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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Core i5-8500T 6-Core 2.1GHz Core i3-2100T 2.5GHz
Cyberpunk 2077 28% 217%
Hyper Scape 4% 156%
Assassins Creed: Valhalla 28% 217%
Far Cry 6 44% 257%
Valorant 39% 51%
Horizon: Zero Dawn 4% 156%
Watch Dogs Legion 2% 151%
Death Stranding 12% 176%
Grand Theft Auto VI 50% 272%
Microsoft Flight Simulator 4% 156%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core i5-8500T 6-Core 2.1GHz is massively better than the Intel Core i3-2100T 2.5GHz 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 i5-8500T 6-Core was released over three years more recently than the Core i3-2100T 2.5GHz, and so the Core i5-8500T 6-Core is likely to have far better levels of support, and will be much more optimized and ultimately superior to the Core i3-2100T 2.5GHz when running the latest games.

The Core i5-8500T 6-Core has 4 more cores than the Core i3-2100T 2.5GHz. With 6 cores, the Core i5-8500T 6-Core is much less likely to struggle with the latest games, or bottleneck high-end graphics cards when running them.

The Core i5-8500T 6-Core has 2 more threads than the Core i3-2100T 2.5GHz. The Core i5-8500T 6-Core has one thread per physical core, whereas the Core i3-2100T 2.5GHz uses hyperthreading and has 2 logical threads 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 i5-8500T 6-Core and Core i3-2100T 2.5GHz 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 i3-2100T 2.5GHz has a 0.4 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 enough that it possibly indicates the superiority of the Core i5-8500T 6-Core.

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 i5-8500T 6-Core has a 1024 KB bigger L2 cache than the Core i3-2100T 2.5GHz, which means that it, at worst, wins out in this area, and at best, will provide superior gaming performance and will work much better with high-end graphics cards.

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 Core i5-8500T 6-Core and the Core i3-2100T 2.5GHz have the same TDP of 35 Watts, but the Core i5-8500T 6-Core has a lower lithography size, and so will affect your yearly electricity bills less adversely.

The Core i5-8500T 6-Core and the Core i3-2100T 2.5GHz 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 CodenameCoffee Lake SSandy Bridge
MoBo SocketLGA 1151LGA 1155/Socket H2
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date02 Apr 201820 Feb 2011
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores6vs2
CPU Threads6vs4
Clock Speed2.1 GHzvs2.5 GHz
Turbo Frequency3.5 GHzvs-
Max TDP35 Wvs35 W
Lithography14 nmvs32 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature100°Cvs65°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size384 KBvs128 KB
L2 Cache Size1536 KBvs512 KB
L3 Cache Size9 MBvs3 MB
Max Memory Size-vs32 GB
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

GraphicsIntel UHD Graphics 630Intel HD Graphics 2000 Desktop
Base GPU Frequency350 MHzvs850 MHz
Max GPU Frequency1150 MHzvs1350 MHz
DirectX12vs10.1
Displays Supported-vs-
Comparison

CPU Package and Version Specifications

Package Size149 mm˛vs-
Revision-vs-
PCIe Revision-vs-
PCIe Configurations-vs-

Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

CPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewThe Intel Core i5-8500T 6-Core 2.1GHz is a low to mid-range power-efficient CPU based on Intel's 8th Gen 14nm Coffee Lake S microarchitecture. It offers 6 physical cores (6 logical), initially clocked at 2.1GHz across all six cores, rising to a maximum of 3.5GHz with Turbo Boost 2.0 enabled. The i5-8500T does not have an unlocked multiplier and therefore cannot be overclocked using traditional methods. It has 9MB of L3 Cache. Level 3 cache is a static memory bank of a processor and it is used to feed it instructions. The Core i3-8500T has support for up to 64GB of dual-channel DDR4-2400 memory. It has a maximum Thermal Power Design of 35W, making it a very power efficient processor. Among its many features are Intel Enhanced Speedstep, Turbo Boost 2.0, Virtualization, SSE3, AVX2 and SSE 4.2. This CPU is likely to offer average computational performance and could become a bottleneck in some of the most CPU-intensive AAA games from 2018 onward.Core i3-2100T 2.5GHz is a super power efficient CPU based on the 32nm, Sandy Bridge architecture.

It offers 2 Physical Cores (4 Logical), clocked at 2.5GHz and 3MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, Turbo Boost and HyperThreading are activated.

The processor integrates weak Graphics called Intel HD Graphics 2000, with 6 Execution Units, initially clocked at 650MHz and that go up to 1100MHz, 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 35W.

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