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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Core i5-4590T 2.0GHz Core i5-3550 3.3GHz
Cyberpunk 2077 18% 2%
Assassins Creed: Valhalla 58% 32%
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War 14% 5%
Microsoft Flight Simulator 33% 11%
Immortals: Fenyx Rising 26% 6%
FIFA 21 10% 8%
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands 83% 53%
Watch Dogs Legion 58% 32%
Genshin Impact 11% 26%
Grand Theft Auto VI 93% 61%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core i5-3550 3.3GHz is massively better than the Intel Core i5-4590T 2.0GHz when it comes to running the latest games. This also means it will be less likely to bottleneck more powerful GPUs, allowing them to achieve more of their gaming performance potential.

The Core i5-4590T 2.0GHz was released over a year more recently than the Core i5-3550 3.3GHz, and so the Core i5-4590T 2.0GHz is likely to have better levels of support, and will be more optimized for running the latest games.

Both CPUs exhibit very powerful performance, so it probably isn't worth upgrading from one to the other, as both are capable of running even the most demanding games at the highest settings (assuming they are accompanied by equivalently powerful GPUs).

The Core i5-4590T 2.0GHz and the Core i5-3550 3.3GHz both have 4 cores, which is not likely to be a limiting factor for gaming.

Both the Intel Core i5-4590T 2.0GHz and the Intel Core i5-3550 3.3GHz have the same number of threads. Both CPUs have one thread per physical core.

Multiple threads are useful for improving the performance of multi-threaded applications. Additional cores and their accompanying thread will always be beneficial for multi-threaded applications. Hyperthreading will be beneficial for applications optimized for it, but it may slow others down. For games, the number of threads is largely irrelevant, as long as you have at least 2 cores (preferably 4), and hyperthreading can sometimes even hit performance.

More important for gaming than the number of cores and threads is the clock rate. Problematically, unless the two CPUs are from the same family, this can only serve as a general guide and nothing like an exact comparison, because the clock cycles per instruction (CPI) will vary so much.

The Core i5-4590T 2.0GHz and Core i5-3550 3.3GHz are not from the same family of CPUs, so their clock speeds are by no means directly comparable. Bear in mind, then, that while the Core i5-3550 3.3GHz has a 1.3 GHz faster frequency, this is not always an indicator that it will be superior in performance, despite frequency being crucial when trying to avoid GPU bottlenecking. In this case, however, the difference is probably a good indicator that the is superior.

Aside from the clock rate, the next-most important CPU features for PC game performance are L2 and L3 cache size. Faster than RAM, the more cache available, the more data that can be stored for lightning-fast retrieval. L1 Cache is not usually an issue anymore for gaming, with most high-end CPUs eking out about the same L1 performance, and L2 is more important than L3 - but L3 is still important if you want to reach the highest levels of performance. Bear in mind that although it is better to have a larger cache, the larger it is, the higher the latency, so a balance has to be struck.

The Core i5-4590T 2.0GHz and the Core i5-3550 3.3GHz have the same L2 cache size, and the same L3 cache size, so in terms of cache-related gaming performance, we have to look back to the clock rate, where the Core i5-3550 3.3GHz wins out.

The maximum Thermal Design Power is the power in Watts that the CPU will consume in the worst case scenario. The lithography is the semiconductor manufacturing technology being used to create the CPU - the smaller this is, the more transistors that can be fit into the CPU, and the closer the connections. For both the lithography and the TDP, it is the lower the better, because a lower number means a lower amount of power is necessary to run the CPU, and consequently a lower amount of heat is produced.

The Core i5-4590T 2.0GHz has a 42 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Core i5-3550 3.3GHz (though they were created with the same size 22 nm manufacturing technology). What this means is the Core i5-4590T 2.0GHz will consume significantly less power and consequently produce less heat, enabling more prolonged computational tasks with fewer adverse effects. This will lower your yearly electricity bill significantly, as well as prevent you from having to invest in extra cooling mechanisms (unless you overclock).

The Core i5-4590T 2.0GHz and the Core i5-3550 3.3GHz both have an on-board GPU, which means that they will be capable of running basic graphics applications (i.e., games) without the need for a dedicated graphics card.

For an in-depth GPU comparison, click on the GPU comparison icon that you can find throughout Game-Debate:

On-board GPUs tend to be fairly awful in comparison to dedicated cards from the likes of AMD or Nvidia, but as they are built into the CPU, they also tend to be cheaper and require far less power to run (this makes them a good choice for laptops). We would recommend a dedicated card for running the latest games, but integrated GPUs are improving all the time and casual gamers may find less recent games perform perfectly acceptably.

CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameHaswellIvy Bridge
MoBo SocketLGA 1150LGA 1155/Socket H2
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date14 May 201401 Apr 2012
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores4vs4
CPU Threads4vs4
Clock Speed2 GHzvs3.3 GHz
Turbo Frequency3 GHzvs3.7 GHz
Max TDP35 Wvs77 W
Lithography22 nmvs22 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature100°Cvs67°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size256 KBvs256 KB
L2 Cache Size1024 KBvs1024 KB
L3 Cache Size6 MBvs6 MB
Max Memory Size-vs32 GB
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 4600 DesktopIntel HD Graphics 2500 Desktop
Base GPU Frequency400 MHzvs650 MHz
Max GPU Frequency1250 MHzvs-
DirectX11.1vs11
Displays Supported-vs-
Comparison

CPU Package and Version Specifications

Package Size-vs-
Revision-vs-
PCIe Revision-vs-
PCIe Configurations-vs-

Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

CPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewCore i5-4590T 2.0GHz is a super energy efficient CPU based on the 22nm, Haswell architecture.

It offers 4 Physical Cores (4 Logical), initially clocked at 2.0GHz, which may go up to 3.0GHz and 6MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, Turbo Boost and Virtualization are activated.

The processor integrates powerful Graphics called Intel HD Graphics 4600, with 20 Execution Units, initially clocked at 350MHz and that go up to 1150MHz, in Turbo Mode which share the L2 Cache and system RAM with the processor.
Both the processor and integrated graphics have a rated board TDP of 65W.

Its performance is very good and sufficient for extreme gaming.
Core i5-3550 3.3GHz is a performance CPU based on the 22nm, Ivy Bridge architecture.

It offers 4 Physical Cores (4 Logical), initially clocked at 3.3GHz, which may go up to 3.7GHz and 6MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, Turbo Boost and Virtualization are activated and the processor has multiplier unlocked.

The processor integrates relatively weak Graphics called Intel HD Graphics 2500, with 6 Execution Units, initially clocked at 650MHz and that go up to 1150MHz, in Turbo Mode which share the L2 Cache and system RAM with the processor.
Both the processor and integrated graphics have a rated board TDP of 77W.

Its performance is very good and sufficient for extreme gaming.