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Haswell Core i3 vs. i5 vs. i7 - Which is right for you?

Written on June 2, 2013 by Matt Bach
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Introduction

Intel has been using the i3, i5, and i7 naming scheme for their CPUs for quite a while now, but what these labels mean tends to slowly change over time as new features are introduced or older ones get replaced. On top of this, the naming scheme between desktop and mobile CPUs is often different as well. In this article, we will go over what differentiates i3, i5, and i7 processors for both mobile and desktop Haswell CPUs.

The biggest thing you need to know in regards to the i3, i5, and i7 naming scheme is that it is primarily a way for Intel to separate their CPUs into three performance tiers:

Intel Core i7: High-end
Intel Core i5: Mainstream
Intel Core i3: Entry-level

There are a few differences in features (notably Hyperthreading, cache size, and number of cores), but as we will show later in this article there is actually very little that differentiates an i5 CPU from an i7 CPU. The biggest thing that this naming scheme gives you is a starting place when choosing a CPU. If you use your computer for basic tasks like surfing the web, then an i3 CPU is likely a great choice. If you use your computer for a variety of tasks that require a bit more power (including gaming), than an i5 CPU might be a better choice. If you run multiple applications that require a lot of CPU power, then an i7 CPU is probably right for you.

Desktop CPUs

  Frequency Turbo Boost Cores Hyperthreading Smart Cache TDW Graphics
Core i7 2.0-3.5GHz 4 8MB 35-84W Intel HD 4600
Core i5 3.0-3.4GHz 4 4-6MB 35-84W Intel HD 4600
Core i3 2.4-3.6GHz 2 3-4MB 35-54W Varies

Overall, the chart above can be summarized with the following:

  1. The CPU frequency and thermal output (TDW) is largely not determined by the Core i_ name
  2. Core i5 and i7 both have Turbo Boost while the i3 does not
  3. Core i5 and i7 CPUs have 4 cores, while i3 CPUs only have 2
  4. Core i5 CPUs lack Hyperthreading
  5. Core i7 CPUs have more Smart Cache than i5 CPUs, which in turn have more cache than i3 CPUs
  6. Core i5 and i7 CPUs have the same graphics, although the speed of that graphics will depend on the individual CPU. Core i3 CPUs have variable graphics depending on the price-point of the CPU.

So while i7 CPUs do have overall better specifications than i5 CPUs, there is actually quite a bit of overlap between the two except that i5 CPUs do not support Hyperthreading. Especially in terms of frequency and thermal output, the two lines really are not very different. For i3 CPUs, the main difference is that they only have two cores, a smaller cache, do not support Turbo Boost and have overall lower thermal output than i5 and i7 CPUs.

Mobile CPUs

  Frequency Turbo Boost Cores Hyperthreading Smart Cache TDW Graphics
Core i7 2.7-3.0 GHz 4 6-8MB 47-57W Intel HD 4600
Core i5
Unreleased
1.5-2.8 GHz 2 3MB 17-57W Intel HD 4600
Core i3
Unreleased
1.4-2.6 GHz 2 3MB 13-45W Intel HD 4600

Currently, there are no Haswell Core i3 or i5 mobile CPUs available for consumers. The values in the chart above are our prediction based on previous generations.

Overall, the chart above can be summarized with the following:

  1. There is a lot of overlap in CPU frequency and thermal output (TDW) between i3, i5 and i7 CPUs. Core i7 CPUs will have a slightly higher top-end frequency and wattage, while i3/i5 CPUs have lower bottom-end frequency and wattage.
  2. All Haswell mobile CPUs released so far have both Turbo Boost and Hyperthreading (although i3 is likey to not support Turbo Boost)
  3. Core i7 CPUs have 4 cores, while i5 and i3 CPUs (should) only have 2
  4. Core i7 CPUs have more Smart Cache than i5 and i3 CPUs
  5. All CPUs have the same graphics core (although i3 and i5 is unconfirmed), although the speed of that graphics will depend on the individual CPU

In this case, the main advantage of the Core i7 CPUs is that they have 4 cores, but at the same time they also have an overall higher thermal output. Core i5 and i3 CPUs are actually very similar to each other except that the i3 CPUs are likely to not support Turbo Boost and have slightly lower frequency and power draw than the i5 CPUs.

Conclusion

The main thing to remember is that i7 CPUs are at the high end of the product line, i5 CPUs are in the middle, and i3 CPUs are entry level. This gives you a decent starting place to look for a CPU based on what you will be using your computer for, but you will likely need to look at the individual specs for multiple CPUs to determine which is actually the right fit for you. While there are a few things that the i3/i5/i7 naming scheme tells you, it is really no substitution for actually looking at the specifications of individual CPUs. The Intel Ark is one way to do so, and it allows you to select multiple CPUs to compare side by side. Additionally, if you are in the market for a new computer based on these CPUs, our sales staff is always happy to answer questions at sales@pugetsystems.com.

Tags: Haswell, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7
June

i3s never had turbo boost. Based on history that should be a red x instead of green check in both charts.

Posted on 2013-06-04 13:19:25

Good catch, that was a mistake. I've updated the article to reflect that the i3's will likely not support Turbo.

Posted on 2013-06-04 21:22:46
virtual vizior

i3 haswell details are available in intel website, though you don't have direct link. check it from http://ark.intel.com/produc...

Posted on 2013-06-08 04:11:03

Unfortunately, those are all BGA models (soldered permanently onto the motherboard) for mobile devices like ultrabooks and tablets. As far as I know, there is still no information publicly available for desktop and laptop i3 CPUs.

Posted on 2013-06-08 20:20:31
Admin2k

Some i5 have 2 cores & ht - 4570t for example. http://ark.intel.com/m/ru/p...

Posted on 2013-06-29 21:13:37
Alexandre Shd

YES BECAUSE ITS POWER OPTIMIZED THIS PROCESSOR FOR THOOSE WHO NEED LOWER POWER CONSUMPTION THAT WHY HE HAS 2 CORES ONLY

Posted on 2015-06-24 16:13:48
Riviera

PLEASE USE INSIDE VOICES.

Posted on 2015-11-22 03:10:56
Faisal

I have a question. I want a laptop for HD video rending and also for multi tasks(smoothly) . Please Tell me which 1 should I buy i3 laptop or i5 laptop?

Posted on 2013-07-29 20:18:44

Both Core i3 and i5 processors are dual-cores, at least on laptops, so I would actually recommend a Core i7 model instead of you can manage it. One with a QM at the end of the model name will indicate that it is a quad-core, and those will be far better for video rendering and heavy multi-tasking.

Posted on 2013-07-29 22:16:17
Rabid

I have an acer R7 laptop with an i5 in it running at 2.2 ghz and it is 4 core? where are you getting this info?

Posted on 2013-12-16 08:04:35

What exact model of Core i5 CPU does it have? It is possible you have a laptop that uses a desktop-class processor... but if not, all the true mobile Core i5 chips are dual-core:

http://ark.intel.com/produc...

Now they *do* have Hyperthreading, so if you look at something like Task Manager you would see four cores - two real ones, plus two hyperthreading cores.

Posted on 2013-12-16 17:12:20
just trying to clarify

there is no such thing as a hyperthreading core. on mobile cpu's i5's only have 2 physical cores. windows task manager shows all 4 threads doing work on a 2 core processor with hyperthreading enabled. 8 for i7's that have hyperthreading and 12 for the newer i7's with 6 cores and hyperthreading.

Posted on 2015-01-26 05:47:19
0ut4t1m3

While not techinically a "core" the CPUs are designed to handle programs treating them as such, this way the CPU can support older non hyperthreading aware software and OSs. In this mode all threads will present as physical cores and accept instructions, albit at a slower rate than a true multicored system with the same number of hardware threads, but still faster than if was using just the hardware alone.
Newer software optimised for HT can plan how to allocate instructions to
the virtual cores, this further increases performance and can approach
the same throughput as pure hardware.
Win8 and later are HT aware and will display the processors characteristics as sockets, cores and logical processors in task manager making it easier for the general user to understand how their hardware is configured.

Posted on 2015-02-19 01:16:12
Boti

I'm about to buy a new PC and I can't decide upon what CPU to get. Either i7 4770K or the smaller brother i5 4670K. I'll mainly use the PC for gaming, and for whatever projects i get at uni,(computer science) so for programming also. Any tips?

Posted on 2013-08-01 11:57:55

I would probably go with the Core i5. Gaming sees almost no benefit from the i7 over the i5, and the savings would be better spent on a faster graphics card or drive. The main place where the i7 excels is in heavily threaded workloads, like video editing. If you don't expect to do that, then I think you are just fine with the i5 series (which, by the way, is what I use both at work and at home).

Posted on 2013-08-01 16:35:25
peter

I am not a gamer but sometimes I need to run 20 tabs + excel. Would i5 with 4GB RAM suffice?

Thank you.

Posted on 2013-10-13 17:58:45

A Core i5 would likely be fine for that, but I would recommend moving up to 8GB of RAM to help with multi-tasking.

Posted on 2013-10-14 04:30:07
ahmed

for that many gb of ram you would need to use 64 bit os to get the most advantage, correct?

Posted on 2014-03-04 11:19:11

Yes, but 99.99% of the time you will want 64-bit Windows on a new computer anyway. That is the only way to be able to use newer 64-bit applications going forward, as well as accessing more than 4GB of memory.

Posted on 2014-03-04 18:00:39
Sards P

I BELIEVE a computer like i7 3ghz 64bit(os) will time higher(run slower) in performing a 32bit application , compared to an i7 3ghz 32bit(os) . why ? the 64bit will represent most if not all of each bytes by 64bits. that is, one byte is represented by 64bits of BInary digiTS= a heavy load . but the representation will then be best ,as displaying colors .
---on the other hand, if you are to use a 64bit application and run it on a 32bit machine, such machine would be burdened much(if it can interpret the 64bit software) . am I correct or partly ?

Posted on 2014-05-18 11:34:30

32-bit machines / operating systems cannot run 64-bit programs at all.

64-bit machines / operating systems - at least in the case of Windows - can run 32-bit programs just fine. I have never seen any tests to show if doing so is any slower than on a 32-bit version of Windows, but if there is any performance loss it wouldn't matter much anyways. The other downsides of sticking with a 32-bit version of Windows are too numerous to make it worthwhile (limited amount of memory, no running 64-bit programs, etc).

Posted on 2014-05-18 20:55:34
Sards P

thanks for the reply.
my company bought an i3 and installed 32bit auto cad. they will install a 64bit auto cad also and we will see the difference.
--mine is theoretical in 64bit 32bit comparison though .

Posted on 2014-05-19 05:30:21
Alexandre Shd

yes I5 doing almost the same things that I7 only diffrence is I7 have 8 threads while I5 4 threads and has Hyperthreading enabled While I5 hasnt so for that its waste of money Buying I7 only for games I5 will serves well for that tasks

Posted on 2015-06-24 16:18:30
Vanilla Thunder

You don't seem to know what purpose processors serve. You are the first person I have seen saying that i7 is for gaming. i7 professors are for heavy work loads and multi-tasking, and as far as I know, most games doesn't utilize more than 4 cores so hyperthreading wouldn't help much.
you only want a professor that wouldn't bottleneck the GPU for gaming, not something over the top like an i7.

Posted on 2015-07-31 06:35:13

You are right that Hyperthreading doesn't help most games. However, at the moment there is a Core i7 model (the i7 4790K) which is substantially higher clocked than any of the Core i5 processors. It runs at 4GHz, while the fastest i5 is 3.5GHz. Personally I still use the Core i5 chips, as they cost less, but for extreme gaming the i7 4790K is a great choice. There are also some folks who want to future-proof, and hedge their bets by getting a six-core CPU (like the i7 5930K) in case future games need more cores.

Posted on 2015-07-31 06:50:13
Mark_42

Apparently all mobile i7s aren't quad core. Apple is using a dual core i7 in the Macbook Airs and the 13" Macbook Pros (retina and non retina).

Posted on 2013-10-14 01:54:22

Yup, for whatever reason Intel sullies their premium Core i7 brand name with dual-core chips on the mobile side. Thankfully, though, they use letter designations to help indicate what models are quad-cores: if you see "MQ" at the end of a CPU model from Intel that means it is a quad-core mobile chip; dual-cores mobile chips would be just "M" by itself.

Posted on 2013-10-14 04:29:25
Gadgematix

I am looking to buy a laptop with 8 gb RAM and a dedicated 2 gb graphic card for running autoCAD (2D & 3D modelling but not rendering). Will i7 have a distinct advantage over i5? I'd rather not spend more than what is required.

Posted on 2013-10-15 08:36:21

Our testing with AutoCAD has been limited to looking at GPU performance, not CPU... so I don't have any hard data to answer that question with. However, on laptops the Core 5 processors are all dual-cores, while the Core i7s are *mostly* quad-cores. AutoCAD definitely likes faster processors / more cores, so if you are looking at an option with a quad-core Core i7 then I would definitely say that is the way to go.

Posted on 2013-10-15 15:56:29
Ívar Arason

AutoCad (and also Inventor) only to a very little degree uses multicore, and the user needs to adjust the system variable "WHIPthread=3" in AutoCad to use multiple cores, but the multiple cores are only used when AutoCad regenerates the screen and in general AutoCad only uses a single core or thread, except in rendering. So for AutoCad a fast i3 is almost just as good as i7. For choosing a CPU for AutoCad have a look at passmark.com "single thread performance"

Posted on 2014-01-26 17:23:15
learnmegood

I am looking at different Macbooks. I will be running it about 8 hours a day and using it to DJ and play Music videos. As someone posted below Macbook is using dual core in some of its notebooks. Would a quad core i5 be better then a duo core i7? I am very naive when it comes to computers. Especially considering I use one day and night for a living. But yeah, main goals, flawlessly run music videos and DJ programs

Posted on 2013-10-24 00:16:18
gregg1000

What is the difference between 2-core, 4-core, 6-core, 8-core, etc? Many thanks...

Posted on 2013-11-15 16:33:37

It is a measure of how many separate processing nodes or cores are in a single CPU. A long time ago, all CPUs were just one core - the idea of 'cores' didn't even really exist. Back in the Pentium 4 days, though, Intel found that it was hard to push clock speeds past the 3GHz range efficiently... so they took a different approach to improving performance, by putting multiple processing cores into a CPU instead. This gives CPUs the ability to work on multiple things at the same time (multi-tasking), and then software also started to be written to use more than one core on a single task at the same time (multi-threading). Now almost all CPUs have multiple cores, and one of the distinctions between different models is the number of cores they have.

Hopefully that helps :)

Posted on 2013-11-15 19:24:53
Mikhail Paremski

"A long time ago" must have been VEEERY far away. GPUs have been multicore for a very long time. Furthermore, multicore CPUs have been in servers long before in PCs. PCs got multicore architecture relatively recently (like 10ish years ago?). In P4 days, Intel and AMD didn't have any issues increasing the clock speed. The problem was the return on investment - at some point, making the single core CPUs faster wasn't improving the user experience all that much, so users stopped upgrading as often. I think AMD was first to the punch, (hence Linux systems for multicore architecture are now called amd64 versions). Basically Intel and AMD realized that having the ability to multi-process concurrently (which is only possible with multiple cores) significantly increased the speed from a user's perspective, while keeping manufacturing and R&D costs low - 4 core CPUs are essentially 4 lower powered CPUs stacked one on top of the other. The more cores, the more concurrent processes that you can do concurrently, which is why more cores is better for high end systems, but for the average user, two cores is more than enough. In fact, I think the Pentium line still exists as a single core CPU, and the newish super-efficient Intel Atom is also available in a single core version. The reason these haven't died completely, is because they're fast enough for some less tech savy users.

Posted on 2015-01-22 23:59:04

The context of the parent question was in regards to x86 based CPUs, and those only went from single core CPUs (when the idea of a 'core' didn't really exist) to dual-core on the server side about 10 years ago. Here is an article I wrote around the time that was happening, helping to explain this idea of dual-core processors compared to the existing concept of having two physically separate CPUs on the same motherboard:

http://www.pugetsystems.com...

So when I said 'a long time ago' I meant about a decade :)

GPUs have had multiple sets of code execution pipelines (roughly analogous to CPU cores) for a longer time, but that is because the nature of graphics processing is very different from traditional x86 computing. Some tasks besides graphics lend themselves very well to that sort of 'massively parallel' computing, though, which is why there are languages like OpenCL and CUDA now for executing non-graphics workloads on GPUs. CPUs have also continued the multi-core trend, especially on the server side where Xeons are now available with as many as 18 cores each.

As you noted, though, single-core stuff still exists... in part to be inexpensive / low power, and in part because some workloads really cannot benefit from having multiple cores.

Posted on 2015-01-23 00:11:37
Jack

Hi I'm in the process of buying a new computer and I was wondering if a i5 or i7 would be best for me. I usually have around 25 tabs with itunes, word and adobe reader all at once while watching netflix.. I sometimes also use photoshop/gimp. However, don't game nor edit videos.
I also heard that i7 kills the battery faster than i5. Why is that?

Posted on 2013-11-17 05:39:41

Most mobile (laptop class) Core i7 chips are quad-core, while the Core i5s are dual-core. That means that the i7 chips will handle heavy multi-tasking better, and definitely programs like Photoshop. However, because of the added circuitry they also use more power... which is why they go through battery life more quickly.

Posted on 2013-11-17 05:59:19
Eileen

I am looking at the i5-4440 vs i7-4770 desktop. I am a designer, mainly using Photoshop with multiple, large images and Final Cut/Premiere for videos under 20min. Would the i7 run a lot faster than the i5 if only using one of these programs at a time? Also, the Intel Ark comparison you linked to says they both have 4 cores, does that mean they are both quad-core?
Thank you.

Posted on 2013-11-20 21:44:23

Those are both quad-cores, yes - but the Core i7 has two things going for it that would impact your performance: a higher clock speed and Hyperthreading. The former helps, of course, but there are also higher speed i5 chips. The latter (Hyperthreading) is really the main difference between the i5 and i7 lines. It helps speed up programs that are heavily threaded, which both photo and video editing are. Between those differences, then, I would indeed expect to see the i7 perform substantially better in your applications.

Posted on 2013-11-20 21:56:54
john dorian

what last longer i7 or i5 because they tend to slow down which one slows down faster

Posted on 2013-11-27 01:35:14
Dan smith

Hey I was looking in purchasing a new laptop for mainly gaming, live-streaming, and recording my gameplay mainly all at the same time when running chrome with pandora. I have an i3 right now and thinking about upgrading to an i7. Would this be good or could I go with an i5?

Posted on 2013-11-29 14:16:26

For a laptop, I would go with an i7 - and make sure it is a quad-core model. The reason is that on laptops the i3, i5, and even some i7s are only dual-cores. There are many games these days that can benefit from having more than two cores, and especially once you start talking about multitasking and streaming at the same time that will be very important. Even with a quad-core you are going to suffer a performance hit in your games from that sort of workload, but at least it won't be as bad if you have a more powerful CPU.

Posted on 2013-11-29 16:59:14
Adithya

Well i am using a gtx 650 ti 2gb ddr5 gpu..whch is a decent gpu for recent games...my ram is 6 gb.....but my processor is an i3-530m cocked at 2.9 ghz.So does my processor significantly hinder my high end gaming demands.Cant afford a very high upgrade on processor too.

Posted on 2013-11-29 15:04:01
Gio

Core i5 uses Hyper-Threading to make a dual-core CPU act like a four-core one, but if you have a Core i5 processor with four true cores, it won't have Hyper-Threading. Or is this wrong?

Posted on 2013-12-01 16:36:33

Mobile (laptop class) Core i5 processors are indeed dual-cores with Hyperthreading, while desktop-class i5 are true quad-cores. Even if both can work on four threads at a time, though, there is a big benefit to the desktop-class chips having four real cores instead of depending on hyperthreading.

Posted on 2013-12-02 04:46:14
Leslie

I need a new computer to connect remotely to my office computer via VPN connection from home. I use multiple applications like SQL Sever and Excel concurrently. I am thinking of buying a Sony Vaio Tap 21 All-in-one desktop with 8GB RAM and i5. How do the processor and RAM affect remote connection speed and processing power? Thank you.

Posted on 2013-12-02 13:23:33

If those programs (SQL, Excel, etc) are actually running on the *remote* system, then it is the performance of that computer that matters most. The only thing the local system is really doing is funneling data back and forth across the internet from the remote system, none of the processing is actually being done there. As such, the speed of that local system isn't really a big deal - the network / internet connection speed (on both ends) is a much bigger factor.

Posted on 2013-12-02 18:38:23
MikeInMass

I had not realized the number of i5 cores was different between desktop and mobile. For an engineering college student using only a laptop, who may be running a computational simulation in the background while working on another engineering project or programming while it runs, with multiple applications open but not necessarily in active use, for the $ would you recommend an i7 vs. extra RAM and maybe a larger SSD with an i5.

Posted on 2013-12-02 23:06:03

Oh, that is tough! Ideally a Core i7 plus plenty of RAM and a good size SSD would be best, of course :)

If you have to decide between those, I would lean more toward the i7 if your software is heavily threaded, and so can utilize its full quad-core capabilities. After all, you can usually upgrade the RAM or drive more easily later on.

If you aren't running as demanding of applications, though, I'd definitely go with more RAM and SSD space - since those can impact performance in a wide range of situations as well.

Good luck with whatever you decide :)

Posted on 2013-12-02 23:44:00
shwingh

Wow thank you for the informative post! In your opinion, would you say an i3 or i5 would be enough for a uni student? I'm planning on buying a new PC since my 5+ year old laptop has just died (solo core aha) and am unsure if I should fork out the extra cash for the i5. I'd use it mainly for iTunes and simulataneous browsing (20 tabs max) and watching 720p 10bit anime. I feel as though the i3 is enough but I'm far from an expert and am worried that I'm just being stingy. Any help is appreciated!

Posted on 2013-12-07 03:50:02

For the uses you listed, I would say the Core i3 should be fine. The things you would benefit from, however, are added RAM (8GB or more is what I would aim for) and a fast drive (SSD if at all possible).

Posted on 2013-12-07 07:49:56
Saif Abuasaad

i need a new pc for dubbing on Nuendo 4 or 5 in my studio , and am planning to run only MP4 videos with 1080 p, does it matter if its i5 or i7? or its just a GVA and Ram issue? please advise

Posted on 2016-09-21 13:22:57
Liam

My laptop has an i3 yet I can still play games that require very high processing speed. I can also play these games with many other programs also running. Why is this?

Posted on 2013-12-07 19:56:00

A lot of games only need 1-2 cores still, especially games that don't have a ton going on with computer-controlled AI. As for having background programs going, it depends a lot on what sort of programs those are. If they are things that are just running, but not actively doing things, that often doesn't take much processing power. For example, just having a website up that you can refer to while playing a game (a page with hints or something, for example) isn't going to be processor intensive. But if you have a program running that is recording your gameplay or streaming it online, that takes a lot of additional resources / processing power.

Posted on 2013-12-07 23:13:16
Saurabh

I will be using some database systems such as SQL Server 2012,Informatica and MySQL concurrently on the machine. Is I7 is the ideal answer or will I5 work fine for the above. I have worked with I5 using SQL Server 2012 and have faced no issues as such but not sure if it can hold the same for the all the above mentioned systems. Any suggestion will be very helpful.

Posted on 2013-12-11 17:42:13

It can be hard to estimate CPU needs just from a list of software - the way those programs are used has a huge effect as well. If you are still using the Core i5 system with SQL Server, you might consider running Task Manager while you are working. If it shows all of the CPU cores being used heavily, then maybe a faster CPU / one with more cores would be helpful when running other programs at the same time... but if the CPU cores are lightly used, or only some of them are being touched by the SQL Server application, then you would probably be fine with a similar CPU even under heavier workloads.

Posted on 2013-12-11 17:56:54
How_delightful

All I know is that the now downmarket pointless petty and rubbish tomshardware.com has become a site of very mean-spirited mods who ban anyone who criticizes the i7 with MS W8.1 for `issues` where pointing out problems many people are having with the i7 series chips on W8.1. My personal experience being with two i7 computers running W8.1 crashing repeatedly with a BSoD when pressing the number keypad or un-plugging a USB device. But the problem could be Windows 8.1, but my other 2 non-i7 computers do not BSoD when I touch the keypad on them.
It seems...Computers hardware, chips, software now have too many permutations for them to be reliable anymore. So the manufacturers just keep knocking out more stuff in the hope of keeping customers rolling in. Like mugs, we keep throwing money at them until everything works perfect, but not for long; but we find a string of problems almost every year for twenty years.
Time for Linux or someone to order reliable hardware designed to work perfectly with their software.

Posted on 2014-01-01 12:08:57
HappySunshine

My HP Pentium desktop, purchased 6 1/2 years ago, just died (the motherboard), so I'm scrambling to figure out what system will be the best bang for the buck. This will be a family computer with pretty basic usage, such as: web surfing, watching videos, downloading a ton of music (which, I am understanding, takes up a lot of something?), using/storing occasional word documents, downloading photos, playing a few games, and running Photoshop and other art programs. We have been known to have 8-10 tabs open at a time. Again, pretty simple stuff. On my quest to understand the relationship of function vs. cost, I've been told that somethings can be added externally, if needed, at a better price than paying for it upfront, already integrated into the system. We don't want to pay for more than what we need; at the same time, we don't want a system that will be outdated in a couple of years. Any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated!

Posted on 2014-01-07 06:40:50

Storage can be added externally (portable hard drives), but that usually costs more than adding an internal drive. I suppose some input / output stuff could also be added externally; card readers, for example, or even some things like sound cards or video capture devices. Most of the stuff in a system needs to be internal, though: the motherboard, CPU, video card, RAM, primary drive, etc.

As far as helping to make more precise recommendations goes, this article comments section is probably not the ideal place to do it. I would recommend looking at our website's configure pages, particularly the Spirit and Echo systems, since you said you were looking for good 'bang for your buck'. If those appear to be in the right price range for you, and you'd like to work with one of our sales consultants to go over your needs and situation in more detail, we would be happy to help! You can email us at sales@pugetsystems.com or call us toll-free at the number shown at the top of our page.

http://www.pugetsystems.com...

http://www.pugetsystems.com...

Posted on 2014-01-07 21:04:12
Ash

Hi I'm in the process of buying a new laptop and I was wondering if an
i3 (3227U) or i5 (4200U) would be best for me. I usually work with around 10 tabs with excel, word and adobe reader all at once. However, I do not game nor edit videos.
Would really appreciate advise on which laptop to purchase?

Posted on 2014-01-17 09:19:08

I suspect either of those would be just fine. They are actually quite similar - both are dual-core chips with Hyperthreading, and similar clock speeds. The specific Core i5 you asked about is newer, though, and has the ability to vary its clock speed more: giving you more speed / performance when you need it, and reducing power usage when you don't. It is also rated for slightly lower max power use, and has a newer generation of graphics built-in. If all other things are equal, I would lean toward it.

Posted on 2014-01-17 16:23:36
Jared

I'm looking at getting a new laptop, specifically the Sony Vaio Flip 15. For sure I will be getting 8GB of RAM, a 750GB Hybrid Drive, and the Nvidia 735M 2GB graphics card; what I can't decide on is whether I should go with the i5 4200U or the i7 4500U. I use Steam for light to moderate gaming, otherwise I will be multitasking browsing the web and other lightweight programs, I won't be using any video/photo editing programs. Thoughts? Will the i7 provide any future proofing? Is the dedicated graphics worth it compared to another laptop that uses the integrated graphics (such as the Yoga 2 Pro)? I could be convinced to go a different way, but what I really want is a capable touchscreen convertible with a larger-style screen.

Posted on 2014-01-20 00:25:22

Those CPUs are not very far apart in speed - only about 10% or a little more. Their core features are basically the same: both are dual cores with Hyperthreading and Turbo Boost. However, being ultra-low-power parts they are relatively slow in clock speed... and that particular dedicated video card isn't very fast either. If you are content with low to mid quality settings you are probably okay, but it might be worth looking for a system without a dedicated card and using a CPU with Intel's higher-end Iris Pro graphics built-in instead. I haven't looked into convertibles lately, so I'm not sure what is out there with that, but its something to look for.

Posted on 2014-01-20 06:44:38
Sards P

if you are to buy a LAPTOP, choose the high end i7 + high end graphics card. because you cannot change these things like, if you choose i5 and when having it , found not enough, then you cannot remove the i5 proc and replace with i7 proc. if you really want to= you end up spending more and risk more of damage . the RAM and drives can be done later . also, some mother boards are slow, check it out , as you cannot replace this afterwards. even some mother boards has only two sockets for the RAM, and maybe the other is difficult to access, then upgrading to higher RAM would be a head ache .

Posted on 2014-05-18 11:57:05
Giannis Chatzisavvas

Mr William, I read all your answers and I would really be glad if you could give me your opinion. I'm going to buy a laptop the next couple of days and I'm really stuck between the HP Envy j100sv and the Asus A551LB-XX134H. They are both very similar and differ only in a few details. The opinion I want is about the processors. HP has an i5-4200M (2.5 Ghz,3MB cache, dual core) whereas the Asus has an i7 4500U (1.8-3.0 Ghz, 4MB cache, dual core also). I don't play demanding games, nor I edit videos...mainly university stuff, but with many tabs open (like 10-15). The Asus costs only 50€ more, so it's not about the price. I like the HP more, but I want a processor that will last for years, without exceeding normal temperatures, and also no matter how much I searched I'm still not sure about the difference between the "M" and "U" in the processors' model name. Looking forward to reading your answer, thanks in advance for your time.
John

Posted on 2014-02-24 21:37:40

The 'M' stands for 'mobile', which is used to denote CPU models that are for laptops (instead of desktops). What 'U' is short for I'm not certain - probably either "Ultra Mobile" or "Ultra Low Power"... but either way it denotes even lower power consumption than a normal mobile processor. That lower power usage comes at a price, though: the i7 4500U is no faster, and in fact in most cases probably a little slower, than the i5 4200M.

I would probably make the decision based more on other parts of the system. Look at the drive speed - is either a SSD? If one is and the other is not, that would make a huge usability difference. What about the RAM capacity?

If all else is virtually equal, also consider customer and professional reviews of the two systems. Look at things like battery life (tested, rather than what they advertise, if possible). Good luck!

Posted on 2014-02-24 21:54:58
Giannis Chatzisavvas

Thank you very much for your quick answer. The other specs are pretty much the same, they are both 8 GB RAM and 1 TB SATA HDD, GeForce GT 740M DDR3 2GB, so it's all about the processors...

Posted on 2014-02-24 22:25:29
Kelvin Tneh

Hello,I would like to ask that i have no idea to whether buy a i5 or a i7 laptop,i'm just using my laptop for doing some microsoft office work,surfing and some leisure activities like watching movie and listening to music,is i5 or i7 is likely more suitable to me,Thank You

Posted on 2014-03-06 15:55:38

Honestly, for what you described even those may be overkill. I would say the Core i5 should be fine, and if you happened to find a laptop with an i3 instead that should be okay too. The general uses you described don't need a lot of processing power at all.

Posted on 2014-03-06 19:09:45
Hope

I want to buy laptop, i will use it specifically for running multiple Virtual Machines on VMWare, which i- core / model should I buy?

Posted on 2014-03-12 11:11:48

If you will be running multiple VMs at the same time then you will want as much processing power as possible. For a laptop, that would mean a Core i7... and make sure it is the quad-core version (has a Q or X toward the end of the model number) since some i7s are still dual-cores. I would also advise maximizing the amount of memory you can get. A lot of laptops will be limited to 16GB, but if you get one from us our Traverse V-series can go up to 24GB and our Traverse Pro M-series can go up to 32GB.

Posted on 2014-03-12 16:24:08
Sab

Hi there, i'm in the middle process of purchasing a laptop. thinking to buy Thinkpad edge E431 with either i3 - 3110M or i5-3230M. The price difference between these two is $100. Not sure if it is worth spending an extra 100 bucks for i5? I only use the laptop for downloading/listening music (the most), watching movies/dramas, surfing net, excel/words. I don't edit videos and play games. Any suggestions please? Thanks heaps!

Posted on 2014-04-03 00:28:57

Those are very similar CPUs, with almost exactly the same feature sets. The main difference is the Core i5 is clocked a little higher, and can jump even higher in speed when needed thanks to Turbo Boost. None of the things you listed should really need that added performance, though, so I think I would err on the side of savings in this instance. Or, better yet, if you could invest that $100 into something that would be more beneficial: getting 8GB of RAM instead of 4GB, for example, or upgrading to a solid-state drive (SSD) over a hard drive.

Posted on 2014-04-03 04:55:15
cerebralhigh

Hello Matt, thank you for your insightful post. I'm just about to build my first desktop PC and I'm unsure as to which processor to use. The build will be a home/office PC. I'll use it for work (I mark exam papers online, which I think is just a java based application), and my children play games like Minecraft and bin weevils. They're not into 'proper' 3D games yet. We all have the usual 10+ tabs open and skype/spotify/iplayer on in the background. I don't make/render/edit videos, or use any very cpu heavy programs afaik.

I'm tempted to settle with the Haswell i3-4130, but I've never used a dual core processor before and I'm worried it might not be powerful enough to multi-task effectively. I'm getting an SSD and 8GB of ram to try to make things as fast and snappy as possible.

Do you think the i3-4130 with a budget graphics card will be sufficient for my requirements? I read that the new i3s are under-rated in terms of performance and they cost £80 more than an i5 (in the UK). However I'll spend the extra money if there will be a noticeable difference in terms of performance. I don't want to buy an i3 only to be frustrated by things lagging or being slow to refresh when I'm multitasking. Have you used one of the Haswell i3s yourself?

Thanks very much for your help.

Posted on 2014-04-09 19:26:51
Don Blueberry

Hi!
I am looking to buy a laptop that'll be good enough to carry out large scale projects. So I basically need a laptop that'll help me build all these projects faster. I won't however be gaming. Also I want a decent battery life too say 4+ hours, in addition to that I keep around 10 tabs open plus I watch a lot of movies. Would a core i5 4th gen processor with 4 GB of RAM do?

Posted on 2014-04-12 05:17:24

For what you have described I wouldn't worry too much about the CPU - I think any modern Core i5 or i7 would likely work well. However, I would probably boost the RAM up to 8GB if possible (given the amount of things you have open at the same time) and definitely get a solid-state drive (SSD) if possible, rather than a traditional hard drive.

Posted on 2014-04-13 21:37:33
Ran

which is better i5 - 4200u (4th gen) or the i5- 3230M (3rd gen) ? i hear that 3230 has better clock speed but 4200 has lesser power consumption and a bit more features . I'am confused as i want to buy a laptop that fits for gaming as well as software development ... please help !

Posted on 2014-04-14 16:28:13

Models ending in "u" are ultra low power versions, so that is why the 4200u is slower despite being a newer generation. If you just go with the i5 4200m instead then it will be as good or even better than the older 3230m.

Posted on 2014-04-14 16:38:30
Kiwi

A 3rd gen i5 or a 2nd gen i5 dont have intel hd 4600 graphics

Posted on 2014-04-20 19:17:58

This article is in reference to Haswell CPUs (4th Gen) only. But yes, the 3rd Gen i5s have either Intel HD 2500 or Intel HD 2500. The 2nd Gen i5s have either Intel HD 2000 or Intel HD 3000.

Posted on 2014-04-21 17:42:24
Rajessh Reddy M

I have short listed three laptops, I am an ios developer and I will install mavericks. I am a gamer too. I will run windows and mavericks alternatively. which one's the beast
http://www.flipkart.com/len...
vs
http://www.flipkart.com/asu...
vs
http://www.flipkart.com/hp-...
I prefer the third one(hp-pavilion-15-n204tx)Is there any other laptop that I should have a look at in this price range.
Can I please get a brief description on NVIDIA N15V-GM graphics.
when compared to NVIDIA N15V-GM to NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M which is the best.

Posted on 2014-05-02 10:19:19

I would not expect OSX to be able to install / run on any of those laptops - and even if you could get it to work, you would be in violation of Apple's license terms. Their OS is only licensed for use on Apple computers.

As for the N15V-GM graphics, that is NVIDIA's code-name for their GT 820M video card. That should be on par with or better than the 720M, since it is a generation newer.

Posted on 2014-05-02 16:11:14
kekcoke

Holla! I'm wondering whether an i3 can cope up with Adobe Phshop CS 5 (if not 6). Looking to buy a laptop to install that, preferably.

Posted on 2014-05-08 01:45:07

It will run it, but it will be slower than with a faster CPU (like a Core i7). The drive speed, amount of RAM, and to some degree the video card also all play a role in Photoshop performance.

Posted on 2014-05-08 04:11:04
Brian

I'm in the market for a new laptop and am looking at one with a 2.2 GHz Core i7 3632QM CPU and 8 GB RAM. Some typical software I use includes MATLAB with toolboxes such as EEGLab, MATLAB with SPM5, MRIcron, PRAAT, R, SAS, LaTeX, MS office, Adobe Acrobat (Dreamweaver). My internet browsing habits are moderate to heavy occasionally with VPN. I frequently use multiple social networking platforms and also download large zip files. Some multitasking is a must but I may also buy a tablet for lighter functions. I'm thinking i7 mainly because MATLAB support mentions that some applications will not use virtual cores and I might start experimenting with more advanced 3D imaging soon. Is that overkill? Would a high-end i5 meet my needs?

Posted on 2014-05-19 05:25:18

It sounds like you are a pretty heavy user, so I would be inclined to stick with a quad-core if possible. On laptops, Core i5 chips are all dual-core... so yeah, keeping to the Core i7 is probably a better choice.

Posted on 2014-05-19 05:45:58
Brian

Thanks for such a fast reply!

Posted on 2014-05-19 05:51:14
Guest

I am building my first computer for school or gaming, lots of gaming. Should I go with i5 or i7 for my first build?

Posted on 2014-05-19 15:56:24
Ranmustang

Hello , am intending to buy a laptop primarily for software
development & website (visual studio 2012) , sql server ,
photoshop and a bit of gaming . My budget is between 40 to 50 k . I
liked hp 14-n201tx , but will the i5 4200u good enough for the above
mentioned priorities ? Please reply ,as i’ve been delaying the purchase
for a while now .

Posted on 2014-05-25 17:00:39
Ranmustang

Hello Ramakrishna , am intending to buy a laptop primarily for software
development & website (visual studio 2012) , sql server ,
photoshop and a bit of gaming . I
liked hp 14-n201tx , but will the i5 4200u good enough for the above
mentioned priorities ? Please reply ,as i’ve been delaying the purchase
for a while now .

Posted on 2014-05-25 17:02:09

That CPU is a dual-core, and fairly low clock speed. I would consider it fine for general usage, but not ideal for heavy-duty stuff like Photoshop or gaming.

Posted on 2014-05-25 21:53:55
ranmustang

okay but what about visual studio 2012 ?

Posted on 2014-05-26 17:04:04
Happy Darren

Thankyou for an incredibly well written and laid out article explaining the differences! I wish intel put something like this on their website! good work whoever wrote this!

Posted on 2014-05-29 08:16:29
imtheone

It helps a lot reading the whole article. Im switching to a new server unit this week. The Windows Home Server installation is smooth. Very friendly indeed. I would probably have an update once my new unit arrives ( http://www.spectra.com/sun/... ) I just its specifications and thinking it would be perfect integrating this whole system.

Posted on 2014-05-30 14:12:40
sam

I am an enginnering student wanting to buy my first laptop,I would use it mainly for programming and gaming what would you suggest i3 or i5 process.I plan to use the laptop for next 4 years atleast.

Posted on 2014-06-03 04:53:03

For gaming on a laptop... hmm. To me, neither of those is ideal: there are a lot of games out now that can benefit from more than 2 CPU cores, and both the i3 and i5 mobile processors are only dual-core. If you *can't* get a Core i7 quad-core, though, the i5 will likely be a better choice - but make sure you get a good video card too, since that is also a big part of game performance.

Posted on 2014-06-03 06:08:50
Kimi

Am planning to buy hp pavilion 14 - n201tx for programming (visual studio 2012) , will it be good choice ? it houses an i5 4200 u processor with nvidia gt 740 graphic card . please reply !

Posted on 2014-06-03 16:18:34
Christina

I am planning on getting a new laptop for university this fall and am trying to decide between the Macbook Pro dual-core i5 (8GB) or the quad-core i7 (8GB). I will mostly be using it for writing papers, iTunes, some heavy browsing, but not too heavy (10 tabs at the most), possibly Netflix, and if I do play any games it will be Sims. The laptop I'm using now is quite slow, so I definitely want something that will run at a good speed. I'm wondering whether the dual-core i5 or quad-core i7 will be better for me seeing as it's about a $500 difference? Also, can the dual-core i5 still work for video editing?

Thanks!

Posted on 2014-06-06 19:01:35

I'm not sure if things are different on Mac computers, but in general I would expect most of what you described to be fine on a dual-core. Video editing will be *faster* on a quad-core, but it should still function on a dual-core.

Posted on 2014-06-06 21:04:05
Pellegrino Pool

been learning from you while never got those answers b4. thanks. i like to keep 20 tabs open. is that what you call multitasking. don't play games, no heavy programs but i must run 2 or 3 screens and keep many tabs open while listening to m;usic on youtube or vibe. what do i need in a desktop: can't afford the hp envy which i love. ps i'm not ready to build but i can upgrade simple stuff (like not cpu)

Posted on 2014-06-12 01:09:26

Having several tabs open at once is sort of light-duty multitasking. When people talk about really having a lot going on they might have that many (or more) tabs, plus various document and file editors, plus maybe some graphics design programs, and more. It really depends on the specific user, and the more you have going on the faster CPU and more RAM you need in order to keep up.

Posted on 2014-06-12 06:08:22
Hrishikesh Shinde

Which is a better processor in terms of performance?

I5 (3rd generation processor ) 4210U HM86 vs I5 (4th generation processor) 3230M B75 Express.
Can you explain how?

Posted on 2014-06-25 13:30:48
Hrishikesh Shinde

Correction Which is a better processor in terms of performance?I5 (4th generation processor ) 4210U HM86 vs I5 (3rd generation processor) 3230M B75 Express.
Can you explain how

Posted on 2014-06-25 13:33:18

The 4210U is newer and an 'ultra mobile' model - so it uses a lot less power, but also runs at fairly low clock speeds. The 3230M is just a normal mobile class processor, and while older runs at a much higher clock speed. That means it will be faster, but will use more power, put off more heat, and use up battery life faster in a laptop.

Posted on 2014-06-25 16:25:26
Hrishikesh Shinde

So by that I understand that 3230M will process faster than 4210U. Hence laptops with 3230M will have less possibility to freeze (or hang) as compared with 4210U. Is my understanding correct?

Posted on 2014-06-26 06:39:37

The 3230M is faster... but neither should freeze or hang, really, at least not in normal day to day usage. That sort of thing happens if the system can't keep up with what you are doing, and modern CPUs shouldn't cause that. What the CPU speed will affect more is how fast calculations go - so if you are editing an image, rendering a video, etc those things will take less time on a faster CPU.

Hanging and freezing on modern computers is more likely due to waiting on data rather than calculations. That can be caused by slow drives (I highly recommend a SSD rather than a hard drive for that reason), lack of sufficient memory (RAM), or a slow internet connection.

Posted on 2014-06-26 17:45:24
Hrishikesh Shinde

Thanks George that was great. You are awesome :)

Posted on 2014-06-27 05:30:45
Tanveer

about Intel Core i5 4460 vs i3 4150 power consumption, if i5 4460 has lower clock rate, shouldn't it use less electricity because the turbo boost will not be needed all the time?

Posted on 2014-07-29 14:22:56
Brady

which processor would you recommend for me... I'm looking at a new laptop and i'm looking for it to replace my laptop. I mainly use my laptop for going on the web and uploading and streaming videos for work, email, etc... I don't use it for gaming. which processor would you recommend for me...

Posted on 2014-10-05 16:29:13
Tim

I'm confused on what to buy as the new Mac Mini's aren't quad core like the old ones. They are just dual core. I just do web browsing, watching movies with hdmi, a little photography but not photoshop just little programs and Microsoft word, but nothing too heavy. Should I get the i5 or i7 with 8gb ram. I don't want it to be worthless a year from now if Apple updates their os so I'm not sure what to buy, thanks!

Posted on 2014-10-23 16:55:19
infoprime

if you use your computer for basic tasks like surfing the web, then an i3 CPU is likely a great choice. If you use your computer for a variety of tasks that require a bit more power (including gaming), than an i5 CPU might be a better choice

Posted on 2014-11-22 06:28:55
felix

Hi William M.George
I would like to buy a new laptop, basically need it for streaming music and movies, downloading musics and movies
using excel and quickbooks
with the ability to run several web pages simultaneously.
can you help

Posted on 2014-12-01 21:36:03

Sure! From your description, I think our Traverse 15" model would work nicely. It has a really solid set of specs: a Core i7 processor, lots of RAM, and a sizable solid-state drive (SSD). You can edit those specs further, as needed.

Posted on 2014-12-01 21:48:56
felix

Thanks William
but I didn't budget to spent that much!

Posted on 2014-12-02 14:37:15
felix

Which brand is better, does it matter???

Posted on 2014-12-01 21:59:03
Saurabh Tripathi

The main thing to remember is that i7 CPUs are at the high end of the product line, i5 CPUs are in the middle, and i3 CPUs are entry level.

30220206
VALVE COMPLETE 35 GA

Posted on 2014-12-08 08:29:13
prime

Intel has been using the i3, i5, and i7 naming scheme for their CPUs for quite a while now, but what these labels mean tends to slowly change over time as new features are introduced or older ones get replaced.

W75300T50X
VALVE COMPLETE 50 GA W75300T50

Posted on 2014-12-26 10:03:15
prime

The main thing to remember is that i7 CPUs are at the high end of the product line, i5 CPUs are in the middle, and i3 CPUs are entry level.

30220198
VALVE COMPLETE 50 GA

Posted on 2014-12-26 10:03:37
prime

Intel has been using the i3, i5, and i7 naming scheme for their CPUs for quite a while now, but what these labels mean tends to slowly change over time

ASSEMBLY
VALVE PLATE 32293904

Posted on 2015-01-09 08:09:10
prime

The main thing to remember is that i7 CPUs are at the high end of the product line, i5 CPUs are in the middle, and i3 CPUs are entry level.

ASSEMBLY
VALVE PLATE 32293912

Posted on 2015-01-09 08:09:30
Muzaffar Ali

I want a gaming laptop and will be using it for 3 to 4 years.
Should I go with Ci7 4710mq or ci7 4810mq or ci7 4790k?
I heard Ci7 4790k is very unnecessary for gaming because it tends to throttle and have heating issues.
What CPU best suits for Gaming?
Thanks

Posted on 2015-02-10 16:03:31

The 4790K is a desktop-class processor, not a laptop / mobile processor. It is a fine choice for gaming desktops, but I wouldn't recommend it in a laptop because of how hot it will run (laptops can't handle heat well, due the small heatsinks and fan sizes).

Of the other two CPUs you mentioned, either should be okay - but the 4810MQ is about 10% faster, so if you can fit it in your budget I think it is a better way to go. Make sure you get a good video card as well, though, as that is critical for gaming.

Posted on 2015-02-10 16:36:00
Muzaffar Ali

Yes I am going for GTX 970m(6gb). Will it be good for future use?

Posted on 2015-02-10 18:14:39

Yeah, that is a good gaming card :)

Posted on 2015-02-10 18:17:22
Muzaffar Ali

Thanks for views :)

Posted on 2015-02-10 18:29:20
James

What if i have a Quad CORE i3 Processor? How does a single i7 compare to that?

Posted on 2015-02-24 17:00:11

There is no quad-core processor in the Core i3 line... or were you asking about quad (four) Core i3 processors? They aren't designed to work in multi-CPU configurations like that, so it isn't even really an option. Maybe I don't understand your question, though?

Posted on 2015-02-24 17:24:55
James

how bout this. if i have 4 i3 processors running on one Computer, how does that compare to the i7

Posted on 2015-02-24 18:22:12

Um... there is no way to do that. A Core i3 is a dual-core processor, and some models have Hyperthreading - so it may show up in Task Manager as four cores - but that is not the same as having "4 i3 processors". It is just one processor, with two physical and two logical cores (thanks to Hyperthreading). You cannot have more than one Core i3 processor in a single system; the same goes for Core i5 and i7 models too, by the way. Only the Xeons, and only a select sub-set of them, can be used in 2- or 4-processor configurations.

Posted on 2015-02-24 18:31:29
James

im not asking if its possible, im asking how an i7 processor would hold up against 4 i3 processors. simple question.

Posted on 2015-02-24 19:07:03

Okay, well in theory I suppose it would lose to the combined power of four Core i3 processors... but then it depends a bit on which specific models of each you have in mind. For example, a Core i7 4790 is roughly equal to two Core i3 4360 processors. The 4790 has four cores running at a base speed of 3.6GHz with Hyperthreading, while the i3 4360 has two cores at 3.7GHz with Hyperthreading. So in that case the i7 is roughly equal to two Core i3s.

However, if you step up to something like a Core i7 5960X then that is an eight-core processor - so it would be a closer match for four Core i3s. It does run at a lower clock speed, but it uses faster memory... so it is hard to say how that comparison would fall out.

This is all just theoretical, though, since no direct comparison can be made (since Core i3 processors can not operate in tandem).

Posted on 2015-02-24 19:11:53
James

That answered my question, thank you

Posted on 2015-02-24 19:13:45
Sant Gurmeet singh Ram Rahim j

I would like to do some basic video editing, watching movies , light browsing, maybe casual gaming, which one is better for a desktop- i3 or i5? Price is a very important factor for me

Posted on 2015-03-16 11:12:48

Definitely the Core i5! On desktop systems it is a quad-core, while the i3 is a dual-core. For video editing, some games, and multi-tasking that will make a big difference.

Posted on 2015-03-16 16:00:08
Sant Gurmeet singh Ram Rahim j

Thanks very much , seems I need to increase my budget then...

Posted on 2015-03-17 02:20:35

Great article but it is missing one very important technology which is the bus. Core-i7 offerings employ one of "QPI" (quick path interconnect) or "DMI" (direct media interface) while Core-i5 only offers "DMI". For those wishing to learn more about QPI please watch this video: http://www.intel.com/conten...

Posted on 2015-05-10 14:43:15

That's in interesting topic. I've never considered QPI important outside the scope of multi-socket systems, where it is used for CPU's to talk to each other. Are you saying it is actually a factor in IO performance? If so, we should dig into that. However...are you sure that Core i7 has QPI? Intel ARK seems to say otherwise (http://ark.intel.com/produc... and http://ark.intel.com/produc...

Posted on 2015-05-10 16:47:54

While ARK is a more up-to-date detailed reference provided by the manufacturer, this general reference from wikipedia will let you know which i7 chips have QPI and which have DMI ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wi... ). In the first generation, DMI was found in 800 series chips while QPI was found in 900 series chips.

Posted on 2015-05-11 00:17:21

I think that general trend has continued: the consumer / mainstream CPUs (Core i3, i5, i7, and Xeon E3) all use DMI, while the enthusiast Core i7 and workstation / server Xeon E5 products use QPI. Intel's Ark site is a little confusing on this, as it makes it looks like the enthusiast i7 and single-CPU Xeon E5 procs don't have either DMI or QPI... but they must have some connection to the chipset, so I'm pretty sure it is a single QPI link. The dual-CPU E5 models have two QPI links: one for connecting to the chipset, the other for communicating with the second CPU.

Posted on 2015-05-11 05:21:01

Yea, that is my understanding as well. I always think of it by socket - socket 1150/55/56 uses DMI, socket 1366/2011 uses QPI - but same thing.

My understanding is that QPI has more bandwidth than DMI, but you wouldn't be able to use that bandwidth on the consumer/mainstream CPUs since they only have 16 PCI-E lanes plus the connection to the chipset. Enthusiast i7 and Xeon E5 CPUs, however, do need the additional bandwidth since you are getting into multi-CPU configurations as well as the CPUs having 40 PCI-E lanes each plus the connection to the chipset.

Posted on 2015-05-11 18:57:41

Actually, I might be wrong. The more I look into it, the more it looks like every modern Intel CPU uses DMI to connect to the chipset. QPI is apparently only used for interconnecting CPUs. Or at least, that is my current impression after looking through datasheets like http://www.intel.com/conten... . On page 93 in that document it says that E5-1600 v3 and E5-2600 v3 both have a single x4 DMI2 link. The block diagram for X99 also shows DMI 2.0 for enthusiast Core i7 CPUs (http://www.intel.com/conten...

Posted on 2015-05-11 19:13:52
saskam

i7 has keyboard that lights up when you type and i3 doesn't right?

Posted on 2015-06-11 04:39:45
Alexandre Shd

I5 is good processor here because its Cost less and has Almost the same caracteristic as i7 the main diffrences is I5 doesnt have Hyperthreding and Having only 4 threads while I7 have 8 Threads and Hyperthreading but both of them have 4 cores and I5 serves perfectly well for all demanding games filmes work why you need pay more for I7 while I5 do almost the same things that I7 and cost less + i3 its lower budget CPU for games its for those people who dont have Many money to spend I5 will be good choice I7 just waste of money besides you can buy it when price is drop

Posted on 2015-06-24 16:11:53
Chris

For streaming video off Netflix or online TV viewing, is an i3 adequate??

Posted on 2015-09-11 06:44:32

Yes, a modern Core i3 should be enough for those applications - at least with video up to 1080P resolution.

Posted on 2015-09-11 15:31:29
Saleh

Hi all
Is i5 enough for heavy daily tasks and connect with server?

Posted on 2015-12-23 09:46:08

It is better to go for a high-end Core i5 rather than a entry level i5 for gaming.

Posted on 2017-09-30 16:42:44

The last two CPUs I have personally purchased, both for gaming systems at my home, were Core i5 models that were one step back from the top-end. However, I have recently reconsidered my stance on CPU selection. Yes, it seems nice to save $20-50 (which might be 10-20% of the part's price) on a component if you only lose 5-10% performance, but if you look at it from the whole system level instead of just the component the situation flips around. Lets say you are building a $1000 gaming computer: is it worth saving $20-50 (now only 2 to 5% of the price) but losing 5-10% of the performance? I don't think so!

In the end, though, you also need to look at what you can afford. If saving a few bucks on the CPU lets you get a better video card, that would likely have a bigger impact on performance in games. It's all a balancing act.

Posted on 2017-10-02 17:22:50
MESSAOUD BENKINA

HI .How are you S V P JE N'arrive pas à comprendre que signifie : PROCESSEUR Intel Core i7 3 GHz ????????

Posted on 2017-10-09 23:05:12

For laptop for normal office work and browsing, Is core i3 is enough with 4GB RAM?

Posted on 2017-10-14 02:51:16