What is the difference between Intel Core™ i3, i5, i7 and i9 processors?

Intel® Core™ processors are among the best you can buy – but which is best for you? Find out here…

19 Jun 2018

Introducing Intel® Core™

A processor is like a computer’s brain - and Intel® Core™ processors are the most powerful. They have multiple cores for more power and smoother multi-tasking.

There are 4 main categories: i3, i5, i7 and i9. Each has numerous spec options, but strictly speaking i5 is superior to i3 and so on.


What is the difference between Intel® Generations?

Each year the Intel® Core™ processors are updated. 2018’s updates are known as the 8th generation.

Not sure what generation of processor your PC has? The number after the hyphen on its serial number should give you a clue – for example, an Intel® Core™ i7-7820HQ is 7th gen.

8th generation Intel Core processors

8th Generation Intel® Core™ processors

Intel®’s 8th Generation of processors has moved with the times and delivered some exciting new features. Including:

  • Incredible VR experiences
  • High-quality 4K UHD content
  • Two more cores – up to 6 instead of the original 4
  • Introduction of the super powered Intel Core i9 and X-series.


Core™ i3: Everyday users – web browsing, Word and media streaming

If you’re after a laptop for everyday computing tasks like web browsing, video streaming and office-type work, the i3 is great.

The latest 8th Gen has up to 4 cores – twice as many as the 7th Gen – making day-to-day use a lot slicker. It even lets you watch content in immersive 4K and 360° viewing.

Core i3

With a Core™ i3 you can:

  • Browse multiple webpages smoothly
  • Work in Word or Excel
  • Stream movies and TV shows from Netflix in HD
  • Listen to music on Spotify
  • Multi-task efficiently with Intel® Hyper-Threading technology


Core™ i5: Home and business use - busy multitaskers and Adobe-using creatives

Thanks to the 8th Gen update many i5 processors now feature 6 cores of processing power. This means they can handle more jobs at the same time – great for busy multitaskers.

Designers and photographers are well catered for too, as are budding PC Gamers.

Core i5

With a Core™ i5 you can:

  • Smoothly multitask - work on spreadsheets, stream music and browse the web
  • Work on complicated tasks – like rendering big Excel files
  • Edit in Photoshop and sketch in Illustrator
  • Create, share and watch 4K content
  • Play intensive PC games – with Intel®'s gaming processors
  • Benefit from faster repeated tasks thanks to the large cache size
  • Stream from multiple sites
  • Get a temporary boost when using demanding programs with Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0


Core™ i7 - Video editors, designers and gamers who crave power

If you are advanced video editing or 3D modelling you’ll need a very fast processor and good graphics – so look at an i7. It’s perfect for the demands of gaming fans too.

With 6 original cores and the technology to create another 6 virtual cores, it has enough power for the most demanding tasks.

Core i9

With a Core™ i7 you can:

  • Encode video more efficiently
  • Work smoothly in 3D modelling programs
  • Smoothly edit in Photoshop and sketch in Illustrator
  • Watch and edit 4K UHD content and 360° videos
  • Work productively with demanding creative programs – each core uses 2 ‘threads’ rather than 1 with Intel®'s Hyper-Threading technology
  • Benefit from faster repeated tasks thanks to the large cache size

Get a temporary power boost when using demanding programs with Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0.


Core i9 – Extreme gaming, mega-tasking and high-end content creation

The newest addition to the Intel family, the Core™ i9 X-Series, is Intel’s most powerful processor with 18 cores and 36 threads. And with updated Intel® Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0, it elevates everything you do to new heights.

i9 turns your PC into a studio, producing breathtaking 4K or 360° videos, stunning photos, or high-quality music. Gamers won’t be disappointed either – this is the ultimate tool for virtual reality gaming.

Intel i9

With a Core™ i9 you can:

  • Produce, edit and share 4K UHD content and 360° videos
  • Work smoothly in 3D modelling programs
  • Produce and edit high-quality music
  • Smoothly edit in Photoshop and sketch out in Illustrator
  • Enjoy the ultimate gaming and VR experience
  • Work more productively when using demanding creative programs
  • Benefit from faster repeated tasks thanks to the large cache size


Intel Core X-series Processor family

X-series variations of the Intel Core range are now available. These unlocked versions of the original platforms are supercharged and allow for overclocking. They’re designed to scale to your performance needs by delivering options between 4 to 18 cores for extreme performance and the latesttechnological advancements, while providing headroom for the future.


Want to find out more? See our range of Intel® processors




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