Kaby Lake Based Intel Pentium Processors Finally Receive Hyper-Threading

Intel Building

Okay, so Intel's Kaby Lake lineup does not leave equivalent Skylake processors in the dust. That is a fair enough statement, though for budget buyers, there are some intriguing upgrades that Kaby Lake brings to the table. One of them is Hyper-Threading support for Pentium CPUs based on Intel's newest architecture. That is a rare amenity in the budget Pentium line, and one that was quietly introduced here.

While Intel has chosen not to make a lot of noise over the including of Hyper-Threading on its lower end Pentium processors based on Kaby Lake, the Internet took notice. Intel's ARK website lists several new Pentium models with Hyper-Threading enabled, nearly half a dozen in all. They include the Pentium G4560, Pentium G4600, and Pentium G4520, along with their power-saving "T" models, the Pentium G4560T and Pentium G4600T.

Intel Pentium Retail Box

Intel's Hyper-Threading technology dates back to 2002 when the company introduced its Pentium 4 family (it also appeared on Xeon processors released that same year). Hyper-Threading enables multiple threads to run on each physical CPU core. Intel likens it to going from a one lane highway to a two lane highway, which allows more traffic to go through. In a system equipped with a processor that supports Hyper-Threading, the Task Manager in Windows will show each thread working (when being utilized). So, a dual-core CPU will resemble a quad-core chip in the Power tab in Task Manager.

This is the first time that Intel has enabled Hyper-Threading on its budget Pentium chips. While not necessarily a game changer, the feature addition is a nice perk that adds value to an already low-cost processor line and boosts performance. It is also worth noting that these chips can play back 4K resolution and 10-bit content. That gives them an edge over the integrated graphics on Skylake.

As a reminder, Intel also threw a bone to overclockers on a budget by launching an unlocked Core i3 CPU based on Kaby Lake. The Core i3-7350K is a dual-core chip clocked at 4.2GHz with Hyper-Threading support, 4MB of cache, and an unlocked multiplier.