When you are comparing, your best tip is to go to the Head of Processor where you can compare the two processors and get a detailed analysis as well as ratings. If you don’t understand the jargon, just read up on the rating and some basic advice. Even if you understand the CPU jargon, CPU Boss has all the details you need.
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.
The physical cores largely determine the speed of the processor. But thanks to how modern processors work, you can get acceleration with virtual cores activated by hyperthreading.
How Many Cores Is Enough?
Simply put, a system equipped with a Core i5 will be less expensive than a computer equipped with a Core i7 if everything else is equal. But in most cases, if you compare apples to apples (i.e a desktop chip with a desktop chip, or a laptop chip with a laptop chip, and the same generation to the same generation), the Core i5 will have less or limited capabilities. A Core i7 will typically be better for multitasking, multimedia editing and creation, advanced games, and similar demanding tasks. Often, however, the price difference will be small, so it’s worth experimenting with the online configurator of any computer you buy to see if you can afford a machine with a Core i7 processor.
When you use software that can use as many cores as possible (modern authoring programs like the ones in Adobe Creative Suite are excellent examples), the more cores you have in your CPU, the faster it will do.
Most of the latest Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors have four or more cores, which we consider to be the best place for most users. Many of the latest Core i5 and Core i7 desktop models have six cores, and several ultra-high-end gaming PCs are equipped with eight-core Core i7. Meanwhile, a few very energy-efficient Core i5 and Core i7 laptop processors only have two. You’ll find them mostly in ultra-thin laptops.
The same strict core nomenclature has been used in many generations of Intel processors. To make sure you are buying a system with the latest generation processor, look for the Core ix-11xxx or Core ix-10xxx naming structure. Some processors designed for thin or popular laptops have a “U” or “Y” added to the end of the model name, while others have a “G” followed by a number that signifies the graphics processing capabilities of the chip. Chips designed for laptops with power supply usually have a “H” or “HK” ending; and those intended for desktop computers end with “K” or “T” (or just end with zero).
Unless you shop in the used PC market, you’ll find eighth and ninth generation (or earlier) Core i5 and i7 chips in end-of-life / end-of-life systems and some budget PCs, while you’ll find 10 and 11th generation chips in most new models . General guide if you don’t want to go too deep: For better performance within each generation and each class (Core i5 or Core i7), buy a processor with a higher model number. For example, Intel Core i7-1065G7 generally has better performance than Intel Core i7-1060G7.
A Quick Word on Cache
In addition to generally higher base clock speeds, Core i7 processors have a larger amount of cache (memory installed on the chip) to help the processor cope with repetitive tasks or frequently used data faster. If you are editing and calculating spreadsheets, your CPU should not reload the structure where the numbers are. This information will be cached, so when you change the number, the calculations are almost instantaneous. Larger cache sizes also help with multitasking as background tasks will be ready to switch focus to another window.
The cache size is not a make-or-break specification, but it illustrates progress from generation to generation and from family to family. The latest Core i5 and Core i7 processors for laptops have a cache of 16MB or less.
There isn’t always a clear-cut, final answer that is better for a given situation, and it often comes down to your budget. But knowing the basics about each one can help you make a smarter choice. Let’s move on to the key differences between Core i5 and Core i7. (Also check out our Core i7 vs. Core i9 explanation.)
Intel’s first products were memory chips, including the world’s first metal oxide semiconductor, the 1101, which did not sell well. However, his brother 1103, a single-bit dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chip, was successful and was the first chip to store a significant amount of information. It was first purchased by the US technology company Honeywell Incorporated in 1970 to replace the underlying memory technology in their computers. Since DRAMs were cheaper and consumed less power than core memory, they quickly became the standard memory devices in computers around the world.
Following the success of DRAM, Intel became a public company in 1971. That same year, Intel introduced Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory (EPROM), which was the company’s most successful product line until 1985. Also in 1971, Intel engineers Ted Hoff, Federico Faggin and Stan Mazor developed a general-purpose four-bit microprocessor and one of the first 4004 single-chip microprocessors, under an agreement with the Japanese calculator manufacturer Nippon Calculating Machine Corporation, which allowed Intel to retain all rights to the technology.
Not all of Intel’s early efforts were successful. In 1972, management decided to enter the growing digital watch market with the purchase of Microma. But Intel did not have a real understanding of consumers and sold the watchmaking company in 1978 at a loss of $ 15 million. In 1974, Intel controlled 82.9% of the DRAM chip market, but with the growth of foreign semiconductor manufacturers, the company’s market share had dropped to 1.3% in 1984. However, by then Intel had moved away from memory chips and focused on its microprocessor business: in 1972 it produced the 8008 eight-bit central processing unit (CPU); The 8080, which was 10 times faster than the 8008, arrived two years later; and in 1978, the company built its first 16-bit 8086 microprocessor.
In 1981, the US computer manufacturer International Business Machines (IBM) chose the 16-bit Intel 8088 processor as the processor for its first mass-produced personal computer (PC). Intel also supplied its microprocessors to other manufacturers who made “clones” of PCs that were compatible with the IBM product. IBM PC and its clones sparked the demand for desktop and notebook computers. IBM has entered into an agreement with a small company called Microsoft Corporation in Redmond, Washington to supply a Disk Operating System (DOS) for its computer. Ultimately, Microsoft delivered its Windows operating system to IBM PCs, which, thanks to the combination of Windows software and Intel chips, were called “Wintel” machines and dominated the market from the very beginning.
Of the many microprocessors manufactured by Intel, perhaps the most important was the 80386, a 32-bit chip released in 1985, which initiated the company’s commitment to making all future microprocessors backward compatible with previous processors. Application developers and PC owners could then be sure that software running on older Intel machines would run on the latest models.
With the introduction of the Pentium microprocessor in 1993, Intel moved away from number-oriented product naming conventions for the trade names of its microprocessors. The Pentium was the first Intel chip for PCs to use parallel or superscalar processing, which significantly increased its speed. It had 3.1 million transistors, compared with the 1.2 million transistors of its predecessor, the 80486. Combined with the Microsoft Windows 3.x operating system, the much faster Pentium chip contributed significantly to the growth of the personal computer market. While companies continued to buy the majority of PCs, the more powerful Pentium computers allowed consumers to use the computers for multimedia graphics applications, such as games, that required more processing power.
Intel’s business strategy was to make newer microprocessors much faster than the previous ones to encourage buyers to upgrade their computers. One way to do this was to manufacture chips with significantly more transistors in each device. For example, the 8088 found in the first IBM PC had 29,000 transistors, while the 80386 introduced four years later contained 275,000, and the Core 2 Quad introduced in 2008 had over 800,000,000 transistors. Itanium 9500, which was released in 2012, had 3,100,000,000 transistors. This increase in the number of transistors became known as Moore’s Law, named after company co-founder Gordon Moore, who observed in 1965 that the number of transistors in a silicon chip was doubling roughly annually;revised it in 1975 to double every two years.
Moore’s Law. Gordon E. Moore noticed that the number of transistors in a computer chip doubled every 18-24 months. As the logarithmic graph of the number of transistors in Intel processors at the time of their introduction, its “law” was obeyed.
To raise awareness of the consumer brand, in 1991 Intel began subsidizing computer advertising on the condition that the advertising contained the corporate label “Intel inside”. As part of the collaboration program, Intel set aside some of the money each computer manufacturer spent annually on Intel chips, of which Intel covered half of the company’s newspaper and television advertising costs over the course of the year. While the program cost Intel directly hundreds of millions of dollars each year, it had the desired effect, making Intel a conspicuous brand.
Intel’s famous technical prowess was not free from mishaps. His biggest mistake was the so-called “Pentium defect” in which an obscure segment among the 3.1 million transistors of the Pentium processor made an incorrect division. The company’s engineers discovered the problem after the product was released in 1993, but decided to remain silent and fix the problem in the chip updates. However, mathematician Thomas Nicely of Lynchburg College in West Virginia also discovered this flaw. Initially, Grove (then the CEO) declined recall requests. But when IBM announced it would not be shipping CPU computers, it forced a recall that cost Intel $ 475 million.