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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Core i7-6500U 2-Core 2.5GHz Core i7-4550U 2-Core 1.5GHz
Cyberpunk 2077 61% 93%
Assassins Creed: Valhalla 117% 160%
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War 56% 87%
FIFA 21 51% 81%
Microsoft Flight Simulator 82% 119%
Watch Dogs Legion 117% 160%
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands 150% 200%
Grand Theft Auto VI 165% 218%
Horizon: Zero Dawn 82% 119%
Genshin Impact 22% 46%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core i7-6500U 2-Core 2.5GHz is significantly better than the Intel Core i7-4550U 2-Core 1.5GHz 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 i7-6500U 2-Core was released over a year more recently than the Core i7-4550U 2-Core, and so the Core i7-6500U 2-Core is likely to have better levels of support, and will be more optimized for running the latest games.

The Core i7-6500U 2-Core and the Core i7-4550U 2-Core both have 2 cores, and so are quite likely to struggle with the latest games, or at least bottleneck high-end graphics cards when running them. With a decent accompanying GPU, the Core i7-6500U 2-Core and the Core i7-4550U 2-Core may still be able to run slightly older games fairly effectively.

Both the Intel Core i7-6500U 2-Core 2.5GHz and the Intel Core i7-4550U 2-Core 1.5GHz have the same number of threads. Both the Core i7-6500U 2-Core and the Core i7-4550U 2-Core use hyperthreading. The Core i7-6500U 2-Core has 2 logical threads per physical core and the Core i7-4550U 2-Core has 2.

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 i7-6500U 2-Core and Core i7-4550U 2-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 i7-6500U 2-Core has a 1 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 i7-6500U 2-Core and the Core i7-4550U 2-Core have the same L2 cache size, and the same L3 cache size, so in terms of cache-related gaming performance, we have to look back to the clock rate, where the Core i7-6500U 2-Core wins out.

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 Core i7-6500U 2-Core and the Core i7-4550U 2-Core have the same TDP of 15 Watts, but the Core i7-6500U 2-Core has a lower lithography size, and so will affect your yearly electricity bills less adversely.

The Core i7-6500U 2-Core and the Core i7-4550U 2-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.

CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameSkylake-UHaswell
MoBo SocketBGABGA 1168
Notebook CPUyesyes
Release Date01 Sep 201502 Jun 2013
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores2vs2
CPU Threads4vs4
Clock Speed2.5 GHzvs1.5 GHz
Turbo Frequency3.1 GHzvs3 GHz
Max TDP15 Wvs15 W
Lithography14 nmvs22 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature100°Cvs100°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size128 KBvs128 KB
L2 Cache Size512 KBvs512 KB
L3 Cache Size4 MBvs4 MB
Max Memory Size-vs16 GB
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

GraphicsHD i7 6500UIntel HD Graphics 5000 Mobile
Base GPU Frequency300 MHzvs200 MHz
Max GPU Frequency1050 MHzvs1100 MHz
DirectX12.0vs11.1
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 i7-6500U 2-Core 2.5GHz is a Super Efficient, High-End Mobile Processor, based on the 14nm, Skylake MicroArchitecture.

It offers 2 Physical Cores (4 Logical), initially clocked at 2.5GHz, which may go up to 3.1GHz and 4MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, HyperThreading, Turbo Boost 2.0 and Virtualization are activated.

The Processor Integrates Powerful Graphics called Intel HD i7 6500U, with 24 Execution Units, initially clocked at 300MHz and that go up to 1050MHz, 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 15W.

It is a powerful processor whose performance is good. It's thus capable of running most applications smoothly without any problem.
Core i7-4550U 2-Core 1.5GHz is a super energy efficient mobile processor based on the 22nm, Haswell microarchitecture.

It offers 2 Physical Cores (4 Logical), initially clocked at 1.5GHz, which may go up to 3.0GHz and 4MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, HyperThreading, Turbo Boost and Virtualization are activated.

The processor integrates quite powerful Graphics called Intel HD Graphics 5000, with 20 Execution Units, initially clocked at 200MHz 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 15W.

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