What is Difference Between Intel Core i3, i5 & i7?

Intel Core i3, i5 & i7

Intel is one of the biggest chip manufacturers around the globe. Almost every single personal computer and laptop comes with an Intel’s chip inside. This chip includes the processor unit and graphics card unit. Intel uses kind of fancy naming system for their processor units. Intel core i3, i5, and i7 is their three main processor units. So the question may sneak in your mind that, what this names actually means? This post will explain what actually is the difference between this processor units.

Generation Difference

Each year Intel launches it’s new generation processors. Newest generation chips include more advanced features compare to its previous ones. It includes factors like power consumption, transistor size, performance, advanced architecture, more RAM support and more cache size. Newest generation graphics card also provides more advanced visuals. For example 6th gen Intel processors have 14nm transistor size compare to 22nm in 5th gen. RAM has moved from DDR3 to DDR4, which provides a significant decrease in power consumption. 6th gen Intel core processors also support RAM up to 64GB. All these changes help to boost the performance.

Clock Speed

Clock speed is nothing but a max amount of frequency at which a processor can run. For most of the CPU’s it is measured in GHz (GigaHertz). Typically Intel core i7 has more clock speed than core i5, and core i5 has more clock speed than i3. For example, Intel core i5-3210M has a clock speed of 2.5GHz and core i3-3110M has a clock speed of 2.4GHz.

Turbo Boost

Intel’s turbo boost technology allows a processor to increase it’s clock speed whenever needed. The max amount of performance boost is set to a limited quantity. The actual turbo boost depends on many factors such as processor temperature, active core, and current power consumption. For Intel core i5-3210M the maximum amount of turbo boost available is up to 3.1GHz. All Intel core i3 processor doesn’t support turbo boost. Because of all i5 processors equipped with turbo boost technology, all of them can beat any core i3 processor.

Cache Size

Cache is nothing but a CPU’s own memory unit. Whenever CPU needs some instruction set over and over, it stores that data in a cache memory. Cache memory is more like a RAM but faster. Cache memory is fastest type of memory on the computer. Without cache memory CPU would have to look into hard disk drive for data over and over, this process would be time-consuming. So, cache minimises an interaction between CPU and hard disk or CPU and RAM, saving time. Typically more amount of cache is better for faster performance. All Intel core i3 processors have either 3MB or 4MB of cache memory. The core i5 has 4MB to 6MB of cache memory, and i7 has 6MB to 8MB of cache memory. The extreme edition i7 processor can have up to 25 MB of cache memory. This is also why i7 is better than i5, and i5 is better than i3.


Typically, in a processor, one core can only handle one thread at a time. So, if your CPU is quad core, it can handle only 4 threads at a time. However, Intel has its technology called Hyper-Threading, in which each CPU core can handle 2 threads simultaneously at a time. The idea behind Hyper-Threading is that it is consist of two logical processors per core, each of them runs independently to each other. Each logical processor can be interrupted, stop or run a particular thread without interrupting other.

So, if you are having a computer with quad core intel processor, it is capable of handling 8 threads simultaneously at a time. All the core i3 & i7 processors support Hyper-Threading, core i5 doesn’t support Hyper-Threading except core i5-4570T.

Number Of Cores

A number of CPU cores are one of the most important factors. More the number of CPU cores more the tasks CPU can handle simultaneously. Talking about i3, all of this babies comes within dual core variant. Intel core i3 has the lowest number of CPU cores in his siblings.

Most of the i5 processors have 4 cores. Except some of the i5 processors is dual core like Core i5-4570T. Intel core i7 comes in many variants. The standard i7 comes in either dual or quad core version. Intel core i7 Extreme Edition processors comes with 4, 6, 8 and 10 cores. Wanna learn how to identify no of CPU cores? Here is a track down below:

  • Intel Core i3:All dual core
  • Dual-Core-CPU name with the suffix ‘U’, ‘M’, ‘T’.
  • Quad-Core-CPU name with suffix ‘Q’, ‘HQ’, ‘QM’, ‘S’
  • Extreme Edition-CPU name with the suffix ‘X’.
  • Hexa Core-Core i7 98x, 99x.
  • Octa Core-Core i7 58xx, 59xx.
  • Deca Core-Core i7 68xx, 69xx.

I hope this article would help you in clearing many of your doubts and questions. Feel free to comment down below. Also, do subscribe to our newsletter to get latest posts in your mailbox.

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