Is the Intel Core i5 Good for Gaming?

Most consider the Intel Core i5 as a sweet spot for a gaming PC. It has a great price to performance without breaking the bank. The i5 is a great middle-of-the-road option that will get you excellent performance on any triple-A game you throw at it.

Hello, my name is Ty Robinson. When I am not working 8-5 helping people with their computer issues as a Service Desk technician, I delve deep into the wonders the world of PC gaming offers.

Throughout this article, I will explain not only why the i5 is good, the performance it can net,  but also, what makes a good gaming CPU, and how it shapes up compared to its CPU siblings. 

Let’s get started. 

Key Takeaways

  • Cores and threads, though not exact metrics for performance in gaming, in some games, higher cores and threads can help in performance, as well as with other apps that utilize those multiple cores. Cores and threads depend on the Generation of i5 you get.
  • Generations do impact performance; make sure to purchase one that suits your needs best. 
  • Performance in gaming and gaming alone is exceptional. The i5 is the little CPU that can, and does, constantly impress with its FPS and price to performance. 


What is a core? The core in a CPU is what executes a program’s instructions. As time has passed and computing power and programs, including Video Games, have become more intensive, one processor now has multiple cores to handle more program instructions. 

The difference in core count does not inherently equal higher performance in most games. Most games will see little increase with higher frame counts. So for gaming, in particular, this counts out the 12th-generation intel chips.

So, how many cores do you need for gaming? From a pure gaming standpoint, the absolute best price to perform is 6-Cores. 

i5 CPU Performance

I’ll go into the performance and specs of a few i5 processors below so that you can see how it performs and decide more on which one will work best for you!

i5 -10600K in Gaming

The first CPU we will look at is an excellent cost-effective option. With 6 Cores, you get plenty of that multicore performance in your day-to-day workload. This CPU gets an average mark of  14425. This is very solid; the larger the number, the better.

When paired with the RTX 2060 GPU, playing games on High Settings in 1080p quality, the i5 10600k gets stellar gaming performance.  

Note: the price as shown in this screenshot can change by the time you read this article.

The marriage between this GPU and CPU is a dynamite combo for any gamer looking for outstanding performance at High settings. There is no bottleneck, meaning that both this CPU and GPU are of comparable strength, and one does not outshine or outperform the other.

The golden standard for most gamers is 60FPS, and as you can see in the performance metrics above, the i5 10600k gets a bit above that on average. 

i5 12600k in Gaming

This 12th-generation CPU boasts ten cores, over the previous CPU’s 6. A little less budget-friendly, but that money goes straight into performance. 

When paired with an RTX 2070 Super, the i5 2600k is an absolute gaming behemoth. A bottleneck is nonexistent; the CPU enhances performance even further. 

Note: the price as shown in this screenshot can change by the time you read this article.

As you can see above, 200 plus frames on average while on High settings, running in 1080p. Comparing it to the performance above, you are gaining over 30 frames from the last CPU and GPU combination.

This will be a buttery smooth gaming experience for any game you choose to boot up and get started. 

Final Thoughts

With the examples and benchmarks provided in this article, you can see that without a shadow of a doubt, the Intel Core i5 is not just good for gaming but great! Pick which one will suit your gaming needs best, and get gaming. 

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