UNDOUBTEDLY the i5s of this world are the most popular of Intel’s CPUs, the most sought after. These mid-range chips have often provided an astonishingly good value proposition for those not looking to render everything at lightning speed. They have been and still are by far the go-to chip of choice for the gamer. Why’s that? Well it all comes down to impressive single-core performance, balanced perfectly with power draw, thermals, and cost. Get all the gaming prowess of a Core i7 or an i9, but with 50 percent off the latter’s retail price tag.
For the longest time, in Intel’s world of quad-core dominance, the main difference between the Core i5 and the i7 product lines was one simple addition: Hyper-Threading. The logic at the time as far as recommendations were concerned was simple: If you used your machine as part of your workday, and multi-threaded applications were key to that, then the Core i7 was the processor to pick; if you didn’t, and it was solely for gaming, the Core i5 was the best solution. For everything else there was the Core i3. Nothing really changed from its 1st to its 9th-gen architectures. Until now.
Yep, we’ve finally crossed that sacred threshold: Intel’s latest Core i5-10600K comes with Hyper-Threading, giving you access to six cores and 12 threads. In fact, mimicking its AMD rivals, every single processor—bar the very low-end Celeron parts—in Comet Lake features HyperThreading as standard. So whatever the core count, you can effectively double it for better performance in applications that benefit from more threads.
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