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The Intel Core i5 series is among the most popular of the Intel Core line, thanks to its excellent overall price/performance ratio. i5 processors are especially popular among gamers, who don’t typically need things like i7s to push the highest framerates in their games, which generally are more GPU-dependent.
If the i3 series is the entry to the mid-range, the i5 goes from midrange to entry-level high-range, depending on the generation and the specific processor you’re buying. Generally boasting four or more cores, integrated graphics, and overall better performance than their i3 counterparts, the i5 series is great for mid-range gaming PCs.
Below, we’ll dive into more detail and tell you everything you need to know.
The Intel Core i5 series tend to flourish in the following scenarios:
Meanwhile, the i5 may fall short in the following scenarios:
The Intel Core i5-12600K will be an excellent option if you need a processor capable of elevating your gaming experience. This 12th Generation processor has a total of ten cores, six of which are performance cores, while the other four are efficiency cores. It also has sixteen threads. You can rest assured that the CPU can handle many popular games and will also be powerful enough for those who like multitasking. Your games will run smoothly thanks to the CPU’s hyper-threading architecture. You won’t have to do any soldering when putting the processor on the PCB because of its LGA-1700 socket. The Intel Core i5-12600K features a base speed of 3.7 GHz, but its maximum boost clock reaches 4.9 GHz. Its total Intel Smart Cache is 20MB, its L2 Cache is 9.5MB, and its processor base power is 125W. The processor is power-efficient because of the Intel 7 Architecture, which features enhanced microarchitecture and performance per watt. People who value graphics and visual quality will like this CPU because of its built-in Intel UHD graphics. The CPU supports DDR5 and PCIe Gen 5 for those who are fond of top-notch graphics ad memory.
If you find the Intel Core i5-12600K too pricey, the Intel Core i5-11600K would be your next best option. It is an eleventh Generation Intel Core processor which was initially released in 2021. It features six cores and twelve threads. The processor’s base frequency is 3.90 GHz, while its maximum turbo frequency is 4.90 GHz. The CPU has a 12 MB Intel Smart Cache, and its bus speed is around 8 GT/s. It supports DDR4-3200 memory and can accommodate up to 128GB. The processor comes with integrated Intel UHD Graphics 750, with a base frequency of 350 MHz and a maximum graphics dynamic frequency of 1.30 GHz. Those who like high-quality gaming will benefit from this CPU because it supports 4K at 60Hz. The Intel Core i5-11600K features technologies like Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology, Thermal Monitoring Technologies, and Intel Identity Protection Technology. A thermal solution for the CPU isn’t included yet, so you will have to invest in your own cooler since it can get really hot. Customers should also be aware that this processor isn’t the most power-efficient option on the market.
For those who don’t mind if they don’t have the latest processors available, you can opt for the Intel Core i5-10600K. This CPU, launched in 2020, will cost you around $203 in 2022, and you can get it bundled with a motherboard if you have extra cash to spare. The processor features six cores and twelve threads. It has a base frequency of 4.10 GHz, but its Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 brings its maximum turbo frequency to 4.80 GHz. It features a 12 MB Intel Smart Cache with a bus speed of 8 GT/s. The CPU supports up to 128GB DDR4-2666 memory and a maximum of two memory channels. Its maximum memory bandwidth, on the other hand, is 41.6 GB/s. The Intel Core i5-10600K comes with Intel UHD Graphics 630, and you can enjoy 4K gaming at 60Hz. It features Intel’s Quick Sync Video, InTru 3D Technology, Clear Video HD Technology, and Clear Video Technology. While some processors have limitations with how many displays you can use, this CPU would work for people with a triple display setup. The processor is compatible with Intel 400 series motherboards.
The Intel Core i5-10400 would be the best option for those with a tight budget. This CPU was released in May 2020, and you can get it for $159 in 2022. It’s ideal for gamers on a budget, but you can’t expect it to match the power you get from its more expensive rivals. The processor has six cores and twelve threads. Its base frequency is 2.9 GHz, while its turbo boost frequency reaches 4.3 GHz. It has a bus frequency of 100 MHz and an 8 GT/s bus bandwidth. It has Intel UHD Graphics 630 integrated, but you might still want a dedicated GPU if you prioritize your game’s visual performance. The CPU supports up to 128GB of DDR4-2666 memory, and its maximum memory bandwidth is 41.6 GB/s. What’s fantastic about this processor is that it already comes with a cooler. It supports Intel Optane Memory and will work with Intel 400 series motherboards. Sadly, this CPU still can’t match the speed offered by its counterparts from AMD.
Another excellent option that’s on the more budget-friendly side is the Intel Core i5-9400. This processor has six cores and six threads. It comes with Intel UHD Graphics 630 and will work with Intel 300 Series chipsets. This chip was originally released in 2019 and has since been discontinued. You can still find stock of it on Amazon, and it will cost you about $183.85. The processor’s base frequency is 2.90 GHz, but it can reach 4.10 GHz thanks to its Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0. It features a 9 MB Intel Smart Cache and a bus speed of 8 GT/s. The CPU is compatible with DDR4-2666 memory with a maximum size of 128 GB. It supports Intel Optane Memory, Clear Video Technology, Clear Video HD Technology, InTru 3D Technology, and Quick Sync Video. You can use this processor with up to three displays, and it supports a maximum resolution of 4K at 60 Hz.
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