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Intel Core i5-6300HQ vs Intel Core i7-6700HQ – which is better for gaming and is it worth the extra bucks for the i7

rcj_Intel_Skylake_Tock_Desktop_3With the new Skylake generation, Intel announced its first high-performance Core i5 processor and it was immediately adopted by many mid-range gaming notebooks. It has all what it takes to run the latest games – four cores, high-speed clocks – 2.3 – 3.2 GHz, and it runs on high voltage (45W TDP).

But with this new addition to the Core i5 family, a logical question emerges – is it a good enough substitution of the Core i7-6700HQ and how will affect gaming performance in real-life. Let’s take a brief look at what both chips can offer.

You can lookup Dell Inspiron 7559 with Core i5 or Core i7 CPUs at Amazon.com. You can do the same for the other alternatives with Core i5 and Core i7 processors on the market like Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition, Lenovo Y700, ASUS GL552VW and ASUS G552VW.

Intel Core i5-6300HQ

csm_4th_Generation_Intel___CoreOE_i5_Processor_Badge_08_d673281aef

Although it’s a part of the Core i5 line, it’s just ~15% slower than Intel Core i7-4702MQ and it’s ~50% faster than Intel Core i5-4300M. This makes Core i5-6300HQ perfect choice for gaming machines, where one would want to spend its budget on offerings with more powerful GPU, but wouldn’t make big compromise in terms of computing performance.

Furthermore, the chip is manufactured using 14nm FinFET process and integrates Intel HD Graphics 530 GT2 GPU with 24 EU (Executable Units) clocked at 350 – 950 MHz. The memory controller supports up to 64GB of DDR3 or DDR4 RAM at 1600 or 2133 MHz respectively. The CPU is suitable for heavy applications and gaming.

You can browse through our top CPUs ranking: http://laptopmedia.com/top-laptop-cpu-ranking/

Here you will find other useful information and every notebook we’ve tested with this processor: http://laptopmedia.com/processor/intel-core-i5-6300hq/

Intel Core i7-6700HQ

Intel_Core_i7_logo1Intel Core i7-6700HQ represents the Skylake H family and it’s considered as a high-performance chip with normal voltage and 45W TDP. This is a step down from its direct predecessor – Core i7-4700HQ, but matches its short-lived predecessor Core i7-5700HQ. The Core i7-6700HQ has four cores ticking at 2.6GHz and can go up to 3.5 GHz for one active core and 3.1 GHz for four active cores. The silicon supports the so-called Hyper-Threading technology that emulates one virtual core for each physical and thus establishing a total of 8 threads.

Furthermore, the chip is manufactured using 14nm FinFET process and integrates Intel HD Graphics 530 GPU with 24 EU (Executable Units) clocked at 350 – 1050 MHz. The memory controller supports up to 64GB of DDR3 or DDR4 RAM at 1600 or 2133 MHz respectively. The CPU is suitable for heavy applications and gaming.

You can browse through our top CPUs ranking: http://laptopmedia.com/top-laptop-cpu-ranking/

Here you will find other useful information and every notebook we’ve tested with this processor: http://laptopmedia.com/processor/intel-core-i7-6700hq/

So where’s the difference?

Okay, both chips are pretty similar – they are representatives of the same Skylake generation with 14nm FinFET manufacturing process, they both have four cores, cache levels are the same and the TDP is 45W in both cases. The only two things that set the chips apart are the Hyper-Threading feature, which is absent in the Core i5-6300HQ and the clock speeds of the CPU and GPU. The latter, however, might not be of great importance as almost all laptops on the market have discrete GPUs paired with the Core i7-6700HQ and Core i5-6300HQ CPUs. They are mainly used in gaming notebooks or high-performance machines that are intended for CPU-intensive tasks.

But the difference in clock speeds and the lack of Hyper-Threading support on the Core i5 will surely affect the overall performance. We’ve got 2.3 – 3.2 GHz on the Core i5 and 2.6 – 3.5 GHz on the Core i7. However, the Core i5 can reach only 2.8 GHz with four active cores while the Core i7 chip can go as high as 3.1 GHz with four active cores. This is important and should be noted. This should translate into better performance of the Core i7-6700HQ when it comes to CPU-intensive tasks and synthetic benchmark tests, but will it be better for gaming?

This is a question a lot of users might be asking themselves, because the Lenovo Y700 and the new Dell Inspiron 7559, for example, are sold in configurations including both CPUs and, of course, the Core i7 variants are a tad more expensive.

We will try to find an answer to this question by comparing both chips side by side on the synthetic benchmark arena and then we will compare two machines featuring both chips to see if there’s any significant difference in terms of gaming performance.

Benchmarks

Results are from our Photoshop benchmark test (the lower the score, the better)

Results are from the Fritz chess benchmark (the higher the score, the better)

Gaming tests

Both notebooks have similar configurations – NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M and 8GB of RAM. The only difference here is the CPU – the Inspiron 7559 features Core i5-6300HQ while the Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition boasts Core i7-6700HQ. Also, the settings used for the tests are the same in Full HD (1920×1080) resolution.

tomb-raider-2013-wallpaper1

Tomb Raider (Low)Tomb Raider (Medium)Tomb Raider (Max)
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition (VN7-592G)157 fps69 fps33 fps
Dell Inspiron 7559150 fps69 fps33 fps

f1-2015-game

F1 2015 (Low)F1 2015 (Medium)F1 2015 (Max)
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition (VN7-592G)59 fps45 fps33 fps
Dell Inspiron 755962 fps51 fps39 fps

thief_4_wallpaper_by_christian2506-d5x4ppb1

Thief (Low)Thief (Medium)Thief (Max)
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition (VN7-592G)55 fps47 fps30 fps
Dell Inspiron 755949 fps43 fps28 fps

gta5

GTA 5 (Low)GTA 5 (Medium)GTA 5 (Max)
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition (VN7-592G)105 fps35 fps15 fps
Dell Inspiron 755982 fps41 fps13 fps

Shadow_of_Mordor_Wikia_-_Welcome_Video (1)

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor (Low)Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor (Medium)Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor (Max)
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition (VN7-592G)78 fps43 fps32 fps
Dell Inspiron 755970 fps42 fps33 fps

You can lookup Dell Inspiron 7559 with Core i5 or Core i7 CPUs at Amazon.com. You can do the same for the other alternatives with Core i5 and Core i7 processors on the market like Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition, Lenovo Y700, ASUS GL552VW and ASUS G552VW.

Bottom line

As you can see from the tests above, the Core i7-6700HQ has an edge over the Core i5-6300HQ when it comes to raw performance. Synthetic benchmark tests indicate around 30-40% better performance and this might be solely on the CPU clocks and the Hyper-Threading feature. But when it comes to gaming performance, both chips perform great. The chances are that you won’t be needing the higher-end Core i7-6700HQ processor for gaming.

So at the end of the day, the Core i5-6300HQ might be the better choice for gaming, but if you are looking for more computational power for CPU-intensive tasks and work, the Core i7-6700HQ will be the way to go.