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How many cores and threads do I need for gaming?

how many cores and threads do I need for gaming

The gaming starts from 4 cores at least in a computer, but to get the real gaming experience you need at least 6 cores. Now if you are preparing for any tournament then most probably you are very serious about gaming. In that case go for 6-cores or 8-cores CPU. But you will have to pay bit higher price for that. But it is worth it as it will give you an extra edge over other gamer. Rest depends on your gaming skills and we believe you will definitely win. So, you were looking for the answer tot he question, “How many cores and threads do I need for gaming”.

This was a short answer I have given above to save your time but you can know more about the processor of your gaming PC or laptop. We are now going discuss in detail and if you are a a person who is more inclined towards technical things of gadgets, then read it till the end.

What is CPU Core?

When we speak of graphics we know what graphics would be good for us in general. But when it comes to choosing a CPU we need a specific term that can decide whether it would be a good CPU or not, specially for gaming. Because gaming needs powerful processor(CPU) to run heavy games smoothly. So, we have this term called “CPU core” that is associated with CPU. Now, the question comes, “what is a CPU Core?”

A CPU Core is basically is a unit that allows running all the tasks in your computer. If you have one core CPU that would be able to run only one task smoothly. If you have dual core CPU that will be able to handle more number of tasks simultaneously on the device. Similarly more core means smoother would be the multitasking on the computer. You will be able to switch between two tasks running simultaneously. I think you must have noticed in your earlier mobiles and mobiles today how easily you can switch between two applications running simultaneously. This has happened because now you have hexa(6) core or octa(8) core CPU in your mobile.

Concept of Bottlenecking

Before moving on to discuss more about CPU cores and its effect on performance, we should first talk about a concept of bottlenecking. See, bottlenecking happens when one component is powerful in your computer while other components are not. For example if you have a very good dedicated graphics card in your computer but the display is not good enough, may be has less screen resolution. In that case, even if the gpu is working with full power, you will not get the display or the gaming experience that it should be.

Basically the overall performance will go down. Similarly if you have a powerful GPU but not a powerful CPU, the overall performance will not be up to the mark. So, you must keep in mind whenever you think to upgrade the components of your gaming computer, see if all of them are in sync or not. Otherwise, it can be a waste of money. And this problem does not occur in case of gaming laptop. As there are built in components in a gaming laptop that are run in sync, there is chance of bottlenecking.

Difference between Single core and multi core gaming performance

Now we come to the next part of the discussion that what kind of difference you will see when you have a single core CPU vs when you have multi core CPU.See, in the past games were very simply programmed and did not need high amount of power from CPU. So, a single core CPU was good enough. But if you want to play today’s updated games on single core CPU, it will get very bad performance and you will get frustrated when you try to do multitasking. Even nowadays these single core CPUs don’t come in the market.

So, as today’s games demand high power from CPU and they utilize multiple cores for all kind of tasks running, a multi core CPU is a must. Now in general, you should go for six core CPU as there is reason for that. Although you could for quad(4) core CPU also but it will not be a future proof decision. And of course if you have good budget, 8 core CPU is a good option. But in my opinion, a mid-path would be a good choice. So, going for 6 core CPU computer will be a good decision from my side. Because there might be a case of bottlenecking if you go for 4 core CPU or 8 core CPU, specially in gaming PC. Otherwise, bottlenecking does not happen in case of gaming laptops.

What CPUs would be good for gaming?

Now the question comes what CPU would be good for my gaming computer or laptop. Well you must have guessed it right that CPU that having 6 cores in it. As we have seen 6 core CPU would be the bets choice in today’s time. We can see what are those processors(CPU) that come with 6 cores. Let me tell you, CPUs like i5 from Intel brand and Ryzen 5 from AMD brand are mid range CPUs. These come at affordable price as well as give you future packed assurance. Now If you want best gaming laptop for this CPU, you can look here for that.

Keep in mind if you are building a gaming PC better you check if GPU and other components would be in sync or not. Otherwise there might be a problem of bottlenecking as discussed above. Else you can also check for gaming laptops under different price range.


Threads are a sequence of programming instructions or code that divides the physical core of a CPU into multiple cores. These are created by the operating system for an application to perform smooth. As you open an application, it creates thread and allocates the task. This way you will have more number of cores(physical + virtual) and multitasking becomes very easy. This is the reason nowadays, you are able to listen to the music and and read PDF files at the same time.

A CPU core can have maximum 2 threads per core. You might seen in today’s CPU if it is quad core, it will have 8 threads. Similarly if it is hexa core, it will have 12 threads and things work like this.

Best combination of CPU and GPU

Now the most important things comes into play, what would be the best combination of GPU and CPU if we do not want bottlenecking to happen. So, as I discussed earlier if you are on the middle path for gaming devices, you should go for combinations like i5 & RTX 3050, i5 & GTX 1650 or 1650Ti, Ryzen 5 & GTX 1650 or 1650Ti and similar combination. Now if you have higher budget, in that case I would suggest you to go for i7 & RTX 3060, Ryzen 7 & RTX 3060 and other similar combination. Also keep in mind there must be enough amount of RAM, SSD and other needed things to get away from bottlenecking. Have a check before buying a gaming laptop or PC.

How many cores and threads do I need for gaming – Conclusion

Now, we come to the end of this long discussion about “how many cores and threads do I need for gaming”. In the conclusion I would say the if you are a casual gamer, you can go for quad core CPU. If you are serious gamer, you must go for 6 core CPU at least. This will not only help in gaming but also in other things like streaming, music, content creation and playing other heavy applications. Also keep in mind that the chosen CPU is in sync with the GPU. I have already given few suggestions for their perfect combination.

I believe now you yourself can answer the question you were looking for an answer to, “How many cores and threads do I need for gaming”.

With best wishes from Roomkit.

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