There is so much awareness globally in the IT sector nowadays. Everyone is interested in making the right decision when it comes to buying computers. This is why the number one producers of computer processors, Intel, have gone a long way in upgrading regular Pentium and Celeron processors with the Core series. Whilst there is the Core i3, i5, i7, and even i9 processors, there seems to be a lot of comparisons going on about the core i5 and the core i7. With this VS Guide: Intel Core i5 vs i7: Five Rounds of Great Competition, I want to show you some of the differences that lie between the core i5 and i7, so that people can make informed decisions.
Tips & Thought: Intel Times, I5 And I7
When comparing the core i5 with the core i7, what I know most people look out for is the generation type, CPU Hierarchy, market availability, price value, processing speed, cache (onboard memory) size, hyperthreading, turbo boost, graphic presentation, gaming functions (Gaming CPU), multimedia, processor family, number of cores, video playback response, battery life and so on. All these features differ between the Core i5 and Core i7 Intel processors, and these are what people look out for to carry out their specific or general functions before purchasing.
Short Answer: What’s The Difference Between I5 And I7
The major difference between the Core i5 and the Core i7 is that for one thing, the latter is faster than the former when it comes to processing. But that’s not all. Core i5 have lesser number of cores and therefore, can only support a fewer number of threads which operating systems use to multi-task or handle a number of applications running simultaneously. Meanwhile, Core i7 processors use a function known as “hyperthreading” which allows them to reach and supersede the number of cores originally built in them. Processors like the core i7 that use hyperthreading, can functionally work with twice the number of threads they handle at once. This distinctive feature of hyper threading makes the computer load software at once without slowing down or crashing, but without it, the computer might need to queue up the software and load them one after the other.
Intel Core i5 vs i7: Five Rounds of Great Competition
Enough said, below are some comparisons I made between Core i5 and Core i7 and placed them in groups.
These are some of the differences to look out for as we try to use these processors to solve our everyday needs.
Generally speaking, Core processors are divided into segments, which are mainstream users for core i5 and high end user for core i7. Thus segmentation makes it easier for users to know the one to buy. Core i5 CPUs can run a lot of programs without delaying whilst still downloading stuff from the internet and working on office suites. Core i7 on the other hand, can perform more functions. It comes with better graphic display, video and audio rendering and editing as well as playing high graphic video games. With a Core i7, you can do all of these and still have programs running in the background with your heavy antivirus still functioning and protecting your computer properly.
Caches are also known as on-board memory. It helps the computer deal with programs that are always repeating. Larger caches also help with multitasking when running programs simultaneously. The major difference however, is that most Core i5 processors have a cache size of about 9 MB while their Core i7 counterparts have cache size of about 12 MB.
The difference in the power consumption level between the Core i5 and i7 is almost insignificant. They appear to consume the same amount of energy at the same rate while browsing and downloading from the internet whilst playing video game and running other programs. The core i7 however, may shut down quicker if asked to perform greater tasks. They could both boast of about 5 to 6 hours of battery life.
This is an extra feature added by Intel to its processors. It allows the CPU to perform above its rated clock speed especially when you prioritize a task and need it done immediately. However, the temperature, current and overall power of the computer are factors to consider before activating the hyper- threading feature. The Core i5 and i7 both have this feature but the core i7 still boast of a higher clock speed.
This is a nice feature which allows the computer think that the processor has more cores than there actually is using the multithreading technology to run programs. It is very important when downloading and surfing the internet, using high multimedia packages and running other tasks simultaneously. Therefore, with hyper-threading, a quad core will handle 8 streams and an octa core can handle 16 streams. However, if the processor has true cores, it won’t have the hyper-threading function.
The clock speed of a CPU is the rate at which it processes data given to it per second. It is also the frequency of the CPU and it is measured in gigahertz (GHz). It should also be noted here that with just a frequency of 2.0 GHz to 2.4 GHz, a computer can process programs been switched frequently between themselves. 8th Generation of mobile Core i5 processors have clock speed of about 3.6 GHz while Core i7 mobile processors have as much clock speed frequency of 3.8GHz. Furthermore, as at the end of December 2017, the same 8th Generation of Core i7 mobile processors have between 4.0 GHz and 4.2 GHz of frequency or clock speed. That’s a lot of speed and there is about nothing that the computer will not be able to process.
Quad Core or Dual Core
CPUs having just a single processor have become obsolete. Computers are now built with dual, quad or more cores, making a lot of people ponder upon the right amount of core required to carry out their everyday tasks. The more the amount of core, the more the performance of the processor. Both the Core i5 and Core i7 are usually available having either dual core or quad-core processors. But the truth is that most computers do not use a quad-core to its full potentials as it requires a large amount of power and more algorithms to function properly, thereby making a quad-core computer run on only two cores functionally. The number of cores therefore, depends on the level of performance required from your computer.
Round Two: The Great Race, The War Between I5 And I7
In this segment, we will see how Intel Core i5 vs Core i7 perform when installing in desktop computers, laptop computers, and mobile devices.
Core i5 vs Core i7 on Desktop Computers
Most of the Core i5 and Core i7 CPU installed on desktop come with quad core processors. When installed in desktop computers, Core i5s will usually come with quad core processors, thereby making them perform higher tasks than the same version for mobile devices. The only issue we might have with this is that Core i5s with quad core usually have smaller cache size as compared to Core i7s and do not feature hyper-threading, thus making it difficult to process programs running simultaneously. The bright side is that they have relative clock speed as compared to Core i7s. The major difference here is that due to the hyper-threading features of Core i7s, a dual core can process 4 threads, a quad core can process 8 threads and so on.
Core i5 vs Core i7 on Laptops
It might interest you to know that Core i5s for laptops come in two forms, dual cores that hyper-threads and quad cores that do not hyper-thread. But Core i7s for laptops always hyper-thread. Another major difference in their laptop version is that equal number of cores and threads for Core i5 and core i7 will still see the Core i7 perform better because of its bigger cache size and their clock speed are a little faster.
Core i5 vs Core i7 on Mobile Devices
As at the summer of 2017, intel featured dual cores across the Core i3, i5 and i7 series for their mobile devices. Recall that dual cores for laptop devices have hyper-threading and so it is for their mobile version. These features slightly deviate in the 7th Generation of mobile processors. When comparing the Core i5 to the core i7, they both seemed to have the almost same clock speed, relative cache size and similar Graphics Processing Units, but since they have different thermal power design, it offers uses a while different experience. GPUs are functional electronic circuits which work alongside CPUs are now used in computers to design and analyze high graphical content as well as develop engineering software and packages. As for graphical differences, it is only the Core i5 that boasts of Intel Iris Pro Graphics. Remembering that Core i5s with quad-core don’t have hyper-threading, if you want a processor with top of the notch graphics, then this should be your one-stop shop.
Round Three: I5 VS I7 Test
For me to also verify the differences between these two very efficient processors, I had to put them under some gaming and high graphic content test. The test they underwent include Dirt 3 and 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited test, video transcoding test and open office spreadsheet test.
Dirt 3 and 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited
It was noted here that the difference between the Core i5 and i7 was relatively small largely because they both run on Intel HD 620 graphics. While playing the video game Dirt 3, the core i5 had a frequency of about 20.4 frames per second while the core i7 had a frequency of about 21.3 frames per second. On the 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited, which is a graphic application, the Core i5 had an impressive 61,630 score, while the Core i7 had an even better 62,481 score.
To run this test, I had to use the software called Handbrake to simulate the abilities of the Core i5 and Core i7. The task laid out for both processors was simple: to convert a 4K.mov file to a 1080.mp4 file. This is quite ginormous task and it took the two processors a considerable amount of time to accomplish this. The Core i5 was able to accomplish its job in 31 minutes and 27 seconds while the Core i7 was able complete its own at about 30 minutes and 17 seconds. Yes, the Core i7 was faster but with a negligible difference of just 3.8%.
OpenOffice Spreadsheet Macro
Using the OpenOffice Spreadsheet, I ran a test for the Core i5 and Core i7 to pair about 20,000 names and addresses together. The Core i5 computer finished its task in 4 minutes, 4 seconds and the Core i7 computer finished its own in 3 minutes and 47 seconds. The Core i7 therefore had a 21 seconds head start as compared to the Core i5.
Round Four: I5 vs I7, Which Should You Choose?
From the comparisons made above, you can tell that the difference between these two processors can be quite small. It is, therefore, safe to say that the function for which you want to use your device for will determine the processor to go for.
For video gamers, the Core i7 quad-core supports hyperthreading while the Core i5 quad-core doesn’t. This difference in hyperthreading will give a huge boost to the gamer’s experience.
The difference in the number of frames per second that a Core i7 can process as compared to a Core i5 is negligible. It is therefore unwise to spend a whole of money purchasing a Core i7 if you just want to accomplish office or personal task, or browse and download graphic and video content from the internet.
Your daily functions for a computer should not require much. Instead of paying extra for a Core i7, you can simply upgrade the memory, improve the screen resolution capacity embed a GPU to your already existing Core i5.
Round Five: Price And Current Models
The prices of processors in mobile devices are quite affordable and easy to get, but to get the best out of processors, you might need to splash a little more cash. To be honest, Core i5 processors are less expensive as compared to Core i7 processors. This is so because the Core i7 was made for high end users that want better performance when it comes to multimedia, multitasking, gaming and analytical/ scientific work. You can refer to Intel’s official website to see the latest prices of current Core i5 and Core i7 processors.
Best CPU for Gaming
For competitive video game lovers, they will want the best for their money in terms of the performance for their CPU. Though we are considering Intel Core i5 vs i7 in this post, we added some other processors in this segment so as to help our gaming readers make informed decisions when purchasing processors for their devices. According to recent research, the best CPU for gaming are:
- Intel Core i3-8100
- Intel Core i5-8600K
- Intel Core i7-8700K
- AMD Ryzen 3-1200
- AMD Ryzen 5-1600X
- AMD Ryzen 7-1800X
- AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X
All of these are brilliant for gaming, so it is left for the gamer to choose, depending on how freaky he or she wants to get.
From the comparisons made between the Core i5 and Core i7, we have seen that the Core i7 has that edge in performance over all aspects of the Core i5. However, the price range for the Core i7 is too exorbitant for most, therefore, making people opt for the Core i5. It is therefore advisable that if you just a mainstream computer user but still need a processor that is up to the task, then the Core i5 will do. But if you are a high-end user and willing to splash the cast for the ultimate, then Core i7 is what you need.