When building a gaming computer, it’s best to purchase the right components so you can get the most when playing games. The goal with gaming computers is to produce as many frames per second, and certain CPUs are best at doing this. We’re going to examine whether more cores are better than clock speed when it comes to generating more FPS.
Building a gaming computer can be difficult, especially when there are so many specifications to keep track of. Cores refer to a physical module on the processor made out of billions of transistors, these cores are responsible for processing instructions. Clock speed refers to how many clock cycles a core can do each second, so if the clock speed is 4GHz, the CPU cores will cycle 4billion times a second.
Answer: Having more cores tends to be beneficial to multi-threaded applications, but single-core performance is known to increase gaming performance. We’re going to examine whether video games are multithreaded or not, and how to increase the clock speed. As well as having more cores, we’re going to go over whether hyperthreading is good for increasing frame rate because hyperthreading is known to increase the efficiency of each core.
More Cores Or Higher Clock For Gaming?
Gaming usually is a single-core application which means it uses only one core, most games you play today are coded to be this way, it’s actually close to 60% of the games at the moment. Since games are single-core optimized, higher clock speeds are more advantageous this means the other cores are redundant. But, we recommend at least 6 cores when building a gaming computer so the PC can handle background tasks.
It isn’t just clock speed that’ll increase the gaming performance, that makes up half the story. Processor cores also have IPC which stands for instructions per clock. Imagine two processors clocked at 5GHz, but one processor performs 15% more instructions per clock, the CPU that performs more instructions will generate more FPS.
Due to higher clock speeds being more advantageous, you’ll often find gamers use mid-tier processors which tend to be a balance between clock speed and core count. A lot of the time, you’ll find that the top-tier processors just come with more cores, not necessarily higher clock speeds, so it’s pretty much useless to a lot of gamers.
Also Read: What Is A Good CPU Clock Speed
Ryzen Vs Intel For Gaming?
On average, Ryzen processors will offer more cores, this is great for applications that are multithreaded coded. Games on the other hand are mostly single-core coded which means Intel is usually the best processor when it comes to gaming performance. The Intel I9 12900K surpasses the Ryzen 9 5900x in gaming performance, this is due to having higher boost clock speeds. You’ll find that the I9 12900K beats the Ryzen 9 5900x by 20FPS in most games.
Intel is known as the gaming king, they’ve provided the best gaming processors for the longest time, Ryzen is more multi-purpose orientated due to them having more cores. More cores mean the processor is better at video editing and streaming, and multitasking, this isn’t necessary for gaming. Ryzen processors are still pretty good when it comes to gaming, the Ryzen 5 5600x is an affordable option that can compete with the I9 9900K.
Applications where Ryzen can be advantageous is when gaming and streaming at the same time, you may benefit from their multitasking capabilities. The Ryzen 7 5800x is a great mid-top range processor, it comes with 8 cores and 16 threads with a boost clock speed of 4.7 GHz, this is more than enough for gaming and streaming at the same time.
Is Hyperthreading Good For Gaming?
Proprietary to Intel, Hyperthreading is a form of simultaneous multithreading which allows the processor cores to become more efficient. It does this by taking advantage of system stalls that occur when the cores are waiting for new instructions. This allows the cores to effectively act as two logical cores consequently increasing the efficiency of the cores.
But does this extra efficiency translate into gaming performance? Well, you’ll be disappointed to find out on average, hyperthreading makes no difference when it comes to gaming. In some games you’ll experience an FPS increase, some games you’ll experience an FPS loss, but on average, your games won’t see a difference. This is why I5s used to be the popular option among gamers because it was affordable, had the single-core performance, but didn’t have hyperthreading.
As previously stated, video games are single-core coded, therefore hyperthreading will not make much of a difference when it comes to gaming. What hyperthreading will do is handle background tasks much better, this makes processors such as I7s and I9s the processor of choice when gaming and streaming at the same time. Games are 60% of the time are coded to use one core, but if you find a game that can use more cores, you may see more FPS.
How To Increase FPS When Gaming?
Increasing the FPS is what every gamer is looking for, more FPS means the game will run smoothly, and immersively. Increasing the FPS usually means overclocking certain components such as the GPU, CPU, and RAM. In this case, if your processor has poor single-core performance, but is open to overclocking, you may see a massive improvement in frame rate.
The good thing about intel processors is that they generally have a high boost clock speed which activates usually during gaming scenarios. Looking for an Intel processor denoted with a ‘K’ at the end means that the processor is open to overclocking. You shouldn’t really purchase a K processor if you’re not looking to overclock, because that’s like leaving performance on the table.
Increasing your RAM speed usually by overclocking it through the BIOS can result in more frames per second, this is usually due to the RAM being so slow that it bottlenecks the CPUs performance. Reducing bottlenecks is the best way to get the most out of your system, bottlenecks are caused when you pair weak components with extremely powerful components.
The verdict of this post is that gaming heavily benefits from single-core performance, so more GHz is better at generating more frames per second compared to having more cores. This is because 60% of games are actually coded to use one core, hopefully, in the future, games are coded to be multithreaded applications so we don’t have to rely on one metric.
Also, we’ve learned that hyperthreading on average makes no difference when it comes to gaming performance for the same reasons. Hyperthreading creates logical cores which are usually double the number of physical cores, and applications such as video editing and streaming are coded to benefit from this feature.