If you’re assembling a computer for yourself, shopping for the perfect processor can be a challenging task. Gone are the days when processors were judged solely on clock speed; as cores have now allowed chip-makers to split tasks across multiple processing units on the same die allowing a significant boost in speed. However, an ideal processor is not just the one with the fastest speed and the most number of cores; it largely depends on the kind of work you’re expecting from your system and the processor which can best deliver it. To help you with that, we’ve come up with this comprehensive guide about Intel processors – which power a majority of Windows and MAC OS based system.
What you should know about processors?
To begin with, it is important to know that the number of cores isn’t the only thing that determines the viability of a processor for you, but it is directly proportional to the number of tasks (threads) that you can perform at any given point – which means that a higher core count is best suited for tasks that are contingent on multi-threading, for example – web browsers, servers and certain video games.
The second thing that you have to keep in mind is clock speeds – while higher clock speeds are desirable, they also lead to a lot of heat generation and resulting thermal issues, which is why a CPU with many cores will likely have a lower clock speed. Your ideal CPU, then, will be a primary decision between faster clock speeds or a higher number of cores.
You must keep in mind that faster cores are pretty efficient but often not exactly needed for the tasks that you use your system for. A number of applications are single thread applications, and basic tasks like web browsing don’t require a greater number of cores and will give you a great experience with a higher clock speed, while for others like gaming or video rendering, having more cores takes priority. It is advisable for you to look up the recommended system specifications for the software you plan to run on your system to get an idea about your requirements.
Features of Intel core processors:
– Smaller Core Chips : With the latest Gen 10 update, Intel has switched to a 10nm process, as opposed to the earlier 14nm one, which means the CPUs are now even more power efficient and come with an increased battery life.
– ThunderBolt 3 :The new CPUs also come with an inbuilt Thunderbolt 3 support, making it significantly easier to be included in laptops.
– Wifi – 6 : With support for Wifi-6 (802.11ax), the CPUs are now better than ever at handling multiple connected devices and ready for faster transfer speeds as the latest Wifi standard has started to hit the market.
– Graphic performance : While the new Graphic performance is still not as great as third party graphic cards and chips, it is still impressive and allows for smooth 1080p gaming. Additionally with the added support for VESA’s adaptive sync standard, the frames will now avoid screen tearing and run smoothly on compatible displays.
– AI : The addition of the DLB – Deep learning Boost, the 10th gen Intel core chips will now manage to carry out the AI workloads without a hitch.
In addition to these GEN 10 additions, a few basic features of the Intel Core processors includes:
- Hyper Threading:
Hyper threading essentially refers to the ability of a single physical core to act as two virtual ones, which means it can multitask simultaneously with a single core without having to activate a second physical one, saving precious system power. It must be noted that two physical cores are much more capable than two virtual ones, but will also require a lot more power from the system.
- Turbo boosting:
Turbo boosting means that Intel core processors can automatically increase the clock speed based on application requirements. For users, like gamers or video editors who use their systems to run resource intensive software, Turbo Booster can be a life saver with that extra horsepower.
- Cache size:
Cache size refers to the processors own memory, that you may understand is its own private RAM. A greater cache size is beneficial as processors can then keep repetitive tasks in Cache. The more tasks a processor stores – the greater speed it can offer in its performance.
QUICK COMPARISION: I3 vs i5 vs i7-
The most popular Inter core processors fall under three families- the i3, i5, and the i7. The divisions are based on multiple criteria including number of cores, clock speed, cache size and the number of Intel technologies they integrate. To start with, the designation is not the number of cores that a processor has, for example, it is not compulsory for an i3 to have three cores; all they can do is give you a general idea of how powerful a CPU is.
For basic tasks like surfing the web: an i3 would be the ideal choice, whereas for tasks that require more power like gaming, you’d want to go with an i5, whereas an i7 would be recommended for heavy work professionals like video editors or hardcore gamers, who run multiple applications requiring greater CPU power. Let’s take a more detailed look at the three :
The i3 core processor operas at clock speeds of about 2.4-3.7 GHz and contains 2 physical cores that support Hyper-threading but not Turbo boost. The cache size for an i3 is 3-4 MB with varying graphic support. It is the most cost effective, and is known for the least amount of power dissipation. Teh i3 is designed mainly for the budget conscious buyer and is the perfect for users who want to use their system for basic tasks like web surfing, social networking, using Microsoft Office and other small operations.
The i5 offers clock speeds of about 3.0-3.4 GHz, and operates on 4 physical cores that do not perform Hyper-threading, but offer Turbo Boost. The cache size for an i5 is 4-6 MB with Intel HD 4600 Graphic support. It is the most popular process available widely for desktop and laptop configurations, and is much needed powerful update from an i3. The i5 is perfect for people looking for a balance
between cost and performance, and ideal for gamers and mid-range video rendering.
The i7 offers 2.0-3.5 GHz clock speeds with 4 physical cores that offer both Turbo Boost and Hyper-threading. The cache size for i7 is 8 MB along with Intel HD 4600 Graphic support. The i7 is used in high end and powerful systems that are ideal for users who need their systems for multitasking with a number of windows operating at the same time for example professional gamers and video editors who work on multiple projects at the same time.
For users who need systems even more powerful than the i7, Intel offers the Intel Core i9 which can offer up to 18 cores, and amazing speeds. But the additional performance is not required for most users and is only ideal for very heavy work for example hardcore gamers who also stream live or multiple simultaneous video renderings.
We hope this guide as helpful for you. For further queries or feedback, you may reach out to us via email or simply drop a comment below!