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Choose Core i5 or i7 CPU when buying a computer

If you have a need to “up” a new computer configuration (desktop or laptop), choosing a processor is one of the top concerns. Intel’s Core i5 and i7 are two chip lines that are considered a lot and also cause headaches for readers because they have their own advantages. The article will help you better understand the above two chip lines, not merely the difference between the numbers. We will ignore the Core i3 series because it is mainly for the popular, low-priced configuration. Similar to AMD’s chips is also another story that will be covered separately in another article.

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Product Price

Intel has divided the processors for personal computers into three series. Core i7, Core i5, and Core i3 have high, medium, and basic offerings respectively. However, this does not mean that Core i5 chips are always slower than Core i7, as you will see in the next section.

The advantage of the Core i7 chip over the Core i5 is the ability to multitask, run multimedia presentation applications or play heavy games. If you think your computer is too slow to use, you should be “bold” and go with the new configuration of the Core i7 chip. However, if the configuration is the same, a Core i5-chip machine will be cheaper than a Core i7. Specifically, the new ultrabook model Dell XPS 13 Touch with Core i5 chip will be about $200 cheaper than the product with the same Core i7 configuration.

Product Name

As mentioned above, Intel still uses the same Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 names for each CPU generation, but you can still distinguish them by their product code names (SKUs). Specifically, Nehalem and Westmere chips have 3 digits, such as the Intel Core i7-920. Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, Haswell and Broadwell have up to 4 digits, with Sandy Bridge chips always starting with the number “2”, Ivy Bridge is the number “3” , and respectively, the latest generation of Broadwell chips will start with the number.” 5″ for the Core i7-5500.

Processors often use naming conventions to show their superiority, but the bottom line is that each generation of CPUs will perform better. What you need to care about is the production technology and when the product appeared on the market, not their name. For example, the Core i7-5500U chip will have better overall performance than the Core i5-5200U. It is unwise to assume that a chip’s clock or instruction processing speed is a reliable indicator when comparing and buying products. While this assumption may be true in some cases, the processor architecture is its real advantage.

In terms of cores alone, a chip with more cores will have better multithreading capabilities. One thing to note is that Core i7 chips don’t always have 4 cores (quad cores), while Core i5 only has 2 cores. This only applies to Core i7 chips for desktops (desktops) and Core i5 for mobile devices (laptops). you can also see the opposite, that is Core i7 for laptops such as the Core i7-4610Y and i7-5600U have only 2 cores, while Core i5 for desktops are i5-4690T or i5-4570R have up to 4 cores. There are also some Extreme series CPUs for desktops that have up to 6 or even 8 cores.

In addition to the base clock, Core i7 chips typically have a larger cache (cache level or onboard memory) memory than the Core i5. For desktop CPUs, for example, the Core i5’s Level 3 cache (L3 cache) will be 3 to 6 MB, while the Core i7 will be 4 to 8 MB. The chip’s internal memory is used to store temporary data during processing that the next instruction needs to execute in order for the prefetch and decoder to be ready for an extremely fast response during the processing cycle… The large memory capacity will help the chip’s multitasking capabilities, as data from background applications is available even if you switch to another application window interface.

Turbo Boost

Simply put, Turbo Boost is an automatic overclocking feature that Intel has built into the processor. Basically, it allows to speed up some or both processor cores (cores) when needed in a single task application. Turbo Boost Technology version 2.0 also has the ability to individually adjust the graphics core clock by about 60-90% for desktop chips and 100-180% for mobile chips, depending on the version. Both Core i5 and Core i7 chips are equipped with these features, with Core i7 chips having higher clock speeds.


Hyper-Threading multi-threading technology is also included in the chips by Intel so that operating systems and applications “see” that the processor has more cores than it actually does. Unlike Turbo Boost, this technology is primarily designed to improve the performance of multitasking applications such as multimedia presentations, graphics, and even when surfing the web if you have many different content windows open.

All Core i7 chips support Hyper-Threaded Multithreading technology. So if a Core i7 desktop chip has 6 physical cores, it will handle up to 12 streams of data at the same time, a 4-core chip can handle 8 threads, and a 2-core chip can handle 4 streams of data at the same time. Compared to Core i5, only 2-core chips (usually mobile chips) support Hyper-Threading technology, while desktop 4-core Core i5 chips will not be equipped with this technology.

Unlike before, Intel’s graphics chips are integrated into the motherboard chipset, starting with the first Core i chip codenamed Westmere in 2010, the company introduced an integrated design with HD Graphics. The graphics core and processor core are based on the same semiconductor and use the same ring bus for data transfer.

However, a valuable “plus” is that the graphics processing power of Intel chips has been significantly improved over the generations. The addition of Command Execution Units (EUs) helps improve 3D image processing, supports HD video well, meets the needs of multimedia entertainment, or plays more games.

The older Sandy Bridge chips come with HD Graphics 2000 and 3000 graphics with support for the DirectX 10 graphics library. the Ivy Bridge chips with HD Graphics 2500 and 4000 upgrades support DirectX 11. Haswell’s integrated graphics are available in versions GT1 (HD Graphics), GT2 ( HD Graphics 4200, 4400, 4600, P4700), GT3 (HD Graphics 5000, Iris Graphics 5100), and GT3e (Iris Pro Graphics 5200). Similarly, Broadwell chips are available in four different graphics versions, including HD Graphics 5500, HD Graphics 6000, Iris Graphics 6100, and even the most powerful graphics version, Iris Pro Graphics 6200, which will be available in Broadwell-K chips by the middle of this year…

Here’s everything you need to know about Core i5 and i7 PCs to help you make an informed decision. The Core i5 chip is for users who care about the p/p ratio (cost/performance) and need a machine for learning and using popular applications like MS Suite in the office. Office, watching movies, listening to music or playing games for easy entertainment. The authors’ real-world testing with PCMark 8 tests showed that the overall performance of a laptop with a Core i5-4200U chip (1.6GHz, 3MB smart cache) was only about 13-15% lower than a configuration using that chip. Core i7-4500U (1.8GHz, 3MB Smart Cache).

At the same time, the Core i7 is a good choice for users who are keen on technology and have the financial means to do so. This chip is suitable for professional applications such as architectural design, 3D graphics applications, video editing or gaming. Of course, in this case, the graphics card will be the factor you need to focus on more than the processor.

In the case of an upgrade, you should consider choosing a processor that fits your current configuration and is not too strong or too weak to avoid waste. Experience has shown that to significantly improve system performance, it is best to “upgrade” a new processor. Specifically, if the old chip is part of a popular series, replace it with a Core i5 chip and replace the old mid-range chip with a Core i7.


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