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Is the Core i5-1235U CPU Good for Gaming?

Find out if Intel's Core i5 1235U mobile processor is good for gaming on a laptop.

1235U Good for Gaming Onur Binay / Unsplash

Last Updated: June 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 mobile CPU:

Is the 1235U Good for Gaming?

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When using Intel's Core i5 1235U CPU for gaming, you can expect good gaming performance when the laptop has a high-performance cooling solution or mediocre gaming performance with a basic cooling solution. 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:

  • 12 MB of L3 cache allows for mediocre performance
  • 2 Performance cores will result in poor for performance
  • 1.30 GHz base frequency is poor for performance
  • 4.40 GHz single-core max turbo frequency is excellent for performance (with good laptop cooling)
  • 4.40 GHz max turbo frequency of the Performance cores are excellent for performance (with good laptop cooling)
  • DDR5 support with a max stock speed of 4800 MT/s 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 1235U 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 1235U also supports LPDDR5, DDR4, and LPDDR4, which may have reduced performance compared to DDR5 memory.

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

Is the Cache Size of the 1235U 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 i5-1235U has an L3 cache capacity of 12 MB.

The 1235U's 12 MB of L3 cache allows for mediocre performance with the latest graphics-intense games.

Is the Core Count of the 1235U 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 1235U CPUs have 2 Performance (P) cores and 8 Efficiency (E) cores for a total of 10 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 1235U's limit of 2 Performance cores will result in poor for performance with the latest graphics-intense games.

Is the Clock Speed of the 1235U 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 1235U CPU's lack of support for overclocking cannot benefit performance with the latest graphics-intense games.

The 2 Performance cores have a 1.30 GHz base frequency and support a 4.40 GHz max turbo frequency.

The 1235U's 1.30 GHz base frequency is poor for performance with the latest graphics-intense games. You can reach these base frequencies even without good laptop cooling.

With good laptop cooling, the 1235U's 4.40 GHz single-core max turbo frequency is excellent for performance with the latest graphics-intense games. Single-core turbo boost frequencies can be maintained with good laptop cooling.

With good laptop cooling, the 1235U's 4.40 GHz max turbo frequency of the Performance cores are excellent for performance with the latest graphics-intense games. P core turbo frequencies can be maintained with good laptop cooling.

Is the DDR Support of the 1235U Good for Gaming?

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The 1235U CPU's support for DDR5 with a max stock speed of 4800 MT/s can be excellent for performance with the latest graphics-intense games.

The 1235U also supports LPDDR5, DDR4, and LPDDR4, 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 1235U 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 1235U model name doesn't have a K or X suffix, which means that it can not be overclocked.

Learn More About the Intel Core i5-1235U

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You can find detailed 1235U specifications on Intel's site.