Intel Core i5 Gaming PCs
Are you a hard-core gamer looking to buy a high-performing and reliable PC? The computers with Intel i5 processors guarantee the ultra-fast speed at an affordable price while you enjoy playing your favorite games.
Do you want to know about the features and specifications of an Intel Core i5 gaming PC to elevate your gaming experience? Keep reading.
An i5 gaming PC is an all-in-one computer featuring a higher clock and more cores to support modern games.
Why Do You Need an Intel Core i5 Gaming PC?
Before discussing how to buy a budget i5 gaming PC, let’s briefly understand the importance of the CPU among the rest of the computer components.
A CPU is one of the most crucial PC components for gaming, streaming, and frame rates. Not only that, but a high-performing processor impacts different scalable gaming settings, such as destruction physics, crowd animation, and draw distance. Hence, you require a heavy-duty processor to play advanced games.
Developed by none other than Intel, core i5 is a processor, mostly available as dual-core or quad-core. Intel released the first-ever i5 processor in September 2009. Furthermore, Intel continues to release new generations of the i5 processors.
The good news is that you can find a core i5 processor at multiple speeds from 1.90 GHz up to 3.80 GHz. Furthermore, the processor features 3MB, 4MB, and 6MB of cache to effectively manage different tasks. Lastly, it utilizes LGA 1154 or LGA 1150 sockets available on the motherboard.
Other Intel Core i5 processor features include Turbo Boost, integrated memory controller, hyper-threading, optane memory, and thermal monitoring technology.
In a nutshell, the Intel i5 processor is a one-for-all and all-for-one mainstream and mid-range processor designed to handle and manage different computing tasks, including gaming and video editing.
While buying gaming computers, it’s essential to interpret the series of the processor. You can find various Intel i5 processor lines in the market, such as U, HQ, M, and H.
Here, U means ultra-low power. This type of Core i5 processor is indeed super-fast and features hyper-threading. However, it can’t compete with the i5 HQ and H series.
The U processors support two and four cores as well as hyperthreading. As a result, these processors offer twice the number of threads to support multi-tasking.
M or Y Series
These processor series consume less power and offer enhanced battery life. Generally speaking, these processors work perfectly with ultrabooks, thanks to their compact design and ultra-thin construction.
Nonetheless, these processors can efficiently multitask while running basic computer applications.
HQ or H Series
HQ stands for high-performance graphics along with four cores, while the latest H-line processor offers optimized performance for mobile devices. However, these processor lines are found in laptops only.
Quad-core i5 processors offer more cache memory and an increased clock rate than the U Intel processors.
The Intel Core i5 processor comes in different generations, from 5th to 10th. Intel released the 11th generation in September 2020 for laptop-grade processors.
For instance, the 10th generation is undoubtedly better in battery life, functionality, and graphics quality than the earlier ones.
Intel has significantly improved the 6th Gen Core i5 gaming PC compared to the 5th Gen in terms of speed and graphics due to differences in architecture.
However, there is a slight improvement from the 6th to 7th generation. Therefore, if you want to select a 6th or 7th Gen Intel Core i5 gaming PC, it’s best to go for the 6th Generation at a cheaper rate.
Lucky for you, there is substantial improvement in performance in 8th and 9th Gen Intel processors compared to 6th and 7th Generation.
You must be wondering about the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Generations. You should never buy the 1st till 4th generation processor models as they are quite slow. As a result, they won’t be able to run the latest games.
Furthermore, the latest 8th and 9th generations are the most popular and powerful generations among the Intel core i5 processors.
How to Select Intel i5 Gaming PC?
You can find several budget i5 gaming PCs in the market. First, however, it’s essential to consider the following must-have features in a cheap Intel i5 gaming PC that matches your gaming requirements.
Interpreting Intel i5 Gaming Processor Names
You often find the processor's name as Intel Core i5-7600K on the specifications of gaming PCs. But, what does it mean?
The first letter seven means it's an Intel 7th Generation processor. Furthermore, the suffix K means the process comes with an overclocking feature.
Let’s take another example of Intel Core i5-11600K. It’s essentially an 11th Generation processor with performance number 600 unlocked for overclocking.
Similarly, you’ll also find the following suffixes with Intel core processor’s names:
- U - Ultra-low power
- T - optimized for desktop computing tasks
- Q - Four physical cores
- K - The processor can be overclocked
- H - high-performing graphics
- S - powerful, special edition processor
- G(X) - X refers to the higher performance of the integrated GPU on 10th Gen Intel processor
- F - The processor doesn’t come with an integrated GPU
- HK - Unlocked for overclocking and high-powered
Hence, we can conclude that Intel i5-10600K will offer better performance compared to the i5-9600 based on the naming convention discussed above.
As the name suggests, it’s the speed of the i5 processor cores in Gigahertz. Clock speed refers to the number of cycles a processor executes within a second. The general rule of thumb is that the higher the clock speed per core, the faster the processor is.
Usually, the cloud speed substantially decreases in the following two scenarios:
- The PC becomes hot
- During regular computer tasks which don’t require higher speeds.
The Intel integrated overclocking feature facilitates the i5 processor to run faster than the base clock speed. If you can find the letter K as a suffix in the processor name, you can overclock the CPU.
The Core i5 processor has a 2.7 GHz of base clock speed which you can turbo boost up to4.5 GHz, which is impressive.
However, you should know that overclocking the processor isn’t healthy as it overheats the system, or at worse, the processor can melt. Therefore, hard-core gamers pay special attention to installing external cooling systems while streaming online gameplay.
The good news is that the Intel i5 processor uses multithreading technology to perform two tasks simultaneously. Hyperthreading essentially allocated different threads to different tasks to efficiently manage the CPU load.
Generally speaking, hyperthreading improves the performance of multithreaded tasks, allowing the cores to process two threads at one time instead of one. Hence, there can be two virtual threads for a single physical core.
For example, the Intel i5 core runs the latest video games smoothly with four to six physical cores and twice virtual threads.
The primary reason behind getting more cores and threads is to live-stream the gameplay. Obviously, such tasks require a multi-core and multi-threaded Core i5 processor.
You should know that an Intel i5 processor with four cores suffices your gaming requirements.
The power usage of the Core i5 processor depends on its speed. For instance, it uses only 11.5W of power at a slower speed ranging from 1.90GHz to 2.30GHz.
Similarly, the processor requires 15W, 25W, 28W, or 37W of power at medium speeds from 2.60GHz to 3.10GHz. Lastly, it uses 35W, 37W, 45W, 47W, 65W, or 84W of power at faster speeds of 3.2GHz to 3.80GHz.
Core i3 vs Core i5 Gaming
If you are a mainstream user who prioritizes performance and speed, an Intel i5 gaming processor is a perfect option. A Core i5 processor offers a relatively larger cache than Core i3 to process repetitive tasks less quickly.
Similarly, it’s essential to understand that core i7 and i9 aren’t suitable for gaming as they are designed for processor-intensive tasks, such as production work, designing, and video editing.
You don’t need to spend a hefty amount buying a core i7 processor with six and eight cores for casual gaming. However, you can invest in the latest i7 and i9 processors to futureproof the gaming computers if you have enough budget to afford them.
As a result, a higher generation Core i5 PC with multi-cores is an optimal and affordable choice for gaming enthusiasts.
Which Intel i5 Processor Is Best for Gaming?
Once you understand the naming conventions and other features of the Intel i5 processor, it’s better to opt for the processor with the suffix K if you are a gaming consumer. It’s a relatively powerful processor which you can overclock when required.
For gaming purposes, it’s better to avoid the power-efficient processor variants as Intel clocks them down to conserve energy and battery.
Shopping for a laptop or PC to play games is undoubtedly challenging. Therefore, it’s important to consider the type of processor that meets your gaming requirements and other workloads.
Most PC games don’t need more than six physical processing cores for smooth running. That’s why it’s best to select the latest generation Intel i5 gaming PC that doesn’t cost you a fortune.