When purchasing a new computer, whether fixed or desktop, the user quickly finds himself lost in the face of the variety of options available to him.
However, the choice of processor is decisive as to the use that will be able to be made of it.
Among the most widespread, we find the various processors of the Intel Core range, and in particular the Intel Core i3 and the Intel Core i5 which we are going to focus on today.
Each CPU has been designed for a type of use, so it is not necessarily useful to turn to the most powerful and the most expensive. This is why we are going to give you all the information that will help you choose between the Core i3 and the Core i5, depending on your user profile.
We will therefore start by drawing up a comparison of these two ranges of processors, and then tell you about their uses.
The difference between the Intel Core i3 and the Intel Core i5?
The Intel Core i3 corresponds to the entry-level of the Intel Core processors, while the Intel Core i5 constitutes the mid-range, behind the Intel Core i7 and the Intel Core i9, of higher ranges. Each range is made up of different versions of processors offering varying performance.
Indeed, since the Intel Core, it is not only the number of cores, the cache memory, and the frequency that determine the performance of a CPU. The embedded technologies ( Hyper-Threading, Turbo Boost ) in these processors also influence their power.
The number of cores
The Intel Core i3 is a line of budget processors. Until the seventh generation of Intel processors ( Kaby Lake ), the Core i3s are only so-called “ Dual-Core ” processors in the sense that they are equipped with two cores. Since the eighth generation Coffe Lake, the i3 can now be equipped with 4 cores.
As for the Intel Core i5s, available in Dual Core, also have Quad Core versions (with four cores), and are now equipped with 6 cores ( Hexa Core ).
The more cores a processor has, the more efficient it is since it is able to process several tasks simultaneously.
Be careful, contrary to popular belief, the number of cores does not multiply the frequency of the CPU! Thus, a Quad-Core processor clocked at 3.4 GHz has a total frequency of 3.4 GHz. Only Turbo Boost technology increases the processor clock speed.
The Hyper-Threading technology integrated into certain processor models also makes it possible to double the number of cores and further accelerate multitasking.
You can find it in both Intel Core i3 and Intel Core i5 processors.
Thus, an Intel Core i3 Dual-Core CPU equipped with Hyper-Threading will benefit from four logical cores. Likewise, an Intel Core i5 Quad-Core equipped with Hyper-Threading will benefit from eight logical cores. However, if we have to compare a Core i3 with two cores equipped with Hyper-Threading to a Core i5 with four cores, remember that four physical cores will always be more efficient than two physical cores benefiting from four threads.
The frequency is also significant of the power of a processor since it determines the speed at which a task will be executed. It is determined in megahertz (Mhz) or in gigahertz (Ghz).
The higher the frequency, the faster the processor.
As the Intel Core i3 and Intel Core i5 are both from the Intel Core family, it is possible to compare their clock speeds to determine the most powerful CPU provided, however, that they are based on the same architecture.
Often, the Core i5 has a higher frequency than the Core i3. But it’s not always the case. However, with a similar configuration, this is confirmed: the Intel Core i5 is much faster than the Intel Core i3, especially when performing heavy tasks.
The Turbo Boost technology found in certain models of Intel Core processors allows them to reach an even higher frequency when the system must perform a heavy workload. This technology invented by Intel “boosts” the clock speed if necessary.
So beyond the nominal frequency, it is interesting to check if a processor supports Turbo Boost.
Since the release of the Intel Core range, many Intel Core i5 models have had this feature to increase processor speed.
As for the Core i3, it was not until 2017 that Intel released its first Intel Core i3 processor with Turbo Boost: the Intel Core i3-8130U.
The size of the cache
The cache memory integrated into the processor stores the data most often used and thus limits its interaction with the RAM. It allows him to gain speed. The larger the cache capacity, the faster the task execution.
The cache memory can differ from one processor to another and depends in particular on the generation of the CPU and its general configuration.
But the Intel Core i5 often has more cache memory than its counterpart the Intel Core i3, making it even more efficient.
Usually, a computer with a higher-performance Intel Core i5 processor is more expensive than a computer with an Intel Core i3 processor. The price of a processor depends mainly on its generation as well as its capabilities.
The onboard technology also affects the price.
However, the high price of a computer is not always indicative of better performance since it is necessary to estimate the configuration as a whole, and see if it is suitable for a particular use.
The Intel Core i3 for what use?
Generally speaking, the Intel Core i3 is intended for basic office use.
A computer equipped with an energy-efficient Core i3 CPU is ideally suited for running most standard computer software.
Thus, if your use of the computer tool consists of browsing the internet, shopping online, doing word processing or watching videos on the web, opting for a low-cost processor is more than sufficient. In particular, if you have a limited budget and if you do not have more advanced use of your PC.
The Intel Core i5 for what use?
The Intel Core i5 offers good performance and is ideal for processing fairly heavy applications.
Thus, for multitasking or work requiring a large cache memory, the configuration of Intel Core i5s, particularly Quad Cores, is better suited than a Core i3.
This is especially the case if you are working on multimedia computer programs such as photo and video editing. The same goes for fans of 4K videos.
For gamers who are fans of resource-hungry 3D video games, the Core i5 is of course to be preferred (compared to a Core i3), and begins to offer good performance.
Beyond all these data, it is ultimately not so much the power of a processor that should characterize your choice, but more its interest in your needs. Finally, the most expensive processor is not the one to necessarily adopt.