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Core i3 and core i5 processors. What is the difference? What do I choose?

I am planning to buy an HP desktop, all the features are nice as far as I know but it doesn't have the latest i7 processors instead it has the Intel Core i5 quad-core processors.

Well, I am not an electronics guy so I would like to know does it really makes a big difference if I don't go for the i7 processor.

based on the differences between these two processors, is buying i5 going to be a bad idea as compared to i7 considering the performance of the PC.

marked as duplicate by Not Kyle stop stalking me, Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Ivo Flipse Jun 4 '11 at 0:27

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The big difference is Hyper-threading.

If you do not use a lot of "Threaded" applications which take advantage of this then get an i5 and save some cash.

Hyper-threading usually boosts the performance by around 20% if all threads are being used. At the moment unless your running lots of applications at once, doing large image processing through a program like Photoshop or video encoding then there would be little advantage in buying an i7 over an i5.

It might be worth investing more money in getting a faster (GHz) i5 than a slower (GHz) i7 :)

edit: overheating is not something to worry about in this case as and i5 or i7 with stock coolers run pretty cool.

  • +1I would just say perfect answer to my question.thanks – munish Jun 3 '11 at 15:30
  • i5's and 7's have hyperthreading. – Moab Jun 3 '11 at 18:48
  • The mobile dual-core i5s do have hyper-threading, not the quad-core desktop i5s. Link -> intel.com/products/processor/corei5/index.htm – markfknight Jun 3 '11 at 20:04
  • what would you recommend for visual studio ? – Omu Apr 9 '12 at 9:52
  • @Omu Get the best quad core you can afford (i5 desktop/i7 mobile), or if you can afford a more expensive desktop i7 with similar clock speed, get that. – markfknight Jul 25 '17 at 13:51

The i5 is of decent speed and value, if the i7 is a considerable amount more than the i5 then I'd go for the i5.

The i7 is usually a Quad core, split into 8 threads. This uses something called hyperthreading technology.

I have a i7 Laptop and even though it is very fast, I can think I can do with an i5 instead.

Hope I've helped.

  • hmm...So i7 wolud be costlier but much more faster I heard that hyperthreading causes more heating.don't know much..I could be wrong – munish Jun 3 '11 at 15:09
  • Yeah my laptop does heat up a lot. And yes the i7 is faster – Sandeep Bansal Jun 3 '11 at 15:13

There is unified socket and chipset, a turbo boost and new hyper threading. Here you can find a a quick run down.


It all depends upon what you are going to be doing with it to be honest. And in a store bought, HP computer, chances are good you arent going to be doing any hardcore gaming or making a huge use of multi-threaded applications. Based on the VERY limited scope of what you are looking at, the i5 would be a decent choice.

  • francis i liked sidrans answer a lot(he deleted it) but I want to ask:he said that i5 has 4 cores and i7 has 6 i read somewhere adding more cores is at the cost of something..I guess it leads to overheating.correct me please – munish Jun 3 '11 at 15:19
  • OK i got the answer it does heats up, thanks – munish Jun 3 '11 at 15:21
  • You cant add more cores to a CPU. 6 cores does run hotter than 4 sometimes, but that is really only if you went with an i7, not an i5. – user76211 Jun 3 '11 at 15:25

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