The choice of processor is a crucial choice for the performance of the PC, not only does it handle trivial tasks, but it is also important for the gaming performance. Picking up the wrong processor can result in poor gaming performance, and it can be quite confusing as there are great processors that aren’t necessarily good for gaming. This has something to do with how gaming utilizes the processor.
60% Of games are coded in such a way that they utilize only one processing core, this means having multiple cores has no measurable impact on the FPS generated. Due to this, high-performing processors such as Threadrippers are completely pointless when it comes to gaming, this is because of the high price and the high core count. If you’re looking for a decent processor, you need to focus on how well a single core can perform.
Answer: The Ryzen 7 lineup of processors can be an amazing choice, this is because Ryzen 7 processors are affordable, offers great single-core performance, and are able to perform well in other tasks. By other tasks, we mean the Ryzen 7’s exceptional core count is more than enough to run tasks such as video editing and streaming on the side.
Does Single Core Performance Matter For Gaming?
As we know already, many games are coded so they can only use up to one core max, so the single-core performance is the most important factor when it comes to gaming. When it comes to single-core performance, we tend to usually focus on the clock speed, and while it is a great indication, it doesn’t tell the full story. But yes, clock speed does matter for gaming as it determines how many times a single core can cycle per second, a typical processor will have a clock speed of 4GHz, which means it will cycle 4billion times a second.
Single-core performance isn’t just clock speed, if that was the case, then many older processors will outperform newer processors as there are plenty of older processors with exceptionally high clock speeds. The reason why clock speeds don’t tell the full story is that there is another metric called IPC, which determines how much work your CPU can do per clock cycle. IPC stands for instructions per clock, and newer CPUs tend to offer IPC increments over their older counterparts, this is why newer CPUs with less clock speed will still beat older CPUs with higher clock speed.
When it comes to single-core performance, Intel is usually the king therefore they’re usually the first choice when it comes to gaming PCs. However, Ryzen 7 processors feature strong single-core performance, even surpassing the likes of Intel’s 10th generation processors. This means the Ryzen 7 lineup of processors is actually quite strong in the IPC department making it perform more work per clock cycle, this makes it a strong option for a gaming processor.
How Many Cores For Gaming?
Since gaming really benefits from one processing core, you’re probably wondering what the need is for having more than one core. Well, you can’t have a single core system as this will severely hinder the performance of your computer in other important tasks such as running the operating system. For gaming PCs, we recommend at least 6 cores so your system has enough processing power to handle background tasks such as the operating system when you’re gaming.
The Ryzen 7 processors proudly surpass this requirement featuring 8 cores and 16 threads, this means it has more than enough multicore performance to handle background tasks. Not only can it handle background tasks, if you’re interested in other tasks on the side such as streaming and video editing, the 8 cores and 16 threads is enough for video editing 4K videos. Streaming requires only 6 cores, but since we have 8, you can happily stream your video games without issues of lag.
There is a point of diminishing returns, having more cores won’t improve anything from a gaming PCs perspective, this is why 6 cores are enough. You don’t want to spend a lot of money on a processor that you cannot fully utilize when you could’ve spent that money on a better graphics card, this is why we do not recommend the Threadripper processors for gaming. More cores will not hurt if they have sufficient single-core performance in the clock speed and IPC department.
Ryzen 7 CPU List
|CPU||Core Count(Threads)||Clock Speed(Boost)|
|Ryzen 7 3700||8(16)||3.6GHz(4.4GHz)|
|Ryzen 7 3700X||8(16)||3.6GHz(4.4GHz)|
|Ryzen 7 3800X||8(16)||3.9GHz(4.5GHz)|
|Ryzen 7 5800||8(16)||3.4GHz(4.6GHz)|
|Ryzen 7 5800X||8(16)||3.8GHz(4.7GHz)|
|Ryzen 7 5800X3D||8(16)||3.4GHz(4.5GHz)|
What Is Ryzen 7 Competitor?
The closest competitor to the Ryzen 7 lineup is Intel’s i7 processors, they both target the same audience, users looking to build mid-top range PCs. In terms of gaming performance, Intel tends to beat Ryzen a lot of the time, this is because Intel usually has stronger single-core performance, and this is due to them having higher clock speeds and IPC. But this doesn’t make the Ryzen 7 a bad option, Ryzen 7 processors are still more than enough for gaming.
Ryzen 7 processors may be the better option over the I7 for the first reason which is that it’s more affordable. You can pick up a Ryzen 7 processor for slightly cheaper than an i7 and have a competent gaming and multipurpose CPU. This is attractive for individuals that are not strict gamers and want a PC that is good at everything for an affordable price. Ryzen 7 processors are also known to be more power-efficient, this is due to their 7nm process which increases the efficiency of the processor
I7s on the other hand tend to be more overkill presenting insane single-core clock speeds and high core counts, this is more aimed towards users that want more processing power. You can find a 12 core i7 processor with a boost clock speed of 5GHz, whereas you can find a Ryzen 7 processor with 8 cores and a 4.7GHz boost. It all comes down to what you want out of your PC and how much you want to future-proof it. Intel processors tend to be better overclockers, so if that interests you, then maybe you should pick up an I7.
Are Threads(Virtual Cores) Good For Gaming?
Threads or virtual cores are a logical aspect of a physical entity being physical processing cores, and if you’ve picked up a processor, you’ve probably noticed that they have twice as many threads than cores. This is because two physical cores will make up for 2 threads/virtual cores. Ryzen 7 processors will often come with 8 cores and 16 threads. This is what you call SMT or simultaneous multithreading, and applications such as video editing benefit from it. You can expect a 30% performance boost in most applications, but do games get to share this performance boost?
Processors that allow for SMT which is pretty much most processors in today’s times will have increased core efficiency, this is because a single core will be able to process two different sets of instructions at the same time. Ryzen 7 processors feature this capability, this is why they’re a great option for multi-core applications. Unfortunately, games do not share the performance boost due to the nature of how they’re coded, they still only benefit from single-core performance.
Physical cores are still more important than virtual cores when it comes to gaming, this is because they make the biggest impact. This is why many gaming builds of the past used I5s which never used to feature SMT/Hyperthreading, it’s because it didn’t matter. Having strong single-core performance is more important, if you’re looking for more FPS from your processor, then overclocking is your best bet. Otherwise, all hyperthreading will do is improve your PC’s ability to handle multiple tasks.
The verdict is that Ryzen 7 processors are a strong choice as they’re affordable, feature decent single-core performance, and they’ve got enough cores to handle different types of tasks. If you’re not a strict gamer that wants to video edit or stream at the same time, then this will be a great option for you. Just remember, having a huge number of cores will have little effect on gaming performance, and CPUs such as the Ryzen Threadripper will provide diminishing returns.