulates and manages the power going to it. This will keep your processor running a safe temperatures.