So I see a lot of hate towards i7 processors. It usually starts "hyperthreading is useless for gaming... you might as well use an i5... etc". But wait a moment. Surely these computers are not being used only for games? For example, some of them might be running an operating system which might have some background processes running, or maybe they might have some other programs that do take advantage of all logical cores.
So what I'm asking is, surely it's better to have an i7 than an i5 because the hyperthreaded cores take some of the non-gaming processes and so the game can more fully utilise the physical cores?
I don't hate hyper threading, I LOVE IT (helps a lot on my Pentium 4 <3). Anyway, hyper threading is honestly useless for gaming, making the i7 a pointless purchase, it's only good if you do video editing or run a LOT of applications simultaneously.
Obviously if you're running other software besides gaming that take advantage of multiple threads then HT enabled CPU's will generally see an advantage, ive never seen anyone deny that.
Background processes do not generally take up much resources (depending on the process), so they make little difference in gaming performance. Natrually if you're running a CPU intensive piece of software along with a game, then yes you'll generally see an advantage with extra threads.
The only game I know of the fully makes use of hyperthreading is BF3. When I play on my I7-2600 Quad 3.4Ghz, all 8 cores (4 Physical and 4 Logical) sit at about %50-%60 in MP. I personally really like Hyperthreading. As games start to utilize it more, It may very well become necessary. Ive seen my Norton AV makes use of hyperthreading here and there, but that's the only non game program I know of that uses it.
As for background processes, I don't know of any Windows 7 Processes that use HyperThreading. Most people say "Buy an I5 because I7 Hyperthreading is useless" because its generally cheaper and not necessary at this current time. But I believe in future proofing and just personally find "I7" to sound cool lol
Now if you buy a piece of software that is "Heavily threaded" then Hyperthreading should give you quite the edge over a non threaded CPU