CPU Processor Comparison – Intel Core i9 vs i7 vs i5 vs i3

Though they’ve been on the market for over a decade now, Intel’s Core lineup, Core i7, Core i5, and Core i3 processors still feel relatively young. Here we’ll take a look at the processors, explain the technologies behind them, take a look at Intel’s philosophy and help you decide which processor to buy.

Rather than take the traditional processor comparison route by showing you some benchmarks, gaming performance specs, etc., this review will focus on explaining the “core” of Intel’s core CPU lineup, which also includes the new Core i9. family includes.

While benchmarks are useful for hardcore gamers, they are virtually useless for the average computer user. This guide should help you choose a computer with a good processor for your needs, without having to know what “3DMark“is.

The first thing you might ask is whether now is a good time to buy a PC with an Intel Core processor? It’s a little daunting for someone to go and buy something and find out the next day that the company just released a better model.

The answer is almost always yes, now would be a great time to buy a computer with a Core series processor. Processors and Intel have a history of keeping product lines going for several years. Just take a look at their Core 2 Duo lineup as an example.

Core 2 Duo processors first made their debut in mid-2006. Those processors were still being released in new systems by manufacturers until 2010. Core i7, Core i5 and Core i3 processors have been around since 2008 and are not going anywhere. Also in 2016, Intel moved from the traditional tick-tock update cycle to the much slower three-step, architecture and optimization cycle.

Previously, each branch would be a major upgrade in speed, efficiency and production. However, that has now proved too difficult. The new cycle adds improvements and only every few years we will see major upgrades such as the transition from 14nm to 10nm chips, etc.

Intel codes every new update to its microprocessor architecture. You’ve probably heard names like Broadwell, Haswell, Skylake, Skylake-X, Kaby Lake, Coffee Lake, and Cannon Lake. Wikipedia has a nice table here with all codenames and release dates† In short, for the consumer, don’t worry about the next generation chip as it shouldn’t be such a big upgrade from the current ones on the market.

So, which processor should you buy? The latest Skylake-X i9-7980XE with 18 cores and 36 threads or a simple Coffee Lake i3-8350K with 4 cores and a tenth the cost of the i9? Well, it all depends on your needs and budget. First, let’s take a look at each brand of processors.

Core i3

We start at the bottom and work our way up. Core i3 is Intel’s latest budget processor. Even though the Core i3 is the lowest of the bunch, it’s still a very good processor that has received good to excellent reviews from the majority of experts and customers.

The technology behind Core i3 processors includes dual core foundation, hyperthreading support and virtualization. Core i3 processors support 64-bit versions of Windows. Using Intel’s new chipset and 14nm technology, Core i3s perform very well for most of today’s computing tasks.

In addition, this year is the first year that a Core i3 processor (Coffee Lake) will have 4 cores instead of 2. Each core is actually its own processor and the more cores you have, the more tasks a computer can do at the same time.

The other major difference between Core i3 and the higher versions is that Core i3 does not support turbo boost. Turboboost is the ability to overclock the processor beyond its base clock speed. Also, the latest Coffee Lake i3 processors have dropped hyper-threading.

Should you buy a computer with a Core i3 processor? It depends. If you use your computer for basic tasks like word processing, emailing, web browsing, watching video, etc., a quad-core i3 processor is more than enough to handle all of that with ease. A Core i3 processor is a solid, affordable choice for most people.

Core i5

Core i5 is Intel’s latest “mid-range” processor. A step up from the Core i3, i5 processors give you a noticeable difference in speed depending on the type of applications you run. If you play solitaire, you won’t be able to tell the difference between Core i3 and Core i5 processors. If you edit multiple files in Adobe Photoshop, you’ll find that the Core i5 can complete tasks faster.

Technically, Core i5 processors are marketed a little differently. There are three main types of Core i5 processors: dual core, quad core and now six cores. Dual core i5 processors have 32nm and 22nm technology, hyperthreading support, virtualization support and Turbo Boost technology. Quad core i5 processors have 45nm, 22nm or 14nm technology, virtualization support and Turbo Boost technology, but do not have hyperthreading support.

The latest Coffee Lake i5 chips also don’t support hyperthreading, but have been ramped up to six cores instead of four.

Do the three types of Core i5 processors offer comparable performance? For single-threaded applications, the six core will beat the dual core, but won’t make a huge difference compared to the quad core. However, for multi-threaded applications, the latest six-core will have a significant advantage over the dual and quad-core versions. When purchasing an i5, pay close attention to how many cores are in the processor.

Should you buy a computer with a Core i5 processor? In most situations, a Core i5 is a safe bet if you can spend the extra cash. Core i5s offer enough performance to do things like video editing and gaming, and more than enough performance to do basic things like word processing, surfing the web, and emailing. A Core i5 processor is a great mid-range processor for people who multitask their computer frequently and frequently.

Core i7

Next up, we have the Intel Core i7 processor lineup. Core i7s were today’s top chips, of all Core series processors. That’s up to Core i9 and Core X series chips. However, the Core i7 series is still quite expensive. The Core i7s also come in different variants. The difference is in the chipset.

Before Coffee Lake, the i7 series had quad core performance, virtualization support, hyper-threading and Turbo Boost technology. With Coffee Lake, we get a nice boost to six cores, just like i5, but i7 supports hyperthreading, so we get a total of 12 threads.

The main uses of Core i7 processors are heavy multitasking, heavy multimedia tasks, top-notch gaming, and heavy computing tasks. You’ll see the benefits of an i7 when using a few virtual machines or when editing 4K or higher video in Premiere.

The i7 processors also have a larger built-in cache, allowing them to perform repetitive tasks more efficiently. Larger caches also mean better multitasking performance.

Should you buy a computer with an i7 processor? For the vast majority of people, it’s overkill. It would be much smarter to go for something like an i5-8600K and spend the savings on a better graphics card or more RAM or even a faster SSD hard drive.

However, if you occasionally perform CPU-intensive tasks or play 2K or 4K games, the i7 series is an excellent choice.

Core i9

Last but not least we have the new Core i9 series chips, which are a big change from the rest of the lineup. First, all i9 chips use the new LG 2066 socket, which requires an Intel X299 chipset motherboard.

The i9 series of chips is also the most powerful set of processors Intel has released to date. The cheapest has 10 cores, a huge L3 cache and now costs about a grand. The highest i9 has a mind-boggling 18 cores (36 threads) and will make you hesitant about the price of a cheap used car.

All i9 processors are also part of the Core-X series of processors. There are also Core-X versions of Core i7 and Core i5 processors, although the i9 processors completely crush the i7 and i5 versions in benchmarks.

Should you buy a computer with an i9 processor? Yes, if you want the coolest, fastest and most amazing computer you can own. Just be ready to put down some serious cash. And when you get a processor with such high specs, it only makes sense if all the other components are also high-end. You’re talking thousands of dollars here, so i9 is literally for 3D animation, scientific calculations, etc.

Conclusion and advice

Whatever processor you buy, you get a quality processor that will last. However, every purchase is a balance between cost and performance. My recommendation is to use a site like . to use CPUBenchmark to get details about any processor you’re considering.

For example, the top-of-the-line Core i9-7980XE has a terrible CPU value score due to its high cost:

Use this tool in conjunction with your budget and needs to determine the best processor to buy. Even if you don’t plan to buy a CPU, you will hopefully get a good idea of ​​the differences between Intel’s Core i3, i5, i7 and i9 processors. Enjoying!

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