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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Core i5-661 3.33GHz Core i5-650 3.2GHz
Cyberpunk 2077 97% 103%
Hitman 3 166% 174%
Resident Evil 8 119% 126%
Assassins Creed: Valhalla 166% 174%
FIFA 21 85% 90%
Grand Theft Auto VI 224% 234%
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War 91% 97%
Genshin Impact 49% 54%
Far Cry 6 211% 221%
The Medium 239% 249%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core i5-661 3.33GHz is marginally better than the Intel Core i5-650 3.2GHz 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.

Both the Core i5-661 3.33GHz and the Core i5-650 3.2GHz were released at the same time, so are likely to be quite similar.

The Core i5-661 3.33GHz and the Core i5-650 3.2GHz both have 2 cores, and so are quite likely to struggle with the latest games, or at least bottleneck high-end graphics cards when running them. With a decent accompanying GPU, the Core i5-661 3.33GHz and the Core i5-650 3.2GHz may still be able to run slightly older games fairly effectively.

Both the Intel Core i5-661 3.33GHz and the Intel Core i5-650 3.2GHz have the same number of threads. Both the Core i5-661 3.33GHz and the Core i5-650 3.2GHz use hyperthreading. The Core i5-661 3.33GHz has 2 logical threads per physical core and the Core i5-650 3.2GHz has 2.

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 i5-661 3.33GHz and the Core i5-650 3.2GHz are from the same family of CPUs, and thus their clock speeds are directly comparable. With this in mind, it is safe to say that with a 0.13 GHz faster base clock rate, the Core i5-661 3.33GHz manages to provide marginally better performance than the Core i5-650 3.2GHz. What is more, the Core i5-661 3.33GHz also manages to eke 0.14 GHz higher frequency when being stressed by CPU-intensive applications.

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 i5-661 3.33GHz and the Core i5-650 3.2GHz 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 i5-661 3.33GHz 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 i5-650 3.2GHz has a 14 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Core i5-661 3.33GHz (though they were created with the same size 32 nm manufacturing technology). What this means is the Core i5-650 3.2GHz will consume slightly less power and consequently produce less heat, enabling more prolonged computational tasks with fewer adverse effects. This will lower your yearly electricity bill slightly, as well as prevent you from having to invest in extra cooling mechanisms (unless you overclock).

The Core i5-661 3.33GHz and the Core i5-650 3.2GHz 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 CodenameClarkdaleClarkdale
MoBo SocketLGA 1156/Socket HLGA 1156/Socket H
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date07 Jan 201007 Jan 2010
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores2vs2
CPU Threads4vs4
Clock Speed3.33 GHzvs3.2 GHz
Turbo Frequency3.6 GHzvs3.46 GHz
Max TDP87 Wvs73 W
Lithography32 nmvs32 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature70°Cvs73°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size128 KBvs128 KB
L2 Cache Size512 KBvs512 KB
L3 Cache Size4 MBvs4 MB
Max Memory Size-vs16 GB
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

GraphicsHD i5 661HD i5 650
Base GPU Frequency900 MHzvs733 MHz
Max GPU Frequency-vs-
DirectX10vs10
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 i5-661 3.33GHz is a performance CPU based on the 45nm, Nehalem architecture.

It offers 2 Physical Cores (4 Logical), initially clocked at 3.33GHz, which may go up to 3.6GHz and 4MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, Hyper-Threading, Turbo Boost and Virtualization are activated.

The processor integrates very weak Graphics called Intel i5 661, with XX Execution Units, clocked at 900MHz which share the L2 Cache and system RAM with the processor.
Both the processor and integrated graphics have a rated board TDP of 87W.

It offers average performance. This means it will become a bottleneck in some demanding applications.
Core i5-650 3.2GHz is a performance CPU based on the 45nm, Nehalem architecture.

It offers 2 Physical Cores (4 Logical), initially clocked at 3.2GHz, which may go up to 3.46GHz and 4MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, Hyper-Threading, Turbo Boost and Virtualization are activated.

The processor integrates very weak Graphics called Intel i5 650, with XX Execution Units, clocked at 733MHz which share the L2 Cache and system RAM with the processor.
Both the processor and integrated graphics have a rated board TDP of 73W.

It offers average performance. This means it will become a bottleneck in some demanding applications.