Select any two CPUs for comparison
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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Core i3-8130U 2-Core 2.2GHz Core i5-3230M 2.6GHz
Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord 165% 213%
Doom Eternal 134% 176%
Call of Duty Warzone 46% 72%
Cyberpunk 2077 67% 97%
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Remastered 61% 54%
Resident Evil 3 Remake 84% 117%
Half-Life: Alyx 111% 149%
Grand Theft Auto VI 186% 237%
Microsoft Flight Simulator 111% 149%
One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 92% 127%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core i3-8130U 2-Core 2.2GHz is significantly better than the Intel Core i5-3230M 2.6GHz 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 i3-8130U 2-Core was released over three years more recently than the Core i5-3230M 2.6GHz, and so the Core i3-8130U 2-Core is likely to have far better levels of support, and will be much more optimized and ultimately superior to the Core i5-3230M 2.6GHz 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 i3-8130U 2-Core and the Core i5-3230M 2.6GHz 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 i3-8130U 2-Core and the Core i5-3230M 2.6GHz may still be able to run slightly older games fairly effectively.

Both the Intel Core i3-8130U 2-Core 2.2GHz and the Intel Core i5-3230M 2.6GHz have the same number of threads. Both the Core i3-8130U 2-Core and the Core i5-3230M 2.6GHz use hyperthreading. The Core i3-8130U 2-Core has 2 logical threads per physical core and the Core i5-3230M 2.6GHz 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 i3-8130U 2-Core and Core i5-3230M 2.6GHz 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 i5-3230M 2.6GHz 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 .

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 i3-8130U 2-Core and the Core i5-3230M 2.6GHz have the same L2 cache size, but the Core i3-8130U 2-Core has a 1 MB bigger L3 cache, so in this area, it wins out over the Core i5-3230M 2.6GHz.

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 i3-8130U 2-Core has a 20 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Core i5-3230M 2.6GHz, and was created with a 8 nm smaller manufacturing technology. What this means is the Core i3-8130U 2-Core will consume slightly less power and consequently produce less heat, enabling more prolonged computational tasks with fewer adverse effects. This will lower your yearly electricity bill slightly, as well as prevent you from having to invest in extra cooling mechanisms (unless you overclock).

The Core i3-8130U 2-Core and the Core i5-3230M 2.6GHz 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 CodenameKaby LakeIvy Bridge
MoBo SocketFC-BGA1356BGA 1023
Notebook CPUyesyes
Release Date30 Mar 201820 Jan 2013
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores2vs2
CPU Threads4vs4
Clock Speed2.2 GHzvs2.6 GHz
Turbo Frequency3.4 GHzvs3.2 GHz
Max TDP15 Wvs35 W
Lithography14 nmvs22 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature125°Cvs105°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size128 KBvs128 KB
L2 Cache Size512 KBvs512 KB
L2 Cache Speed-vs-
L3 Cache Size4 MBvs3 MB
Max Memory Size-vs32 GB
Max Memory Bandwidth-vs25.6 GB/s
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

GraphicsIntel UHD Graphics 630Intel 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 Size42mm X 24mmvs37.5 X 37.5
Revision-vs-
PCIe Revision-vs3
PCIe Configurations-vs3

Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

CPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewThe Core i3-8130U 2-Core 2.2GHz is a mid-range laptop CPU based on an enhanced version of Intel's 7th Gen 14nm Kaby Lake microarchitecture. It offers 2 physical cores (4 logical), clocked at 2.2GHz, rising to 3.4GHz with Boost Clock enabled. It doesn't have an unlocked multiplier therefore it can't be overclocked using traditional methods. It has 4MB of L3 Cache. Level 3 cache is a static memory bank of a processor and it is used to feed it instructions. This processor also supports DDR4 based RAMs with maximum memory support of 32GB. It has a configurable Thermal Power Design, ranging from just 10W at 800MHz upto 25W for 1.8 GHz. It is on par with competitor processors. Among its many features are Intel Enhanced Speed Shift, HyperThreading, Turbo Boost 20, and Virtualization Technology. It integrates Intel UHD Graphics 620 on board. It has a base frequency of 300MHz which can go up to 1GHz as well as offering DirectX 12 support. This CPU is likely to offer below average computational performance and may suffer from performance dips in more demanding applications such as the latest AAA titles.Core i5-3230M 2.6GHz is a middle-class mobile processor based on the 22nm, Ivy Bridge architecture.

It offers 2 Physical Cores (4 Logical), initially clocked at 2.6GHz, which may go up to 3.2GHz 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

Intel Quick Sync VideoIntel Quick Sync Video
Intel InTru 3DIntel InTru 3D
Intel InsiderIntel Insider
Intel Wireless DisplayIntel Wireless Display
Intel Flexible DisplayIntel Flexible Display
Intel Clear Video HDIntel Clear Video HD
Intel vProIntel vPro
Intel Hyper-ThreadingIntel Hyper-Threading
Intel Virt. Tech. for Directed I/OIntel Virt. Tech. for Directed I/O
Intel Trusted ExecutionIntel Trusted Execution
AES New InstructionsAES New Instructions
Intel Anti-TheftIntel Anti-Theft
Idle StatesIdle States
Intel SpeedStepIntel SpeedStep
Thermal MonitoringThermal Monitoring
Execute Disable BitExecute Disable Bit
Intel VT-x with EPTIntel VT-x with EPT
Embedded OptionsEmbedded Options