The Core i7-9700KF desktop processor is the fastest “Core i7” processor on the market. According to cpu.userbenchmark.com, the Core i7-9700KF is the 14th most powerful processor.
Intel Core i3 vs i5 vs i7: Which CPU Should You Buy?
Confused by the differences between Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 processors? Here’s what you need to know in layman’s terms and what processor to buy.
The processor is the brain of a computer, but understanding the difference between processors takes a lot of your mind. Unfortunately, Intel has a confusing naming scheme and the most frequently asked question is: What is the difference between i3, i5, or i7 processors? Which processor should i buy?
Time to demystify that. Read on to find out about the difference between Intel Core i5 and Core i7, is Core i3 good, and whether you should buy Intel Core i9.
The Differences Between Core i7, Core i5, and Core i3
Intel Core i7 is better than Core i5 which in turn is better than Core i3. The trouble is knowing what to expect at each level. Things go a little deeper.
First of all, Core i7 is not a seven-core processor! These are just names that indicate relative performance.
The older Intel Core i3 series only had dual-core processors, but the newer generations have a mix of dual-core and quad-core processors.
A similar story applies to older Intel Core i5 processors. Older generations of Intel Core i5 processors had a mix of dual-core and quad-core processors, but later generations typically have a quad-core or even six-core (six) configuration, as well as faster overclocking than the Core i3.
The latest generations of Intel Core i7 processors include quad-core, six-core and eight-core (eight) configurations. Again, Intel Core i7 processors outperform their Core i5 counterparts and are significantly faster than Core i3 core processors.
Quad-core is usually better than dual-core, six-core better than quad-core etc, but this isn’t always accurate depending on your CPU generation – more on these differences in a moment.
Intel releases “families” of chipsets called generations. At the time of this writing, Intel has released the 11th generation series called Rocket Lake. Each family, in turn, has its own line of processors from the Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 series. The latest generations of processors are at a different level than Core i7, Intel Core i9.
The Intel Core i9 series is a line of Intel products with extreme performance. Most Core i9 processors are octa-core and have very high clock speeds, so they can run at a very high level for a long time. They can also come with a larger CPU cache than their counterparts for higher overall performance.
How to Tell Which Intel CPU Generation Is Which?
You can tell which generation the processor belongs to from the first digits of the four- or five-digit model name. For example, Intel Core i7-11700K belongs to the 11th generation.
For a long time, a useful rule about Intel processor model names was that the remaining three digits were Intel’s evaluation of how the processor compares to others on its own line. For example, Intel Core i3-8145U is better than Core i3-8109U because 145 is higher than 109.
This rule still applies, but is not always as easy to follow as it used to be, as there are several other product line modifiers that can be found in the model number. However, “The higher SKU under identical processor brands and generations will generally have more features,” according to Intel’s naming conventions guide.
Moreover, this change is another reason why it is advisable to compare processors between generations using the model number alone as Intel is making fixes.
This is a great way to get extra CPU performance, so what do you need to keep in mind here, and is overclocking worth it in this scenario?
Basic Processor Elements
The computer processor is controlled by three basic units: an input / output unit, also known as an I / O; control unit; and a set of arithmetic logic units, also known as ALUs. The I / O controls the information coming in and out of the processor. The control unit takes care of the event taking place inside the processor. And ALUs do all intelligent things like calculations. An ALU can process instructions very quickly, but can only execute one instruction set at a time. It is important to understand ALUs as they are at the heart of multi-core processing.
Since ALUs can only do one thing at a time, you can improve processing efficiency by adding more ALUs. If you have two ALUs on your CPU, you can do twice as many. This is called multiprocessing. Now imagine you have more than one CPU and each CPU has two ALUs. This is multi-core computing. Dual core processors can do four things at once. So naturally, a quad-core processor means you can do four things at once. If more cores mean more processes, you may be wondering why computers just don’t have hundreds of them. For the same reason you don’t just run a hundred times faster than you normally would. You were hot and tired. Computers are getting hot and tired too. To compensate for all the extra effort,more power and cooling capacity should be added. Some computers (especially servers) have more than four cores, but they are usually bulky, expensive, and require additional technology to keep them operational. However, the advancement of technology is constant, and engineers will always find ways to improve the performance of a computer, with or without additional cores.
Intel i7 Quad-Core Processors
Intel has named its quad-core i7 series and there are actually quite a few processors to choose from. As of October 2012, the i7 Extreme models are PC top models and are designed with hardcore gaming and graphics processing in mind. The difference with the i7 Extreme versions is the clock speed. The higher the clock frequency, the better the performance. Most i7 Extreme computers have four cores. However, there are a few models that have six. These models also have larger caches. If your CPU isn’t listed as an i7 Extreme but just says i7, it’s likely quad-core with a slightly slower clock and smaller caches than Extremes. They are still capable processors for multimedia tasks.
AMD is the second widely known name for processors. It has a line of quad-core processors like AMD Phenom and Dragon. The choice is small, but AMD puts a lot of effort into all-round proficiency, not just the number of cores. If you find a PC with an AMD processor, even if it’s listed as dual-core, check the rest of the system specs as AMD has likely enhanced graphics technology or software acceleration or other enhancements to make performance comparable to Intel i7 processors.
Cheryl A. Frost holds a Bachelor of Arts in Writing and Linguistics from Georgia Southern University with a specialization in Technical Communication. For 10 years he has been an author of technical texts, specializing in IT infrastructure, security and networks. Her recreational interests include robotics, computer programming, and general technology.
In the ninth generation of Intel processors, the successor of the 8700K was devoid of hyper-threading technology. While the 9700K still outperforms most of the CPUs in Intel’s lineup, the line has lost one of its best features (hyper-threading) and the only reason we can think of to justify it was to help sell the flagship i9-9900K.
Intel Core i7 9th Generation
You can check all 9th Gen Intel Core i7 processors here.