Intel Core i5-4690 3.5GHz
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Intel Core i7-2600S 4-Core 2.8GHz
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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Core i5-4690 3.5GHz Core i7-2600S 4-Core 2.8GHz

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core i5-4690 3.5GHz is massively better than the Intel Core i7-2600S 4-Core 2.8GHz 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 i5-4690 3.5GHz was released over three years more recently than the Core i7-2600S 4-Core, and so the Core i5-4690 3.5GHz is likely to have far better levels of support, and will be much more optimized and ultimately superior to the Core i7-2600S 4-Core when running the latest games.

Both CPUs exhibit very powerful performance, so it probably isn't worth upgrading from one to the other, as both are capable of running even the most demanding games at the highest settings (assuming they are accompanied by equivalently powerful GPUs).

The Core i5-4690 3.5GHz and the Core i7-2600S 4-Core both have 4 cores, which is not likely to be a limiting factor for gaming.

The Core i7-2600S 4-Core has 4 more threads than the Core i5-4690 3.5GHz. The Core i5-4690 3.5GHz has one thread per physical core, whereas the Core i7-2600S 4-Core 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 i5-4690 3.5GHz and Core i7-2600S 4-Core 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 i5-4690 3.5GHz has a 0.7 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 probably a good indicator that the is superior.

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 i5-4690 3.5GHz and the Core i7-2600S 4-Core have the same L2 cache size, but the Core i7-2600S 4-Core has a 2 MB bigger L3 cache, so in this area, it wins out over the Core i5-4690 3.5GHz.

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 i7-2600S 4-Core has a 19 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Core i5-4690 3.5GHz. However, the Core i5-4690 3.5GHz was created with a 10 nm smaller manufacturing technology. Overall, by taking both into account, the Core i5-4690 3.5GHz is likely the CPU with the lower heat production and power requirements, but there really isn't much in it.

The Core i5-4690 3.5GHz and the Core i7-2600S 4-Core 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.

Can I Run It

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CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameHaswellSandy Bridge
MoBo SocketLGA 1150LGA 1155/Socket H2
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date14 May 201409 Jan 2011
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores4vs4
CPU Threads4vs8
Clock Speed3.5 GHzvs2.8 GHz
Turbo Frequency3.9 GHzvs3.8 GHz
Max TDP84 Wvs65 W
Lithography22 nmvs32 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature100°Cvs69°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size256 KBvs256 KB
L2 Cache Size1024 KBvs1024 KB
L3 Cache Size6 MBvs8 MB
Max Memory Size-vs32 GB
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 4600 DesktopHD i7 2600S
Base GPU Frequency400 MHzvs850 MHz
Max GPU Frequency1250 MHzvs1350 MHz
DirectX11.1vs10.1
Displays Supported-vs-
Comparison

CPU Package and Version Specifications

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

Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

CPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewCore i5-4690 3.5GHz is a high-end CPU based on the 22nm, Haswell architecture.

It offers 4 Physical Cores (4 Logical), initially clocked at 3.5GHz, which may go up to 3.9GHz 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 i5-4670K there's an overall 3% performance boost. Its performance is exceptionally good and enough for even the most demanding applications.
Core i7-2600S 4-Core 2.8GHz is a power efficient CPU based on the 32nm, Sandy Bridge architecture.

It offers 4 Physical Cores (8 Logical), initially clocked at 2.8GHz, which may go up to 3.8GHz and 8MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, HyperThreading, Turbo Boost and Virtualization are activated.

The processor integrates weak Graphics called Intel HD i7 2600 (variant of Intel HD Graphics 2000), with 6 Execution Units, initially clocked at 850MHz and that go up to 1350MHz, 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 65W.

Compared to Core i7-2600K there's a 14% performance decrease. Its performance is very good and sufficient for any of today's games.

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