Is 8 Cores Enough For Gaming?

A processor for gaming should typically have decent single-core performance, but what about core count, is 8 cores sufficient for gaming?

Well for gaming, the core count to a certain extent does have an impact on gaming, for example, you need to have enough cores to run background tasks as well as the game.

In today’s age, 8 cores is more than enough for gaming, you can typically get away with only 6 cores, but 8 cores gives you more headroom when it comes to games & multitasking.

Do Games Need 8 Cores?

call of duty warzone
Cod Warzone

Games today will use around 4-6 cores, and very rarely will going for more cores produce higher frame rates. This is because games benefit from single-core performance.

An octa-core processor can be seen as overkill for games, you can pretty much get away just fine with a mid tier Ryzen 5 or I5 with 6 cores.

So if you’re building a gaming PC, we recommend focusing on the clock speed and generation of the processor, this will make for a better gaming PC.

As you can see from the table below, the majority of games use between 4-6 cores, but there are some games that require only 2 cores.

GameRecommended Core Count
Call Of Duty Warzone4
Forza Horizon 54
Far Cry 64
Battlefield 54
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla4
Elden Ring6

Should I Buy an 8 Core Processor?

For a gamer, you really can’t go wrong with an 8 core processor, the level of multitasking an 8 core processor offers is decent if you’re looking to video edit or stream on the side.

So an 8 core processor makes more sense for multipurpose PCs where gaming isn’t the only thing you’re going to be doing.

But if you want a strict gaming PC you can save some money going for only a 6 core processor, this is because you receive similar gaming performance to an 8 core CPU whilst saving some money.

A great example of this is with the I5 11600K and the I7 11700K. The I5 costs $262 whereas the I7 costs $399 whilst delivering similar FPS in games.

Check out the video below for an idea on how these two processors perform. In general, I5s are seen as amazing gaming CPUs for the price to FPS ratio.

What Type Of Processors Have 8 Cores?

The type of processors that have up to 8 cores are usually mid to high end processors. So you’ll find Ryzen 7 and I7 processors with around 8 cores.

With high end processors, they’re typically used for workstations and not gaming builds due to their high core counts.

But you can still use high end processors for gaming if you’re looking to leave very little performance on the table.

Intel 8 Core Processors


The last processors made by Intel that use 8 cores are part of the 11th generation lineup of processors. They’re still plenty strong for gaming, but the 12th gen CPUs are out, and the 13th gen CPUs are on the way.

For gaming, you can probably do better purchasing a 6 core I5 12600 as it’s likely cheaper than the 8 core 11th gen chips, and offers better gaming performance.

But if you already possess one of these processors such as the I9 11900K, it should suffice for gaming for a very long time, there should be no need to upgrade immediately.

This is because it has decent single-core performance, it should be able to game well at 1440P and 4K with very little issues.

CPUCore Count(Threads)Core Count(Threads)TDP
Intel I9 11900K8(16)3.5GHz(5.3GHz)125W
Intel I9 11900KF8(16)3.5GHz(5.3GHz)125W
Intel I9 119008(16)2.5GHz(5.2GHz)65W
Intel I7 11700K8(16)3.6GHz(5.0GHz)125W
Intel I7 11700KF8(16)3.6GHz(5.0GHz)125W
Intel I7 11980HK8(16)2.6GHz(5.0GHz)45W
Intel I7 11950H8(16)2.6GHz(5.0GHz)45W
Intel I7 11850HE8(16)2.1GHz(4.7GHz)35W

Ryzen 8 Core Processors


Ryzen has plenty of processors that use up to 8 cores, you will typically find 8 cores in the Ryzen 7 and some laptop Ryzen 9 processors.

One of the best gaming processors at the moment is actually the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, it’s able to rival the I9 12900K when it comes to gaming.

So it’s a really strong 8 core processor that we recommended for gamers. The reason why it’s gaming performance is so strong is due to the 3D vertical cache.

The Ryzen 7 5800X is similar to the Ryzen 5800X3D, except it doesn’t have the 3D cache. The 5800X3D is regarded as being 11% faster.

So if you’re serious about gaming, the best CPU is actually an 8 core processor despite 6 cores only being necessary.

CPUCore Count(Threads)Clock Speed(Boost)TDP
Ryzen 7 5800X8(16)3.8GHz(4.7GHz)105W
Ryzen 7 5800X3D8(16)3.4GHz(4.5GHz)105W
Ryzen 7 5700G8(16)3.8GHz(4.6GHz)65W
Ryzen 9 5980HX8(16)3.3GHz(4.8GHz)35–54W
Ryzen 9 5980HS8(16)3.0GHz(4.8GHz)35W
Ryzen 9 5900HX8(16)3.3GHz(4.6GHz)35–54W
Ryzen 7 5800HS8(16)2.8GHz(4.4GHz)35–54W
Ryzen 7 5825U8(16)2.0GHz(4.5GHz)15W

Can An 8 Core CPU Game And Stream At The Same Time?


For streaming, the recommendation is actually 6 cores, so 8 cores is giving you extra performance when it comes to software encoding.

But if you’re software encoding, and you have a dedicated GPU, you may actually be ruining your gaming experience.

This is because for streaming, hardware encoding is actually better, hardware encoders will use your graphics card instead of your CPU.

GPUs have pretty strong encoders, NVIDIA graphics cards have NVENC which is able to save up to 56% more performance compared to X264 which is a software encoder.

If you’re building a dedicated streaming PC, then an 8 core CPU is good, but if you’re streaming on your main PC, try to use your hardware encoder if you have one.

Also Read: How Many Cores For Gaming And Streaming?

Pros & Cons Of 8 Core Processors

The main benefits of an 8 core CPU is that you have more multicore performance compared to a 6 core processor.

It opens you up to more possibilities, video editing is now possible as 8 cores can make encoding videos a lot smoother than a 6 core CPU.

However, the power consumption of an 8 core CPU is much higher than that of an 6 core CPU, this is evident if we compare the two.

The Ryzen 7 5800X3D has a TDP of 105W whereas the 5600X has a TDP of 65W. This is a huge difference in terms of power consumption.

Also, due to the lower TDP, the heat generation with a 6 core CPU will be significantly lower than an 8 core CPU, so you can get away with using a stock cooler.


In conclusion, 8 core CPUs are great for gaming, and they also make for great multitasking CPUs which will benefit you in multithreaded tasks.

However, 8 core CPUs are necessary for gaming, you can often get away with a 6 core CPU such as the Ryzen 5 5600X.

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