Core i5 Vs. Core i7 – Which CPU Should You Buy


If you are in the market for a new gaming laptop or are you upgrading the existing CPU, then you must be reading a lot of about the processors being used in them. The best processors in the market today are by Intel. The two top selling models are the Core i5 and Core i7. This article will help you understand which of the two is more suitable for you.

Both of these processors are from Intel and as such have many similar characteristics with a few exceptions. These differences are as follows:

  1. Cores: A core is an independent processing unit which means the better it is, the better your processing speed. Core i7 has a better processing power as compared to a Core i5. A single core performs one task at a time, which is why most CPUs have dual core or quad core processors to allow for multi-tasking. Both i7 and i5 are available in dual and quad forms. I7 is also available with 6 and 7 core processors.

  1. Hyper-threading: Hyper-threading is Intel’s nod to parallel processing. A core with hyper-threading behaves as multiple cores. For example, a single core processor with hyper-threading acts like a dual-core processor; a dual core processor with hyper-threading acts like a quad core processor. It is here that we see the difference between i7 and i5. i5 allows a maximum of four processes at one time and so a quad core with hyper-threading is not available. Whereas i7 has even a six core hyper-threading processor which can handle 12 processes at a time.

  1. Cache: Cache is the onboard memory which helps the processor do repetitive tasks faster and also help do a lot of background tasks without disturbing your work in progress. An i5 has a cache between 2–6MB, whereas some of the current i7 models even have 13MB caches.

  1. Clock Speeds: Clock Speed is a measure of the processor’s operating speed. It is measured in MHz (million pulses per second) or GHz (billion pulses per second). Both i5 and i7 have turbo boost feature which allows the processor to run at speeds higher than their base speed. The best i5 processor has a base clock of 2.3GHz and a max of 2.9GHz whereas i7 has a base of 2.6GHz and a boosted maximum of 3.2GHz.

  1. Addressable Memory: Most of i5 and i7 processors have a 16GB addressable memory. Some of the latest i7 are also being introduced with a 32GB memory.

In Conclusion

The Core i7 is a much more feature rich, faster and a higher power processor; however a system with Core i7 costs almost $200 more than a Core i5 system. So you can consider Core i7 only if you need a high processing speed for example if you run a large amount of data or do a lot of multimedia work or run scientific software etc. On the other hand if you are more interested in a regular usage like gaming etc. then the Core i5 might be a better choice for you.

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