When selecting the hardware that you want in your next gaming PC, there’s a lot to consider. Most people focus mainly on the graphics processing unit, or GPU, as it’s primarily what dictates your ability to play modern games at high settings with a high framerate. But what about the processor?
The truth is, the central processing unit (CPU) is just as important as the GPU in some ways. And when it comes to choosing which brand of processor to use in your gaming PC, there’s a clear winner. Here’s why the CPU is important, what aspects of CPU performance matter most for gaming, and why you should go with Intel if you’re after peak performance.
Why is the CPU important?
The main reason why the processor is a very important part of any gaming PC is that it essentially acts as the “brain” of your computer. Gaming rigs rely on GPUs for heavy lifting in the visuals department, but no amount of GPU power will matter if you don’t also have a processor that can effectively direct the graphics card’s power. A weak CPU will cause a bottleneck, or a situation where the full capability of your GPU isn’t being utilized because the CPU isn’t strong enough to make use of it. Therefore, a quality CPU is critical.
In addition, processing power is also important in titles where there is a lot of artificial intelligence (AI) in the game. Common examples of these types of games include real-time strategy games, battle simulators, and single-player/cooperative first-person shooters. The AI in these titles rely on the CPU’s processing power to operate smoothly; if your processor isn’t up to spec when playing games like this, you can experience a lot of slowdowns as your CPU struggles to keep up.
What matters most for gaming in the CPU?
When it comes to CPU performance, the thing that matters the most for gaming is clock speed. Clock speed is measured in gigahertz (GHz), and it’s a representation of how much processing power the cores in your CPU are capable of applying to a given task or program — such as the games you play. Generally, you want at least 3.5 GHz, though higher is always better. 4.0 GHz is great, and anything over 4.5 GHz is stellar. On processors that support it, you also have the option of overclocking, which pushes the CPU past its intended limits to achieve higher clock speeds. This comes at the cost of additional heat buildup.
Core count is also something that matters, albeit less so. Having more cores in your CPU means that there are more cores available for your processor to utilize. A high core count is ideal for productivity and multitasking, as your system will never run out of cores to use for all the different programs running. However, it’s not as beneficial in the gaming context because the vast majority of games only use up to four cores. In summary: a high core count is nice, but clock speed is what affects gaming performance the most.
Why choose Intel?
There are two main players in the ring when it comes to processors: Intel and AMD. Intel has traditionally been in the lead, but in recent years, AMD has made a valiant attempt to cut that lead down. The two CPU manufacturers are now engaged in a close, competitive war to see who can deliver the best-performing processors.
At the hardcore level, Intel has a distinct edge over AMD when it comes to gaming performance. Processors (opens in new tab) such as the Intel i5-10500K and Intel i7-10700K outperform their Ryzen counterparts by up to 15% in some cases. This is because Intel’s top gaming CPUs place more of an emphasis on clock speed, while AMD’s chips have more cores. For example, the i7-10700K can reach up to 5.1 GHz and has 8 cores. AMD’s equivalent, the Ryzen 9 3900X, has 12 cores. However, its clock speed maxes out at 4.6 GHz, meaning that it offers considerably less gaming power.
If you’re after an Intel-powered gaming PC
If you’re looking to enjoy the performance benefits of a top-notch Intel processor in a gaming PC, look no further than the OMEN 30L Desktop GT13-0255st (opens in new tab). This beast of a machine comes equipped with the i7-10700K, which is arguably Intel’s best overall high-end gaming CPU right now. It’s unlocked, too, so overclocking enthusiasts can have fun pushing the limits without worrying about manufacturer restrictions. Additionally, the PC can be configured with an RTX 2080 Ti, which is the beefiest graphics card on the market. You can also get your hands on up to 64GB of RAM and 2TB of SSD space as well, ensuring that you’ll never run out of memory or storage for your favorite games. Finally, the laptop’s case is sleek and features stylish but minimalist RGB lighting, making it look clean and attractive. Overall, if you’re looking for a high-end gaming desktop you can rely on, the OMEN 30L Desktop GT13-0255st is for you.