Which is the Best Processor for a Gaming PC

Photo Courtesy: Kin Lane

Intel launched the seventh generation Core i Processor, codenamed Kaby Lake. The Core i7 and Core i5 CPUs were launched first and soon after that the Core i3, Pentium and Celeron models. The processor has small changes as compared to the sixth generation. The new video decoder for 4K video was improved with Speed Shift technology and support to Optane technology. There were four cores and had 3.5 GHz maximum clock. It is the most basic CPU of the new Core generation series.

In the Kaby Lake, the Core i5, there is a 3.0 GHz base clock, a 3.5 GHz turbo clock, 6 MB of L3 cache. TDP of 65W and a locked multiplier. It is manufactured under the 14nm process. The direct competitor of the Intel Core i5 7400 is Ryzen 5 1500X. The Core i5 was compared with the latest Core i5-6500, Core i5-7600K and Ryzen 5 1600X which are CPUs from a relatively high price range. The box of the CPU comes with a cooler, CPU itself, a manual and a case sticker. One the CPU chip, name and processor details are printed to make it recognizable. For the tests, GeForce GTX 1080 video card were used. During the benchmark sessions, the only variable was the CPU which was being tested and other configurations were kept same. The system was running on Windows 10 Home, motherboard was ASRock X370 Taichi and Gigabyte AORUS Z270X-Gaming 7, 16 GB DDR4, Video card was GeForce GTX 1080, Philips 236VL monitor and power supply from Corsair VS500 was used.

The error margin was set to be at 3%. Which means that differences below 3% cannot be considered relevant. The products with a performance difference below 3% were considered having the similar performance. PCMark 8 is a benchmarking software which takes real-world applications to measure the computer performance. To test the settings, three tests were performed. First was Home. It included web browsing, writing, light gaming, photo editing and video chat tests. Second was Creative which included web surfing, video editing, group video chat, video conversion and gaming. The third was Work, it performs tasks like writing documents, web browsing, spreadsheets, editing, and video chatting.

In the tests for Home benchmark, Core i5-7400 performed just like Core i5-6500 and was 12% slower than the Core i5-7600K and 10% slower than Ryzen 5 1600X. For creative benchmark, it was similar to Core i5-6500. It was 12% and 13% slower than Core i5-7600K and Ryzen 5 1600X respectively. For the Work benchmark test, the Core i5-7400 performed similar to Core i6-6500 and was 10% slower than Core i5-7600K and 6% slower than Ryzen 5 1600X. For a budget gaming computer, both the Core i5-6400 and the Core i5-6500 are great CPUs and perform truly well. The Core i5-6400 has a lower cost to benefit ratio than the Core i3-6100 because of its low clock rate. This problem was solved in the Core i5-7400 which has a higher clock than the Core i5-6500 and makes it perform like the Core i5-6500 and costs less.