What the heck is the Difference Between Intel Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, and Core i9 ? What do these terms mean?

Intel make cool products. They engage in lots of community stuff but when it comes to confusing product naming schemes we’ll say core i3, Core i5,  i7 and i9 takes the cake. We mean great question what is a core i7 4790k? What the heck does all of this even mean?

Now, before we go into all that, lets take a leap into why we need product names for processors.

Why We Need Product Names for Processors.

Wouldn’t it be simpler to just label them with how many gigahertz they run and call it a day simpler sort of but at times actually even more confusing. For example, when the Pentium 4 launched, an equivalently clocked Pentium 3 was actually has more speed than it because it could do more work.

We would expect the product with the higher number to be the better one and therein lies the problem. Not all megahertz and gigahertz are created equal and rating products that way is about like reading the performance of a car based on what RPM (Revolution Per Minute)  the engine runs at. Hence, product number is not actually a real indication of how fast the processor.

One of AMD’s attempts to move away from this started in the early 2000s with their PR or performance rating naming scheme where their processors were given a four-digit model number that enthusiasts believe was based on the performance and they felt that they delivered compared to an Intel CPU of that clock speed but this fixed nothing.

If not until Intel introduced the core series, they were still indirectly naming according to clock speed. These line of CPUs dramatically outperformed their predecessors at much lower clocks that the megahertz squabble ended because Intel needed to move their marketing far away from frequency.

So here’s what we have other than the very bare-bones Pentium SKUs. A core i3 will be your most prefered option with two processing cores and hyper threading.

More about this feature here are; for better multitasking, it will have a smaller cache, it’ll consume less power, it will generally perform worse than a Core i5 but it’ll cost less which leads us to the core i5.

We wish we could say it was as  simple as well. Core i3s have two cores and Core i5s have four cores. The  number of cores equals n minus 1(n-1). Core i5s have two cores and hyper-threading while desktop ones mostly have four cores and no hyper-threading but what they all have in common is improved onboard graphics.

For temporary performance enhancements,Turbo boost more about these features when your system needs a little bit more MMM and with 00Mph in mind core i7s. Number one, all core i7s have hyper threading for heavy workloads and number two that’s the noise your brain is gonna make as we finish this explanation here.

A core i7 can have anywhere from two processing cores in an ultrabook all the way up to eight in a workstation, it might support anywhere from two sticks of memory all the way to eight and it can have a TDP anywhere from around 10 watts all the way to 130 watts.

So there’s a ton of variety here and that’s for a reason core i7 tend to have more cache, faster turbo boost and better onboard graphics than the lower tier processors and other than that, the best summary is this a core i7 represents the best thing Intel could build for a given use case,

with the biggest setback being the hike in price. so when you boil it down that’s all, the “i”whatever numbers represent good, better, best within a given segment. Beyond that, on their own they’re pretty much meaningless.

The numbers and letters afterwards sort of means something if you use the guide from before but the  safest way to shop is to dig around in arc and look at the features.

Core counts and clock speeds of the CPUs you’re comparing to figure out how they stack up with the good news being that these metrics will actually mean something as long as you compare within the same product generation and same one brand.

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What is The Difference Between Intel Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, and Core i9 Processors?

Here we want to talk about the difference between intel core i3, Core i5, core i7 and core i9.

Now, as far as the intel core lineup goes you’ve got the Pentium, then you’ve got the intel core i3 Core i5 core i7 and then the newest core i9. No! we’re not gonna be talking about Pentium here. It’s just not good and we can’t recommend you buying one these days because it’s old and it’s really really not that much cheaper than a core i3.

Core i3

Now, We’re gonna start off with the core i3. The core i3 is the cheapest Intel CPU on the market rocking just 2 cores with hyper-threading allowing for better multitasking when you’re doing a bunch of stuff.

Once, say you’re working in more processor, running chrome, running music, looking at your email all at the same time then hyper threading is going to help you do all that.

It has a smaller cache and say the core i5 core i7 and it’s going to be cheaper than the core i5 and core i7. Now, that is the thing it’s cheaper for a reason. It’s gonna have worse performance in those processors and for gaming in 2019, a core i3 is probably not going to be great.

Core i5

Now, moving on to the core i5. There are two types of core i5; the mobile which has two cores with hyper-threading and the desktop which has four cores with no hyper threading. Awkward!

However, Core i5 has a better onboard graphics than the core i3 and they’re gonna have turbo boost allowing you to boost your gigahertz from say 2.8  to 3.8 during heavy workloads.

Say you’re playing on CPU intense game, it’s gonna be able to boost that clock, speed up in order to get you that better performance. are you going more depth with this but

If you want that special value, you need turbo boost because it allows you to get more gigahertz out of an Intel processor whenever it’s needed.

Core i7

let’s talk about the core i7. Every core i7 on the market has hyper-threading which again helps you when you’re doing a lot of multi-tasking and a bunch of different workloads all at once depending on the model you pick up.

It can have two cores in some of the laptops out there up to ten cores in the workstation models of the core i7. 

Again, depending on which model, you might just be able to run two sticks of RAM up to eight sticks of RAM which is absolutely incredible.

Overall, i7 is gonna have better onboard graphics. They’re gonna support more things. overall workstation wise they have faster and better overall turbo boost allowing again for you to boost-up gigahertz from say 2.8 gigahertz when needed and there obviously with all the core is gonna have much more cash than the lower processors in the intel line up.

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Core i9

let’s talk about the core i9. The core i9 has anywhere from that 10 core mark where the i7 ends all the way up to 18. Core i9 if you want to say do a lot of extremely CPU heavy tasks all at once like, let’s say you’re streaming on twitch, playing a game, video editing, photo editing all at the same time.

In doing all these, a core iodine is what you’re going to want because you’re gonna be able to handle all those workloads, gets all of those wicking cores all of them, have hyper threading alone for anywhere from 20 to 36 threads depending on the model you buy.Wow! that’s insane!

Another unique and interesting thing about the core i9 is when your turbo boosting. Well, we talked about before that that only happens on one CPU core normally but on the core i-9 there are 2 preferred cores allowing you to boost on 2 cores not just one.

This can be great when you’re running CPU heavy tasks that can only use say two ish course games .a lot of games out there do this, you’ll see games only want to use to maximum cores and if you can boost on two cores you’re gonna get much better performance in that game than say you even will with an i7 boosting on one core.

These two prefered cores also allow for better overclocking and just overall better performance. Core i9 are powerhouses and most people won’t need them right now but it’s great to see Intel stepping up their game in the processor market.

They’re really starting to feel the heat and now we can finally start seeing some huge leaps again in the process or industry overall. Though the core i3 is the cheapest and going to give you the lowest performance, the core i9 which is going to give you the best performance.

General rule of thumb within these model lines is there Plus. This equals this and that’s how you can determine this is the better processor but that’s just simply not the case. We believe you have been able to understand some of the Difference Between Intel Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, and Core i9.

If you’ve got any questions, post them in the comment section down below we’ll try our best to answer every single comment we get.


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