Intel Core i3, Core i5, And Core i7: What are the Differences?

Differences Between Intel's Core i3, Core i5, And Core i7

Understanding the differences between these three processors can be confusing because of Intel’s ridiculous naming pattern. First off, Intel Core i7 is better than Core i5, which is better than Core i3, but Core i7 doesn’t have seven Cores! The names do only one thing, which is quantifying their relative performances. Intel’s new 9th-gen processors are better than their 8th-gen processors, but they both have Core i3, i5, and i7 processors.

To simplify, Core i7 is the premium choice, Core i5 is the mid-range choice, and Core 13 is the budget option. Follow the subtopics below as we expand on how Intel Core 13, Core i5, and Core i7 all differ from each other.

Similarities Between Intel Core i7, Core i5, And Core i3

Differences Between Intel's Core i3, Core i5, And Core i7

Every year, Intel makes better, faster, and newer processors. And while there are differences in the other models, Core i7, Core i5, and Core i3 all retain the same look. It is impossible to tell which Core type you have on hand without taking a close look at the model number.

The only physical similarities between Intel Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 is, thus, their aesthetics. But since these processors all go into the motherboard, you can’t blame Intel for not putting in the effort to change their look.

Differences Between Intel Core i7, Core i5, And Core i3

Differences Between Intel's Core i3, Core i5, And Core i7

Types of Cores

Let us clear up that controversy about how many cores each model has. A specific answer to this question is missing since each Intel varies the number of cores depending on price. However, the majority of Intel Core 13 processors will have two cores, while Intel Core 15 and i7 usually has four cores (Quad-core).

Some premium models of Intel Core i7 can have up to eight cores, while some Core i5 processors have six. For Intel Core i3, the highest number of cores in a 9th-gen model remains four. The more cores on your processor, the more applications you can run simultaneously. Since each application uses its core like a personal processor, this will allow heavy-duty apps to run smoothly.

Note: Most recent applications will run smoother on multi-cores by networking your cores together to act as a single core. This act increases their performance and allows your processors to carry a more massive than usual load.


Only Intel Core i3 and Core i7 have this technology to give you double the number of Cores you have virtually. Intel Core i5 does not come with hyper-threading.

Hyper-Threading is Intel’s new thing that allows a single core to act like two cores. It will create two logic cores in each one of your physical centers to increase operating performance. For applications that multitask and multi-threads cores, hyper-threading is a lifesaver.

Turbo Boost

Intel Core i3 is the only Intel processor of the Core series that doesn’t support a turbo boost. With both Intel Core i7 and Core i5, turbo boosts all the way.

You will never have to need this feature if you surf the web and watch movies on your computer. But if you do work that eats up processor capacity on your computer, turbo boost becomes your first mate. It allows you to overclock your processor for quick bursts as your applications demand.

Differences Between Intel's Core i3, Core i5, And Core i7


Core i3 has caches that range from 3MB to 4MB, and 3MB to 6MB is the norm for Core i5’s. For Core i7, you may get caches as high as 8MB and nothing less than 4MB.

Most people don’t realize, but a 2MB increase in cache size is a lot more useful than a 10MB increase in RAM size. Caches are a processor’s personal memory space and, thus, have a terrific influence on how smoothly your applications run.

Boring Clock speed

With the latest, Core i7’s clock speed will be in the range of 3.6 GHz compared to the 3.8GHz of Core i5 processors. Intel Core i3 is even crazier at 4.6GHz.

The more Gigahertz you can get out of a core, the better the processor is. Compared to the fantastic turbo boost, average clock speed is boring, but in a system like a computer, every hertz counts. But even with hyper-threading, most quad-core Core i5 will always be better than a hyper-threading two-core Core-i3.


Intel usually manufactures its Core i3 processors with Intel HD Graphics 4000. Intel Core i5 GPU can range between Intel HD Graphics 530 to Intel Iris Pro 580. From experience, Intel Core i7 is usually only available with Intel Iris Pro Graphics 580 and higher models.

If you work with videos or play games, the graphics card is second only to cache in importance to your performance. But while all Core processors have integrated graphics cards, they are not very good. It would be best if you instead bought a dedicated GPU like Intel Iris Pro or Nvidia GeForce cards.

The K Models

All Intel Core processors can become K models once modified by third-parties. It merely means that the BIOS has been unlocked, and modifications have been made to the processors. You may find a K model Core i7s on the market with a performance in the range of 4.7GHz!

There are always exceptions in any study. As a rule, the more a processor increases in price, regardless of make and model, the better it is. Core i7 is the premium option, Core i5, the modest choice, and Core i3 the budget choice in most statistics. We hope to have been able to show you the differences between Intel’s Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors.

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