What is the newest i7 processor: Computer parts, laptops, electronics, and more

Core i7 vs. Core i9: Which high-end laptop CPU should you buy?


Is Intel’s Core i9 really worth it?

By Gordon Mah Ung

PCWorld Jun 8, 2021 4:56 am PDT

Image: Intel

When you’re shopping for a high-end gaming laptop, one fundamental choice is whether to buy a model with a Core i7 or a Core i9 CPU. The Core i7 CPU is powerful, but the Core i9 is supposed to be the topmost performer, the extreme machine—usually with an upcharge to match.

When you’re focused on the CPU it’s about the performance, and two major factors affect that: the megahertz or clock speed the CPU runs at, and the amount of compute cores it has. In laptops, one more very important constraint is the cooling, which can throw a monkey wrench into it all. 

We’ll help you decide which laptop CPU is best for you, with information about the Core i7 and Core i9 in the last three CPU generations from Intel, and which is likely the better choice for your laptop. Starting with the latest and working our way back…

11th Generation: Core i9 vs. Core i7

Intel’s 11th-generation Tiger Lake H marks one major milestone: Intel finally moves from the same 14nm process formula it’s used for its H-class CPUs since 2015 to its most advanced 10nm SuperFin process. We had been waiting years for this change.

11th-gen Core i7 and affordable price

Acer Predator Triton 300 SE

Now that Intel finally has a 10nm performance chip to brag about, a slew of Tiger Lake H laptops have been announced. Some have already trickled out into stores, including the thin, light, and surprisingly affordable Acer Predator Triton 300 SE we’ve already reviewed.

You can see the lineup below. All of the Tiger Lake H chips are 8-core CPUs, another change from prior generations, where core counts helped define the performance expectations from different chips in the same family.


All of the 11th-generation Intel Tiger Lake H laptop CPUs use a 10nm manufacturing process and have 8 cores.  

The clock differences are sparse, too. The Core i7-11800H tops out at 4.6GHz, while the Core i9-11980HK can hit 5GHz, about an 8.6-percent increase in clock speeds. That’s not bad, but when you consider that both are 8-core CPUs, Core i9 isn’t compelling for most users.

There’s one more case to be made for Core i9, though. The Core i9-11980HK does offer the optional thermal design power (TDP) of 65 watts. That higher TDP is available only on the top-end Core i9, which means in a laptop that can handle the power requirements and cooling, it may indeed offer greater sustained higher clock speeds than a Core i7 version.

Such a laptop would likely be thicker and larger, though. So if you’re looking at two thin laptops, one with a Core i9 and one with a Core i7, the thermal and power headroom is likely not going to make the difference worth it.

11th-gen winner: For most users, Core i7

10th Generation: Core i9 vs. Core i7

With the 10th generation Comet Lake H family, Intel remained stuck at 14nm. The trick it pulled out this time was to offer 8-core CPUs in its Core i7 as well as in its Core i9 CPUs, giving users greater performance potential without having to pay for the top-dollar chip.

10th-gen Core i7 and all the RGB

MSI GE76 Raider

Even though 11th-generation laptops are starting to come out, you can still find some good products with 10th-generation CPUs, including the MSI GE76 gaming laptop we reviewed earlier this year. With its fast CPU and blistering 155-watt GPU, this laptop lives loud and proud. It even wears its RGB right there across the front edge. 

You can see the four 8-core, 10th gen H-class CPUs below.


The 9th-gen Core i7 and Core i9 chips offer the same number of cores and close clock speeds, meaning there’s little difference for most users.

As with the 11th-gen chips, the close cores and clock speeds mean the differences between Core i7 and Core i9 are minimal for most users. With a maximum boost clock of 5.3GHz for the Core i9-10980HK and 5GHz for the Core i7-10870H the difference between the two chips is about 6 percent on paper. Unless you need to push your PC to the max, it’s likely not worth the extra cash for the 10th-gen Core i9.

10th-gen winner: For most users, Core i7

9th Generation: Core i9 vs. Core i7

With the 9th generation of Coffee Lake Refresh laptop H-class CPUs, Intel was still  stretching the 14nm process as far as it could go. A Core i9 gave you higher clocks (up to a whopping 5GHz) and also denoted 8 CPU cores. 

Thin, light, fast gaming laptop

XPG Xenia 15

Sure, this chip came out two years ago, but you can still find it in good gaming laptops including the XPG Xenia 15, which Intel helped design. It’s thin, light, and fast, and it sports an Nvidia RTX GPU as well.

You can see the the top H-class Core i7 and Core i9 chips below.


In the 9th generation of H-class CPUs, Core i9 meant two additional CPU cores over the Core i7.

The difference between the 8-core, 4.8GHz Core i9-9880HK and 4.6GHz 6-core Core i7-9850H is about 4 percent in clock speeds, a difference few people would be able to tell difference in actual use. Both of those CPUs were common in business laptops.

Most consumers laptops saw a choice of the 8-core 5GHz Core i9-9980HK and the 6-core 4.5GHz Core i7-9750H. That added up to an 11-percent clock difference between the CPUs, which is demonstrably faster and measurable, though we’d again argue most could not feel the difference.

The difference in core count, however, would often yield far more benefit in multi-threaded applications. We’ve recorded scores in an older XPS 15 with a Core i9-9980HK up to 42 percent faster in the 3D modelling test Cinebench R20 than a gaming laptop configured with a Core i7-9750H. In a heavier workload that heats up the 8-core Core i9, the performance gap shrinks to just 7 percent. Obviously, the laptop’s design matters here a lot. You could at least make the case for 8 cores versus 6 cores in some scenarios.

9th-gen winner: Tie between Core i9 and Core i7, depending on your needs

Achieve Ultra High Frame Rate Gaming with Intel’s New Core i7 Processor

Playing games at ludicrously high frame rates is what really sets PC gaming apart from the console experience. The responsiveness and fluidity of a game blistering along at over 140 frames per second is revelatory. Once you experience it, you’ll wonder how you survived at a paltry 60fps for all these years.
Console gamers are only now beginning to glimpse gaming at high frame rates with 120Hz support on the PS5 and Xbox Series X. But only a very small list of titles support the 120Hz mode and usually with a significant sacrifice in visual detail.
In the PC world, however, a powerful GPU and CPU combination lets you brute force your way to high frame rates with much less visual compromise than consoles, and your experience is more customizable.
Recent years have seen the emergence of new technology made specifically for ultra-high-frame-rate play, especially with the arrival of 300Hz gaming monitors. But unlike at conventional frame rates, high-frame-rate gaming places high demand on your CPU. At 200+ frames per second, the CPU is seriously taxed and can become a bottleneck if it’s not up to the task.
Credit: Slickdeals
So what does it take to run at such blistering speeds, and how much of a gain can you get from a modern CPU? Intel has just launched the brand-new 11th-gen Intel Core i7 11700K. It’s a fast 8-core, 16-thread processor that serves as the newest entry into the Core i7 series, which is widely considered to be the sweet spot for gaming PCs.
I’ve cherry-picked a selection of in-game benchmarks to test the performance of the new chip against a previous gaming champion, the revered 8th-gen Intel Core i7 8700K. I found out just how fast the new processor can go when gaming at high frame rates and how much of a jump you can expect over the legendary 8700K.

Shop the New Intel Core i7

Here’s Why You Need a Fast CPU

Credit: Slickdeals

Traditional thought dictates that the graphics card in a gaming PC does all the heavy lifting, while the CPU is barely taxed. Generally speaking, this is true when gaming at the highest resolution possible at around 60fps.
However, if you’re a competitive gamer that prioritizes high frame rates over resolution, suddenly your CPU plays a more critical role, because it has to tell the GPU what to draw in each frame.

Credit: Slickdeals

Think of the CPU like a manager in a mailroom and the GPU as the couriers. The couriers do all the hard work delivering packages, but if the manager can’t give them packages fast enough, you’ll have couriers sitting around idle. If your CPU can’t crunch through draw calls fast enough, the GPU becomes underutilized.

Credit: Slickdeals

This makes getting a modern CPU like the Intel Core i7 11700K an important step in building a PC specifically for fast-paced competitive gaming at very high frame rates.
With eight processor cores (16 threads), the latest Rocket Lake CPU packs two cores (and four threads) more than the venerable 8700K, which launched in 2017. At $399, the new Core i7 CPU runs at a base frequency of 3.6GHz, with a Max Turbo Frequency of 5GHz. This, along with generational refinements, gives the 11700K the extra headroom necessary to push well beyond 200fps and deliver the lightning-fast gaming that competitive players require.

Benchmarking the New Gaming PC

Credit: Slickdeals

To flex the muscles of the 11700K, I built a gaming PC pairing the new CPU with an overclocked GeForce RTX 2080, 32GB of DDR4 RAM clocked at 3200MHz, and a 512GB NVMe SSD.
In order to demonstrate CPU performance and take the focus off of the GPU, I ran all of my benchmarks at 1080p resolution with medium graphics settings. The RTX 2080 is typically thought of as a 4K GPU, so at this lower resolution, the GPU becomes underutilized, and this allows me to measure the raw performance of the CPU instead.
I picked four games that would demonstrate the gains you would get over the 8700K in a range of scenarios, from highly demanding next-gen games to competitive first-person shooters and racing.
The numbers don’t represent actual gameplay frame rates but offer an insight into the relative improvements from the 8th-gen to the 11th-Gen Core i7.
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege

Credit: Ubisoft

This is one of the most popular competitive first-person shooters around, and it also happens to have a great in-game benchmarking tool that can demonstrate the insanely high frame rates that pro gamers will go for.

Average frame rates during the test run jumped from an already bonkers 320fps on the 8700K up to 384fps on the 11700K–a gain of around 20%.
Interestingly, Siege is also compatible with the newer Vulkan graphics API, a switchable option upon booting the game. In Vulkan mode, I saw bigger gains of 22% on the 11700K. Siege also took the award for highest peak frame rate in all of my testing at 549fps.

Credit: Ubisoft

You won’t get that frame rate during a multiplayer match, but it’s interesting to see the speed and scalability of this game when given the room to breathe on a newer CPU with more processor cores.
Far Cry 5

Credit: Ubisoft

Far Cry 5 is said to be a game that benefits most from increases in single-core clock speeds as opposed to added cores. And so I chose this game to showcase the 5GHz Max Boost Frequency of the 11700K.

Sure enough, I saw a roughly 13% jump in performance on the new CPU over the older 8700K, which has a lower Max Boost Frequency of 4.7GHz. The benchmark registered an average frame rate of 158fps on the 11700K, which gives you enough headroom to push up visual settings significantly and still see frame rates over 100fps.
Cyberpunk 2077

Credit: CD Projekt

Arguably the biggest blockbuster release of 2020, I picked Cyberpunk 2077 to test how an incredibly demanding, next-generation game engine benefits from a fast CPU, and I came up with some interesting findings.

This game is so heavy on graphical detail that even at 1080p I was still hitting the limits of the RTX 2080. This meant that in some scenarios, particularly when in buildings or walking in corridors, I saw almost no difference in frame rate between the two CPUs, both hovering around 100fps. But in a bustling area of the city, when the CPU is taxed more heavily by crowds of AI characters, traffic, and streaming world data, the 11700K remained stable at over 90fps, while the 8700K stumbled down to 70fps.
This goes to show that even if you’re not a competitive multiplayer gamer, having a strong CPU will be important for dealing with the incoming wave of next-gen titles built for high-end hardware.
F1 2020

Credit: Codemasters

While high-frame-rate gaming is usually associated with multiplayer first-person shooters, pro racers will also attest to the importance of ultra-low latency input and sharp visual feedback. As far as racing sims go, they don’t get any faster than F1 2020.

This game has an excellent benchmarking tool. I set the full field of cars loose on a single lap around Albert Park in Melbourne, Australia, and netted an average of 258fps on the 11700K. The 8700K was, on average, around 23fps slower, and it also saw dips down to lows of 190fps, while the 11700K never went below 220fps during my test. This means that not only was the new CPU roughly 10% faster on average, it also maintained more consistent performance during more demanding moments.
At this frame rate, judging your braking points and reacting to sudden hazards is that little bit easier. All you need now is a nice steering wheel and pedals.

Real-World Performance

Credit: Slickdeals

As my benchmarking demonstrates, the 11700K provides enough speed for gaming at high frame rates. But a powerful CPU is good for so much more than just high FPS.
When gaming at a 1440p or 4K resolution with maximum graphics settings (placing the greater burden on the graphics card), the 11700K performs excellently with ample headroom. The Corsair H60 liquid cooler maintained temperatures of 58C, well within the thermal comfort zone.
Its 8-core, 16-thread architecture means the 11700K is also a multitasking brute. Playing F1 2020 at ultra settings in 1080p while streaming directly to Twitch, I measured a paltry and imperceptible 2% drop in frame rate.

Synthetic CPU benchmarks can be misleading. But 3DMark offers CPU scoring with a gaming slant, and the 11700K destroyed the 8700K with a Time Spy CPU score of 12,224 versus 7,797.
Video and image encoding thrives on multi-core CPUs, and while there are certainly bigger multi-core CPUs available, the 11700K presents the right balance for gaming and productivity, with strong Cinebench multi-core scores around 11,742 (the 8700K scores 7,696).

Summary: A Strong Gaming CPU

Credit: Slickdeals

Building a great gaming PC is all about getting the best performance for your dollar. Like its 8th-gen predecessor, the Intel Core i7-11700K with its eight processor cores represents the sweet spot for gamers.
When playing at high frame rates, the CPU plays an especially important role, and the new Core i7 packs enough of a punch to allow for incredible refresh rates when paired with a strong GPU. But 4K gaming is also no problem for the new Rocket Lake CPU, and if you like to stream gameplay to services like Twitch, you’ll be able to do so without sacrificing any appreciable performance.
Meanwhile, having 16 threads with a high-peak Turbo clock speed of 5GHz also makes the 11700K a strong CPU for multitasking and productivity. Sure, there are 12 or even 20-core beast CPUs out there that are excellent for high-end productivity tasks, but since current video games tend not to scale much past eight cores, you’ll be paying a lot more money for very little appreciable gain in gaming.
At the current price of $399, the 11700K delivers great single-core clock speeds and enough multi-threaded performance to make for an excellent high-end gaming rig.
Shop the New Intel Core i7-11700K Processor at Amazon, Best Buy, B&H Photo, Newegg, and Micro Center.

Our editors strive to ensure that the information in this article is accurate as of the date published, but please keep in mind that offers can change. We encourage you to verify all terms and conditions of any product before you apply.

Don’t Miss

Is -9900K better than Intel Core i7-9700K?

  • 8 more CPU threads?
    16 vs 8
  • 29.85% higher PassMark score?
    18898 vs 14554
  • 4MB more L3 cache?
    16MB vs 12MB
  • 18.44% higher Geekbench 5 multi-core result?
    8496 vs 7173
  • 36.62% higher Cinebench R20 score (multi-core)?
    4995 vs 3656
  • 165.8seconds faster Blender (classroom) result?
    544seconds vs 709.8seconds
  • 7.69% higher Cinebench R20 result (single core)?
    518 vs 481
  • 60.6seconds faster Blender test result (bmw27)?
    164.2seconds vs 224.8seconds

Which comparisons are the most popular?

Intel Core i7-9700K


AMD Ryzen 5 5600X

Intel Core i9-9900k


Apple M1 Pro (10-Core)

Intel Core i7-9700k


Intel Core i7-9700f

Intel Core I9900K

VS 9000 VS 9000 AM RYZEN 9 3900X

Intel Core i7-9700k


Intel Core i7-8700k

Intel Core i9-9900k


Intel Core I5-12600K

Intel Core i7-97-97002 Intel Core i7-97-97002 Intel Core i7-97-97002 Intel Core i7-97-97002 Intel Core I7-97-

Core i5-9600K

Intel Core i9-9900k


AMD Ryzen 7 5800x

Intel Core i7-9700k


AMD Ryzen 7 5800x

Intel Core I9-9900k


AMD RYZEN 5,0002 AMD RYL Core i7-9700K


Intel Core i7-9700KF

Intel Core i9-9900k


AMD Ryzen 5 5600x

Intel Core


AMD Ryzen 7 3700x AMD Ryzen 7,0002 AMD Ryzen 7,0002 AMD i9-9900k


Intel Core i9-9900

Intel Core i7-9700k


Intel Core i7-13700K



Intel Core I7-107-102 INTEL COREE I7-102 INTEL COREE I7-102 I7-102 I7-102 I7-102 I7-1 -9700K


Intel Core i7-9700

Intel Core i9-9900K


Intel Core i7-8700K


Reviews of Users

0002 Intel Core i7-9700k

0 Reviews of users

Intel Core i7-9700k

0. 0 /10

0 Reviews of Users

Intel Core I9-9900K

4 Reviews of users

Intel Core I9-000

8.8 /10

4 Reviews of users


Price and quality ratio

reviews yet not

8.5 /10

4 Votes


reviews not yet



4 Votes

Energy efficiency

reviews not yet

8.8 /10

4 Votes


CPU speed

8 x 3.6GHz

8 x 3.6GHz

CPU speed indicates how many processing cycles per second a processor can perform, given all its cores (processors). It is calculated by adding the clock speeds of each core or, in the case of multi-core processors, each group of cores.

processor thread

More threads result in better performance and better multitasking. nine0003

turbo clock speed

4. 9GHz

When the processor is running below its limits, it can jump to a higher clock speed to increase performance.

Has an unlocked multiplier

✔Intel Core i7-9700K

✔Intel Core i9-9900K

Some processors come with an unlocked multiplier and are easier to overclock, allowing for better performance in games and other applications. nine0003

L2 Cache

More L2 scratchpad memory results in faster results in CPU and system performance tuning.

L3 cache

More L3 scratchpad memory results in faster results in CPU and system performance tuning.

L1 cache

More L1 cache results in faster results in CPU and system performance tuning. nine0003

L2 core



More data can be stored in L2 scratchpad for access by each processor core.

L3 core



More data can be stored in L3 scratchpad for access by each processor core.


PassMark result

This benchmark measures CPU performance using multithreading. nine0003

PassMark result (single)

This test measures processor performance using a thread of execution.

Geekbench 5 result (multi-core)

Geekbench 5 is a cross-platform test that measures the performance of a multi-core processor. (Source: Primate Labs,2023)

Cinebench R20 result (multi-core)

Cinebench R20 is a test that measures the performance of a multi-core processor by rendering a 3D scene. nine0003

Cinebench R20 result (single core)

Cinebench R20 is a test to evaluate the performance of a single core processor when rendering a 3D scene.

Geekbench 5 result (single core)

Geekbench 5 is a cross-platform test that measures the single core performance of a processor. (Source: Primate Labs, 2023)

Blender (bmw27) test result



The Blender (bmw27) test measures CPU performance by rendering a 3D scene. More powerful processors can render a scene in a shorter time. nine0003

Blender (classroom) result



The Blender (classroom) benchmark measures CPU performance by rendering a 3D scene. More powerful processors can render a scene in a shorter time.

performance per watt

This means that the processor is more efficient, giving more performance per watt of power used.

Integrated graphics

GPU clock speed



The graphics processing unit (GPU) has a higher clock speed.

turbo GPU



When the GPU is running below its limits, it can jump to a higher clock speed to increase performance.

GPU actuators

Unknown. Help us offer a price. (Intel Core i7-9700K)

Unknown. Help us offer a price. (Intel Core i9-9900K)

A graphics processing unit (GPU) with more execution units can provide better graphics.

monitor support

By using multiple displays, you can increase your workspace, making it easier to work across multiple applications.

version of DirectX

DirectX is used in games with a new version that supports better graphics.

OpenGL version

The newer version of OpenGL, the better graphics quality in games.

OpenCL version

Unknown. Help us offer a price. (Intel Core i7-9700K)

Unknown. Help us offer a price. (Intel Core i9-9900K)

Some applications use OpenCL to use the power of the graphics processing unit (GPU) for non-graphical computing. Newer versions are more functional and better quality.

textured units (TMUs)

Unknown. Help us offer a price. (Intel Core i7-9700K)

Unknown. Help us offer a price. (Intel Core i9-9900K)

TMUs take texture units and map them to the geometric layout of the 3D scene. More TMUs generally means texture information is processed faster.

imaging units ROPs

Unknown. Help us offer a price. (Intel Core i7-9700K)

Unknown. Help us offer a price. (Intel Core i9-9900K)

ROPs are responsible for some of the final steps of the rendering process, such as writing the final pixel data to memory and for performing other tasks such as anti-aliasing to improve the appearance of graphics.


RAM speed



Can support faster memory which speeds up system performance. nine0003

maximum memory bandwidth



This is the maximum rate at which data can be read from or stored in memory.

DDR memory version

DDR (Double Data Rate Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory) is the most common type of main memory. New versions of DDR memory support higher maximum speeds and are more energy efficient. nine0003

memory channels

More memory channels increase the speed of data transfer between memory and processor.

maximum memory

Maximum memory (RAM).

bus baud rate

The bus is responsible for transferring data between various components of a computer or device.

Supports memory troubleshooting code

✖Intel Core i7-9700K

✖Intel Core i9-9900K

Memory troubleshooting code can detect and repair data corruption. It is used when necessary to avoid distortion, such as in scientific computing or when starting a server. nine0003

eMMC version

Unknown. Help us offer a price. (Intel Core i7-9700K)

Unknown. Help us offer a price. (Intel Core i9-9900K)

The newer version of eMMC — built-in flash memory card — speeds up the memory interface, has a positive effect on device performance, for example, when transferring files from a computer to internal memory via USB.

bus frequency

Unknown. Help us offer a price. (Intel Core i7-9700K)

Unknown. Help us offer a price. (Intel Core i9-9900K)

The bus is responsible for transferring data between various components of a computer or device


uses multi-threading

, Intel’s Hyperthreading or AMD’s Simultaneous Multithreading) delivers faster performance by dividing each physical processor core into logical cores, also known as threads. Thus, each core can run two instruction streams at the same time. nine0003


✔Intel Core i7-9700K

✔Intel Core i9-9900K

AES is used to speed up encryption and decryption.


✔Intel Core i7-9700K

✔Intel Core i9-9900K

AVX is used to help speed up calculations in multimedia, scientific and financial applications, and to improve the performance of the Linux RAID program.

version of SSE

SSE is used to speed up multimedia tasks such as editing images or adjusting audio volume. Each new version contains new instructions and improvements. nine0003

Has F16C

✔Intel Core i7-9700K

✔Intel Core i9-9900K

F16C is used to speed up tasks such as adjusting image contrast or adjusting volume.

bits transmitted at the same time

Unknown. Help us offer a price. (Intel Core i7-9700K)

Unknown. Help us offer a price. (Intel Core i9-9900K)

NEON provides faster media processing such as MP3 listening. nine0003


✔Intel Core i7-9700K

✔Intel Core i9-9900K

MMX is used to speed up tasks such as adjusting image contrast or adjusting volume.

Has TrustZone

✖Intel Core i7-9700K

✖Intel Core i9-9900K

Technology is integrated into the processor to ensure device security when using features such as mobile payments and digital rights management (DRM) video streaming . nine0003

interface width

Unknown. Help us offer a price. (Intel Core i7-9700K)

Unknown. Help us offer a price. (Intel Core i9-9900K)

The processor can decode more instructions per clock (IPC), which means that the processor performs better

Price comparison

Which CPUs are better?

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Core i3, i5, i7 and i9 — Tips from TehnObzor

Author Alexander Shaman for reading 10 min Published Updated


  1. Names
  2. for powerful gaming machines: Intel Core i9-9900KS and 9900K
  3. Core i5-10600K
  4. For laptops: Intel Core i9-10980HK and Intel Core i7-1065G7
  5. Core i3/i5/i7/i9 in desktops
  6. Core i3/i5/i7/i9 in laptops
  7. performance and gaming
  8. Processor terminology
  9. TOP of the best Intel processors — video

In this article I will try to explain which Intel processor is the best, including a detailed description of the Core i3, i5, i7 and i9 models.

Whether you’re building a PC from scratch, upgrading your hardware, or buying a new laptop, choosing a processor is one of the most important decisions. As a rule, initially there is a choice between Intel and AMD, but if you are already inclined towards the first option, then below I have collected the best Intel processors at the moment. nine0003

The company’s 10th generation of processors is now out, both for laptops and desktops. Everything is complicated only by the fact that for laptops the 10th generation is divided into the Ice Lake and Comet Lake lines.

Read also: Overclocking an Intel processor: how to overclock a processor at home

But first, general recommendations for the most common cases.

Naming conventions

Intel makes a lot of processors, and it can be very difficult to make a choice in a store. The reason is that the names consist of a set of numbers and letters, for which there is a decoding. And recently this decoding has changed. Thanks Intel. nine0003

The main part is pretty easy to understand. There are i3, i5, i7 and i9 chipsets. The higher the number, the more powerful the processor. However, further confusion begins.

The first two digits after the main part indicate the generation of the processor. For example, if after «i3» comes «10», we have a 10th generation Intel processor. Next, you need to look at the last numbers or letters of the name. If there is a letter «G» and a number after it, this means that the processor has a powerful integrated graphics core. The number after the «G» indicates how powerful it is — there are options from G1 to G7, where 7 means the most performance. nine0003

8th generation models had «U», «HQ» and «Y» at the end. The new category G indicates that Intel is now paying more attention to games, and it is not surprising — AMD Ryzen chipsets have become better in this regard, and the competitor needs to be caught up. The goal is to make the graphics in the processor comparable to a separate video card, so that you can play any new 1080p without having to buy additional hardware.

However, in the 10th generation there are U and Y processors that are less targeted at games. Their advantage lies, for example, in the GIG+ technology for Wi-Fi 6, which provides much faster network speeds. nine0003

The letter «K» means that the clock frequency can be overclocked, and such a processor needs a good cooling system, otherwise it can quickly overheat. Also, «S» and «X» stand for additional optimization. If there are no letters at the end of the name, we have a regular PC processor.

For powerful gaming machines: Intel Core i9-9900KS and 9900K

If only the most powerful gaming processor is your thing, choose the Intel Core i9-9900KS. This eight-core, 16-thread desktop monster is essentially a faster version of the Intel Core i9.-9900K. It goes well with a gaming graphics card and a high-quality cooling system.

Perhaps you should pay attention to the cheaper Intel Core i9-9900K. Its clock speed is smaller, but in reality the difference is not so noticeable, and in most situations this model will also cope with tasks perfectly.

And, of course, there’s the new Intel Core i9-10900K, which with 10 cores and 20 threads is the most powerful processor from Intel right now. However, it is unlikely that these benefits are really worth paying the money required for it. nine0003

For simpler builds: Intel Core i5-10600K

One of the best 10th generation processors from Intel in terms of price and quality is the Intel Core i5-10600K. It has 6 cores, 12 threads and a maximum clock speed of 4.8 GHz, and considering the price, it will be a great buy.

For those looking to build a mid-range PC that can handle most modern games, this is the best option.

Notebook: Intel Core i9-10980HK and Intel Core i7-1065G7

Choosing the best Intel processor for laptops is also not easy, because there are many options. The i9-10980HK is the top mobile chipset in the Comet Lake lineup and has faster speeds. Usually this model can be found in the most expensive gaming and work laptops, because it works better with a separate video card — its integrated graphics processor is rather average.

The Intel Core i7-1065G7 is not as powerful as the i9-10980HK, but the integrated graphics are much better. This means that laptops with such hardware will allow you to play and edit video without a separate video card, which makes the device as a whole lighter and cheaper. nine0003

However, the capabilities of the graphics core, of course, are inferior to a good powerful video card, so it’s better to play something like Apex Legends and Fortnite, and not modern blockbusters. The Intel Core i7-1065G7 is commonly found in ultrabooks like the Dell XPS 13, where gaming is more of a bonus than a primary feature.

Core i3/i5/i7/i9 in desktops

If you’re looking for the best Intel desktop processor, you first need to choose between Core i3, i5, i7 and i9. Of course, the larger the number, the higher the power, but here you need to understand in more detail.

Intel Core i3 processors for PCs have four cores. They work great for the price, but they lack the Hyper-Threading technology found in more expensive models. This technology creates virtual cores that give the processor the same performance as models with more real cores. The i3 also does not have as strong overclocking as other lines. nine0003

Intel Core i5 processors for PCs have six cores. As with the i3, there is no Hyper-Threading feature, although Turbo Boost works better for overclocking. Core i7 chipsets can have six or eight cores, and the presence of Hyper-Threading depends on the specific model. The Intel Core i9 comes with eight or ten cores. The i9 is the most powerful option of all the Cores, so for maximum performance on an unlimited budget, you need to take it.

So what to choose? Hyper-Threading is best suited for multitasking and video editing, including 3D. For games and simple applications, it is less useful, because the number of cores plays a small role in this case. nine0003

However, the advantages of the most advanced processors can be seen in other situations as well. They have a higher clock speed, so each core is more powerful in itself, and there is also a larger cache. It stores the data that the chipset works with, and at high loads this is one of the most important indicators.

The regular Core i3 has 6 MB of cache, the Core i5 has 9 MB, and the Core i7 has 12 MB. This means that among the characteristics of the processor, not only the clock frequency is important, but also many other indicators. nine0003

Core i3/i5/i7/i9 in laptops

Notebooks are a little different than desktops. On sale you can find models with processors of the 8th, 9th and 10th generation, and this in itself is confusing.

Notebooks with 8th generation chipsets are already outdated, although they are cheaper. You can often find excellent devices in terms of value for money, for many tasks this will be enough.

The most powerful models have 10th generation processors like the Intel Core i9-10980HK. «H» stands for high performance, that is, high performance, representatives of this line can be found in the best gaming and work laptops. The Intel Core i7-9750H has a high TDP of 45W, which means it’s suited to larger, more performance-oriented laptops.

Low TDP chipsets like the Intel Core i7-10510U are like small car engines. High TDP processors are like sports cars: more power, more heat, and more power consumption. nine0003

In general, the type of processor is almost entirely related to what type of laptop you choose. Ultra-compact and thin models cannot use high TDP chipsets because they don’t have room for the appropriate cooling systems. And they consume the battery much faster, so they are not suitable for those who need a long battery life.

The best processors for productivity and gaming

If you’re a frequent video editor or 3D-renderer, you need maximum processor power. However, if you are mainly doing other work tasks, there are many other important characteristics. nine0003

The Intel Core i3 has enough features to be friends with Windows 10 without any problems, but for high speed you need a good SSD, not a hard drive. For laptops, the G-series processors are the only ones that are suitable for gaming. Everyone else is using a UHD graphics chipset that won’t be able to handle today’s novelties.

None of the Intel desktop processors are good enough for gaming on their own either. If you need a computer specifically for gaming, it is better to invest in a video card, not a processor. For example, an Intel Core i3-10100 with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 will deliver higher frame rates than a Core i9-10900K and GeForce GTX 1650. Although, of course, for a high-quality video card, you need at least a Core i5-10400 or i5-9400 processor.

But even here a lot depends on the games themselves. A weak processor is not suitable for strategies like Civilization 6 and Total War: Warhammer 2, because they have a lot of calculations going on in the background. On the other hand, blockbusters and action games are much more graphics-intensive, and a Core i3 or i5 will do just fine.

Processor terminology

What is clock frequency? The number of GHz refers to the number of calculations that the processor can perform per second. The larger it is, the more powerful the processor.

For example, 3.6 GHz means 3,600,000,000 calculations per second. However, this indicator cannot be directly compared between chipsets from different manufacturers, lines and generations. Different families have different performance indicators, so a single number of GHz by itself does not say everything.

Turbo Boost technology increases the clock speed of Intel Core i5 and i7 processors when you need more power to work. This means that the chipset will consume less power, it will not heat up as much, and overclocking will occur only when necessary.

If there is support for Turbo Boost, then just looking at the clock speed is no longer possible. For example, for the Core i3-8100 this value is 3.6 GHz, while for the Core i5-7600 it is only 1.6 GHz, while the i5 is able to overclock to the same 3.6 GHz, and in the end it will work faster, because it has more nuclei. nine0003

The more the processor is overclocked, the higher the temperature.