Choosing a processor can be difficult as there are so many things to consider, especially the core count. The choice of processor can have a huge impact on the performance of the tasks you’re running, so it’s important that you choose carefully. Multi-core processors are great for applications that are multithreaded, and CPUs with amazing single-core performance is great for games.
Hexa core means the processor comes with 6 physical cores, and octa-core means it has 8 physical cores. Each core on the processor has a location on the chip that you can see, if the processor has 6 cores, then you will physically see six cores on the chip. Each core has its own independent clock speed and ALU which processes the information sent to it, the theory behind having more cores is that it boosts the performance of multithreaded applications.
Answer: Choosing between Hexa and octa-core processors can be quite hard considering the Hexa core processor is likely to be cheaper. Performance-wise, the octa-core processor should pull ahead in tasks such as streaming and video editing. However, if the task is gaming which is more single-core orientated, then it could go either way depending on the clock speeds and the IPC.
Cores Vs Clock Speed?
Performance metrics are always the most important thing when picking up components. A CPU has two popular metrics to go off when gauging the performance, this is the cores and clock speed. If you have an octa-core processor, then in multi-core tasks this processor will be superior when it comes to applications that are multithreaded. If your Hexa core processor is clocked at 5GHz, and the octa-core processor is clocked at 4.5GHz, then the Hexa core processor should be better when it comes to gaming, it all comes down to what you want to use your PC for.
As previously said, higher clock speeds tend to be beneficial for applications that only require one core to run, so if you’re gaming, just go for the processor with the highest clock speed. But be wary, do not go for processors that are quite old that are advertising high clock speeds, these processors are likely to have lower IPC ratings compared to newer processors. IPC stands for instructions per clock, and it denotes the amount of work a processor can do per clock cycle, higher IPC means higher single-core performance.
When it comes to video editing, streaming, running multiple tasks, then having more cores will be beneficial as the workload can be split between each processing core. If these are the type of tasks you’re going to be running, then Ryzen is known to provide a lot of cores affordably. These types of tasks will heavily benefit from an octa-core processor compared to the hexa-core processor due to the more processing cores. Additionally, if your processor supports SMT, then this can be a massive benefit as the processor will split the physical cores into two logical cores. So if you have an Octa-core processor, you will essentially have 16 logical cores, this will vastly improve the efficiency of each core.
Also Read: Clock Speed Vs Cores
Hexa Core Vs Octa Core For Streaming
For streaming, you’re better off going with the processor with more cores, in this case, it is the octa-core CPU, this is because the two more physical cores will vastly improve the streaming performance resulting in less lag. Streaming is a CPU-intensive application, and depending on the software encoder, it can utilize as many cores as it wants. With X264 encoding, the processor will use as many cores as possible, and with SMT or hyperthreading enabled, the performance will only further improve. This is not to say that you cannot stream with 6 cores, hexa-core processors can stream well depending on how many applications you’re running at once.
The scenario where you can best get away with a hexa-core when streaming is building a dedicated streaming PC, this is because all the computer’s resources will be dedicated to streaming. If you’re using a single streaming PC, then an Octa-core processor is recommended as the two extra cores can help with multitasking. Going down the dedicated streaming PC route can be quite expensive as you’re going to build a whole different PC just for streaming, and you will require a capture card which is just another expense.
When buying a processor, you have the choice between two manufacturers, Intel and Ryzen. Due to Ryzen offering many cheap options with plenty of cores, they may be your best choice for building a streaming PC. You can pick up an Octa-core Ryzen 7 5800x for an affordable price, and it will be great at gaming too. If you want a little more power in terms of gaming and multi-core performance, then the I7 12700K will cost a little more but provide you with premium performance that very little can rival. It all comes down to what you’re trying to pay, either option will be great, but the I7 12700K will be better in terms of single-core performance.
Also Read: How Many Cores For Streaming
Hexa Core Vs Octa Core For Gaming
As for gaming, it can go either way, because the number of cores usually plays very little role when it comes to the number of FPS generated. A hexa-core processor should do just well when it comes to handling background tasks and generating enough FPS. The choice between a hexa-core and octa-core will mostly come down to what else you want to do with the PC. If you’re going to game and maybe video edit or do 3D Modelling on the side, then the Octa-core processor will be your best bet.
From a future-proofing point of view, you may want to go with the eight-core processor as games hopefully start utilizing more cores in the future. But as of today, single-core performance is the most important metric for gaming, so if the Hexa-core processor happens to have superior single-core performance, then it will be your best option. Legacy games will heavily use one core, so the question of whether Hexa or octa-core is better for gaming is completely irrelevant if you’re playing older games.
If you’re on a budget, then by all means go for the hexa-core processor as you can save money and perhaps buy a better graphics card. Hexa-core processors are kind of the sweet spot when it comes to gaming so it shouldn’t be an issue. A decent hexa-core processor we recommend will be the I5 12600K, it has amazing single-core performance that won’t bottleneck the strongest graphics card you can throw at it. Specification-wise, it has a single-core clock speed of 4.9GHz and 12 threads. For a little more single-core performance and cores, the I7 12700K is an octa-core processor with a boost clock speed of 5GHz, this means you will actually generate slightly higher frame rates, but if you can overclock the I5, it shouldn’t be a big deal.
In conclusion, Hexa and octa-core processors are quite similar in terms of performance, the 2 extra cores can be a slight benefit in tasks such as streaming, and video editing. If you’re gaming, then it won’t matter as much as games mainly use one core. If you’re looking for a little more performance from the multi-core perspective as well as future-proof your system, then we will recommend the octa-core processor.