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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Core i5-4670 3.4GHz Core i3-540 3.06GHz
Red Dead Redemption 2 18% 191%
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 13% 115%
Cyberpunk 2077 0% 147%
Fortnite: Chapter 2 35% 60%
Need For Speed Heat 1% 146%
The Outer Worlds 28% 216%
Microsoft Flight Simulator 28% 216%
Zombieland: Double Tap - Road Trip 18% 191%
Borderlands 3 18% 191%
FIFA 20 16% 108%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core i5-4670 3.4GHz is massively better than the Intel Core i3-540 3.06GHz when it comes to running the latest games. This also means it will be less likely to bottleneck more powerful GPUs, allowing them to achieve more of their gaming performance potential.

The Core i5-4670 3.4GHz was released over three years more recently than the Core i3-540 3.06GHz, and so the Core i5-4670 3.4GHz is likely to have far better levels of support, and will be much more optimized and ultimately superior to the Core i3-540 3.06GHz when running the latest games.

The Core i5-4670 3.4GHz has 2 more cores than the Core i3-540 3.06GHz. With 4 cores, the Core i5-4670 3.4GHz is much less likely to struggle with the latest games, or bottleneck high-end graphics cards when running them.

Both the Intel Core i5-4670 3.4GHz and the Intel Core i3-540 3.06GHz have the same number of threads. The Core i5-4670 3.4GHz has one thread per physical core, whereas the Core i3-540 3.06GHz uses hyperthreading and has 2 logical threads per physical core.

Multiple threads are useful for improving the performance of multi-threaded applications. Additional cores and their accompanying thread will always be beneficial for multi-threaded applications. Hyperthreading will be beneficial for applications optimized for it, but it may slow others down. For games, the number of threads is largely irrelevant, as long as you have at least 2 cores (preferably 4), and hyperthreading can sometimes even hit performance.

More important for gaming than the number of cores and threads is the clock rate. Problematically, unless the two CPUs are from the same family, this can only serve as a general guide and nothing like an exact comparison, because the clock cycles per instruction (CPI) will vary so much.

The Core i5-4670 3.4GHz and Core i3-540 3.06GHz are not from the same family of CPUs, so their clock speeds are by no means directly comparable. Bear in mind, then, that while the Core i5-4670 3.4GHz has a 0.34 GHz faster frequency, this is not always an indicator that it will be superior in performance, despite frequency being crucial when trying to avoid GPU bottlenecking. In this case, however, the difference is enough that it possibly indicates the superiority of the Core i5-4670 3.4GHz.

Aside from the clock rate, the next-most important CPU features for PC game performance are L2 and L3 cache size. Faster than RAM, the more cache available, the more data that can be stored for lightning-fast retrieval. L1 Cache is not usually an issue anymore for gaming, with most high-end CPUs eking out about the same L1 performance, and L2 is more important than L3 - but L3 is still important if you want to reach the highest levels of performance. Bear in mind that although it is better to have a larger cache, the larger it is, the higher the latency, so a balance has to be struck.

The Core i5-4670 3.4GHz has a 512 KB bigger L2 cache than the Core i3-540 3.06GHz, which means that it, at worst, wins out in this area, and at best, will provide superior gaming performance and will work much better with high-end graphics cards.

The maximum Thermal Design Power is the power in Watts that the CPU will consume in the worst case scenario. The lithography is the semiconductor manufacturing technology being used to create the CPU - the smaller this is, the more transistors that can be fit into the CPU, and the closer the connections. For both the lithography and the TDP, it is the lower the better, because a lower number means a lower amount of power is necessary to run the CPU, and consequently a lower amount of heat is produced.

The Core i3-540 3.06GHz has a 11 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Core i5-4670 3.4GHz. However, the Core i5-4670 3.4GHz was created with a 10 nm smaller manufacturing technology. Overall, by taking both into account, the Core i5-4670 3.4GHz is likely the CPU with the lower heat production and power requirements, but there really isn't much in it.

The Core i5-4670 3.4GHz and the Core i3-540 3.06GHz both have an on-board GPU, which means that they will be capable of running basic graphics applications (i.e., games) without the need for a dedicated graphics card.

For an in-depth GPU comparison, click on the GPU comparison icon that you can find throughout Game-Debate:

On-board GPUs tend to be fairly awful in comparison to dedicated cards from the likes of AMD or Nvidia, but as they are built into the CPU, they also tend to be cheaper and require far less power to run (this makes them a good choice for laptops). We would recommend a dedicated card for running the latest games, but integrated GPUs are improving all the time and casual gamers may find less recent games perform perfectly acceptably.

CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameHaswellClarkdale
MoBo SocketLGA 1150LGA 1156/Socket H
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date04 Jun 201307 Jan 2010
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores4vs2
CPU Threads4vs4
Clock Speed3.4 GHzvs3.06 GHz
Turbo Frequency3.8 GHzvs-
Max TDP84 Wvs73 W
Lithography22 nmvs32 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature73°Cvs73°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size256 KBvs128 KB
L2 Cache Size1024 KBvs512 KB
L3 Cache Size6 MBvs4 MB
Max Memory Size-vs16 GB
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 4600 DesktopHD i3 540
Base GPU Frequency400 MHzvs733 MHz
Max GPU Frequency1250 MHzvs-
DirectX11.1vs10
Displays Supported-vs-
Comparison

CPU Package and Version Specifications

Package Size-vs-
Revision-vs-
PCIe Revision-vs-
PCIe Configurations-vs-

Gaming Performance Value

Battlefield 3vs
The Elder Scrolls Vvs
Grand Theft Auto IVvs
The Witcher IIvs
Crysis 3vs
Performance Value

CPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewCore i5-4670 3.4GHz is a performance CPU based on the 22nm, Haswell architecture.

It offers 4 Physical Cores (4 Logical), initially clocked at 3.4GHz, which may go up to 3.8GHz and 6MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, Turbo Boost and Virtualization are activated.

The processor integrates powerful Graphics called Intel HD Graphics 4600, with 20 Execution Units, initially clocked at 350MHz and that go up to 1200MHz, in Turbo Mode which share the L2 Cache and system RAM with the processor.
Both the processor and integrated graphics have a rated board TDP of 84W.

Compared to Core i5-3570K there's an overall 6% performance boost. Its performance is exceptionally good and enough for even the most demanding applications.
Core i3-540 3.06GHz is a middle-class CPU based on the 32nm, Nehalem architecture.

It offers 2 Physical Cores (4 Logical), clocked at 3.06GHz and 4MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, Turbo Boost and HyperThreading are activated.

The processor integrates very weak Graphics called Intel HD i3 540, with 12 Execution Units, clocked at 733MHz, which share the L2 Cache and system RAM with the processor.
Both the processor and integrated graphics have a rated board TDP of 73W.

It offers average performance. This means it will become a bottleneck in some demanding applications.

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