Select any two CPUs for comparison
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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game APU A8-5550M Quad-Core Core i5-3210M 2.5GHz
Hitman 3 304% 147%
Cyberpunk 2077 200% 84%
Assassins Creed: Valhalla 304% 147%
Resident Evil 8 233% 104%
FIFA 21 181% 72%
Grand Theft Auto VI 393% 202%
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War 191% 78%
Genshin Impact 127% 39%
Far Cry 6 374% 190%
The Medium 415% 215%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core i5-3210M 2.5GHz is massively better than the AMD APU A8-5550M Quad-Core 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 APU A8-5550M Quad-Core was released less than a year after the Core i5-3210M 2.5GHz, and so they are likely to have similar levels of support, and similarly optimized performance when running the latest games.

The APU A8-5550M Quad-Core has 2 more cores than the Core i5-3210M 2.5GHz. With 4 cores, the APU A8-5550M Quad-Core is much less likely to struggle with the latest games, or bottleneck high-end graphics cards when running them.

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 APU A8-5550M Quad-Core and Core i5-3210M 2.5GHz 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 i5-3210M 2.5GHz has a 0.4 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 APU A8-5550M Quad-Core.

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 APU A8-5550M Quad-Core has a 3584 KB bigger L2 cache than the Core i5-3210M 2.5GHz, and although the APU A8-5550M Quad-Core does not appear to have an L3 cache, its larger L2 cache means that it wins out in this area.

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.

Both the APU A8-5550M Quad-Core and the Core i5-3210M 2.5GHz have the same TDP of 35 Watts, but the Core i5-3210M 2.5GHz has a lower lithography size, and so will affect your yearly electricity bills less adversely.

The Core i5-3210M 2.5GHz has an on-board GPU, which means that it will be capable of running basic graphics applications (i.e., games) without the need for a dedicated graphics card. The APU A8-5550M Quad-Core, however, does not, and you will probably have to look for a dedicated card if you wish to use it at all.

For in-depth GPU comparisons with the Intel HD Graphics 4000 Mobile, click on the following GPU overview comparison icon (visible throughout Game-Debate), and choose a GPU from the list to compare against:

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 CodenameRichlandIvy Bridge
MoBo SocketSocket FS1BGA 1023
Notebook CPUyesyes
Release Date12 Mar 201303 Jun 2012
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores4vs2
CPU Threads-vs4
Clock Speed2.1 GHzvs2.5 GHz
Turbo Frequency-vs3.1 GHz
Max TDP35 Wvs35 W
Lithography32 nmvs22 nm
Bit Width-vs64 Bit
Max Temperature-vs105°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size192 KBvs128 KB
L2 Cache Size4096 KBvs512 KB
L2 Cache Speed-vs-
L3 Cache Size-vs3 MB
Max Memory Size-vs32 GB
Max Memory Bandwidth-vs25.6 GB/s
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 4000 Mobile
Base GPU Frequency-vs650 MHz
Max GPU Frequency-vs1350 MHz
DirectX-vs11
Displays Supported-vs3
Comparison

CPU Package and Version Specifications

Package Size-vs37.5 x 37.5mm
Revision-vs3.0
PCIe Revision-vs3
PCIe Configurations-vs3

Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

CPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewAPU A8-5550M Quad-Core is a fast-middle-class mobile processor based on the 32nm, Richland micro-architecture.
It offers 4 Cores, initially clocked at 2.1GHz that go up to 3.1GHz, in Turbo Mode and 4MB of L2 Cache. It features integrated Graphics called Radeon HD 8550G which offer 256 Shader Processing Units and are substantially faster than previous Radeon HD 7640G. The max memory speed supported by the CPU is DDR3-1600. It consumes up to 35 Watt.
This CPU should only be paired with performance GPUs such as Radeon HD 7850M/GeForce GTX 660M.
Core i5-3210M 2.5GHz is a middle-class mobile processor based on the 22nm, Ivy Bridge architecture.

It offers 2 Physical Cores (4 Logical), initially clocked at 2.5GHz, which may go up to 3.1GHz and 3MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, Turbo Boost and Virtualization are activated and the processor has multiplier unlocked.

The processor integrates mildly powerful Graphics called Intel HD Graphics 4000, with 16 Execution Units, initially clocked at 650MHz and that go up to 1100MHz, 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 35W.

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

Vendor-Specific Features

AMD Power ManagementIntel Quick Sync Video
AMDBusiness ClassIntel InTru 3D
AMD Black EditionIntel Insider
Intel Wireless Display
Intel Flexible Display
Intel Clear Video HD
Intel vPro
Intel Hyper-Threading
Intel Virt. Tech. for Directed I/O
Intel Trusted Execution
AES New Instructions
Intel Anti-Theft
Idle States
Intel SpeedStep
Thermal Monitoring
Execute Disable Bit
Intel VT-x with EPT
Embedded Options