I have been searching around and comparing specifications to build a budget gaming PC. On the Intel site, i have been comparing CPUs and I noticed that the I3 CPUs, while only having 2 physical cores as usual, have 4 threads, meaning that they are hyper threaded. But with the I5 CPUs on the other hand, they have 4 physical cores and 4 threads, meaning that they are not hyper threaded, which is kinda weird for intel to hyper thread the I3s and I7s but not the I5s. As common knowledge, virtual cores (made by hyper threading) are of course, less powerful than physical cores. but the I3 CPUs also have significantly more clock speed, with the I3 CPUS varying between 3.3 and 3.9 GHz, and the I5 CPUs between 2.7 and 3.3 GHz (discounting K CPUs).

I would like to which CPU is faster (in gaming and everyday computing performance): the I3-6100 or the I5-6500 at double the price. While pricing may suggest that I5-6500 is more powerful (you get what you pay for), the specifications shows that the I3-6100 has the same number of threads but significantly higher clock speed (overwhelming the inefficiency caused by virtual cores), suggesting that it is more powerful (the I3-6100 has 4 MB of cache while the I5-6500 has 6 MB of cache, but cache sizes doesn't affect performance very much, do they?). Or is there something wrong in my logic? And if there is indeed an error with my logic, could someone please correct it?

  • 1
    The Hyper Threading isn't of nearly as much benefit as having the extra cores. Besides, the i5's have Turbo Boost so they can run at similar clock speeds to the i3's under the right conditions. Plus there are differences in cache size etc. – James P Aug 27 '16 at 8:34
  • Linus Tech Tips just did a buyers guide for Intel CPU's, check that out if you need more info. youtube.com/watch?v=toZ_t88bPBU – JustDenDimi Aug 27 '16 at 10:09
  • @justdedimi i already watched that video already, and no, i don't have the ability to buy which ever cpu on the market. i am only limited to intel 6th gen cpu because the stupid nationwide reseller doesn't sell last gen cpu, despite them still being relatively up to date on performance and price. – MassiveFire Aug 27 '16 at 11:05

According to this CPU benchmark site, the i3 is slightly faster in single core benchmarks (+4 – 7%, for average use and peak overclocking) but the i5 is significantly faster (+31 – 32% for all dual and quad core average use and peak overclocking) in all the multicore benchmark tests. I won’t comment about which one you should get based on price-to-performance ratios, but to just answer your main question about which processor is faster, I think it’s fair to say that the i5 is overall the faster processor.

| improve this answer | |

As you mentioned gaming the i5 is the one you want. Extra cache and extra cores will result in much higher speeds. If you are not on a complete budget then I would say it is worth it to invest in the i5.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.