Which is better: Intel Core i5 or i7


Is it worth it to pay extra for the Core i7 or is it better to stay with the Core i5? In this article, we will look at both desktop and mobile processors of the latest — 10 and 11 generations.

Intel Core i5 or i7

Two families

Core i5 and i7 are still the most popular of all Intel processors.

  • Core i5 family — universal modelswhich have good performance both in games and in most other tasks: when working in different applications, browsing the web.
  • Core i7 processors a little more powerful and are best suited for users running demanding programs, as well as games at maximum settings.

At the same time, it is worth remembering that the Core i7 is not the highest level among Intel processors. Even higher is the Core i9 family.

What is more profitable: Core i5 or Core i7?

Average price of one of the most affordable desktop options Core i5-10400F now is about 11 thousand rubles, and a similar model of the latest generation Core i5-11400F — more than 15 thousand. The price of the most advanced Core i5-11600K — 20-21 thousand rubles.

Price Core i7 10th generation starts from 23-24 thousand rubles, advanced Core i7-11700K will cost 30-33 thousand.

The price of Core i7 becomes the main obstacle for the average user. Don’t pay too much for the performance gain, which will be noticeable, for the most part, only in professional programs that require multithreading and maximum performance.

Compare specifications

Many will be quite enough «golden mean» — Core i5. The models of this family offer an optimal price-performance ratio, perform well in everyday tasks and cope even with demanding games.

Saved funds are better spent on other computer components, such as a video card — for gamers. This is especially advantageous given that the Core i5 is compatible with any modern GPU. Such a tandem is good and does not give the “bottleneck” effect when the video card is not able to work at full capacity due to a weak processor.

Number of Cores

Previously, Core i5 processors did not support multithreading — that is, when virtual cores were added to the physical cores, which helped to more efficiently perform several parallel tasks. For a long time, the technology was reserved for the expensive Core i7 and Core i9.

But to keep up with AMD’s multi-core Ryzen burst into the market, Intel has added multi-threading to Core i5 and even budget Core i3 processors since the 10th generation.

Processors Core i7 have more cores and virtual threads than Core i5: 8 physical cores and 16 threads versus 6 and 12 in desktop versions. This means that the Core i7 is better suited for tasks like video editing and graphics.

Clock frequency

Another important indicator that affects the performance of the processor. The desktop versions of the two families roughly match each other, both in terms of base frequency and when overclocked using Intel’s Turbo Boost technology.

Core i7 of the latest generations shows only a slight advantage in overclocking — 5 GHz versus 4.9 GHz for the Core i5. At the same time, the base clock frequency of the “sevens” is somewhat inferior to the frequency of the most powerful representatives of the junior level. So, the Core i7-11700K has a base 3.6 GHz versus 3.9 GHz for the Core i5-11600K.


This parameter shows the amount of cache, a very fast type of memory that speeds up repetitive tasks that are frequently accessed by the processor. The larger the cache, the higher the performance in multitasking.

At this point is in the lead Core i7: processors offer 16 MB of cache in the third level — the largest — against 12 MB for the Core i5. This is true for the last two generations.

The average user will again not see much difference — only specialists using professional software, for example, to convert video files, will notice the changes.

Desktop processors

The 11th generation of Core i5 processors is represented by three main desktop options:

  • i5-11600
  • i5-11500
  • i5-11400

Each model number below is slightly weaker than the previous one. The Core i5-11600 outperforms other processors in the family, while the Core i5-11400 is the easiest option.

The listed processors are presented in several versions that differ in marking. For example, the letter «K» means that the chip is unlocked for overclocking, and «F» indicates no integrated graphics.

The 11th generation Core i7 is represented by only one model — the Core i7-11700, only in different versions.

The best choice for a powerful computer becomes Core i7-11700K — with the possibility of overclocking. The processor is designed for heat dissipation in the region of 125 W, with overclocking, power consumption will be much higher.

In other cases, the optimal solution for a desktop computer among all the mentioned processors is Core i5-11600K. It is inferior to the Core i7 in terms of speed, but offers a better price-performance ratio.

An alternative and reasonable option is to take the previous generation Core i7, for example 10700K, which is not much weaker than the new model.

Mobile processors

All processors of this type are further divided into several subclasses. Power-saving CPUs are available for light and thin notebooks. They maintain low cooling and power requirements, while maintaining good performance.

The 11th generation of energy-saving processors is represented by several variants of the Core i5 — like the i5-1130G7 — each with 4 cores and 8 threads. Similarly, the Core i7 — all models of this class have the same number of cores as the younger processors.

In addition to the energy-saving class, Intel offers processors marked H. The letter indicates high performance — such chips are installed in the most powerful laptops designed for gaming and serious computing work.

The maximum performance is demonstrated by the eight-core Core i7-11850Haccelerating up to 4.8 GHz in Turbo Boost mode.

The best option among Core i5 — 11500H with 6 cores and 12 threads. It has a lower clock speed and less cache.


If we take pure performance, then the Core i7 has a significant advantage. But does the average user need to overpay for such performance? As a rule, no.

Better choose Core i5 — these processors will easily cope with any task, except for working in professional software.

Real strength Core i7 — multitasking performance. Such processors will be useful only to a narrow circle of users: developers, designers, video content creators, streamers. In many cases, these people even turn to the Core i9 family, where Intel’s highest performing models are assembled.



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