Is the i3 processor a good processor

Intel Core i3 vs. i5 vs. i7 Which one do you really need?

The processor is the brain of a computer, but knowing the difference between the processors takes a lot of brainpower. Intel has a confusing naming scheme, and the question we are asked most often is: What's the difference between an i3, i5, or i7 processor? Which one should i buy?

It's time to demystify that. In this article, we won't go into any other Intel processors like the Pentium series or the new laptop-centric Core M series. They're good on their own, but the Core series is the most popular and confusing, so let's just focus on that.

The differences between Core i7, Core i5 and Core i3

An Intel Core i7 is better than a Core i5, which in turn is better than a Core i3. The problem is knowing what to expect at each shift. Things go a little deeper.

First, i7 doesn't mean a seven-core processor! These are just names to show relative performance.

Typically, the Core i3 series only has dual-core processors, while the Core i5 and Core i7 series have dual-core and quad-core processors. Quad cores are usually better than dual cores. What do "dual core" and "quad core" mean? What do "dual core" and "quad core" mean? A long time ago your CPU had a single core. Most CPUs today are made up of at least two cores and more like four cores. What does dual, quad or octo-core actually mean? Read More

Intel versions of “families” of chipsets called generations. The current one is the 8th generation series called Kaby Lake Refresh. Each family in turn has its own set of processors from the Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 series.

You can tell which generation a processor belongs to the first digit of the four-digit model name. For example the Intel Core i38250 belongs to 8. Generation.

Pro tip: Here is a useful rule of thumb. The other three digits give Intel's estimate of how the processor compares to others on its own line. For example, an Intel Core i3-8145U is superior to the Core i3-8109U as 145 is higher than 109.

What the Intel model numbers mean: U vs. Q vs. H vs. K

As you can see, the model number is usually followed by one or a combination of the following letters: U, Y, T, Q, H, G, and K. They mean the following:

  • U: Ultra Low Power. The U rating applies to laptop processors only. These use less power and are better for the battery.
  • Y: Low current. Usually found on older notebooks and mobile processors.
  • T: Optimized for performance for desktop processors.
  • Q: quad core. The Q rating applies only to processors with four physical cores.
  • H: high performance graphics. The chipset contains one of the better graphics units from Intel.
  • G: Contains discrete graphics. Typically found on laptops, it means there is a dedicated GPU with the processor.
  • K: Unlocked. This means that you can overclock the processor above its rating. Overclocking For Gamers: Everything You Need To Know About Overclocking For Gamers: Everything You Need To Know Here every gamer needs to know about overclocking - and how to do it. Continue reading .

Understanding these letters and the numbering system above can help you identify what a processor does by looking at the model number without reading the actual specifications. Of course, before making a purchase decision, it is a good idea to check the details at

For the meaning of other suffixes, see Intel Guidelines on Processor Numbers.

Intel Core i7 vs. i5 vs. i3: Hyper-Threading

The physical cores largely determine the speed of a processor. But how do modern CPUs work? What is a CPU and what does it do? What is a CPU and what does it do? Calculation acronyms are confusing. What actually is a CPU? And do I need a quad or dual core processor? How about AMD or Intel? We're here to tell you the difference! Read more. You can increase the speed with virtual cores activated by a system called Hyper-Threading Technology.

In lay terms, Hyper-Threading allows a single physical core to function as two virtual coresSo you can do multiple tasks at the same time without activating the second physical core (this would require more power from the system).

When both processors are active and using Hyper-Threading, these four virtual cores compute faster. Note, however, that physical cores are faster than virtual cores. A quad core CPU is much better than a dual core CPU with Hyper-Threading!

The Intel Core i3 series has Hyper-Threading. The Intel Core i7 series also supports Hyper-Threading. The Intel Core i5 series does this Not support it.

However, recent reports suggest that Intel could end Hyper-Threading on all processors except the fastest Core i9 series.

Intel Core i7 vs. i5 vs. i3: Turbo Boost

The Intel Core i3 series does not support Turbo Boost. The Core i5 series uses Turbo Boost to speed up your tasks, as does the Core i7 series.

Turbo Boost is Intel's proprietary intelligent technology Increase the clock speed of a processor if the application requires it. For example, when you're playing a game and your system needs extra power, Turbo Boost kicks in to compensate.

Turbo Boost is useful for users who run resource-intensive software such as video editing programs or video games. However, it doesn't have much of an impact if you're just browsing the web and using Microsoft Office.

Intel Core i7 vs. i5 vs. i3: cache size

Aside from Hyper-Threading and Turbo Boost, the core size also differs in the cache size. Cache is the processor's own memory and behaves like its private RAM. It is one of the little-known technical pieces that can slow down your PC. 5 Little Known Tech Specs That Could Slow Down Your PC 5 Little Known Tech Specs That Could Slow Down Your PC We're going to look at five lesser-known factors that can affect your computer's performance and show you how to get the most out of your computer's performance every time you upgrade. Continue reading .

Just like with RAM, more cache size is better. So if the processor keeps performing a task, it keeps that task in the cache. If a processor can keep more tasks in its private memory, it can perform them faster when called again.

The Core i3 series typically has up to 3MB of cache. The Core i5 series has 3 to 6 MB cache. The Core i7 series has a cache of 4MB to 8MB.

Intel Graphics: HD, UHD, Iris, Iris Pro or Plus

Since the integration of graphics into the processor chip, this has become an important decision point when buying CPUs. But as with everything else, Intel made the system a little confusing.

There are now usually three levels of graphics units: Intel HD, Intel Iris, and Intel Iris Pro or Iris Plus. You see a model name like Intel HD 520 or Intel Iris Pro 580 ... and this is where the confusion begins.

Here's a quick example of how crazy it can be. Intel HD 520 is a basic graphics chipset. Intel Iris 550 is better than Intel HD 520, but also simple. However, the Intel HD 530 is a high performance graphics unit and is better than the Intel Iris 550. However, the Intel Iris Pro 580 is also a high performance graphics unit and is better than the Intel HD 530.

The best advice on how to interpret this? Simply not. Rely on Intel's naming system instead. If the model of the processor ends with an H, you know it is a high graphics model. If it ends with a G it means there is a dedicated GPU, not one of Intel's chips.

Choice between Intel Cores i3 vs. i5 vs. i7

In general, here for whom each processor type is best suited:

  • Intel Core i3: Basic users Economical choice Suitable for web browsing, Microsoft Office, video calling, and social networking. Not for gamers or professionals.
  • Intel Core i5: Intermediate users. Those looking for a balance between performance and price. Good for gaming if you buy a G processor or a Q processor with a dedicated graphics processor.
  • Intel Core i7: Power user. You have multiple tasks open at the same time, you have multiple windows open at the same time, you run apps that require a lot of horsepower, and you hate waiting for data to load.

How did you decide?

This article has a basic guide for anyone looking to buy a new Intel processor but confused between Core i3, i5, and i7. But even if you understand all of this, when deciding whether to make a decision between two processors of different generations, as they are all the same price.

If you're comparing, my best tip is to go to CPU Boss, where you can compare both processors and get detailed analysis as well as ratings. If you don't understand the technical jargon, just go for the rating and basic advice. Even if you understand the jargon, CPU Boss has all the details you need.

Note: Most users do not need an Intel Core i9

Intel also has a powerful line of processors called the Intel Core i9. These usually have more cores (10-18 on the desktop), which results in higher speeds. For most people, however, the extra power isn't really worth it.

The Core i9 is only useful if you're a hardcore gamer who also streams live or a video editor who works on multiple tasks. For everyone else, the Intel Core i7 should be good enough and maybe even the Intel Core i5. If you're curious, here's what you should know when deciding between Intel Core i9 vs. Core i7 vs. Core i5. Intel Core i9 vs. Core i7 vs. Core i5: Which CPU Should You Buy? Intel Core i9 vs. Core i7 vs. Core i5: Which CPU Should You Buy? Intel and AMD are back in the battle of the processors, with the Intel Core i9 becoming the fastest consumer desktop processor ever. Continue reading .

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