Just how important are CPU cores to gaming? How many cores you had didn’t make much difference in the past, as games were not designed to utilize these. Gaming CPUs in 2022 have at least four cores and game developers use this opportunity in their designs. The difficulty is that CPU performance differs between games and is affected by which graphics card it is teamed with. The core is thus the best measurement. Is there an ideal number of cores for gaming? We help you gauge what is best for you.

CPUs and Cores

CPUs are responsible for carrying out program instructions. Early generation CPUs had a single processing unit and could only handle one command at a time. This would not work with gaming PCs nowadays due to the volume of instructions and data to be processed.

As a result, CPUs now contain several processing units, known as cores, which allow them to ‘multitask’. This means faster speeds and the ability to operate several games or programs simultaneously.

Cores consist of virtual threads that can also work together at the same time. This essentially converts a single core into two processors, in what is known as hyperthreading. Multithreading, on the other hand, divides the CPU into multiple threads to act as subordinate CPUs. Both aim to improve performance, and each is used by different manufacturers.

Cores and Threads

Cores are part of the CPUs hardware. Threads are virtual components created for task processing.

Threads are sets of instructions or code that are executed by the CPU. They arise from the creation of a process. One process can have multiple threads so that it conducts various tasks at the same time. 

More cores mean more threads. More threads equal greater performance and more concurrent functions on your Lenovo gaming laptop.

A dual-core processor with hyperthreading will perform the work of four cores. If you have four cores, you are looking at the speed of eight cores.

Together, the CPU and threads manage all the processes like opening programs or providing instructions to your laptop for gaming. To run multiple processes, you need enough threads.

The Number of Cores needed for Gaming 

Although the older dual-core CPUs are still found in a few devices, they are generally considered a relic of the past. You could struggle to run just a browser with these. Modern dual-core processors use multithreading and come with four threads. This is adequate for some of the earlier games but will not provide a smooth experience for the more complex video games of the day. 

However, you are more likely to encounter gamers with four cores and eight threads. Even this may not take you into the foreseeable future. 

The experts recommend avoiding single-core CPUs altogether and going for a dual-core if you game infrequently and mainly use your device for internet searches and word processing. Four cores will enable you to game with ease, but if you are a serious gamer, you need to look at a six-core. A competitive gamer may want to reach for the eight-core but from here, the rise in price should be the determining factor weighed against what graphic card (GPU) is matched with your CPU.

The ideal for most 2022 gamers is still the six-core CPU.