"The Rift"? weather a game uses more threads depends on the game. And the only significant difference between a i5 and a i7 is Hyperthreading. i7's tend to have a higher clock speed than the i5's below it, but that is rendered moot with overclocking.
Generally, no a i7 is over kill for gaming. But there is the occasional game that is fully multi threaded like say, Battlefield. And Hyperthreading helps with streaming .
Explain? Hyper threading will do you no good in most games. I should say, nearly all games. The slightly higher clock speed on a i7 is irrelevant if we're talking a K i5 vs a K i7. A i5 at 4.5ghz vs a i7 at 4.5ghz will perform the same if hyper threading isn't utilized.
It's not " i7 for sure" unless you stream or render...or do SOMETHING that may benefit from Hyperthreading.
Games typically run off two cores, the I7s cores are slightly larger but will give you a very minimal increase in fps.
The cores are exactly the same size. The mainstream i7 and i5 CPUs are even exactly the same die, the i7 just has hyperthreading enabled and then there are some minor adjustments to L3 cache and stock clocks.
If you don't care about money go with the i7, otherwise use the i5. The i5 is as fast as the i7 in most games (most games are optimised for 2-4 cores) and for the few games that use more than 4 cores it will only give you a fps boost of ~5-10%
While the minimum CPU recommendations for both of the big dogs of VR are relatively sedate (the Oculus Rift recommends an Intel Core i5-4590 processor), as we're building the ultimate VR gaming PC we're going to make sure that our machine is future proof for years to come, so that there will be no chance of our processor bottlenecking performance in the future.
That's why we've gone for the six-core Intel Core i7-5820K CPU, which is arguably the best CPU for gaming that's available right now. While some may argue that four cores are plenty for your CPU, we're really looking into the future when it comes to this build, and when virtual reality, along with positional audio and other bells and whistles, becomes ever more demanding, we'll want to make sure our CPU can keep up.