When you purchase a processor, they come with a set number of cores, so hexa-core means a 6 core processor and octa-core means an 8 core processor.
In general, the more cores a processor has, the better it will perform in multithreaded tasks, this is pretty much true with CPUs from the same architecture.
So, if you had to pick between an I5 11600K(hexa core processor), or an I9 11900K(octa core processor), the 11900K would win in multi core tasks.
Design And Architecture (How They Work)
The architecture plays a huge role in how many cores a CPU has, and how they perform. But generally speaking, a hexa core processor will have 6 physical cores on the die, and an octa core will have 8.
This remains true for most CPUs, each core will perform independently from each other but behave in the exact same manner with the same clock speeds.
So each core on a typical processor is equal in terms of performance, there’s no performance of efficiency cores which differ in terms of clock speeds and power consumption.
But with Intel, they’re starting to use a new “hybrid architecture” which aims to have two different sets of cores on one CPU die.
With Intel 12th generation chips, they use a hybrid of performance cores and efficiency cores so you can have a CPU with 2 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores making it a Dual-Quad-Core CPU (6 cores).
And if you had a CPU with 2 performance cores and 6 efficiency cores, it would make it a Dual-Hexa-Core CPU (8 cores)
You can also have a Quad-Quad CPU(4 P-Cores + 4 E-Cores) which is probably more powerful than a Dual-Hexa-Core CPU due to it having more P-Cores. But this is another form of an octa core CPU.
|Hybrid Architecture||Hybrid Configuration||Total Number Of Cores|
|Dual-Quad Core||2 P-Cores + 4 E-Cores||6(Hexa-Core)|
|Dual-Hexa Core||2 P-Cores + 6 E-Cores||8(Octa-Core)|
|Quad-Quad Core||4 P-Cores + 4 E-Cores||8(Octa-Core)|
Comparing Hexa-Core With Octa-Core CPUs
To be able to effectively compare two processors together, it’s important to ensure that they’re identical when it comes to architecture and generation.
This is so it evens the playing field and negates any effects of IPC. For example, we will only compare 12th generation Intel processors with other 12th generation intel processors.
Intel Hexa Core Processors
- Intel I5 12600 – Is the current iteration of Intel processors, although it’s part of the 12th gen, it doesn’t use any efficiency cores. It has 6 P-Cores effectively making it a hexa-core processor.
- Intel I5 11600K – Is the previous generation of intel processors, it only has 6 cores & 12 threads making it a hexa-core processor.
- Intel I5 11600KF – Is pretty much identical to the I5 11600K except it doesn’t have any integrated graphics, otherwise it’s just a hexa-core CPU.
- Intel I7 11600H – Is an 11th generation mobile processor, it utilizes 6 cores making it a hexa-core CPU. The ‘H’ suffix suggests that it’s high performing.
- Intel I5 11500H – Is also a mobile processor with 6 cores and 12 threads, and it’s also a high performing mobile chip.
|CPU||Core Count(Threads)||Clock Speed(Boost)||TDP|
|Intel I5 12600||6 P-Core + 0 E-Core(12)||3.3GHz(4.8GHz)||65 W|
|Intel I5 11600K||6(12)||3.9GHz(4.9GHz)||125W|
|Intel I5 11600KF||6(12)||3.9GHz(4.9GHz)||125W|
|Intel I7 11600H||6(12)||2.5GHz(4.6GHz)||35W|
|Intel I5 11500H||6(12)||2.4GHz(4.6GHz)||35W|
Intel Octa Core Processors
- Intel I9 11900K – Is the flagship 11th generation I9 processor, and it features 8 cores making it an octa core processor.
- Intel I9 11900KF – Is identical to the I9 11900K except it has no integrated graphics, people buy this to save money. It is also an octa-core processor.
- Intel I9 11900 – Is pretty much the standard version of the 11900K/KF, it doesn’t support overclocking, and it’s got lower clock speeds, but it’s still an octa-core processor.
- Intel I7 11700K – Is a mid/top range processor typically used by gamers, it’s an octa-core processor but since it’s an I7, it’s usually slower than their I9 counterparts.
- Intel I7 11700KF – Is identical to the I7 11700K, but the ‘F’ suffix denotes that it doesn’t come with integrated graphics. Nonetheless, it’s still an octa-core processor.
- Intel I7 11980HK – Is an octa-core processor but it’s a mobile processor which means it’s slower than their desktop counterparts. However, the ‘HK’ suffix means it’s high performing for a mobile chip.
- Intel I7 11950H – Is another high performing mobile chip, you typically find these processors in high-end gaming laptops. The 11950H is also an octa-core processor.
- Intel I7 11850HE – Is a high performing mobile processor due to the ‘H’ suffix, it is an octa-core CPU, and the ‘E’ suffix means it’s embedded.
|CPU||Core Count(Threads)||Core Count(Threads)||TDP|
|Intel I9 11900K||8(16)||3.5GHz(5.3GHz)||125W|
|Intel I9 11900KF||8(16)||3.5GHz(5.3GHz)||125W|
|Intel I9 11900||8(16)||2.5GHz(5.2GHz)||65W|
|Intel I7 11700K||8(16)||3.6GHz(5.0GHz)||125W|
|Intel I7 11700KF||8(16)||3.6GHz(5.0GHz)||125W|
|Intel I7 11980HK||8(16)||2.6GHz(5.0GHz)||45W|
|Intel I7 11950H||8(16)||2.6GHz(5.0GHz)||45W|
|Intel I7 11850HE||8(16)||2.1GHz(4.7GHz)||35W|
Ryzen Hexa Core Processors
- Ryzen 5 5600X – Is frequently used in mid-tier gaming builds due to its great single-core performance to price ratio. It’s a hexa core processor with 6 cores and 12 threads.
- Ryzen 5 5600 – Is similar in specs to Ryzen 5600X, except it’s pretty much a diluted version of it, the ‘X’ suffix means the processor is faster than the original model (5600). The Ryzen 5 5600X is a hexa-core processor.
- Ryzen 5 5600G – Is also similar in specs to the Ryzen 5600X, it’s a hexa-core processor, but it has integrated graphics hence the ‘G’ suffix. It’s also clocked lower than the 5600X.
- Ryzen 5 5600H – Is a mobile hexa-core Ryzen processor, so you’ll find these processors in many laptops. The ‘H’ suffix suggests that it’s high performing.
- Ryzen 5 5625U – Is another mobile hexa-core Ryzen processor, it’s similar in specs to the 5600H except it’s a lot slower. This is because it’s an ultra low power CPU hence the ‘U’ suffix.
- Ryzen 5 6600H – Is a high performing hexa-core mobile processor, it surpasses the 5000th generation mobile processors.
- Ryzen 5 6600HS – Is a hexa-core mobile processor similar in specs to the Ryzen 6600H except the TDP is much lower. The ‘HS’ suffix usually means the TDP is 35W.
|CPU||Core Count(Threads)||Clock Speed(Boost)||TDP|
|Ryzen 5 5600X||6(12)||3.7GHz(4.6GHz)||65W|
|Ryzen 5 5600||6(12)||3.5GHz(4.4GHz)||65W|
|Ryzen 5 5600G||6(12)||3.9GHz(4.4GHz)||65W|
|Ryzen 5 5600H||6(12)||3.3GHz(4.2GHz)||35–54W|
|Ryzen 5 5625U||6(12)||2.6GHz(4.0GHz)||15W|
|Ryzen 5 5600U||6(12)||2.3GHz(4.2GHz)||10-25W|
|Ryzen 5 6600H||6(12)||3.3GHz(4.5GHz)||45W|
|Ryzen 5 6600HS||6(12)||3.3GHz(4.5GHz)||35W|
Ryzen Octa Core Processors
- Ryzen 7 5800X – Is an octa-core mobile processor with a clock speed of 3.8GHz, and a boost clock speed of 4.GHz.
- Ryzen 7 5800X3D – Is pretty much the same as the Ryzen 7 5800X except the cache is significantly large, this benefits gamers a lot. It’s also an octa-core processor.
- Ryzen 7 5700G – Is similar in specs to the Ryzen 7 5800X except its clock speeds are slightly lower, the TDP is lower, and it comes with integrated graphics. It’s also an octa-core processor.
- Ryzen 9 5980HX – Is a mobile octa-core Ryzen processor, it comes with a base clock speed of 3.3Ghz, and a boost clock speed of 4.8GHz.
- Ryzen 9 5980HS – Is another mobile octa core processor, its specs are quite similar to the Ryzen 5980HX except it has a 35W TDP.
- Ryzen 9 5900HX – Is a mobile octa core processor which you can find in a lot of gaming laptops, it has a base clock speed of 3.3GHz, and a boost clock speed of 4.6GHz.
- Ryzen 7 5800HS – Is a Ryzen 7 octa-core mobile processor, it’s also a high performing CPU, but with a TDP of around 35-54W
- Ryzen 7 5825U – Is a ultra low voltage octa core CPU, it has a TDP of around 15W. The bae clock speed is 2GHz, and the boost clock speed is 4.5GHz.
|CPU||Core Count(Threads)||Clock Speed(Boost)||TDP|
|Ryzen 7 5800X||8(16)||3.8GHz(4.7GHz)||105W|
|Ryzen 7 5800X3D||8(16)||3.4GHz(4.5GHz)||105W|
|Ryzen 7 5700G||8(16)||3.8GHz(4.6GHz)||65W|
|Ryzen 9 5980HX||8(16)||3.3GHz(4.8GHz)||35–54W|
|Ryzen 9 5980HS||8(16)||3.0GHz(4.8GHz)||35W|
|Ryzen 9 5900HX||8(16)||3.3GHz(4.6GHz)||35–54W|
|Ryzen 7 5800HS||8(16)||2.8GHz(4.4GHz)||35–54W|
|Ryzen 7 5825U||8(16)||2.0GHz(4.5GHz)||15W|
Cinebench R23 Multi-core Results:
- Intel I5 11600K(Hexa-Core): 11417
- Intel I7 11700K(Octa-Core): 15183
The 11700K wins when it comes to multi-core tests, but the 11600K doesn’t fall too far behind. But if you were to build a PC for video editing, the 11700K would be the better chip.
- Intel I7 11600H(Hexa-Core): 10651
- Intel I7 11950H(Octa-Core): 13051
For the mobile processors, the I7 11950H wins in terms of multi-core performance which is to be expected with a CPU with 2 extra processing cores. For multithreaded tasks, a laptop with the 11950H will be superior.
- Ryzen 5 5600X(Hexa-Core): 12051
- Ryzen 7 5800X(Octa-Core): 15466
Now for Ryzen processors, the Ryzen 7 5800X wins in terms of multicore tests by around 3500 points, however the Ryzen 5 5600X is still a great chip when it comes to gaming.
- Ryzen 5 5600G(Hexa-Core): 11280
- Ryzen 7 5700G(Octa-Core): 14208
The Ryzen 7 5700G also beats the Ryzen 5 5600G by about 3000 points, so in multithreaded tasks the Ryzen 7 5700G is far better.
What’s Better For Gaming – Hexa Vs Octa Core CPUs
When it comes to gaming, the core count is less important, this is because games focus more on single-core performance.
So whatever processor has the higher clock speed within the same microarchitecture and generation will be the best CPU for gaming.
It’s important to keep the architecture identical to minimize the effects of IPC as IPC plays a huge role when it comes to single-core performance.
It’s worth noting, CPUs with higher core counts tend to have higher clock speeds, this means that they’re less likely going to bottleneck your graphics card in a gaming situation.
Octa-Core CPUs May Be Better For Multitasking
If you intend on playing games whilst streaming, or running other applications in the background, then a CPU with more cores may help more.
But when it comes to pure frames per second, games will only really use 6 cores at max. So you shouldn’t expect a CPU with 8 cores to massively outperform a CPU with 6 cores when it comes to FPS.
In conclusion, octa-core processors are obviously better than hexa-core processors when it comes to running multithreaded tasks such as video editing, 3D modelling, and streaming.
But when it comes to gaming, the effects of having more cores diminish as games prefer single-core performance much more.
So if you’re building a PC for strictly games, a hexa-core CPU with decent clock speeds may save you a bit of money.
But if you need a bit more power for CPU intensive tasks, then we recommend getting yourself a CPU with at least 8 cores.