Best i5 Processors for Gaming & handling CPU heavy tasks!

What are the best i5 Processors for gaming
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Up until now, we saw how AMD and Intel can be good in their own ways. But now it is high time that we have a look at the 6 best i5 processors for gaming in 2021.

In the classic Intel vs AMD processor fight, we saw:

  1. How Intel Can beat AMD?
  2. Which processor gives a better cost to performance ratio?
  3. How AMD crushes Intel?
  4. How AMD is better than Intel CPUs?
  5. Should you buy Intel or AMD?

In brief, the point of that article was to make you decide. Because Processors are an important component of all the Gaming PC parts.

Now, moving forward. This article might be for you if want to know the best Intel Core i5 processors for gaming.

Additionally, these processors will provide you with a good performance on your day-to-day work activities too!

So stay tuned!

Best i5 Processors for gaming in 2021

Intel core i5 Socket
Image by Recklessstudios from Pixabay
Best i5 processors for gamingCores/Threadsclock speeds(GHz)iGPUOverclockableTDP(W)
Intel Core i5 9400F6/62.90 – 4.10NoNo65
Intel Core i5-10400F6/122.90 – 4.30NoNo65
Intel Core i5-104006/122.90 – 4.30YesNo65
Intel Core i5-9600KF6/63.70 – 4.60NoYes95
Intel Core i5-9600K6/63.70 – 4.60YesYes95
Intel Core i5-10600K6/124.10 – 4.89YesYes125

6) Intel core i5 9400F

Intel Core i5 9400F - Best i5 gaming processor
Image by Bruno /Germany from Pixabay 

Key Features

  • Cores/threads – 6/6,
  • clock speeds – 2.90 – 4.10 GHz,
  • Overclockable – No,
  • iGPU – No,
  • Cache – 9 MB,
  • TDP – 65 W.

The Intel i5 9400F comes loaded with 6 cores and 6 threads. It is one of the best budget i5 processors for gaming. The 9400F has a base and turbo clock speed of 2.90 GHz and 4.20 GHz respectively.

Surprisingly, the i5 processor only wants 65W power and manages to be a power-efficient solution.

You cannot overclock this budget gaming CPU. This means you will have to stick to basics after all.

Also, there is no hyperthreading in these Intel-based Processors. The ‘F’ at the end means that there is no integrated Graphics as well.

So, one question comes up. And that is as follows.

Is the Intel Core i5 9400F worth it? Yes, the i5 9400F offers one of the best single-core performance among its Ryzen 5 competitors. And combined with the high clock speeds, it is enough to play most of the games at ease.

Comparing it with Ryzen 5 market value, i5 manages to be a little cheaper.

All in all, the Intel Core i5 9400F is a good choice for gaming for a price it loads.


  • High Single-core Performance
  • Clock speeds are very improved
  • Power-efficient


  • No integrated GPU
  • Lacks hyper-threading
  • No overclocking

5) Intel Core i5-10400F

Intel Core i5-10400F - Best i5 Processors for Gaming

Key Features

  • Cores/threads – 6/12,
  • clock speeds – 2.90 – 4.30 GHz,
  • Overclockable – No,
  • iGPU – No,
  • Cache – 12 MB,
  • TDP – 65 W.

Intel Core i5 10400F is a bid deal. At least for me. For its price, the 10400F competes directly with the Ryzen 5 3600.

The i5 10400F is a Hexa-core processor with twelve threads. The base and turbo clock speeds of this budget gaming CPU are 2.90 & 4.30 GHz respectively.

This budget gaming processor neither comes with an iGPU nor it is overclockable.

Then, in this segment, you may ask:

How is 10400F better than the Ryzen 5 3600 which can be overclocked and has a better overall gaming performance?

First of all, there is not that much of a difference in gaming. Secondly, 10400F in proper conditions is very near to Ryzen 5 in its performance.

Also check: Best CPUs for 1650 Super!

Therefore, it is a 50-50 situation on both ends.

Sure, AMD has an upper hand.

But then, why would someone spend a huge amount if both processors are very near to their gaming benchmarks?

Furthermore, the Intel CPU 10400F has a better price to performance ratio. AMD CPU have suddenly gone overboard with their prices.


  • A tough competitor to Ryzen 5.
  • High clock speeds.
  • Power efficient.
  • No heating issues.


  • No iGPU.
  • Not overclockable.
  • Stays behind in heavy CPU tasks

4) Intel Core i5-10400

Key Features

  • Cores/threads – 6/12,
  • clock speeds – 2.90 – 4.30 GHz,
  • Overclockable – No,
  • iGPU – Yes,
  • Cache – 12 MB,
  • TDP – 65 W

The Intel Core i5 10400 is equipped with 6 cores and 12 threads. And yes, you can see multi-threading on this budget gaming processor. The base and turbo clock speeds are 2.90 GHz and 4.30 GHz respectively.

One downside I see is that you cannot overclock i5 10400. For some of you who are involved in CPU heavy tasks might go unhappy with this Intel Core CPU.

For example, people who do video edit or something like 3D image processing.

But, for gaming, 6 cores and 12 threads are more than enough as most heavy gaming titles in 2021 do not need more than that.

One more thing!

The Intel Core i5 10400 is a direct competitor to Ryzen 5 3600. When you see both the processors in action, you will get a better gaming performance on i5 10400 than the Ryzen 5 3600.

Check out how in this video.

But do not get confused, Ryzen 5 is still a clear winner in heavy CPU tasks.

So, if you want a powerful gaming experience, 10400 is your pick. And for those who want gaming as well as faster productivity, Ryzen 5 is your go-to option.


  • Dominates in gaming.
  • Multi-threaded.
  • High boost clock speeds.


  • Not Overclockable.
  • No integrated GPU.
  • Not fit in heavy CPU performance.

3) Intel Core i5-9600KF – Budget-friendly best i5 Processors for Gaming

Intel Core i5 9600KF - best i5 processors for gaming

Key Features

  • Cores/threads – 6/6,
  • clock speeds – 3.70 – 4.30 GHz,
  • Overclockable – Yes,
  • iGPU – No,
  • Cache – 9 MB
  • TDP – 95 W

The Intel Core i5 9600KF is packed with 6 cores and 6 threads. And gives you base and turbo clock speeds of 3.70 GHz & 4.30 GHz respectively. The 9600KF is overclockable but lacks the ability to multi-thread.

Also, a discrete graphics card is required for any graphical output. For me or any one of you, this should not be a big deal. Mainly because the Intel UHD graphics are not fit for gaming purposes. At most, these will give you an FPS of 10-20. So, keeping one of the best low-cost graphics card will be handy.

Related: Best CPUs for AMD Radeon RX 570!

Is Intel Core i5 9600KF good for gaming? Yes, the Intel core i5 9600KF is one of the best i5 processors for gaming and to enjoy most of the games in 2021. This budget gaming processor has the capability to run AAA games on high to ultra settings. All thanks to the overclocking it provides.

When you compare the 9600KF and 9600K, you’ll observe that there is not a major difference between the two Intel’s budget gaming CPUs.

Moreover, the 9600KF is made for those who do not want an iGPU. And want to cut down the additional CPU cost to make it more budget-friendly.

So at least keep one of the best cheap graphics cards ready!


  • Overclockable.
  • High Clock Speeds.
  • Enough for gaming.


  • No iGPU.
  • Not Multi-threaded.
  • Requires a discrete GPU.

2) Intel Core i5-9600K – A powerful i5 Processor

Intel Core i5 10600K - Cheap and Best i5 gaming Processor

Key Features

  • Cores/threads – 6/6,
  • clock speeds – 3.70 – 4.30 GHz,
  • Overclockable – Yes
  • iGPU – Yes
  • Cache – 9 MB,
  • TDP – 95 W

The Intel Core i5 9600K comes with 6 threads & 6 cores. And lacks the ability to multi-thread. The base and turbo clock speeds of the 9600K are 3.70 GHz & 4.30 GHz respectively.

Further, I have no hesitation to say that i5 9600K is one of the best budget gaming Processors under 20000 Rupees or $299.

Is i5 9600K good for Gaming? Yes. This gaming processor provides 6 cores which are fairly enough for gaming. And the option to overclock can give you an immersive gaming experience.

But make this processor resembles with the 9600KF. That means no multi-threading. And heavy CPU tasks are simply not to be done with this yet powerful i5 gaming processor.

Also check: Best CPUs for 1660 Super!


  • Overclockable.
  • integrated GPU.
  • High clock speeds.


  • Lacks multi-threading.
  • Not fit for heavy CPU tasks.
  • Can be a bit pricey.

1) Intel Core i5-10600K – Best Intel Core i5 processor for gaming!

best i5 processors for gaming

Key Features

  • Cores/threads – 6/12,
  • clock speeds – 4.10 – 4.80 GHz
  • Overclockable – Yes
  • iGPU – No,
  • Cache – 12 MB
  • TDP – 125 W

The Intel Core i5 10600K comes equipped with 6 Cores and 12 threads. That means more threads to you and heavy tasks. It features a base and turbo clock speeds of 4.10 and 4.80 GHz respectively. Additionally, you can easily overclock the 10600K to squeeze a speed of 5.1 GHz.

It is also one of the best CPU to pair with AMD Radeon RX 580!

One thing before we move any further, check our latest guide on best gaming processors under $400. There you can easily see Intel dominating over some of the AMD Ryzen 5 Competitors.

The 10600K is a good option for someone who is not happy with the 9600K. A reason for this can be that the 9600K does not feature multi-threading. Furthermore, 9600K stays behind in multiple running heavy CPU tasks.

So, this makes 10600K, one of the best i5 Processors for gaming as well as productivity tasks.

Is Intel Core i5 10600K good for gaming? The Intel Core i5 10600K performs really well on heavy games such as GTA V, RDR 2, Battlefield V, and many of the AAA titles. And it is a piece of cake to get an FPS rate of 100 and above on 1080p settings. This is one of the best Intel Core i5 that provides true value for money.

Or if you don’t believe me check these benchmarks.

You will be paying a high sum for this. But, it will be a good option for the long term as well.

So, if you have a cheap graphics card and looking for a future proof & best budget i5 processor for gaming, you can blindly trust this one.


  • Overclockable.
  • Multi-threaded.
  • High clock speeds.
  • Future Proof.


  • No iGPU(not that big).
  • Very costly.


In conclusion, the Intel Core i5 processors are not that bad as the world claims them to be. Especially, the new 11th generation Intel i5 11600K is a serious competition to the AMD Ryzen 5 line-up.

In the end, it is all about personal preference and daily needs. You are the master. Choose wisely!

Tell me in the comments which one of these best i5 processors for gaming, you’re going to pick?

About vasu samnotra 70 Articles
Hey there, A bit about myself, I always loved playing and watching online games. So, I created boltgamer from scratch with an idea to level up our skills. HAPPY GAMING!

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