The CPU is an essential part, basically the heart and soul, of a PC. A gaming PC requires maximum optimization and utilization of a CPU.
The first name that comes to your mind when you heard the word CPU is Intel. Intel currently offers a wide array of CPUs, but their most popular models are Intel i3, i5 and i7. But what is a CPU? How is its speed measured? Moreover, which one should you choose for gaming?
To put it off in simple words, the Intel i7 is the fastest of the batch and thus most expensive. The Intel i5 is the mainstream mid-tier CPU that is used by the majority of devices. The i3 is an entry-level CPU and is priced accordingly.
First of all, you must understand that the concept of core. A core is a basic unit that executes the commands within a CPU. It should be noted that the model number of the CPU does not refer to the number of its cores. However, an i7 is much faster than an i3. Currently, i3 comes with a dual-core while i5 and i7 CPUs come with both dual and quad-core. More cores equal to more utility.
The next thing you want to know about is the generation of the CPU. The generation refers to a newer model. It is quite easy to make out the generation of a CPU. For example, the Intel Core i3-5200 belongs to the 5th generation of Intel cores. The Intel Core i5-7500 belongs to the 7th generation of Intel cores and so on. It is worth noting that the newer generation of Intel processors will not support Windows 7.
A CPU’s clock speed rate is a measure of how many clock cycles, the number of oscillations, a CPU can perform per second. For example, a 1.8 GHz CPU can perform 1,800,000,000 clock cycles per second. The i3 comes in a range of 2.4-3.6GHz, the i5 in 3.0-3.4GHz and the i7 in 2.0-3.5GHz.
Another important thing you should know about is the cache size of the CPU, which as important as ram in determining the speed of your system. The i7 offers highest cache memory of 8Mb; the next is i5 which provides cache sizes between 4-6Mb and the i3 ranks at last at 3-4Mb.
So which CPU you should use for gaming?
If you’re looking forward to playing casual games like Rocket League, Counter-Strike, Dota 2 or any older games like GTA Vice City, i3 should be ideal for you. You can easily bag the 8th gen i3 for about $140-$150.
However, if want optimum uninterrupted gaming performance, i7 will suit you the most. The demanding games such as Witcher 3, Far Cry 5 and Call of Duty Balck Ops 4 will make the best use of it. However, it is going to set you back on money. An 8th gen i7 processor will cost you about $350.
The CPU option for a powerful gaming set-up is an i5. An 8th gen core i5 is comparatively quite affordably priced at around $250 and will run almost all the titles smoothly.
It should be well noted that although a CPU is an integral part of a gaming set-up, the performance can be significantly affected by the ram and graphics card.