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Is Intel i5 good for gaming?

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  • 4 min read

Intel’s been at the top of the computer CPU market ever since the company came into being. Although it has been facing stiff competition from AMD, its i-series CPUs are still one of the best on the market if you’re looking for a high-performance CPU to help you game. 

In this article, we’re talking about the Intel Core i5, and whether or not it’s a good choice for gaming. 

Also read: Intel K vs KF vs F: Quick Comparison


Intel Core i5 specifications

The latest and greatest in the Core i5 lineup is Intel’s Core i5-13600K. It’s part of Intel’s 13th generation of Core i-series CPUs and packs quite a punch when it comes to hardware specifications. 

Processor SpecificationsIntel Core i5-13600K
Base clock speed
(On Efficiency cores)
2.60 GHz
Max clock speed
(On Performance cores)
5.10 GHz
Total cores (P/E)14 (6P/8E)
Cache24MB Intel Smart Cache
Base power125W
Max power181W
Max memory size128GB maximum memory
DDR5 up to 5600 MT/s
DDR4 up to 3200MT/s
Processor graphicsIntel UHD Graphics 770
PCIe supportPCIe version 5 and 4 supported
Recommended customer price$319.00 – $329.00

Intel Core i5 real-world gaming performance

While Core i5 CPUs generally sit in the middle when it comes to performance in Intel’s lineup of CPUs, they do provide enough grunt for you to play most modern games with ease. The reason behind this is also simple, i5 CPUs generally have enough cores, threads and clock speed required to run even the most demanding games without a problem.

When paired with the right GPU, they can actually provide a good value-for-money gaming experience. 

Ever since Intel released the 10th generation, Intel Core i-series CPUs have been seriously good for performance tasks. The Core i3, although good in its own league, can introduce bottlenecks when paired with high-performance GPUs and on the other hand, the Core i7 often is overkill unless you pair it with top-of-the-line components. 

The i5 sits in the middle and works best with similar components. For context, I’m running a Core i5-9300H paired with a GTX 1650Ti in an MSI GL65 Leopard laptop and here are some FPS numbers for some resource-heavy games.

GameAverage FPS
Age of Empires IV: Anniversary Edition60+
FIFA 2350-60
Call of Duty: Warzone II45-55
Wreckfest60-65
Rocket League120+
CS: GO100+

As you can see, while the CPU is four generations older, it still provides enough performance for these games at 1080p and high/medium settings, meaning a smooth gaming experience across the board. 

Do keep in mind though that a good CPU isn’t a replacement for a dedicated GPU, and that’s where the performance bottlenecks will start showing up, or at least they do for me. When paired with an RTX 3060 or above though, the i5 will provide rock-solid performance on 1080p/1440p gaming with a stable average of 100FPS


Should you buy an Intel Core i5 for gaming?

Yes, you totally should. 

That said, it’d be wise to take into consideration what kind of games you’ll be playing and the performance you’re expecting. While i5s are great for gaming, they’re not exactly the best and if you’ll be using the CPU for a long time to come, it’s worthwhile considering spending a little bit more and going for an i7 or even an i9 as they’ll have more than enough performance to future-proof your build for a while.

However, if you’re okay playing at 1440p with high to medium settings at a stable 100+ FPS without breaking the bank, the i5 is a great choice. 

Also read: Intel Pentium vs Core i5: Quick Comparison

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: yadullahabidi@pm.me.

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