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Is Core I5 Enough For Gaming?

The best gaming CPU does not have to be the most costly. Today, you can get a CPU at a reasonable price. That’s true, even in this economy. With intel’s new release of the Core i9 series as a bit of an expensive let-down, you may wonder if the more affordable Core i5 CPUs would be enough for gaming?

The Intel Core i5 CPU is designed for mainstream consumers that value performance, speed, and graphics. The Core i5 is capable of handling most jobs, even demanding to the game. If you are looking for an excellent CPU for AAA games, the Core i5 CPUs are more than capable of an excellent GPU.

The reality is that when it comes to major AAA games that demand graphics, your GPU would be doing all the heavy lifting. However, depending on the game’s system requirements, CPUs play an essential role. With that said, is the Core i5 just enough for gaming, or is it the sweet spot?

The Best CPUs For PC Gaming 2021

One of the best ways to determine if the Core i5 series stands a chance of being a capable gaming CPU is by identifying where it stands in the world’s top gaming CPUs in 2021. That way, you can quickly eliminate any doubt you might have had as you dig further into specs on other ranges of i5 processes.

After a long period of not purchasing the processor you desire, you should be able to get your pick of the lot. There have even been real discounts on some of the most powerful processors. I know, it’s shocking.

The Ryzen 9 5900X and much of AMD’s current outstanding Zen 3 processors are my favorite CPUs since they provide the best performance and cost.

The launch of Intel’s Rocket Lake processors has resulted in a slew of CPUs of various quality, with the top Core i9 series being a bit of a splurge, while the less powerful Core i5 11600K offering the best value for money I’ve seen in Intel CPUs.

Here are the top three CPUs for your 2021 gaming rig:

AMD Ryzen 9 5900X

Specs:

  • Cores: 12
  • Threads: 24
  • Base Clock: 3.7 GHz
  • Boost Clock: 4.8 GHz
  • Overclocking: Yes
  • L3 Cache: 64 MB
  • TDP: 105 W
  • PCIe 4.0 lanes: 20

AMD’s Zen architecture has gotten better with each iteration, but the fact that Zen 3 saw a 19 percent increase in IPC is nothing short of amazing. The most important lesson for us as gamers is that this advancement implies AMD can now compete with Intel in gaming.

There’s so little difference between these two now that anyone who claims otherwise is insane. This CPU can handle whatever resolution you’re gaming at and feed your graphics card with a steady stream of frames. It is a 12-core, 24-thread beast, which means it can handle whatever else you throw at it.

So, if you’ve ever fantasized about doing 3D rendering, video editing, or any other significant activity, you’ll know you’ve got the raw grunt to do it. It’s even better because it won’t slow you down when you’re gaming.

The only significant drawback is the price and the loss of the Wraith cooler, which you should keep in mind while purchasing. However, you get what you pay for, and this is an excellent chip for gaming and whatever else you want to do.

The Ryzen 9 5950X, with 16 cores and 32 threads, is a good option if you’re looking for maximum performance. However, it costs $250 more, and the 5900X is more than adequate for gaming and even most content creation tasks.

Check it out on Amazon.

$519.00
$569.99
in stock
59 new from $519.00
1 used from $492.00
as of October 31, 2021 9:22 pm
Amazon.com

Intel Core i5 11600K

Specs:

  • Cores: 6
  • Threads: 12
  • Base clock: 3.9 GHz
  • Turbo clock: 4.9 GHz (single-core)
  • Overclocking: Yes, 4.9 GHz typical all-core.
  • L3 cache: 12 MB
  • TDP: 125 W
  • PCIe 4.0 lanes: 20

My favorite chip from the new Rocket Lake generation is the Core i5 11600K, which seems like a throwback to the old days of Intel CPU introductions. The top CPU was always a good halo product, but it was the i5 that indeed sold a new generation on price/performance criteria.

Okay, the 11900K is a troublesome chip, so it’s not a complete return to the past, but the 11600K is still a great six-core, 12-thread gaming CPU.

It’s also extraordinarily cheap, with a price that’s substantially below that of the Ryzen 5 5600X and performance numbers that put it in direct competition with AMD’s generally superb Zen 3 processor.

The Cypress Cove 14nm backport may have made it power-hungry, but it doesn’t stop it from being a great gaming CPU and one that offers a lot of processing silicon for a low price.

On Intel 500-series motherboards, PCIe 4.0 functionality is also available. However, that is of doubtful usefulness at the time, as my testing with compatible PCIe 4.0 SSDs has not gone smoothly. That will hopefully improve in the future, but this is one of the greatest low-cost gaming CPUs available for now.

Check it out on Amazon.

AMD Ryzen 7 5600X

Specs:

  • Cores: 6
  • Threads: 12
  • Base Clock: 3.7 GHz
  • Boost Clock: 4.6 GHz
  • Overclocking: Yes
  • L3 Cache: 32 MB
  • TDP: 65 W
  • PCIe 4.0 lanes: 20

Everything fantastic about the 5900X gaming is also true for this more cheap Zen 3 chip. There’s no difference between any of the Ryzen 5000 CPUs in games, so you’ll get the same frame rates with this chip as with our top selection.

When you think about it, top-tier performance with the cheapest Zen 3 CPU is astounding. Every single day, we’ll say yes to it. With six cores and 12 threads, this chip has half the core count of the top chip. However, this is mainly an issue with the most significant workloads; this is more than enough for more everyday tasks. You might argue that gaming may go beyond the current 12-thread limit, but there’s little proof that this is the case so far, even though next-gen consoles will have 8-cores and 16-threads.

With six cores and 12 threads, this chip has half the core count of the top chip. However, this is mainly an issue with the most significant workloads; this is more than enough for more ordinary tasks.

You might argue that gaming may go beyond the current 12-thread limit, but there’s little proof that this is the case so far, although next-gen consoles will have 8-cores and 16-threads.

Check it out on Amazon.

$386.66
$449.00
in stock
89 new from $373.99
1 used from $399.99
as of October 31, 2021 9:22 pm
Amazon.com

Conclusion

The Core i5 series are immaculate and ideal for a gaming PC. As seen, the Core i5 11600K is placed second from a selection of websites like IGN and PC Gamer, forums such Reddit, Quora, and as a gamer using an Intel i5 6700K myself.

For the more affordable alternative to the Ryzen 9 series CPUs, the Core i5 shines as the cheaper alternative in second place as the best CPU for gaming right now in 2021, hitting the sweet spot.

References

David Sacks

I have worked in the IT industry since 2011 and have been an avid gamer my whole life. My first consoles were the sega genesis and the Nintendo SNES. I play both console and PC games, I love both. I decided to become combine my passion for gaming with my passion for writing.

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