How do Intel Core i3, i5, i7, and i9 CPUs differ? A higher number indicates better performance.
Today, in this article, we are pleased to give you a roundup of Intel’s current 13th Gen desktop processor lineup, updated for 2023. While the upcoming laptop versions of these CPUs will likely have slightly different specs, we will share them in this article. Their overall use case will be similar.
Intel Core i9
The Intel Core i9 is the top-of-the-line CPU from Intel, whereas the Core i7 was the highest-end consumer processor lineup in 2017. This gives you the most cores and the most cache, period. Meanwhile, the 12th-generation CPUs are codenamed “Raptor Lake,” They come with a 36-gigabyte Intel Smart Cache and a total of 25 cores and 32 threads.
It has eight multi-threaded, high-performance cores that kick in when doing something CPU-intensive and 16 more power-efficient cores. It also comes with Turbo Boost Max 3.0, which identifies your CPU’s fastest core for an extra bump in speed. It also features the highest boost frequencies, making it the best choice for gaming. But only buy this if you need it for heavy-duty tasks like 3D rendering or video editing.
Intel Core i7
The Intel Core i7 is a mini-i9. Here, you get the same high performance but only eight efficiency cores for a still generous total of 16. Although the cache size is slightly reduced to 30 megabytes, you still get Turbo Boost Max 3.0. The Core i7 could be a worthwhile buy if you are a streamer and can use the extra cores or if you are a content creator that only needs a little power than the Core i9 offers.
Intel Core i5
Intel’s Core i5 should be the sweet spot for most users. However, this only has six high-performance cores and either 4 or 8 efficiency cores, depending on the model you get, but that’s still more than enough to qualify it for primarily using it for gaming. With this, you either get less cache—24 or 20 megabytes—or there is no Turbo Boost Max 3.0. However, that trade-off comes with a very significant price reduction, and just because it’s mid-range doesn’t mean it’s a slouch in creative apps, either.
Intel Core i3
The Intel Core i3 has a straightforward design: four high-performance cores and 12 megabytes of cache. These specifications are sufficient for light to moderate gaming but might struggle with AAA titles since they are now asking for six or more cores. However, you do get a dramatic price reduction. You could look at it if you don’t need a tonne of power and want to do some good multitasking without your computer breaking a sweat.
Intel Pentium & Celeron
For these, it’s a bit unclear how Intel treats this segment as we advance. Currently, the desktop side is still using the Pentium branding for the higher-end budget CPUs and Celeron for the low-end entry models. But on the laptop side, Intel has gotten rid of Pentium and Celeron and replaced them with a single brand called Intel Processor (Intel Inside), which is so generic that it needs to be clarified. It needs to be clarified right now whether future desktop chips will follow suit, but since Intel’s website is already de-emphasizing the Pentium and Celeron brands, it wouldn’t surprise me.
Once you get to this level, only expect to do light work and casual games. If you want more power for multitasking, try Pentium. Otherwise, you can save some money by opting for a Celeron. This will work fine as long as you don’t push it beyond a few basic tasks simultaneously.
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