[SOLVED] What is the performance difference between an i3 550 and an i5 650?

Aug 14, 2019
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I bought a used Dell prebuilt that came with an i3 550 CPU for extremely budget gaming. After some research, it seems like my only upgrade option with the LGA 1156 socket is to an i5 650, which only still has 2 cores. Will upgrading to this i5 650 have any noticeable gaming performance increase compared to the 550? I have a GTX 750 Ti, by the way and I seem to be very CPU bottlenecked. After looking at the Passmark scores it doesn't seem like much of an improvement, but would it make any impact on gaming at all?
As a side note, is it possible to buy a new motherboard with a better socket and put it in the Dell? (Assuming the power supply connectors are compatible and the form factor is the same.)

Thanks.
 

DSzymborski

Glorious
Moderator
No benefit whatsoever in an upgrade now or for an upgrade later. Those very early i3/i5 weren't as differentiated as in future generations. The i5-650 is more or less just a better binned i3-550. Any performance gain will be negligible. And neither CPU really holds back a GTX 750 Ti.

A significant upgrade later will likely require a new case; prebuilts are notorious for having low quality cases with proprietary connections.

These parts are old enough that any significant upgrade will need to be a major overhaul.
 
Aug 14, 2019
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I don't necessarily need to upgrade right now, I was just interested if I ever wanted to upgrade in the future.
 
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InvalidError

Titan
Moderator
Dual cores are pretty much end-of-life for gaming these days, some newer games won't even launch on only two cores.

If you bought that old Dell recently, I hope you got it for REALLY cheap since you can get some with an i7--3770 for ~$200 US which would be at least twice as good.
 

DSzymborski

Glorious
Moderator
No benefit whatsoever in an upgrade now or for an upgrade later. Those very early i3/i5 weren't as differentiated as in future generations. The i5-650 is more or less just a better binned i3-550. Any performance gain will be negligible. And neither CPU really holds back a GTX 750 Ti.

A significant upgrade later will likely require a new case; prebuilts are notorious for having low quality cases with proprietary connections.

These parts are old enough that any significant upgrade will need to be a major overhaul.
 
Aug 14, 2019
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Ok good to know, this doesn't come as a surprise to me. I had the 750 Ti laying around and I got the PC for around $30, so I just threw this together as a cheap secondary LAN rig so I don't have to cart around my nice PC. We only play easy to run or older games which it works great for.

Thanks for the info!
 
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DSzymborski

Glorious
Moderator
Ok good to know, this doesn't come as a surprise to me. I had the 750 Ti laying around and I got the PC for around $30, so I just threw this together as a cheap secondary LAN rig so I don't have to cart around my nice PC. We only play easy to run or older games which it works great for.

Thanks for the info!
$30 isn't a bad price. Just wanted to make sure your expectations were realistic!
 

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