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

Although they’ve been out for a while now, Intel’s Core lineup, Core i7, Core i5, and Core i3 processors, are still considered relatively young (for processor line marketing). Here, we will review the three processors, explaining the technologies behind them, Intel’s philosophy, and help you decide which one you should buy.

Rather than taking the traditional processor comparison route by showing you a bunch of benchmarks, game performance specs, etc, this review will focus on explaining the “core” of Intel’s core lineup.

Although benchmarks are useful for heavy computer gamers, they pretty much mean jack to the average computer user. This guide should help you pick out a computer, with a good processor for your needs, without having to know what “Cinebench” is.

The first thing you may be wondering, is now a good time to buy a PC with a Core processor?  Core i3 or Core i5 or Core i7 ?
It’s a bit disheartening for anyone to go buy something, and find out the next day that the company just released a better model.

The answer is yes, now would be an okay time to get a computer with a Core series processor. Processor’s and Intel have a history of keeping product lines around for several years. Just look at their Core 2 Duo lineup as an example.

Core 2 Duo processors first made their debut in mid 2006, nearly 4 years ago. Computer manufacturers are just now starting to weed out their lineups of the Core 2 Duos. As we mentioned above, Core i7, Core i5, and Core i3 processors are still pretty young, meaning they should be around for at least a couple more years. Below, is a current screenshot of some computers that Dell is offering as their Studio lineup.

Should you buy the Studio Desktop pictured above? Absolutely not. $759 is just a bit too high for a PC with an “older” Core 2 Duo processor. Rather, the following would be a better option.

Core i3

We’ll 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 outstanding reviews by the majority of experts and customers alike.

The technology behind Core i3 processors includes dual core base, hyper threading support, and virtualization. Core i3 processors do support 64-bit versions of Windows. By taking advantage of Intel’s new chipset and 32nm technology, Core i3’s have even been known to perform closely to lower end Core 2 Quad processors.

Should you buy a computer with a Core i3 processor? It depends. If you use your computer for basic tasks such as word processing, email, surfing the web, etc., a Core i3 processor is more than enough to handle all of that with ease. A core i3 processor is a solid, affordable choice for the heavy majority of people.

Core i5

Core i5 is the latest “mid-range” processor by Intel. A step up from the Core i3, i5 processors will give you a noticeable difference in speed, depending on what type of applications that you run. If you are playing solitaire, you aren’t going to be able to tell a difference between Core i3 and Core i5 processors. If you are editing multiple files in Adobe Flash, with virtualization software, you may notice the Core i5 to be snappier.

Technically, Core i5 processors are marketed a bit differently. There are two main types of Core i5 Processors, dual core, and quad core. Dual core i5 processors have 32nm technology, hyper threading support, virtualization support, and Turbo Boost technology. Quad core i5 processors have 45nm technology, virtualization support and Turbo Boost technology, but do not have hyper threading support.

Do the two types of Core i5 processors offer similar performance? Yes, in most situations. However, one may be better than another when running multi threaded applications. Be sure to take note of which specific Core i5’s are dual core vs. Core i5’s that are quad core, if you are looking to buy a specific processor.

Should you buy a computer with a Core i5 processor? In most situations, a Core i5 is a safe bet. Core i5’s offer enough performance to do stuff like video editing and gaming, and more than enough performance to do basic stuff like word processing, internet surfing, and email. A Core i5 processor is a great, mid-range priced processor for people who use their computers frequently and often multi task.

Not so fast. You haven’t read about the fastest yet. where we breakdown Intel’s fastest processor, the Core i7, and conclude with some further advice on buying, as well as Intel.

Core i7

Last, but not least, we have the Intel Core i7 processor lineup. Core i7’s are the current top of the line, out of all the Core series processors. They are also the most expensive. Technically, Core i7’s also come in two different varieties. The notable difference between the two? Chipset.

Core i7 processors are available in either a LGA1156 chipset or a LGA1366 chipset. Both chipsets offer quad core performance, virtualization support, hyper threading, and Turbo Boost Technology. However, the i7 9xx series processors, which utilize the 1366 chipset, are considered to be slightly faster, and the “best of the best” out of all processors, even AMD.

Both variations of the Core i7 CPU will offer similar performance in most cases, and that performance is screaming fast. The i7 9xx may perform slightly better in heavy gaming.

Should you buy a computer with an i7 processor? That would be up to you. For most computer users, an i7 processor is far from necessary. But if you want the latest and fastest, that’s what the i7 is all about.

Even if you are doing some above average video rendering, Intel’s cheaper Core i5 should be able to handle that. If you know what the term “overclocking” means, the Core i7 may be just what you were looking for. If you have the cash to dish out, you could even consider going the Core i7 Extreme route, which will put you at light speed… Not light speed, but pretty darn fast.

Possible Future Releases

Intel’s Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors should be here for a while. However, if you are considering purchasing an i7 processor, and want the best of the best, you may want to hold off a bit longer.

Many tech enthusiasts have noted that Intel will release a new top of the line processor dubbed “i9.” Most likely, this will not drop the price of the other Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors. Rather, it will be offered as an ultra high performance processor. A Core i9 is definitely possible in the near future, possibly by Q3 of this year??

Spec Updates

At first we mentioned that now is a good time to buy Intel Core series processors, and that Intel shouldn’t be releasing any new processors soon. It should be understood that processors are often times given a spec update. For example, a 2.4GHz processor may be replaced by a 3.0GHz processor.

However, spec updates mainly deal with clock speed. The heavy majority of the time, a spec update will not offer any “new ground breaking technologies.” Simply, a minor speed boost.
Conclusion and Advice

Whether you decide on the Core i3, Core i5, or Core i7, you will be getting a quality processor. All three versions in the Intel Core series have received outstanding reviews from all major tech experts and review sites.

The differences between the three processors is quite obvious, and price reflects that. Get a computer within your budget. But don’t get a high priced computer with an older Core 2 Duo or Core 2 Quad series processor.

Not that these aren’t great processors, but the newer Core i3-i5-i7 series offers better performance at a lower price. The newer series also runs on a newer chipset. In turn, these processor will be more “future proof.”


For Simple Method For Knowing The Difference  click here
CPU Processor Comparison – Intel Core i7 vs. i5 vs. i3 CPU Processor Comparison – Intel Core i7 vs. i5 vs. i3 Reviewed by Sriram PV on 19:02:00 Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. Very informative and well written post! I could get lot more knowledge from your article.. thanks for sharing.


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