i3 vs i5 vs i7 vs i9. What Does It Mean And What’s the Difference?

Whenever we’re building a new gaming PC, the feature most of us focus on first is getting the best gaming CPU we possibly can that’s within our budget. It’s one of the most expensive parts of the build alongside the GPU. But, as with all other components, there is a lot to choose from. This review will focus on intel processors core i3 vs i5 vs i7 vs i9.

Here is all you need to know about these PC processors to make the best decision you can.

Core i3

intel core i3 processor

The Intel Core i3 processors feature the most versatility when it comes to choosing the ideal processor if you’re on a budget. The i3 models are some of the most inexpensive ones, meaning they are the least powerful of the rest on this list.

All i3 Intel Core processors can be found with either 2 or 4 cores. This is usually known as a dual-core processor with decent amounts of power and a relatively low price. Intel Core i3 11-Gen series is out now and all of the models feature either 2 or 4 cores with 6MB and 8MB of Intel Smart Cache.

Core i3 processors are perfect for low-end gaming, everyday work tasks that don’t require a lot of CPU power and working with apps that keep the requirements of such a processor.

Many of the i3 CPUs that come in all generations are unlocked and can be subject to CPU overclocking, meaning you can get a little more power from the processor when it starts slowing down in performance.

Core i5

core i5 intel processor

The Core i5 CPUs by Intel are a level up from the i3. They are built with more threads and cores, and usually better clock speeds and overclocking possibilities. You can find a few different models of this processor featuring base clock speeds between 1.9 GHz and 3.8 GHz.

In addition to that, they also come with a variety of different cache sizes, ranging between 3 MB, 4MB, and 6MB. As usual, some i5 CPUs will be locked, preventing you from easily accessing the overclock feature, and some will be unlocked straight from the box.

Core i7

core i7 intel processor

Featuring an even greater step up than the i5 is the Intel Core i7 CPU. This is where things start getting more expensive and much more high-end than the standard budget PC processor can handle.

There are many benefits with the i7 that outweigh the ones with i3 and i5. For starters, the greater base clock speeds and overclocking possibilities give you more power and speed. In addition, i7 processors feature more cache, helping the CPU deal with repetitive tasks much more easily, thus improving speeds at the same time. These are a few of the main CPU specs that make the main difference between these CPUs.

Core i9

core i9 intel processor

Intel Core i9 processors feature more high-end technology than the rest on this list. For example, newer i9 generations offer Intel Hyper-Threading technology. This allows each core within the CPU to processor two threads at the same time, significantly increasing power and speed to your PC.

Core i9s are among the best choices for gaming, work tasks that require applications that take a huge toll on the CPU, and if you have a bigger budget. You need to plan ahead as an i9 CPU will require more expensive components for the rest of the PC that will work alongside the powerful processor.

Having said all that, consider your entire PC build budget before you go ahead and decide on which CPU you get, as it will decide much of the build itself.

About The Author

Catalin Tabacu

Catalin is a long-time PC enthusiast and an avid gamer. His love for overclocking is second only to his love for a well-written RPG. Having taken a swing at competitive DOTA2, he has the know-how to give you the best recommendations that will elevate your in-game performance to the next level.

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