For those hunting for a new laptop, the most significant consideration is the type of processor you choose. The laptop’s processor is essential to its performance, primarily if you use heavy programs.
Two processors that are usually in contention when people are selecting a good processor include the Intel Core i5 and Core i7. However, choosing between them is difficult as they have a lot in common. Still, the two processors’ differences are clear, especially when you compare their price, number of cores, clock speeds, and desktop and laptop user experience.
One thing to note is that there isn’t a definitive answer as to which one is better since it all comes down to a buyer’s budget and preference. Keep reading for a detailed review of the Core i5 vs. Core i7 processors.
Core i5 vs. Core i7: Side-by-Side Comparison
|Specification||Core i5||Core i7|
|Processor||High-end processor||High-end processor|
|Number of threads||20||24|
|Number of cores||14 (6 performance, 8 efficiency)||16 (8 performance, 8 efficiency)|
|Turbo boosting||Has turbo-boosting||Has turbo-boosting|
|Clock frequency||5.10 GHz||5.40 GHz|
|Price||Ranges between $294 and $319.00||Ranges between $384.00 and $419.00|
|Release date||September 2022||September 2022|
Core i5 vs. Core i7: What’s the Difference?
The Core i5 and Core i7 are good processors, but with different specifications. Let’s look at some of their differences.
Number of Cores and Performance
The number of cores in the processor determines a laptop’s performance. So, what is a core? It is the computer’s processing unit, which reads, interprets, and executes different instructions. For example, if your laptop has a multi-core processor, it has two processing units that analyze instructions simultaneously.
In contrast, for those using a single-core processor, their computers may take time to interpret and execute instructions as it has one processing unit. As such, computers with a higher number of cores usually perform better because they can multitask and handle powerful programs efficiently.
The Core i5 processor has 14 cores, which include 6 performance cores and 8 efficiency cores. In contrast, the Core i7 processor has 16 cores, which include 8 performance cores and 8 efficiency cores.
- Processor Manufacturer: Intel
- Processor Core: Tetradeca-core (14 Core)
- Clock Speed: 3.50 GHz
- Overclocking Speed: 5.10 GHz
- L2 Cache: 20 MB
As highlighted above, each processor has two different core layouts, which perform different functions. The performance core is the strongest and uses the most energy. It is considered the processor’s main core as it handles all the heavy programs and has a high clocking speed.
This core is also used for multitasking, especially when running several programs concurrently. In contrast, the efficiency core uses less energy and focuses on improving the computer’s performance. For example, it reduces the performance core’s workload to boost your laptop’s efficiency.
Thus, based on the above figures, the Core i7 processor performs better than the Core i5 processor. First, it has 16 cores compared to i5’s 14 cores. Second, the i7 processor has 8 performance cores compared to i5’s 6, meaning the i7 is faster and better at multitasking than the i5.
Lastly, though both processors have the same efficiency cores, the i7 still comes out on top. The i7 has more performance cores, meaning that even if the workload is shared among the two processors, the i7 will still be more efficient. Ultimately, the Core i7 processor will always outperform the Core i5.
Cache memory is the computer’s ability to store data, making it easy to retrieve this information when needed. For example, when using Microsoft Excel to make various computations, the numbers are usually stored in cache memory to ensure that the calculations are fast if some figures are altered.
The Core i5 processor has a 24MB cache memory, while the Core i7 processor has a 30MB cache memory. It means that the Core i7 processor is faster as it has a higher cache memory than the Core i5 processor. The Core i7’s higher cache memory also boosts its multitasking abilities and general performance.
Clock speed is the processor’s ability to interpret and execute instructions, which is measured in gigahertz. The higher the clock speed, the faster your computer becomes.
However, while most processors usually handle one instruction per clock pulse, others can handle two. For instance, the core i9 processor can take more than two instructions as it has a higher clock speed than standard processors.
The Core i7 processor has a clock frequency of 5.40 GHz, higher than the Core i5 processor, which has 5.10 GHz. Thus, given the Core i7 processor has a better clock speed frequency, it is faster and more suited to execute quick instructions than the Core i5 processor.
One thing to note is that you can increase your computer’s clock speed, but it will be detrimental to its operations. Increasing a computer’s clock speed may make it unstable, especially if the processor cannot handle the increased frequency.
Ultimately, the main similarity between these two processors is that they may handle one instruction per clock pulse. However, the Core i7 processor will still be better because it has a higher clock speed frequency.
Turbo Boost and Hyperthreading
Intel introduced turbo boost technology to improve the CPU’s efficiency when handling several programs simultaneously. The CPU doesn’t always operate at maximum frequency because some programs don’t require maximum energy; however, some programs are CPU intensive.
Thus, the turbo boost technology allows the CPU to run at a regular frequency when handling lighter programs; then, it boosts the CPU’s clock speed when handling heavy programs. The main benefit of turbo boost technology is that it conserves power when running light programs, thus boosting the laptop’s battery life.
The Core i7 processor has a turbo boost frequency of 5.40 GHz, while the Core i5 has a 5.10 GHz turbo boost frequency. These figures show that the Core i7’s turbo boost technology is superior to the Core i5’s. It implies that the Core i7 processor is better equipped to handle heavy programs than the Core i5.
- 13th Gen Intel Core i7 unlocked desktop processor Beyond performance.
- Chipset Compatability Intel 700 Series Chipset an Intel 600 Series Chipset
- Intel Smart Cache (L3) Size 36 MB
- Processor Graphics Intel UHD Graphics 770
- Processor Cores (P-cores + E-cores) 24 (8P+16E)
Comparing both processors’ hyperthreading technology, the Core i7 processor is still better than the Core i5 processor. Multithread technology involves your laptop dividing its workload among multiple threads to ensure it is completed quickly.
For example, when gaming, your laptop’s processor divides the work among the processor’s threads to ensure your game runs smoothly. However, hyperthreading technology is even more innovative. This technology allows two threads to run on one core, meaning you have one core that operates like two logical processors.
The Core i7 processor has better hyperthreading technology as it has 24 threads, while the Core i5 has 20 threads. Based on these figures, the Core i7 processor can run more background programs without any interference than the Core i5. This processor is also ideal for running heavily threaded programs without compromising performance.
Most people look for a computer with high battery life but don’t realize that the processor affects its battery consumption. For instance, a processor will require more energy to run a program, thus needing more battery juice.
There isn’t a big difference in power consumption between the Core i5 processor and the Core i7. Both processors have turbo boosting, which controls their power consumption and prevents them from using more battery power.
However, the Core i7 processor has a better battery life because it consumes less energy due to its higher turbo-boosting frequency than the Core i5 processor.
The 13th-generation processors are costlier than their predecessors. However, the Core i7 processor is more expensive than the Core i5 processor. You will need $384 to acquire the Core i7 processor, while the Core i5 will cost you $294.
However, there are two versions of the 13th-generation processors, which cost differently. For example, the Core i7-137000KF processor costs $394, while the Core i7-13700K processor costs $419. In contrast, the Core i5-13600K processor costs $329, while the Core i5-13600KF costs $304.
Ultimately, the Core i7 is pricier than the Core i5, irrespective of your chosen version.
History of the Core i5 Processor
Intel launched the first-generation Core i5 processor in 2009. The processor had 4 cores and a clock rate of 2.67 GHz. It also had a 256KB L2 cache memory and an 8MB L3 cache memory. This processor’s initial price was $196. Based on these specifications, it’s clear that the first-generation Core i5 processor was slow and couldn’t handle several programs simultaneously.
The second-generation Core i5 processor was released in 2011 and was superior to its predecessor. The processor had a clock rate of 3.4 GHz and a 6MB L3 cache memory. The processor’s initial price was $225.
Over the years, intel released other Core i5 processors that were better than their previous version. Today, people are using the 13th -generation Core i5 processor, which Intel released in 2022. This processor has 14 cores, a 5.10 GHz clock rate, and a 24MB cache memory. The 13th generation Core i5 processor is also expensive as it has a unit price of $294.
History of the Core i7 Processor
Intel released the first-generation Core i7 processor in 2008. The processor was designed for high-end users who needed more efficient computers. The first-generation processor had 4 cores, a 2.67 GHz clock rate, and an 8MB L3 cache memory. The processor’s release price was $284.
In 2011, Intel released the second-generation Core i7 processor, superior to the first-generation processor in several ways. The processor had 4 cores, a 3.5 GHz clock rate, and an 8MB L3 cache memory. The processor’s initial price was $332.
Fast forward to 2022, Intel released the 13th generation Core i7 processor comprising 16 cores and a clock rate of 5.40 GHz. The processor has a cache memory of 30MB, and you can acquire it for $384.
Though the 13th-generation processors are superior to the previous generations, one thing that has remained constant over the years is that the Core i7 processor has always been better than the Core i5.
Core i5 vs. Core i7: 5 Must-Know Facts
- It’s possible to increase your processor’s clock speed, especially when using a Core i5, but it may damage it.
- A processor’s performance is directly proportional to the number of cores.
- Choose a processor with a high cache memory when comparing the Core i5 and Core i7 as it’s more suited for multitasking.
- The Core i5 and Core i7 processors overclock themselves due to the turbo boost technology.
- The hyperthreading technology in Core i5 and i7 processors makes two cores operate like four.
Core i5 vs. Core i7: Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Use?
Though the Core i5 processor has good specs, the Core i7 processor is superior in most if not all ways. It has more cores and threads, a higher cache memory, and a better clock frequency. The Core i7 also has an advanced hyperthreading and turbo boost technology than the Core i5.
Ultimately, the Core i7 processor is superior to the Core i5 processor in all aspects, making it faster and more efficient. However, you may opt for the Core i5 processor when working with a limited budget.
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