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Intel Core i3 vs. i5 – Differences Between Them

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It’s easy o figure out which processor you should choose to power up your computer/laptop, but your decision will be influenced by the price of the device you want to buy. Indeed, the Core i3 is cheaper, but the performance is also weaker, so if you don’t want to complain about your computer running slow, then you’ll opt for a Core i5 processor, which is recommendable for multitasking and media creation.

How Many Cores Have Each Processor?

The Core i3 has two cores, but you may find the older Intel Core i3-3130M processor in a computer which is priced the same as a system which contains the newer Intel Core i3-4012Y processor. The latest model is i3-5020U, which is the fifth-generation Broadwell processor, and you’ll notice that it’s way faster than the Core i5-4010U. Some Core i5 processors come with two cores, but normally, they are quad-core.

Larger Cache

The i5 processors have higher clock speeds and larger cache. Repetitive tasks will be performed faster – such as when changing a number in a spreadsheet, the calculations are performed instantaneously. While the i3 processors come with 3MB to 4MB of L3 cache, the i5 processors support even 6MB.

Turbo Boost

This feature allows the users to overclock the processors, making them run faster than their base clock speed, but in the situations when only one or two cores are required. Turbo Boost is found on most of the i5 processors and it allows them to clock the cores up to 2.9GHz from 1.9GHz.

Hyper-Threading

This feature will virtually increase the number of cores of a processor, by using a multithreading technology. The performance at multithreaded tasks is increased and the users will be able to run several programs simultaneously, but there are also other tasks such as multimedia operations and Web surfing which take advantage of this technology. Hyper-Threading works with dual-core i5 processors, as well as i3 processors, making them act as four-core chipsets.

Integrated Graphics

The Intel HD graphics have been introduced along with the Westmere generation of Core processors. This was a needed change, because the previous Intel integrated graphics weren’t built on the processor, but onto the motherboard chipsets. The older Sandy Bridge processors have DX10-compatible Intel HD Graphics 2000/3000, while the older Ivy Bridge processors have the DX11-compatible Intel HD Graphics 2500/4000. The newer DX11-compatible Intel HD Graphics 4200/4400/4600/5000 are found in Haswell-based processors, which contain also Iris 5100 graphics, while the latest Intel HD Graphics 5500/6000 and Iris 6100 graphics are found in the Broadwell-based processors.