Which CPU Should You Buy? Intel Core i5 vs i7. When did intel core i7 come out

However, it is not the only model: the Core series falls between several low-cost options designed for niche or consumer applications (the Atom, Pentium and Celeron processor lines) and the high-end line of Xeon processors for servers and workstations. Most x86 computers sold today use some form of Core processor.

The Difference Between Intel Core i7 vs. Core i9: What’s Right for You?

Intel’s two advanced options in the desktop and laptop settings may seem similar to business buyers, but each offers different benefits depending on the use case.

Ernie Smith is the co-founder of BizTech, an old school blogger who specializes in side projects, and a tech history geek who studies old operating systems for fun.

Chipset maker Intel produces a wide variety of processors in mobile and desktop settings, offering a variety of processor options.

For professional users, there is an important distinction between the high-end items in the Intel Core processor series – i7 and i9, which are seen as premium items in the x86 processor family.

But not all i7 or i9 chips are created equal, and in order to understand the value proposition it is important to take a step back and look at where these chips came from and why (depending on context) one might be a better choice than the other when looking to modernize the technology employees.

History of the Intel Core i7 and Core i9

Intel Core i7 and Core i9 are the high-performance end of the long-running Intel Core processor series. Like other processors in the series, they are known to have multiple distinct processor cores – in fact, multiple processing units on the same die. Core i7 and Core i9 processors generally have more cores and a higher level of power consumption.

While the Core i7 has been available from the earliest generations of the Core processor series, the Core i9 is relatively new as it was introduced to the market as a desktop processor in 2017.

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Thanks to Alder Lake, Intel was finally able to ditch the 14nm manufacturing process that was used in the previous generation processors. The new 10nm process (Intel 7) provides better performance and efficiency, but Intel didn’t stop there. The 12th Gen Intel processors are also the first desktop-class processors to feature a new hybrid core design.

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 / retirement 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 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.

The normal reaction from outside observers and die-hard Apple fans is to dismiss these challenges as sour grapes. Intel, however, claims to have influence from benchmarks. Since we like a good fight on TV, we will detail Intel’s claims and tell you whether to believe them or not.

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.

Intel Alder Lake specs & features

Alder Lake is making big changes to Intel’s silicon. These are the first processors to go beyond the 14nm process the company introduced in 2015. The new 10nm process has been renamed Intel 7, part of a new Architecture Roadmap announced in July 2021.

Desktop CPUs

Intel has also changed the structure of its processors to be more compatible with ARM-based chips (including Apple’s M1 series). There is now a mix of performance and energy-saving cores, rather than focusing solely on creating the most powerful chip possible. This hybrid model should allow devices to maintain performance over a longer period of time as well as extend battery life. After disappointing reviews of the 11th Generation Rocket Lake chips, this change is welcome.

Intel Alder Lake

Image: Intel

However, as expected, you’ll need a new motherboard. Here’s Intel’s new Z690, although an upgraded cooler may also be needed to support the LG 1700 socket. You get at least Wi-Fi 6E and USB 3.2 Gen 2 for high-speed data transfer. Thunderbolt 4 support also remains.

There are also encouraging signals from Alder Lake’s first real gaming test, even though the CPU has been paired with the latest Nvidia RTX GPUs and DDR5 memory to maximize performance. As noted by the German website Computerbase, the CapFrameX test of the web-based strategy game Dota suggests that Alder Lake can max FPS above 549, averaging over 120 FPS. However, we do not know what resolution or settings were used when recording these numbers.

If you’re a desktop user and considering high-end CPUs, Alder Lake’s latest benchmarks compare favorably with AMD’s equivalent chips. According to Twitter leaked @OneRaichu, the early model of the top Core i9-12900K excels in tests using the Cinebench R20 software:

12900KS QS Non-OC
In the water cooler.
Cinebench R20.
ST:> 810
MT:> 11600

– Raichu (@OneRaichu) July 20, 2021

The processor in question here was placed in a water cooler to prevent overheating, with another tweet confirming that the extra “S” was a bug. According to Guru3D, it performs significantly better than the Ryzen 9 5950X (AMD’s current flagship processor) in both single-threaded (26%) and multi-threaded (11%) modes. A lot can change between now and the end product, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

Since their launch, we’ve seen some impressive benchmarks of Alder Lake processors, most notably the Core i7-12700H. The Geekbench 5 results suggest it is almost as powerful as AMD’s high-end Ryzen 9 5900X, while Cinebench’s multi-core results put it ahead of the Ryzen 9 5900HX and Apple M1 Max – according to testing by NotebookCheck.

Mobile CPUs

In total, we expect 60 processors from Intel’s 12th generation range. In addition to the 28 desktop processors announced so far, 28 new mobile chips are also available. They will be available on many key laptops in 2022 and beyond.

They are divided into three different categories. The first is Alder Lake-H, designed for enthusiast-level devices. Here is a summary of what it offers:

Editor Performance cores Performance cores Threads L3 cache Maximum clock speed Basic power
i9-12900HK 6 8 twenty 24Mb 5.0 GHz 45W
i9-12900H 6 8 twenty 24Mb 5.0 GHz 45W
i7-12800H 6 8 twenty 24Mb 4.8 GHz 45W
i7-12700H 6 8 twenty 24Mb 4.7 GHz 45W
i7-12650H 6 4 16 24Mb 4.7 GHz 45W
i5-12600H 4 8 16 18Mb 4.5 GHz 45W
i5-12500H 4 8 16 18Mb 4.5 GHz 45W
i5-12450H 4 4 12 12Mb 4.4 GHz 45W

More Cores: Many Intel Core i7 processors are quad-core and Hyper-Threading enabled. It’s not universal, however, and the company offers several dual-core SKUs + Hyper-Threading.

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Patrick Moorhead, founder and lead analyst of Moor Insights & Strategy, says that both the i7 and i9 have their place in the office, but the Core i9 generally makes most sense for high-performance computing (for tasks such as graphics visualization, video production , 3D modeling and multitasking).

Mobile Processors (8th Generation)

Until August 2017, Intel’s mobile products were mostly dual-core throughout the entire Core i3 / i5 / i7 product stack. There were a few quad-core parts in the Core i7 family, but most of Intel’s mobile chips were in 2C / 4T configurations, with quad-core chips reserved for the 45W TDP and above. At the moment, Intel offers several Core i7 and Core i5 quad-core processors. One of the major differences between these Core i5 chips and Intel’s entire previous line of Core i5 mobile processors is that the Core i5-8250U and Core i5-8350U support Hyper-Threading technology. The Core i7 8650U and Core i7-8550U are also quad-core / eight-thread designs.

8th Generation

Unfortunately, reviews of laptops that actually use these chips are still very few and Intel gives laptop manufacturers more freedom to define their own desired operating temperatures and thermal limits in a way that can make significant differences between different machines that allegedly use the same editor . Early data on these chips suggest that they are faster than the old dual-core variants, despite having much lower base clock frequencies to compensate for the increased number of cores and threads, but no one has yet written a serious review of any eight-generation mobile system. None of the mobile CPUs announced so far offer on-board EDRAM cache, which significantly improves Intel’s on-board graphics performance, although there are many 7th generation SKUs,who do it.

Mobile Core i5 vs. Mobile Core i7 (7th Generation and Previous)

Mobile users have three different options to choose from, which confuses it a bit. There are previous-generation Core M chips, as well as Core i7 and i5 processors. Core M chips are limited to the m3 family – Intel took what was once a separate brand and instead folded them into the Core i7 and Core i5 families. This creates situations similar to the one shown below.

The two chips look similar, with the same cache, almost the same clock frequency, and similar GPUs – but they have different operational TDPs, and therefore offer a different user experience. We can’t talk exactly about how different the differences are without test equipment, but earlier systems showed significant differences depending on OEM design and thermal constraints. Core M was introduced in 2014, but it never sold particularly well – OEMs often equip processors with aggressive high-definition displays and an extremely thin body, leading to mediocre battery life.

Core i5 is in a similar situation:

If you’re looking at a Core i5 from Core M, we strongly recommend that you do your homework and check out reviews of specific systems. Core M systems may provide better battery life than their i5 / i7 counterparts, but this will depend on the specifics of the manufacturer. Remember that high-definition screens and ultra-thin systems with limited battery life will cost you the same energy savings as you can get with a lower TDP processor – probably more now, as high-end chips are consuming less and less energy.

Another important difference we want to discuss is the difference between the 7th Generation Core i7 and i5 cores on mobile devices. Prior to Skylake (6th generation), almost all Intel chips in mobile devices were dual-core below the Core i7 level. There are several sixth and seventh generation Core i5 mobile parts that offer four cores without Hyper-Threading support as shown below:


The difference between these three cores is that one of them supports Intel Iris Pro graphics while the other two only support Intel HD graphics. The Iris Pro 580 is the only Intel Core i5 processor with 128 MB of EDRAM. If you need a mobile processor with top-notch graphics and a quad-core processor, this is the Core i5 you want to buy.

Outside of these three cores, the general rule still applies. Most mobile Core i5 processors and all Core i3 processors are dual-core processors with Hyper-Threading technology. Here are the features that separate Core i5 and Core i7 mobile processors in 7th generation and below processors:

More Cores: Many Intel Core i7 processors are quad-core and Hyper-Threading enabled. It’s not universal, however, and the company offers several dual-core SKUs + Hyper-Threading.

Higher clock speed: Intel’s dual-core mobile Core i7 chips typically have higher clock rates than their Core i5 counterparts, even at the same TDP.

More cache: Core i7 chips support 6MB or 4MB cache. Core i5 chips work here. Older (pre-Broadwell) chips are often 3MB, while Skylake and Kaby Lake chips are sometimes 4-6MB. The extra cache has only a minor performance impact.

While some argue that Intel’s observations at Apple are unworthy, we disagree. Apple is the one to throw the mud first when it unceremoniously threw Intel overboard, so Intel has the right to throw the mud back. Nevertheless, we would like to test some of the more serious information regarding Intel hardware compatibility and battery life.

Great battery life?

Perhaps Intel’s most shocking claim has shown offers on battery life. While performance tests can be chosen by those looking to prove the result, battery life cannot usually be questioned.

Apple’s official statement gives the MacBook M1 up to 18 hours of battery life using the Apple TV app to watch 1080p video with brightness set to “8 clicks from the bottom”. Apple also says it takes up to 15 hours to browse 25 “popular” websites with the same “8 clicks” criteria.

When Intel measured the MacBook Air M1 with the Acer Swift 5 with the Core i7-1165G7, both were found to be practically dead. The MacBook Air arrived after 10 hours and 12 minutes, and the Acer Swift 5 lasted 10 hours and 6 minutes.

Difference? Intel said it used Safari to watch the Netflix stream with tabs open and the screen set to a relatively bright 250 nits. In Acer, Safari has been disabled for Chrome, but brightness and Netflix have remained the same.

Intel added that Apple’s “8 clicks up” is about 125 nits of brightness on the MacBook Air, which is pretty dim.

Our Approach: We agree that 125 nits is a pretty silly brightness that can be used for video testing. After all, who wants to “watch” a movie on a laptop, but then dims the screen so much that you can’t see most of it?

Perhaps the biggest rift could be the difference between an Apple TV app that could be highly optimized instead of Safari, but it’s hard to believe Safari wouldn’t be highly optimized anymore. We’d really like to run additional our own tests here.

All kinds of things just don’t work on the M1

Intel has not only addressed the performance of the M1. It also found that the MacBook Pro has serious drawbacks such as the inability to use more than one display with the Thunderbolt dock.

While the computer may be using gaming headsets, eGPUs, a third-party fingerprint reader, a Wacom Drawing tablet, and an Xbox controller, Intel found the MacBook Pro simply not working with the eGPU and had a lot of problems with other devices.

It’s just a hardware incompatibility. Intel’s rap fight against Apple also highlights problems with plugins for Ableton, Bitwig Studio, Avid Pro Tools, FL Studio, Motu and many others.

Our Opinion: The big problem is that a MacBook can only use one external display. We would like to verify it ourselves, but this is a serious weakness in this multi-monitor world. Hopefully this is just a bug on the new platform, but as far as we know, it’s also a hardware limitation.

We’ve long said that the lack of an eGPU is a major weakness because who doesn’t want more gaming performance? But to be fair: we’ve already emphasized that the Mac is quite worthless to play, so what exactly do you need this eGPU for?

We find Intel’s approach to software somewhat less problematic. When you raise the stakes and tell all your developers to rewrite the software for the next new architecture again… well, things will break.

The good news for MacBook M1 users is that these apps and plug-ins are likely to get fixed eventually. Note that this does not mean that everything will be fixed for free. We’ve seen developers take an opportunity (which may be legitimate) to fix bugs in the next version, which, by the way, has to be re-purchased.

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Intel Core i7-12700K vs i7-11700K: Should you upgrade?

12th generation Intel Core i7

Intel has finally switched from a 14nm to 10nm manufacturing process and the results are clear. This new approach to the hybrid core allowed Intel to fend off the attacks of AMD Ryzen processors, and the Core i7-12700K is one amazing processor.

  • Much more powerful
  • Supports DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 RAM
  • Newer 10nm process
  • Power and efficient hybrid core design
  • 125W TDP

We were not impressed with Intel with the 11th generation Core processors. They were great processors, but the company that stuck to 14nm and lagged behind AMD in testing failed them. If you’re not comparing processors, the Core i7-11700K is great on paper.

  • Works with older Z590 motherboards
  • You can find heavily discounted
  • Still a decent mid-range processor
  • 125W TDP
  • Can be found at a discount

The newer Intel Core i7-12700K brings a whole host of changes. For the first time, we see a hybrid core design with Alder Lake desktop class processors. This processor is one of the best processors for gaming and serious workloads, but the older Core i7-11700K shouldn’t be overlooked, especially if you’re on a tighter budget and looking for a good deal.

Intel Core i7-12700K vs i5-11700K: Specs

Category Intel Core i7-12700K Intel Core i7-11700K
Cores / threads 12/16 8/16
Fundamental frequency P: 3.6 GHz
E: 2.7 GHz
3.6 GHz
Increase P: 4.9 GHz
E: 3.8 GHz
4.9 GHz
Turbo Boost max. 3.0 5GHz 5GHz
Memory DDR4-3200 / DDR5-4800
Up to 128 GB
Up to 128 GB
L3 cache 25MB 16 MB
Integrated graphics Intel UHD 770 graphics card Intel UHD 750 graphics card
PCIe PCIe Gen 5.0 x 20 PCIe Gen 4.0 x 20
TDP 125W 125W
Production node 10nm 14nm
Electric socket LGA1700 LGA1200
Manufacturer’s suggested retail price $ 419 $ 399

Intel Core i9-12900K

source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Headquarters

Thanks to Alder Lake, Intel was finally able to ditch the 14nm manufacturing process that was used in the previous generation processors. The new 10nm process (Intel 7) provides better performance and efficiency, but Intel didn’t stop there. The 12th Gen Intel processors are also the first desktop-class processors to feature a new hybrid core design.

It follows the same “big.LITTLE” hybrid design principle that we saw with ARM chips like the M1 from Apple. Instead of having 12 powerful cores to speed up clock speed under load, Intel installed eight performance cores with Hyperthreading technology on the Core i7-12700K, as well as four performance cores.

This blend of high-performance Golden Cove cores and more energy-efficient Gracemont cores combines highly energy-efficient single-threaded cores that handle low-priority tasks, with more traditional, high-performance multi-threaded PC cores that can handle anything else.

You can think of Golden Cove cores handling all major tasks such as important processes, games, applications in use and other tasks while other applications and lower priority tasks are shifted to Gracemont cores, freeing up resources. The end result is a core and thread configuration that seems a bit out of place in 2021 (12 cores and 16 threads).

Msi Mpg Z690 Carbon Wifi

source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Headquarters

Compared to the older Core i7-11700K, we are looking at a quad-core improvement with the same number of threads. Intel has managed to throw in four high-performance cores as well as improve the performance of high-powered cores to create a processor that will decimate its predecessor in benchmarks.

The clock speeds between the two are exactly the same, starting at 3.6GHz and going up to 4.9GHz and 5GHz with Turbo Boost Max 3.0. The Core i7-12700K has a slight advantage here, as its four efficient cores run at 2.7 GHz and can go up to 3.8 GHz, which allows you to unleash the full eight performance cores and devote them to games and other tasks.

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