Core i5 Vs Core i7

There was a time when figuring out Intel's computer microprocessors used to be simple. This is a part of the history of computer processors when Pentium series of chips were rolled out by Intel, which were progressively faster than their predecessors and all you looked at was the clocking speed. However, the introduction of dual core and later quad core changed it all. Multithreading came with the introduction of multiple cores and computing was taken to a new level. However, the slew of new processor lines with varying clocking speeds, some with quad and dual cores made it difficult to figure out which is the best processor for an average home user or a gaming enthusiast. This article on core i5 vs core i7 is aimed at clearing out that confusion and will set the record straight.

Core i5 Vs Core i7: Review

When choosing processors, what are the important things that one should look out for? One sure indicator is the clocking speed of the processors, then the number of cores and the processor cache size. Higher the speed or the cache size or number of cores, faster is the chip. Other than that, if one really wants to go into the details, the kind of socket into which the processor chip is fitted also matters. Another facility that you should look out for is whether multithreading or hyperthreading is enabled in a multicore chip as it provides multitasking ability. Let us see the differences between core i5 and core i7 processors, based on these points.

Core i5 Vs Core i7: Technical Specifications
Let us have a look at the technical specifications of core i5 series and the core i7 series. The core i5 series comes in three architectures which include the Lynnfield (Core i5- 7xx, Core i5- 7xxxS) quad core processors fitted with the LGA 1156 socket and an 8 MiB LS cache, Clarkdale (Core i5- 6xx) dual core processors fitted with the LGA 1156 socket and 4 MiB LS cache and lastly the Arrandale (core i5-4xxM, Core i5-5xxM, Core i5-5xxUM) dual core processors with µPGA-989 socket and 3 MiB cache. The Arrandale processors are meant for mobiles while the previous two lines are meant for desktop computers and laptop computers. The first core i5 processor to be released was the Core i5 750, a Lynnfield quad core processor with a clocking speed of 2.66 GHz and an 8MB L3 cache with the hyperthreading facility disabled, which is a large minus point of these processors compared with the core i7 line of processors.

Compared to core i5, core i7 processors come in 5 architectures which include Gulftown (Core i7-980X Extreme Edition with 12 MB L3 cache, Core i7 9xx series Extreme Edition with 8 MB cache), Bloomfield (Core i7-9xx Extreme Edition series with 8 MB L3 cache, Core i7-9xx series with 8 MB L3 cache) series, Lynnfield (Core i7 8xx, Core i7 8xxS) series with 8 MB L3 cache and Clarksfield (Core i7-9xxXM, Core i7-8xxQM, Core i7-7xxQM) as well as Arrandale with 4MB cache series for mobiles. These are Intel's top of the line processors based on the LGA 1366 socket or LGA 1156 socket and µPGA-989. The Lynnfield line has the same architecture as core i5 quad but it has hyper threading enabled, which make it a lot more powerful and fast.

The Gulftown Intel core i7 processors are the most powerful of the lot with 6 hyper threaded cores. They are enabled with the Intel 'Turbo Boost' technology which makes it possible for the CPU clock speed to increase dynamically beyond the set speed on demand. This technology is also enabled in certain processors in the intel core i5 series. The newly developed Quick path connection bus is another addition to the core i7 arsenal which makes it even more faster. The most powerful processors are the ones with the six core based Gulftown architecture which have a basic clocking frequency of 3.33 MHz, with potential to reach a maximum of 3.6 GHz with 'Turbo Boost' technology. Unlike a dual core vs core 2 duo or a quad core vs dual core comparison, it is difficult to go into specific points of comparison between core i5 and core i7 as they contain a range of processors. Still I have covered the main difference in the technical specifications.

Core i5 Vs Core i7: Performance
If you are making a comparison of core i5 vs core i7 for gaming, core i7 processors win hands down on all counts due to their phenomenal processing power. Core i5 processors are good enough or one could say adequate for most gaming applications too. However, if you want raw power, core i7 processors are ones that you should go for. If you make a cost comparison, there is a huge difference between the core i5 and core i7 processors. The most powerful i7 processors are sold at around $1000, though the starting line processors like Core i7 860 are sold at $280. The starting line processors offered by the core i5 series cost around $200. The core i7 series may be a bit more expensive but it is definitely worth the investment.

Hope this straightforward core i5 vs core i7 comparison has cleared out the confusion regarding these two new processor lines. Core i5 is the mid range of processors and though not as fast as the core i7 extreme processors, they are well suited for home users. While core i7 comes with hyper threading only a few core i5 processors have it. This feature makes a lot of difference when you are multitasking. If you are into heavy duty programming which requires multitasking or you are a power user, then the core i7 line processors are the best choice for you. In the end of course, your budget will be the ultimate deciding factor. Check out which processors are accessible in your budget and pick out the top of the lot!

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