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I know that a Dual Core is generally worse than a Core 2 Duo.

Where does a Core i3 fit into that?

Does it have dual cores? Is it better or worse or just confusing?

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"I know that a Dual Core is generally worse than a Core 2 Duo." Core 2 Duo is also a dual core processor. Dual Core is not the name of any model or range of products; it's a technology. What you probably mean to say is that Pentium D is worse than Core 2 Duo. – Om Nom Nom May 24 '10 at 21:20
@Om Nom Nom - I could be wrong on this, but I have seen loads of computers for sale that have "Dual Core" as the processor type. Here are two examples: and – Vaccano Jun 2 '10 at 16:58
@vaccano Those are "Pentium Dual Core". Dual core (without Pentium) is a general term. – netvope Jun 27 '10 at 18:45
up vote 9 down vote accepted

The Core i3 is the successor to Intel Core 2 - series. It has an integrated GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) and can be seen as the lesser version of the Intel Core i7 and Core i5 series. And yes, it has two cores.

UPDATE: Also from here:

With the Nehalem microarchitecture[14], Intel introduced a new naming scheme for its Core processors. There are three variants, Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7, but the names no longer correspond to specific technical features like the number of cores. Instead, the brand is now divided from low-level (i3), through mid-range (i5) to high-end (i7)[15]. Common features of all Nehalem based processors include an integrated DDR3 memory controller as well as QuickPath Interconnect or PCI Express and Direct Media Interface on the processor replacing the aging quad-pumped Front Side Bus used in all earlier Core processors. Also, all these processors have 256 KB L2 cache per core, plus up to 12 MB shared level 3 cache. Because of the new I/O interconnect, chipsets and mainboards from previous generations can no longer be used with Nehalem based processors.

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Rank from Worst to Best for Intel processors (generally): Intel Core Series < Core 2 < Core i3 < Core i5 < Core i7 < Core i9 – wag2639 May 24 '10 at 20:26
Also, processors with 2 cores on it have Duo in the CPU name, processors with 4 core are labeled Quad, etc – wag2639 May 24 '10 at 20:26
Not necesarily... The I-series don't have DUO in the name but do have 2 cores. – BloodPhilia May 24 '10 at 20:32
The i3 typically has 2 cores, the i5 has either 2 cores with hyperthreading or 4 full cores (depending on model), and the i7 is 4 cores. i9 will be the "extreme" edition... – Mokubai May 24 '10 at 20:50
They removed the Solo/Duo/Quad from the new family line names. It's just i3, i5 and i7. The number of cores depends on the model (Core i3-530, Core i3-540 etc.) – Simurr May 24 '10 at 20:51

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