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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Core i5-7600K 3.8GHz Core i3-3250T 3.0GHz
Red Dead Redemption 2 9% 144%
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 19% 81%
Cyberpunk 2077 7% 107%
Fortnite: Chapter 2 40% 34%
FIFA 20 22% 74%
The Outer Worlds 18% 165%
Borderlands 3 9% 144%
Need For Speed Heat 8% 106%
Star Wars: Jedi - Fallen Order 20% 169%
Zombieland: Double Tap - Road Trip 9% 144%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core i5-7600K 3.8GHz is massively better than the Intel Core i3-3250T 3.0GHz 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 i5-7600K 3.8GHz was released over three years more recently than the Core i3-3250T 3.0GHz, and so the Core i5-7600K 3.8GHz is likely to have far better levels of support, and will be much more optimized and ultimately superior to the Core i3-3250T 3.0GHz when running the latest games.

The Core i5-7600K 3.8GHz has 2 more cores than the Core i3-3250T 3.0GHz. With 4 cores, the Core i5-7600K 3.8GHz is much less likely to struggle with the latest games, or bottleneck high-end graphics cards when running them.

Both the Intel Core i5-7600K 3.8GHz and the Intel Core i3-3250T 3.0GHz have the same number of threads. The Core i5-7600K 3.8GHz has one thread per physical core, whereas the Core i3-3250T 3.0GHz 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 i5-7600K 3.8GHz and Core i3-3250T 3.0GHz 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 i5-7600K 3.8GHz has a 0.8 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 Core i5-7600K 3.8GHz 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 i5-7600K 3.8GHz has a 512 KB bigger L2 cache than the Core i3-3250T 3.0GHz, 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 i3-3250T 3.0GHz has a 60 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Core i5-7600K 3.8GHz. However, the Core i5-7600K 3.8GHz was created with a 8 nm smaller manufacturing technology. Overall, by taking both into account, the Core i3-3250T 3.0GHz is likely the CPU with the lower heat production and power requirements, by quite a wide margin.

The Core i3-3250T 3.0GHz 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 Core i5-7600K 3.8GHz, 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 2500 Desktop, 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 CodenameKaby LakeIvy Bridge
MoBo SocketLGA 1151LGA 1155/Socket H2
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date05 Jan 201709 Jun 2013
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores4vs2
CPU Threads4vs4
Clock Speed3.8 GHzvs3 GHz
Turbo Frequency4.2 GHzvs-
Max TDP95 Wvs35 W
Lithography14 nmvs22 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature-vs65°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size256 KBvs128 KB
L2 Cache Size1024 KBvs512 KB
L3 Cache Size6 MBvs3 MB
Max Memory Size-vs32 GB
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 2500 Desktop
Base GPU Frequency-vs650 MHz
Max GPU Frequency-vs-
DirectX-vs11
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 ReviewThe specific performance specs for this high end Intel CPU are still unconfirmed, but some benchmarks are starting to appear.
The Core i5-7600K 4-Core 3.8GHz is a high-end CPU based on the 14nm, Kaby Lake micro architecture. It offers 4 physical cores (8 logical), initially clocked at 3.8GHz, which may go up and 8MB of L3 Cache. Among its many features, HyperThreading, Turbo Boost 2.0 and Virtualization are activated and the processor has its multiplier unlocked. This CPU is likely to offer exceptional computational performance and will not be the bottleneck in any modern gaming PC. It will be able to play all modern games comfortably on high/ultra graphics performance without being a hindrance to the accompanying GPU.
Core i3-3250T 3.0GHz is a super energy efficient CPU based on the 22nm, Ivy Bridge architecture.

It offers 2 Physical Cores (4 Logical), clocked at 3.0GHz and 3MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, Turbo Boost and HyperThreading are activated.

The processor integrates relatively weak Graphics called Intel HD Graphics 2500, with 6 Execution Units, initially clocked at 650MHz 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 35W.

It is a powerful processor whose performance is good. It's thus capable of running most applications smoothly without any problem.

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