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Core i3 vs Core i5 vs Core i7 | Difference between Intel Core i3 Core i5 Core i7

This page compares Intel Core i3 vs Core i5 vs Core i7 and mentions difference between Core i3 Core i5 and Core i7 Intel CPU core types.

Introduction:
Intel has launched various CPU processor cores viz. core-i3, i5 and i7. Each of these technologies consist of different number of cores inside the chip such as technology core-i3 has dual core, core-i5 has quad core and core-i7 has quad core. Each core acts as single processor. More cores are useful for multi-tasking and multi-threading applications such as video editing, gaming and graphics designs.

Intel Core-i3

Following are the features of Intel Core-i3.
• Code-named: Clarkdale (Westmere)
• Fabrication: 32 nm
• Instruction set: x86, x86-64, MMX, SSE 4.2
• Socket: LGA 1156
• Bus: Direct media interface replacing Front Side Bus (FSB)
• DDR3 RAM
• Chipset supported are P55, H55, H57 and Q57
• Clock speeds range from 2.93 GHz to 3.06 GHz
• Cache: 2 x 256KB L2 and 4MB L3
• It supports hyper threading.
• It has integrated graphics processor.
• It does not support turbo boost.

Intel Core-i5

Following are the features of Intel Core-i5.
• Code-named: Lynnfield (Nehalem), Clarkdale (Westmere)
• Fabrication: 45 nm, 32 nm
• Instruction set: x86, x86-64, MMX, SSE 4.2
• Socket: LGA 1156
• Bus: DMA (Direct Media Interface)
• DDR3 RAM
• Chipset supported are P55, H55, H57 and Q57
• Supports two core types viz. Dual core (similar to core-i3) and Quad core (much closer to core-i7)

Following are the features of dual core-i5 (Arhitecture: Clarkdale(Westmere) ):
• Fabrication: 32 nm
• Socket: LGA 1156
• Bus: DMI
• Clock speed ranges from 3.2 GHz to 3.6 GHz
• Cache: 2 x 256 KB L2 and 4 MB L3
• It has integrated graphics processor.
• It includes turbo boost feature.
• It supports hyper threading.

Following are the features of Quad core-i5 (Arhitecture: Lynnfield (Nehalem) ):
• Fabrication: 45 nm
• Socket: LGA 1156
• Bus: DMI
• Two processors with clock speeds of 2.4 GHz & 2.66 GHz
• Cache: 4x256 KB L2 and 8MB L3
• It supports turbo boost.
• It does not support hyper threading and It does not have integrated graphics processor.

Intel Core-i7

Following are the features of Intel Core-i7.
• Code-named : Bloomfield (Nehalem)
• Fabrication: 45 nm
• Instruction set: x86, x86-64, MMX, SSE 4.2
• Socket: LGA 1366
• Bus: Quick path interconnect
• DDR3 RAM
• Chipset support: x58
• It offers best performance.
• cache: 4 x 256KB L2 and 8MB L3
• They support turbo boost and hyper threading.
• It does not have integrated graphics processor.

Following table summarizes difference between Core-i3, Core-i5 and Core-i7.

Specifications Core-i3 Core-i5 Core-i7
Application Entry level processor Mid range processor High end processor
Number of cores 2 2 to 4 2 to 4
Frequency rane 2.93 to 3.06 GHz 3.2 to 3.46 GHz 2.8 to 4 GHz
Turbo boost Not Supported Supported Supported
Hyper threading Supported Not Supported Supported
Cache 3 to 4 MB 3 to 8 MB 4 to 8 MB
Number of threads 4 4 8
Size 32 nm silicon 32 to 45 nm silicon 32 to 45 nm silicon
Graphics Low Mid-range Best
Price Low Mid-range Expensive
Example processor number i3-540 i5-660, i5-750 i7-920

Conclusion: Intel core selection depends on various factors as described above. One can choose appropriate core as per budget and their computing requirements. For entry level computing requirements at lower price core-i3 is the choice. Core-i3 is mostly preferred by home users. Core-i5 is ideal choice for medium computing requirements for home as well as business users. It can be used for normal gaming requirements by childrens. Core-i7 offers super computing power similar to server. It can be used by large gaming users.

Also refer difference between CPU vs GPU and CPU vs DSP vs FPGA.

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