I7 3630QM (2.40GHz) vs i5 3380M (2.90GHz) for gaming

What would be better for gaming between a Quad Core i7 3630QM (2.40GHz) and a Dual Core i5 3380M (2.90GHz)? Obviously the i7 has four cores with hyper-threading, but there's 0.50GHz more power in the two cores of the i5. I know that gaming is mostly dependent on GPU, but was just wondering which of these CPUs would offer better performance (even if it is slight).
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  1. Most game nowadays will take advantage of 4 cores so the i7 will have the edge
  2. Obviously buying a dual core processor at this day and age is a stupid decision if you're a serious gamer, but then again, a serious gamer won't be buying a laptop for gaming :)
  3. Yeah I wouldn't say I'm a serious gamer! But if the i7 will provide a better performance, I'm tempted to go for it.
  4. It will last you much longer and be a much better system. well worth it in my opinion.
  5. The vast majority of games only use 2 cores. There are some games that can use more than 2 cores and more will eventually released, however, they will be small in number compared to the number of games only using 2 cores.

    Naturally, you should research which games you plan on playing to find out if they can make more than 2 cores. For example, Skyrim only use 2 cores. Battlefield 3 only uses 2 core in single player mode, but it can use more than 2 cores in multi-player mode. I believe ARMA 2 can use up to 6 cores. Crysis 3 is capable of using more than 2 cores.

    Let's take a look at Crysis 3 since it is new and I was able to find a CPU comparison chart as follows:

    Source: http://www.pcgameshardware.de/Crysis-3-PC-235317/Tests/Crysis-3-Test-CPU-Benchmark-1056578/galerie/2046280/#?a_id=1056578&g_id=-1&i_id=2047132

    The Core i3-3220 @ 3.3GHz can get 31.7 average FPS. The Core i5-3570K @ 3.4GHz is only 100MHz faster, but the average FPS is 50.5. That represents a 59% increase in FPS; or 18.8 FPS. The 100MHz difference contributes a very small amount of that increase (like 1 FPS out of the 18.8 FPS). A quad core is clearly better.

    The problem with i7-3630QM @ 2.4GHz and the i5-3380M @ 2.9GHz is the 500MHz difference. That's basically a 21% difference in clock speed. Naturally, that means you will not be getting a 59% increase in FPS, but something less. A rough estimate is about a 46% increase. That's calc'ed by 59% * (100% - 21%).

    When you play games that only use 2 cores, then the core i5-3380M would perform better simply because of the higher clockspeed. Skyrim will run better on the i5-3380m, it will be less than 21% though (the % difference between 2.9GHz and 2.4GHz) because clockspeed does not scale perfectly in the real world.
  6. Wow, what a great reply! So just to clarify - on games that use more than 2 cores, there will be a significant increase in framerate (roughly 46% on average), but on games that use only 2 cores, there will be a small increase (less than 21%). Is this right?
  7. The 1st part is right. If you buy the quad core I7 3630QM you will generally get rough performance increase of 46% compared to the dual core i5 3380M. At least based on the comparison of desktop CPUs,

    But you are wrong on the 2nd part. For games that only uses 2 cores the i7 3630QM will have lower performance than the i5 3380M simply because of the 500MHz difference. In Skyrim the i5 3380M can potentially give you up to a 21% increase in performance because the cores are clocked higher. In other words, the i7-3630QM is about 17% slower than the i5 3380M in games using only 2 cores due to the lower clockspeed.
  8. This should be a clearer image of the benchmark chart:

  9. XYMan said:
    Obviously buying a dual core processor at this day and age is a stupid decision if you're a serious gamer, but then again, a serious gamer won't be buying a laptop for gaming :)
    I would beg to differ sir. I mean no disrespect at all, but I am very serious about gaming but my dad lives on the opposite side of the country from me. I travel a lot and therefore need the portability of a laptop. I know desktops have advantages, but laptops do as well.
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