Should You Buy An i5 or i7 for Gaming PC in 2024

In the ever-evolving realm of gaming technology, choosing the right processor for your gaming PC is more crucial than ever. As 2024 ushers in new gaming frontiers, the debate between Intel’s Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs takes center stage for enthusiasts and casual gamers alike. This pivotal decision goes beyond mere brand loyalty or budget constraints; it delves into the heart of what makes a gaming experience truly exceptional.

Understanding the nuances of these two powerhouse processors is key to unlocking the full potential of your gaming rig. The i5 and i7, each with their distinct features and capabilities, cater to different gaming needs and priorities. Whether you’re chasing the adrenaline rush of high-end gaming or seeking a reliable setup for your favorite mainstream titles, the processor you choose can significantly impact your gaming journey.

In this comprehensive blog post, we dive deep into the intricacies of the i5 and i7 processors, dissecting their core counts, clock speeds, hyperthreading capabilities, and their roles in the grand scheme of gaming performance. Our aim is to guide you through this complex landscape, providing insights and recommendations tailored to your gaming aspirations and budget in 2024.

Join us as we explore what each processor has to offer, weigh the pros and cons, and ultimately help you make an informed decision that aligns with your gaming goals. Whether you’re building your dream gaming PC from scratch or upgrading your current setup, understanding the i5 vs. i7 debate is a critical step in crafting a gaming experience that is both exhilarating and future-proof.

Choosing the right CPU for your gaming PC goes beyond the typical i5 vs. i7 debate. It’s a decision that impacts your entire gaming experience, and several important factors come into play.

Performance Needs

Firstly, your gaming requirements dictate the kind of CPU you should opt for. Different games have varying demands. High-end AAA titles, for example, require more processing power compared to casual or older games. If you’re into multitasking, like streaming while gaming, you need a CPU that can handle multiple processes efficiently. This aspect is crucial because a processor that struggles under heavy loads can significantly degrade your gaming experience.

Clock Speed

To check the clock speed on Windows, open Task Manager, go to the Performance tab, and look under CPU. Photo via hitechgazette

Clock speed is another vital factor. It indicates how fast the CPU processes instructions. In gaming, every millisecond counts, so a higher clock speed can lead to quicker game responses and faster load times. However, it’s not just about speed. You need to balance clock speed with other features like core count and your overall budget. Sometimes, a slightly lower clock speed might be more than adequate for your gaming needs, especially when considered alongside other CPU features.

Core Count

To check the core count on Windows, open Task Manager, go to the Performance tab, and see the number of cores under CPU. Photo via pureinfotech

The number of cores in a CPU is also key. More cores generally mean better performance, especially in multitasking and running multi-threaded applications. But not all games are designed to utilize multiple cores effectively. This means that a higher core count may not always translate to better gaming performance. It’s important to consider the types of games you play and whether they can take advantage of a CPU with more cores.

Hyperthreading and Threading

Hyperthreading allows a CPU to handle more tasks at the same time. This can be a significant advantage in certain computing scenarios. However, its importance in gaming varies. Many modern games do not fully utilize hyperthreading. Therefore, while it’s a valuable feature, it’s not always a deal-breaker for gaming CPUs.

Thermal Design Power (TDP)

The TDP of a CPU shouldn’t be overlooked. It relates to the amount of heat generated and the power consumed by the CPU. A high TDP might necessitate more robust cooling solutions, impacting both your build’s complexity and its energy consumption. Ensure that your CPU’s TDP aligns with your cooling system’s capabilities to avoid overheating issues.

Future Proofing

Consider the longevity and upgradability of your CPU. Opting for a processor that won’t become outdated quickly is a wise choice, especially if you don’t plan to upgrade your system frequently. Also, ensure that your chosen CPU is compatible with your motherboard and other components, allowing for easier upgrades in the future.


Lastly, your budget plays a crucial role. It’s about finding the right balance between cost and performance. Mid-range CPUs can sometimes offer the best value for your needs, especially when they’re paired with other high-quality components. Remember, the most expensive CPU isn’t always the best option, particularly if it overshadows the cost of other crucial components like the GPU.

Selecting a CPU for your gaming PC is a decision that should be made after careful consideration of these factors. It’s not just about picking the most powerful or expensive processor. Instead, it’s about choosing a CPU that aligns with your specific gaming needs, your other system components, and your budget. This thoughtful approach ensures you get the most out of your gaming experience now and in the future.

As you embark on building or upgrading your gaming PC in 2024, a crucial decision looms: choosing between an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor. This choice significantly impacts your gaming experience, so let’s delve into the specifics to help you make an informed decision.

Intel’s Core i5 and i7 processors stand at the forefront of gaming capabilities, but they cater to different user needs. Here’s a breakdown:

Core Count: Typically, the i7 series boasts a higher core count than the i5. This means an i7 can handle more tasks simultaneously, enhancing overall performance. For instance, the i7-13700K, a top-rated gaming CPU as of 2023, features 8 cores and 16 threads, making it a powerhouse for demanding games​​.

Clock Speed: The i7 processors generally outpace i5s in terms of clock speed. A higher clock speed translates to quicker processing of gaming data, ensuring a smoother gaming experience. The i7’s higher base and turbo clock speeds are particularly beneficial in single-threaded tasks, which are common in many games​​.

Hyperthreading: This is where i7 chips really shine. Hyperthreading allows each core to handle two threads simultaneously, enhancing multitasking and complex applications’ performance. While older i5 models lack this feature, it’s a key differentiator for the i7, especially in multi-threaded environments​​.

Cache Size: i7 processors come with larger cache sizes. A bigger cache reduces the frequency of accessing slower system memory, thereby speeding up gaming and computing processes.

Integrated Graphics: Both i5 and i7 have integrated graphics, but the i7’s are slightly superior. This can be a deciding factor if you rely on integrated graphics for gaming.

Price: i7 CPUs are generally pricier than their i5 counterparts. If you’re budget-conscious but still seek a solid gaming experience, an i5 can be a great choice.


In this comprehensive analysis, we delve into the five most critical aspects to consider: core count, clock speed, hyperthreading capabilities, potential bottleneck issues, and, crucially, your budget. Each of these factors plays a pivotal role in determining the overall performance and suitability of a processor for your gaming needs. Whether you’re building a high-end gaming machine or a budget-friendly setup, understanding these key elements will empower you to make an informed choice. Join us as we dissect these factors, offering insights and guidance to help you decide whether an i5 or i7 is the right heart for your 2024 gaming PC.

a. Core Count and Gaming Performance

A processor’s core count directly impacts its ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously. The i7 typically offers more cores than the i5, providing an advantage in multitasking and overall performance. For instance, as seen in the i7-13700K, having 8 cores and 16 threads allows it to effortlessly manage demanding games and additional tasks like streaming​​.

However, it’s important to note that not all games fully utilize the potential of high core counts. Traditional gaming rarely demands more than four cores. Thus, an i5 processor, which usually has fewer cores compared to an i7, can still offer excellent gaming performance. This makes it a viable option for most standard gaming scenarios, providing a balance between performance and cost.

Matching Core Count with Gaming Needs

The type of games you play should guide your choice between an i5 or i7. For example:

Older and Entry-Level Games: These games have lower system requirements and typically run smoothly on processors with 2 to 4 cores. An i5 processor is more than adequate for such games.

Mid-Range Games: More demanding games may require processors with 4 to 8 cores for optimal performance. Here, an i5 can still perform well, but an i7 might provide a more seamless experience.

High-End AAA Games: The latest AAA titles often benefit from processors with higher core counts, like those found in i7 models. They can take advantage of the additional processing power to deliver higher frame rates and smoother gameplay.

The Future of Gaming and Core Count

As games continue to evolve, the trend towards utilizing more cores is likely to increase. Future games may start to leverage the additional cores in i7 processors more effectively, making them a more future-proof choice. However, for gamers focusing on current titles or those with a tighter budget, an i5 remains a strong contender.

In 2024, when deciding between an i5 or i7 for your gaming PC, consider your specific gaming needs and the types of games you play most. For most standard gaming experiences, an i5 offers excellent value and performance. If you’re aiming for high-end gaming or future-proofing your setup, the i7’s additional cores may provide the edge you need. Your processor choice is a pivotal decision in shaping your gaming experience, so weigh these factors to make the most informed decision for your gaming journey.

b. Clock Speed and Its Impact on Gaming PC

Clock speed, measured in gigahertz (GHz), indicates how many cycles a CPU can perform per second. Higher clock speeds translate to faster processing of instructions, a key factor in gaming. When comparing i5 and i7 processors, you’ll notice that i7s generally have higher base and turbo clock speeds​​.

The Impact on Gaming Performance

In gaming, every millisecond counts. A higher clock speed means quicker execution of game logic, physics, and AI computations. This results in smoother gameplay and faster frame rates, crucial for fast-paced games.

For single-threaded tasks, which are common in many gaming scenarios, the i7’s higher clock speeds offer a distinct advantage. This makes the i7 a preferable choice for gamers who prioritize high-performance gaming and seek to maximize every aspect of their gaming PC’s capabilities.

i5 or i7: Balancing Speed and Budget

While the i7 leads in terms of clock speed, it’s important to balance this advantage against your budget and gaming needs. The i5, with its slightly lower clock speeds, still offers ample performance for most games and is often more cost-effective. For gamers on a budget or those playing less demanding games, an i5 can be a smart choice, providing a solid gaming experience without overstretching your finances.

Future-Proofing Your Gaming PC

Looking ahead, the gaming industry continuously evolves, with games becoming more complex and demanding. An i7’s higher clock speed can be a valuable asset in future-proofing your gaming setup. It ensures that your PC remains capable of handling new, more demanding games as they emerge.

In summary, the decision between an i5 or i7 for your gaming PC in 2024 should consider clock speed, especially if you’re chasing top-tier gaming performance. An i7 offers the speed needed for the most demanding games and future titles, while an i5 provides a balanced, cost-effective solution for standard gaming needs. Remember, your processor is the heart of your gaming PC, so choose one that aligns with your gaming ambitions and budget.

c. Hyperthreading and Its Role in Gaming PC

Hyperthreading is a technology that allows each core of a processor to handle two tasks (threads) simultaneously. It’s designed to improve efficiency and performance in multitasking and complex computing tasks. Generally, i7 processors come equipped with this feature, giving them an edge in high-demand scenarios​​.

Hyperthreading in Gaming Scenarios

When it comes to gaming, the role of hyperthreading is nuanced. Most current games do not fully utilize hyperthreading, as they are often unable to efficiently distribute their loads across multiple threads. Consequently, the additional threads provided by an i7 may not translate into significant gaming performance improvements over an i5.

However, this doesn’t diminish the value of hyperthreading in other multitasking scenarios. If your gaming setup includes streaming, video editing, or running multiple applications simultaneously, an i7’s hyperthreading capability can enhance overall system responsiveness and performance.

Looking Towards the Future

The gaming industry is constantly evolving, with new games and technologies emerging regularly. While hyperthreading might not be a game-changer in current titles, future games might better utilize this technology. Choosing an i7 for your 2024 gaming PC could be a step towards future-proofing your setup, ensuring it stays relevant as game development techniques evolve.

i5 or i7: Making the Right Choice

Deciding between an i5 or i7 for your gaming PC involves considering your specific needs and usage patterns. If your gaming is predominantly single-threaded, or if you’re on a budget, an i5 should suffice. However, if you’re into heavy multitasking or wish to invest in a system that stays competent for future gaming titles, an i7 with hyperthreading might be the better choice.

In conclusion, while hyperthreading is an impressive feature in i7 processors, its impact on gaming is currently limited. It offers more benefits in multitasking scenarios than in gaming alone. As you decide between an i5 or i7 for your gaming PC in 2024, weigh the importance of current versus future gaming needs and multitasking requirements. This will ensure you choose a processor that aligns with your gaming ambitions and future proofs your investment.

A bottleneck in gaming occurs when one component (typically the CPU or GPU) limits the performance of the other, preventing the system from achieving its full potential. In simple terms, if the CPU can’t keep up with the GPU, or vice versa, the overall gaming performance suffers. This mismatch leads to underutilization of one component and can hinder the gaming experience.

How i5 and i7 Processors Influence Bottlenecking

When considering an i5 or i7 processor for your gaming PC, it’s essential to evaluate how they pair with your GPU. Generally, an i5 processor can handle most modern GPUs without causing a significant bottleneck, especially in standard gaming scenarios. This means that for many gamers, an i5 offers a balanced, cost-effective solution without compromising on performance.

On the other hand, an i7 processor, with its higher core count and faster clock speeds, is less likely to be a bottleneck, particularly when paired with high-end GPUs. This makes the i7 an ideal choice for top-tier gaming rigs or for users who plan to use GPU-intensive tasks such as 3D rendering or high-resolution video editing.

For example:
i5 Processor and Mid-Range GPU

Imagine pairing an Intel Core i5-11600K with an NVIDIA RTX 3060. The i5-11600K, with its 6 cores and 12 threads, along with a max turbo frequency of 4.9 GHz, is a robust choice for gaming and general productivity. When paired with an RTX 3060, a solid mid-range GPU, this combination offers a balanced performance for most modern games without causing a significant bottleneck. This setup is ideal for gamers who want good performance on a budget and are mainly playing mainstream titles.

i7 Processor and High-End GPU

On the other hand, consider an Intel Core i7-11700K paired with an NVIDIA RTX 3080. The i7-11700K, featuring 8 cores and 16 threads with a max turbo frequency of 5.0 GHz, aligns well with the RTX 3080, one of the higher-end GPUs in the market. This pairing is less likely to experience a bottleneck, offering top-tier performance. It’s suitable for demanding tasks such as playing the latest AAA games at high settings, engaging in 3D rendering, or performing high-resolution video editing. This combination is targeted at users who require high-end gaming capabilities and are willing to invest more for peak performance.

Potential Bottleneck with High-End GPU and Lower-End CPU

Imagine pairing a high-end GPU like the NVIDIA RTX 3080 with a lower-end CPU such as the Intel Core i5-10400F. The i5-10400F, while a capable processor, may struggle to keep up with the RTX 3080’s power in certain high-end gaming or rendering scenarios. This mismatch can lead to the GPU waiting for the CPU to catch up, causing a bottleneck where the full potential of the RTX 3080 isn’t utilized, particularly in CPU-intensive games or tasks.

These examples illustrate how selecting the right CPU and GPU combination can impact your gaming experience, balancing performance needs with potential bottlenecks. It’s essential to match the CPU’s capabilities with the GPU’s demands to ensure a smooth gaming experience without unnecessary overinvestment.

Balancing CPU and GPU for Optimal Performance

The key is to balance your CPU and GPU to prevent bottlenecking. When selecting an i5 or i7, consider the capabilities of your GPU. If you have a high-end GPU, an i7 might be the better choice to ensure that the CPU doesn’t limit the GPU’s performance. Conversely, if you have a mid-range GPU, an i5 can provide the necessary power without the risk of underutilization.

In 2024, when assembling a gaming PC, the bottleneck argument is crucial in deciding between an i5 and i7 processor. Assess your gaming needs, the capabilities of your GPU, and your budget. An i5 is typically sufficient for most gaming setups and offers a cost-effective solution. For gamers pushing the boundaries with high-end GPUs and seeking the utmost performance, an i7 might be the way to go, ensuring that your system operates at its peak without any performance bottlenecks.

e. Price vs Performance in Choosing i5 or i7

Intel’s Core i5 processors are generally more budget-friendly. They offer a solid gaming performance, making them an attractive option for gamers who want a powerful PC without breaking the bank. An i5 provides the necessary power for most current games and is well-suited for standard gaming setups.

On the other hand, Core i7 processors are priced higher, reflecting their advanced features like higher core counts, faster clock speeds, and hyperthreading. These features translate to better multitasking capabilities and potentially smoother performance in high-end gaming and heavy workload scenarios.

Price of i5 in Singapore
Price of i7 in Singapore

Performance: Is the Price Justified?

The performance leap from an i5 to an i7 can be significant in certain aspects, like multitasking and handling complex tasks. However, when it comes to gaming, the difference may not always justify the cost. In many gaming scenarios, an i5 can perform almost as well as an i7. This means that the additional expense of an i7 might not translate into a noticeably better gaming experience, especially if gaming is your primary purpose.

Balancing Your Needs with Your Budget

It’s essential to align your processor choice with your gaming needs and budget. If you’re mainly into gaming and occasional multitasking, an i5 offers great value, providing the performance you need at a more affordable price. However, if you’re a power user who indulges in high-end gaming, streaming, and content creation, investing in an i7 could be worthwhile for the extra performance it offers.

In the dynamic world of gaming PCs in 2024, choosing between an i5 or i7 comes down to balancing price and performance. Consider what you need from your PC: if it’s primarily for gaming and everyday tasks, an i5 offers excellent value. For those pushing their PC to the limits with high-end gaming and multitasking, the i7’s higher price might be a justified investment. Remember, the best choice is one that aligns with both your performance needs and your budget.

As we conclude this exploration into whether an Intel Core i5 or i7 is the right choice for your gaming PC in 2024, let’s recap the key points and offer some final recommendations.

Summarizing the Key Considerations

  1. Core Count and Performance: The i7’s higher core count provides an edge in multitasking and may future-proof your setup for upcoming games. However, for most current games, an i5 is more than capable.
  2. Clock Speed: The i7 typically leads with higher clock speeds, beneficial for intensive gaming and high-performance tasks. An i5, however, still offers robust performance for standard gaming.
  3. Hyperthreading: While beneficial for multitasking, hyperthreading in i7 processors doesn’t currently offer a significant advantage in most gaming scenarios.
  4. The Bottleneck Argument: An i5 is unlikely to bottleneck modern GPUs in standard gaming setups. An i7, however, is a safer bet for high-end gaming rigs.
  5. Price vs Performance: i5 processors offer a great balance of performance and cost for typical gaming needs. i7s, being pricier, are more suited for power users with specific high-end gaming or multitasking requirements.

Recommendations for Gamers in 2024

For those assembling a gaming PC in 2024:

  • Standard Gamers: If you primarily play mainstream games and have budget constraints, an i5 processor offers excellent performance at a more attractive price point.
  • High-End Gamers and Multitaskers: If you are into intensive gaming, streaming, and other demanding tasks, or if you want to future-proof your setup, the i7’s advanced features are worth the investment.
  • Balancing Budget and Future Needs: Consider not only your current gaming needs but also potential future requirements. An i5 is a smart choice for budget-conscious gamers, while an i7 is ideal for those seeking long-term performance assurance.

Final Thoughts

Your choice between an i5 or i7 for your gaming PC in 2024 should align with your gaming style, performance expectations, and budget. Technology continually evolves, and so do gaming requirements. Therefore, evaluate your priorities: whether it’s staying within a budget with the i5 or maximizing performance and future-proofing with the i7. Remember, the right processor is not just about the highest specs; it’s about what works best for your individual gaming journey.

If you’re planning to build a gaming PC in Singapore and are weighing the options between an i5 or i7 processor, consider checking out VOLTA PC. Known for their expertise in custom PC builds, VOLTA PC offers a range of options that can cater to your specific gaming needs, whether you’re looking for high-end performance or a budget-friendly gaming desktop. Their personalized service and attention to detail ensure that you get a gaming PC that not only meets but exceeds your expectations.

Follow Us on Social Media

Scroll to Top