What is better an i7 Gen3 or i5 Gen4 processor for gaming? - Need some advise please?


Not knowing much about hardware (I'm a web developer) I'm hoping that some of you hardware-clued up people would be kind enough to offer me some advise/your opinions...

So to give you a little bit of background, Yesterday I ordered a few bits online to build a new home server to, I didn't want to spend the earth but I bought the following CPU and motherboard, the details of which are as follows:-

Intel Core i5 4670K 3.40GHz Socket 1150 6MB Cache Retail Boxed Processor
Asus B85M-G Socket 1150 VGA DVI HDMI 6+2 Channel HD Audio mATX Motherboard

Then I just thought would it actually be better to use the old hardware from my old(er) gaming machine for the server of which the stats are as follows:-

Intel Core i7 2600k 3.4GHz Socket 1155 8MB Cache Retail Boxed Processor
Asus P8Z68-V PRO Z68 Socket 1155 8 Channel HD Audio ATX Motherboard

My new home server will run various services on top of Ubuntu Server 12.04 LTS, these are as follows:-

  • File server
  • ISC BIND and DHCP server (for internal DNS and DHCP)
  • Virtualbox Headless (for development and test VM's) - I guess the i7 would be better here as I'd
  • have 8 cores instead of 4??
  • DLNA media streaming server

My main question though, based on the two hardware specs above above I cannot work out what to do for the best, I'm not sure if the Generation 3 i7 would be better used in the new server (have 8 usable cores and 8MB cache) or if the Generation 4 i5 would actually be better (being newer) to be in my gaming rig instead? - Another problem is that the server motherboard I bought is (I assume) a 'budget' motherboard for the server as I figured it doesn't need to be anything special but do you think that the gaming rig if I did replace the i7 with the i5 would suffer from the non 'pro' motherboard? or as the i7 hardware is a couple of years old now the new i5 and motherboard are either on-par with or better and therefore use the i5 for my gaming rig and the i7 hardware for the server?

Any help and recommendations would be extremely helpful in helping me make a decision before I start putting the new server together this afternoon!

Many thanks for taking the time to read and I really value any opinions and advice!


Many thanks,
6 answers Last reply
More about gen3 gen4 processor gaming advise
  1. Both will perform similarly in games. The i7 would be better for VMs, as it has hyper threading (its not 8 core), and the 2600k is 2nd gen, not 3rd.
  2. RobCrezz said:
    Both will perform similarly in games. The i7 would be better for VMs, as it has hyper threading (its not 8 core), and the 2600k is 2nd gen, not 3rd.

    Many thanks for your reply Rob, What are your feelings on the motherboard that I've already purchased for the i5 build, obviously it is not the best but do you think it would be adequate to use on an i5 gaming build then?

    I think I'll use the i7 in the server then and use the new i5 and motherboard as my gaming rig if you'd suggest that... its kind of what I was thinking anyway but would be great just to have someone that agrees :)

  3. Well that mobo will be fine, but you will not be getting the most out of the 4670k cpu. Being a "K" CPU, the multiplyer is unlocked for overclocking, to do this you need a Z87 mobo. However, if you dont overclock then that board will be fine, but that kind of defeats the point of having that CPU.
  4. Thats great, thanks Rob!! - I generally don't overclock anyways.. Too scared to get it wrong lol! - Many thanks for your advice and help I truly appreciate you taking the time to reply and help me out! :)

    I hope you have a great christmas!
  5. Thanks. Good luck with yours build(s)! :)
  6. Well since you bought a non overclocking board for that 4670k, I would use the 2600k for games. It will do 4.0 with just a multiplier bump. I probably would have went with a Xeon 1230 v2 and a bargain bin pci-e gpu for video on the home server. Granted mine is a i5 2400, but I was given that CPU for free, and it was originally in my gaming rig. I put into my file server as an emergency repair, then picked up my 3570k at Microcenter.
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