Which CPU Should You Buy? Intel Core i5 vs i7. What is the latest generation i5

As a Windows expert, Anyron’s primary focus is PCs and laptops. He spends most of his time on smartphones, tablets and audio devices, with particular emphasis on Android devices.

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For the best performance in lightweight games with an Intel processor, use an i5 or i7 processor. The i7 processor will give you greater performance in each task compared to the i5. However, of course, this will require an increase in the budget.

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.

Take the time to decide which i5 and i7 best suit your setup. You can see examples of great deals on Amazon and Best Buy, which are offering some of the best deals this year. Or you can see a huge number of Intel processors in our Intel Black Friday mega thread!

Power and performance from new 11th Generation Intel® Core™ processors

If you need a high-tech computing solution that will keep you running in the long run, consider 11th generation HP laptops or PCs.

Updated hardware ensures you’re prepared for whatever the future holds, whether you’re enjoying rich multimedia in gaming and design, or you need high storage capacity and plenty of memory.

Based on the new high-performance 11th Gen Intel® Core ™ processors, these devices offer durability and strong specifications in a variety of styles. Whether you’re working from your home office or working in a large workgroup, we have what you need.

If your working style requires freedom, try one of our Intel Core notebooks or convertible laptops. And if portability isn’t a priority, you’ll find plenty of stationary boost options with our stylishly redesigned classic tower and PC setups.

Loaded with ultra-modern connectivity and hardware features

The core of HP computers with Intel 11th generation technology may be a powerful processor, but it’s only useful without strong peripherals. To ensure a consistently reliable experience, we’ve done our best to provide you with backups, starting with Intel Optane ™ Dynamic Memory to keep your PC running smoother.

Need a device that is gaming or multimedia ready? With each new title you will find vivid depth and detail thanks to Intel Iris ™ graphics processors built directly into your device’s processor.

You’ll also enjoy fast and reliable connections thanks to Intel Wireless-AC with 4K dual-band technology for clearer streaming. They are also designed for easy connectivity, transfer and I / O over the latest Thunderbolt ™ 3 ports.

As graphics requirements grow with more intense games and programs, dedicated graphics processing units have also gained popularity. These GPUs are much more efficient than your CPU at producing beautiful graphics.

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10th generation Intel i7 processors have 8 cores and 16 threads. However, the ninth-generation i7 only features 6 cores and 12 threads. Once upon a time the i5 was a quad-core processor, which is no longer true.

Intel Core i5 vs i7: What’s The Difference?

Until AMD’s recent triumphs in the marketplace, the i5 and i7 processor lines were the two most popular for gaming and general computing. These processors offer a wide range of possibilities at various levels of affordability, and are, by and large, a well-known name in the processor world.

9th Generation

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.

8th Generation

Since the i7 is designed for the PC enthusiast and high-end build enthusiast, it’s not surprising to see higher base clock speeds and some impressive boost options.

Core Concept

The processor core is the processor processor, referring to the times when each processor consisted of one core. Regular desktop processors now have two to sixteen cores, with each single core capable of coping with a different task.

A high percentage of 8th and 9th generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors contain at least four cores. For general computing use, four cores are probably considered the best performers – but even six-core processors are now readily available. The latest i5 models tend to have six cores – with the exception of the multi-threaded i5s used in laptops, which typically have four many later i5 and i7 models will have six cores, and the high-end models will ship with eight.

What’s The Cache?

In addition to faster clock speeds and extra cores, i7 processors typically also have large caches. Cache memory is memory built into the processor and helps the processor cope with tasks and access data faster. The larger the cache size, the better equipped you are to deal with multitasking, but it’s not the standout spec most take care of. The difference between the previous two generations of CPUs is only the size, with the Core i5 having 9MB of L3 cache and the i7 having 12MB.


The main difference between the i5 and the i7 is the Hyper-Threading feature on the i7. Hyper-threading is a technology from Intel that increases the performance of the processor in multithreaded tasks. Hyper-threading makes it seem like a single core has been doubled, allowing each core to address two threads simultaneously. This technology is very useful when dealing with work that is highly dependent on multitasking, such as rendering.

Until the latest ninth-generation CPUs, the i7 models were equipped with Hyper-threading, while only i5 chips with fewer cores are available with this technology. Overall, a processor with Hyper-threading will be much more efficient than a processor without. If your overall computer use is all about multitasking, hyper-threading is probably a must for you. It’s not always easy to see the number of cores and threads in a processor, but you can go to our processor hierarchy to find more information and compare specs.

Turbo Boost

Turbo Boost is essentially Intel’s overclocking feature that automatically makes the CPU core run faster than its base clock speed. Regardless of the Intel processor you have, each of them will have a basic and increased clock speed. If you’re planning on overclocking, it’s important to note the speed of your boost clock and make sure you have adequate cooling for the job. How high your clock speed can be depends on the design of the chip and how long it can maintain the increased speeds.

So Which CPU is best for you?

This should be taken with a grain of salt, but overall, the Core i5 processor is geared towards a budget-driven mass that cares about performance. The i7, on the other hand, would be generally for enthusiasts or gamers with expensive platforms.

So why consider the i5? well, they’re generally cheaper and are some of the most popular CPUs on the market. For regular computer users who browse the web or use strange light applications, the i5 is almost perfect for your needs.

If you’re someone who works with demanding applications like Adobe Suite, or wants to play high-end games, the Core i7 might be a better option. Whichever line of processors you choose, you can expect a range of options to cover different needs and budgets, but the bottom line is: choose the i5 for gaming because games don’t use hyper-threading, and multi-tasking for the i7.

Choosing an unlocked 10th Gen i5 with aftermarket CPU cooler allows you to take advantage of our free overclocking service. We will increase the clock speed of your CPU to give you better gaming performance, system stability and low temperatures.

When were Intel Alder Lake CPUs released?

Intel began teasing the details of its 12th-gen chips at CES in January 2021, and revealed many more at Architecture Day in July. But it wasn’t until the company’s innovation event on October 27th that any of the processors actually entered the market.

This first batch of desktop processors (known as Alder Lake-S) is now available for purchase after launch on November 4. If you’re looking to buy one, check out our separate guide on where to buy Alder Lake processors.

Intel added an amazing 22 new desktop processors to Alder Lake’s lineup at CES 2022 on January 4, but the new mobile processors are arguably more interesting. They are divided into the H series (for enthusiasts), the P series (thin and light laptops) and the U series (devices at a more affordable price).

They are designed to be integrated with devices, so the specific release date does not matter. However, several companies are already announcing Alder Lake-based hardware, and it looks like there will be many more.

How much do Intel Alder Lake CPUs cost?

Unlike laptops, many people buy Alder Lake desktop processors themselves – this makes prices much more appropriate. Here’s what you can expect for all the chips we’ve seen so far in the US, along with rough UK conversions:

  • Core i9-12900K – $ 589 (about £ 430)
  • Core i9-12900KF – $ 564 (about £ 410)
  • Core i7-12700K – $ 409 (around £ 300)
  • Core i7-12700KF – $ 384 (around £ 280)
  • Core i5-12600K – $ 289 (about £ 210)
  • Core i5-12600KF – $ 264 (about £ 190)

These are only recommended prices, so you can pay more or less depending on the seller you choose. The prices of the 22 new processors announced at CES 2022 have yet to be disclosed.

Flight simulation PCs need fast cores to perform at their best. You will notice that our entire range of flight simulation computers use some form of unlocked CPU, unless your budget is limited. This allows us to get the best clock speed by overclocking and provide the best possible flight simulation.

Intel 10th Gen CPU Model Numbers and Letters Explained

CPU Model Series

The beginning of the model number indicates which “series” the processor is from. As we mentioned earlier, i3 processors are the least powerful. They go faster until you reach the i9 series, Intel’s most powerful desktop processors.

As you can see in the model table above, each model starts with an i3, i5, i7 or i9 and clearly indicates the range you are looking at. We are about to delve into the specifications of each range.

CPU Model Generation

We have the number 10 after the series icon. If you were paying attention, you guessed it, this refers to the fact that this is Intel’s 10th generation processor. Generation 9 i5 processors would have model numbers like i5-9600 etc. Note that the first number is now 9, not 10.

If you are looking at a computer that lists the model number as 9 rather than 10, it uses last-generation technology. This is not always a bad thing. In some cases, Gen 10 processors are still hard to come by or much more expensive. In general, however, the newer generation should be preferred.

CPU Model Number

The numbers following the Generation ID are exactly the type of Gen 10 CPU that you are looking at. In the example above, we’re looking at a 10th Generation i5 600 series CPU. Other CPU options are i5-10400 and i5-10500. As you can imagine, the higher the number, the more powerful the processor is.

In this example, the difference is in the processor frequency. Now without getting into the complicated world of CPU frequencies. Higher CPU frequency is not always better when comparing CPUs. However, when comparing within the same model and brand, it can be assumed that a higher frequency will provide better computer performance.

I5-10600 has a base frequency of 3.30 GHz (Turbo to 4.8 GHz)
I5-10500 has a base frequency of 3.10 GHz (Turbo to 4.5 GHz)
I5-10400 has a base frequency of 2.90 GHz (Turbo to 4.3 GHz)

While this may not seem like much, the extra 0.4 GHz in the base frequency between the models will be a noticeable difference in some tasks.

CPU Chip Type

To keep things simple, we have removed the extra letters from the above models. Many Intel processors have a letter or two after a name. Intel models without a letter indicate they are the “entry level” model. The base models are standard, they don’t support overclocking, and they don’t try to squeeze every gram of performance or efficiency.

If you see a model number followed by a letter, it is somewhat different from the “standard” model.

K Chips

“K” chips are what you’ll most often find in performance applications. The K means they are “unlocked”, and you as the user (or Chillblast can do it for you by purchasing a K-chip computer) can increase the base frequency of the CPU for extra performance. Something that cannot be done with regular chips.

I5-10600k has a base frequency of 4.1 GHz (Turbo to 4.8 GHz)
That’s 0.8 GHz more than the “lock-in” or “standard” i5-10600 and a huge daily performance improvement.

The fact that these processors are unlocked means they can be “overclocked” in combination with adequate cooling. You can get every gram of performance out of a chip.

Choosing a 10th Gen Intel i3, i5, i7 or i9 Processor

Intel deftly divides each of its processor groups by the number of cores the processors have, which makes it easy to pinpoint the value you get from each of them. However, the number of cores you get within a certain range will vary from generation to generation.

10th generation Intel i7 processors have 8 cores and 16 threads. However, the ninth-generation i7 only features 6 cores and 12 threads. Once upon a time the i5 was a quad-core processor, which is no longer true.

Core i3

4 cores / 8 threads
Up to 4.4 GHz

Core i5

6 cores / 12 threads
Up to 4.8 GHz

Core i7

8 cores / 16 threads
Up to 5.2 GHz

Core i9

10 cores / 20 threads
Up to 5.3 GHz

Hopefully, by breaking down the naming conventions of each token, and the table above shows each group’s spec headings, you will understand what they can do for you. If you’re still unsure whether to choose an i3, i5, i7 or i9 processor, read on. We will help you choose which product to buy for a specific application.

Image of the box with an Intel 10th Generation Core i9 processor

image Source: Intel

A 10th Gen Processor For Everyday Home & Office Tasks

If you are looking for a system that handles your daily tasks with ease, you will want something from the lower end of the 10th Gen Intel range as you won’t need anything unlocked or without graphics.

When we research our home and office computers, we find that most people don’t need more processing power than what the all-new 10th Gen i5 processor can provide.

With 6 cores and 12 threads and speeds up to 4.8 GHz, the 10th generation i5 offers performance similar to the most expensive processors from only one or two generations ago, at a significantly lower cost. Multiple high-speed cores will allow the computer to easily handle large spreadsheets and documents, with plenty of “headroom”, to handle these tasks for the next several generations.

If your budget doesn’t stretch to the i5, the i3 is still an admirable and powerful processor in the 10th Gen lineup if you want to go with Intel over an AMD-based PC. Even the most economical 10th Gen i3 from Intel offers fast clock speeds and hyper-threading.

With 33% fewer cores than the i5, it won’t be as effective at some intense tasks, but as a “all-round” computer that will last several generations of browsing the Internet, sharing photos, and crunching words – you’re good to go.

An image of a clean and minimal home desk setup

The Best 10th Gen CPU For Gaming

The best gaming processor usually has the highest clock speed available. Most games today don’t use multi-core computing like other programs do, so it’s about the speed at which a single core can do the most work, as well as the number of cores. As you can see in the tables above, more expensive processors with a higher clock frequency also have more cores.

For the best performance in lightweight games with an Intel processor, use an i5 or i7 processor. The i7 processor will give you greater performance in each task compared to the i5. However, of course, this will require an increase in the budget.

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