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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Pentium Gold G5400 2-Core 3.7GHz Core i3-7100 2-Core 3.9GHz
Cyberpunk 2077 75% 90%
Call of Duty Warzone 21% 32%
Valorant 16% 9%
Grand Theft Auto VI 137% 158%
Assassins Creed: Valhalla 75% 90%
Doom Eternal 94% 111%
Death Stranding 53% 66%
Marvel's Avengers 75% 90%
Microsoft Flight Simulator 42% 54%
Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord 120% 139%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Pentium Gold G5400 2-Core 3.7GHz is noticeably better than the Intel Core i3-7100 2-Core 3.9GHz 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 Pentium Gold G5400 was released over three years more recently than the Core i3-7100 2-Core, and so the Pentium Gold G5400 is likely to have far better levels of support, and will be much more optimized and ultimately superior to the Core i3-7100 2-Core when 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 Pentium Gold G5400 and the Core i3-7100 2-Core 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 Pentium Gold G5400 and the Core i3-7100 2-Core may still be able to run slightly older games fairly effectively.

Both the Intel Pentium Gold G5400 2-Core 3.7GHz and the Intel Core i3-7100 2-Core 3.9GHz have the same number of threads. Both the Pentium Gold G5400 and the Core i3-7100 2-Core use hyperthreading. The Pentium Gold G5400 has 2 logical threads per physical core and the Core i3-7100 2-Core 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 Pentium Gold G5400 and Core i3-7100 2-Core 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 i3-7100 2-Core has a 0.2 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. As such, we need to look elsewhere for more reliable comparisons.

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 Pentium Gold G5400 and the Core i3-7100 2-Core have the same L2 cache size, but the Pentium Gold G5400 has a 1 MB bigger L3 cache, so in this area, it wins out over the Core i3-7100 2-Core.

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.

Both the Pentium Gold G5400 and the Core i3-7100 2-Core have the same TDP of 51 Watts, and were created with the same manufacturing size of 14 nm, which means they will affect your yearly electricity bill about equally.

The Pentium Gold G5400 has an on-board GPU, which means that it will be capable of running basic graphics applications (i.e., games) without the need for a dedicated graphics card. The Core i3-7100 2-Core, however, does not, and you will probably have to look for a dedicated card if you wish to use it at all.

For in-depth GPU comparisons with the Intel HD Graphics 610, click on the following GPU overview comparison icon (visible throughout Game-Debate), and choose a GPU from the list to compare against:

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 CodenameCoffee Lake SKaby Lake
MoBo SocketLGA 1151LGA 1151
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date26 Feb 201830 Nov -0001
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores2vs2
CPU Threads4vs4
Clock Speed3.7 GHzvs3.9 GHz
Turbo Frequency-vs-
Max TDP51 Wvs51 W
Lithography14 nmvs14 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature-vs100°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size128 KBvs64 KB
L2 Cache Size512 KBvs512 KB
L3 Cache Size4 MBvs3 MB
Max Memory Size-vs64 GB
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 610
Base GPU Frequency350 MHzvs-
Max GPU Frequency1050 MHzvs-
DirectX12.0vs-
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 ReviewThe Pentium Gold G5400 2-Core 3.7GHz is a budget processor based on the 14nm Cofee Lake architecture. It offers 2 Physical Cores (4 Logical), clocked at 3.7GHz and 4MB of L3 Cache. Among its many features, Hyperthreading, Virtualization, and Enhanced SpeedStep are activated. The processor integrates Graphics called Intel UHD Graphics 610 (Kaby Lake), with 24 Execution Units, initially clocked at 350MHz and that go up to 1050MHz, in Turbo Mode which shares the L2 Cache and system RAM with the processor. It will struggle to run the latest AAA games at playable frame rates. Both the processor and integrated graphics have a rated board TDP of 51W. Intel's Pentium Gold G5400 2-Core 3.7GHz offers average to good performance and is classified in the low to middle-class range of processors. This means it will become a bottleneck in some demanding applications, although gaming performance will be largely fine.The Core i3-7100 2-Core 3.9GHz is a high-end CPU based on Intel's 7th Gen 14nm, Kaby Lake microarchitecture. It offers 2 physical cores (4 logical), clocked at 3.9GHz. It doesn't have an unlocked multiplier, therefore, it can't be overclocked using traditional methods. It has 3MB of L3 Cache. Level 3 cache is a static memory bank of a processor and it is used to feed it instructions. This processor also supports DDR4 based RAMs with maximum memory support of 64GB. It has a maximum Thermal Power Design of 51W. It is on par with competitor processors. Among its many features, Intel Enhanced Speedstep, HyperThreading and Virtualization are activated. Turbo Boost is not activated. It integrates Intel HD Graphics 630 on board. It has a base frequency of 350MHz which can go up to 1GHz as well as offer DirectX 12 support. This CPU is likely to offer good computational performance but may suffer from performance dips on higher resolutions and demanding applications.