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Is the Core i3-1215U CPU Good for Gaming?

Find out if Intel's Core i3 1215U mobile processor is good for gaming on a laptop.

1215U Good for Gaming Onur Binay / Unsplash

Last Updated: August 22, 2022

Written by Kevin Jones

When selecting a CPU for gaming, the most important characteristics are the frequency (clock speed), core/thread count, cache size, and supported memory type. Additional considerations, such as integrated graphics and overclocking needs, may also influence your selection.

Check another laptop CPU:

Is the 1215U Good for Gaming?

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When using Intel's Core i3 1215U CPU for gaming, you can expect good game performance when the laptop is good at dissipating heat or mediocre game performance with inadequate heat dissipation. Most laptops will fall somewhere in between in terms of their cooling capabilities. This performance is based on the following characteristics of the CPU and their relevance to the latest graphics-intense games:

  • 10 MB of L3 cache is mediocre for performance
  • 2 Performance cores will result in poor performance
  • 1.20 GHz base frequency is poor for performance (when not boosting)
  • 4.40 GHz single-core max turbo boost frequency is excellent for performance (requires good heat dissipation)
  • 4.40 GHz max turbo boost frequency of the Performance cores are excellent for performance (requires good heat dissipation)
  • DDR5 support with a max stock speed of 4800 MHz can be excellent for performance
  • Lack of overclocking support cannot benefit performance
  • PCIe 5.0 support can be excellent for performance (with the fastest SSDs and GPUs)

The 1215U has integrated graphics support, with the CPU and GPU on a single chip die, known as an APU. However, this performance assessment assumes you will use an internal or external graphics card. Integrated graphics support is mediocre or worse with the latest graphics-intense games.

The 1215U also supports LPDDR5, DDR4, and LPDDR4x, which may have reduced performance compared to DDR5 memory.

Check out these Intel Core laptop CPUs that are Good or Excellent for gaming:

Is the Cache Size of the 1215U Good for Gaming?

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A CPU's cache is a small amount of memory, close to the CPU cores, containing recently used data.

Games performance can improve as cache size increases, as it will reduce delays when retrieving commonly used game assets from memory.

An L3 cache capacity of at least 20 MB is ideal for game performance.

The Intel Core i3-1215U has an L3 cache capacity of 10 MB.

The 1215U's 10 MB of L3 cache is mediocre for performance with the latest graphics-intense games.

Is the Core Count of the 1215U Good for Gaming?

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Increased core counts can improve the performance of games that use them, but most modern games don't benefit from having more than 6–8 cores. Remember that cache sizes often increase along with core counts, so if you want to increase your L3 cache, you may need to get a CPU with more cores.

Intel's Core i3-1215U CPUs have 2 Performance (P) cores and 4 Efficiency (E) cores for a total of 6 cores.

The P cores are comparable to previous generation cores. Running a game will primarily use P cores.

E cores are focused on adding additional threads in an energy-efficient manner. They take up much less room on the CPU and generate less heat. However, their smaller cache and minimal interconnect capabilities make them more appropriate for offloading background tasks.

The 1215U's limit of 2 Performance cores will result in poor performance with the latest graphics-intense games.

Is the Clock Speed of the 1215U Good for Gaming?

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Single-core performance is essential for some games, as many don't take full advantage of multiple cores.

The safest strategy for consistent gaming performance with a laptop is to get a higher base clock speed processor. High base frequencies will ensure that the laptop was designed to adequately cool the CPU at the base frequency. With exceptional cooling, you may be able to maintain speeds near the max boost frequency. However, laptops usually cannot cool CPUs enough to support constant boost frequencies. Turbo boost frequencies are only achieved and sustained under ideal circumstances.

The 1215U CPU's lack of support for overclocking cannot benefit performance with the latest graphics-intense games.

The 2 Performance cores have a 1.20 GHz base frequency and support a 4.40 GHz max turbo frequency.

The 1215U's 1.20 GHz base frequency is poor for performance with the latest graphics-intense games, when not boosting. You can reach these base frequencies even without good heat dissipation.

With good heat dissipation, the 1215U's 4.40 GHz single-core max turbo boost frequency is excellent for performance with the latest graphics-intense games. You can maintain these frequencies with good heat dissipation.

With good heat dissipation, the 1215U's 4.40 GHz max turbo boost frequency of the Performance cores are excellent for performance with the latest graphics-intense games. P core turbo boost frequencies can be maintained with good heat dissipation.

Is the DDR Support of the 1215U Good for Gaming?

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The 1215U CPU's support for DDR5 with a max stock speed of 4800 MHz can be excellent for performance with the latest graphics-intense games.

The 1215U also supports LPDDR5, DDR4, and LPDDR4x, which may have reduced performance compared to DDR5 memory.

Faster PC memory can improve game performance and frame rates, but using the fastest RAM may not have as much of an impact as upgrading your CPU and graphics card or adding more RAM.

Learn more about DDR in DDR4 vs. DDR5? Which You Should Buy.

What Does the U Suffix in 1215U Mean?

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Processor Name Suffix Meaning
U "U" means it is a power-efficient mobile CPU. In other words, it is designed not to use as much power and thus not generate as much heat. These CPUs are ideal for maximizing battery life when doing low-intensity tasks. U-series CPUs use less power than both H and P-series CPUs, but also have the lowest performance.

The 1215U model name doesn't have a K or X suffix, which means that it can not be overclocked.

Learn More About the Intel Core i3-1215U

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You can find detailed 1215U specifications on Intel's site.