All intel core processors

All intel core processors DEFAULT

Best Intel processor: Core i3, i5, i7 and i9 explained

What’s the best Intel processor?

If you&#;ve already sided with Team Blue in the Intel vs AMD debate, then we&#;ve provided a rundown of all the best Intel processor options here, as well as multiple explanations if you&#;re not well rehearsed in CPU lingo.

The first thing you need to know is that Intel is now in its 11th Generation for both laptops and desktop chips. 11th Gen laptop CPUs (aka Tiger Lake) have been around for some time now, and are great for someone who wants a slim and light laptop that can do some light gaming.

11th Gen desktop processors (aka Rocket Lake) are much newer, and a mixed bag. The higher-end chipsets disappoint, struggling to compete with AMD Ryzen rivals, and even Intel’s last generation 10th Gen CPUs. 

But what are the best Intel processor options you should buy. Let’s start with a few recommendations for different scenarios. 

A snapshot of recommendations

Best Intel processor for budget gaming desktops: Intel Core iF

Consider the Intel Core iF if you want a processor for a gaming PC and have a tight budget. It doesn’t have its own GPU, so needs to be paired with a graphics card. But this saves you a little cash over the standard i 

We haven&#;t reviewed this processor, but the specs suggest that it probably offers the biggest proportional generation jump in performance of the 11th Gen desktop series, and is not a bad pairing even for very high-end cards like the Nvidia RTX with most games. That’s right, a £ CPU can be paired with a GPU that costs ££, depending on timing and luck when you try to buy a graphics card.

Hardcore PC gamers would disagree, not least because the Intel Core iF is not an unlocked processor, meaning it cannot be overclocked properly. But it’s a good buy for many. 

Best all-rounder performance CPU:
Intel Core iK

The Intel Core iK is the Intel CPU I am most likely to recommend to enthusiast system builders who do not have a limitless budget. It’s powerful enough to act as, at most, a mild bottleneck when paired with the most powerful graphics cards. 

Performance per pound is sound, and this is a “K” series card, giving you the option to overclock substantially if you have the cooling to match. And it has baked in UHD graphics. You can use it without a graphics card, handy if you’re waiting for prices to cool down a bit before buying. 

Intel’s most powerful mainstream desktop CPU:
Intel Core iK

Our Computing Editor, Ryan Jones, is not a huge fan of the Intel Core iK, with good reason. It’s expensive and doesn’t match its AMD rivals for multi-threaded performance. 

However, its single-core performance is excellent and you need one of these 11th Gen Intel or Ryzen chips to get PCIe support. This is required to max-out the speed of the latest SSDs.

Some of the performance fiends out there should still consider the older Intel Core iK, though. It’s significantly cheaper and actually outperforms the newer processor in quite a few situations because it has 10 cores, to the Intel Core iK’s eight. 

Best laptop CPU to look out for:
Intel Core iG7

I’ve picked the laptop Core i5 as the laptop CPU of choice, but your options are likely to determined in part by the model you choose. Not all laptops come in all varieties of processor. 

However, the iG7,ig7, ig7 and ig7 mobile processors are the 11th Gen laptop highlights as they have Intel Xe graphics.

These chipsets are better than the integrated GPUs of their respective desktop cousins, and let you play games once thought of as ultra-demanding on a thin and light laptop. I&#;m talking about titles like Kingdom Come: Deliverance and The Witcher 3, not genuine oldies like Skyrim. 

Intel Rocket Lake

Choosing between an Intel Core i3, i5, i7 and i9

An Intel Core i5 is a sensible place to start whether you plan to buy a laptop or desktop. You can’t really go wrong with an i5, particularly with the 11th generation chipsets. They have enough power for high-end gaming, intensive image editing work and video editing. And they use less power than a Core i7 or i9, which is nice.

The Core i7 is more powerful than the Core i5 series. And the Core i9 chipsets are, you guessed it, more powerful than the i7s.

Intel’s Core i3 CPUs are usually the least-discussed these days, but they still exist and are a great choice for low-cost family PCs and ultra-budget gaming desktops. However, at the time of writing you’d have to buy a 10th Gen i as an 11th Gen Core i3 is not available (yet). 

So how do you quantify the differences between an Intel Core i3 and an i9? I&#;m going to stay away from benchmark results and too much deep tech talk, and stick to two factors: cores and clock speed.

I can use a human analogy here. If you have more cores, you have more workers to do a job. And a higher clock speed means each of these workers can get stuff done at a quicker pace.

Some tasks, like gaming, benefit more from a few fast cores than an increased number of them. But others like video editing love a processor with lots of cores, because the applications are designed to exploit all the available CPU power. Games are, for the most part, miners of graphics card power. 

Here’s a run down of the core counts, base clock speeds and turbo clock speeds of the desktop 11th Gen CPUs, for reference. 

Intel Core i 6 coresGHzGHz Turbo
Intel Core iK6 coresGHzGHz Turbo
Intel Core i8 coresGHzGHz Turbo
Intel Core iK8 coresGHz5GHz Turbo
Intel Core iK8 coresGHzGHz Turbo
Intel Core i (10th Gen)4 coresGHzGHz Turbo

In previous years we would have had to explain another term to get to the root of performance differences, hyperthreading. But all the main 11th Gen have hyperthreading.

This is where you (to torture the metaphor a little more) get to give each of the workers two jobs at at time instead of one. Those folks should unionise.

Looking a little deeper into the upgrades

Higher-end Intel processors also have more cache memory than mid-range and low-end ones. This is very fast storage used to hold the data the CPU cores are about to need. The Intel Core i has 6MB, the Intel Core iK 12MB. 

Top-spec CPUs like the Intel Core iK and Intel Core iK have 16MB. However, the last gen iK has 20MB. Intel can justify this as the newer version has fewer cores, but it’s another reason why some techies look down on the 11th Gen Core i9.

Intel Rocket Lake

How to choose an Intel CPU: What the names mean

Choosing whether to buy a Core i5, i7 or i9 can seem pretty simple. It’s one of those “good, better, best” scenarios. But you also need to pay attention to the letters at the end of a CPU name before you head to the checkout. 

Here’s what they mean. 

Desktop letters

K &#; This means the CPU is unlocked, which is essential if you plan on overclocking. This is where you manually increase the speed of a processors cored beyond their defaults, for better performance at the cost of more heat. Gamers who pay attention to the cooling in their desktops will always want an unlocked CPU.

F &#; Processors with an &#;F&#;at the end do not have an integrated graphics section. This means they absolutely need some form of standalone graphics card, or they won’t even be able to display Windows. Those building a gaming PC should consider one of these, as it saves you a small amount of cash, which can be spent elsewhere. 

T &#; Most of you probably don’t want a &#;T&#;CPU. These use lower clock speeds in order to consume less power. Why would you want one? They also create less heat, so are a good fit for cramped mini PCs. 

Laptop letters

G &#; This means the CPU has its own half-decent graphics section built into the CPU. However, Intel now puts &#;G&#;in stacks its Core i series laptop, making it next to meaningless without also looking at the number that follows. “G4” means a laptop has an Intel UHD graphics chip, which is pretty poor. “G7” means it has Intel Xe graphics, which are kinda great. They let you play some surprisingly demanding games

H &#; &#;H&#;stands for high performance. These processors get you closer to desktop PC power, but also use a lot more of battery and create more heat under strain. They are used in thicker, heavier laptops that can accommodate better cooling systems. But you probably wouldn’t want to carry most of them around every day. 

U &#; You don’t see the &#;U&#;in Intel’s 11th Gen laptop CPU names. But it’s an important one to know because it was everywhere beforehand, and older processors will float around for a while. It stands for Ultra Low Voltage — battery-saving, in other words. Intel’s “G” laptop CPUs are in the same mould, made largely for thin and light laptops.

Intel Rocket Lake

Should you go below the Core i series?

There are two rungs below the Intel Core i3 series: Pentium and Celeron. 

Intel Pentium CPUs come in Gold and Silver versions. Pentium Golds are desktop CPUs, and are not a bad fit for a computer that will just be used for Office apps, video streaming and browsing. Or as part of a budget gaming PC with a low-end or lower-mid-range graphics card.

However, they only have two cores and are not close to the recommended Core i and Core i in performance. The G is the latest Pentium Gold processor. Pentium Silver chipsets, like the N, are laptop processors and are only well suited to the basics. If the jump to an 11th Gen Intel Core i3 does not cost too much, make that jump.

Celerons are the weakest Intel processors, and are not recommended in general. Laptops with these processors are usually noticeably slow. You are better off spending a little more on at least a Pentium Gold in a desktop build.

Should you wait for the 12th Gen Intel series?

Intel’s next generation of CPUs will offer more dramatic changes than the 11th Gen. The 12th generation of desktop CPUs is known as Alder Lake, and will use sets of ‘power’ cores and efficiency cores. This arrangement is similar the Apple M1 CPU used in the latest MacBook Air. It’s quite a dramatic change. 

Where today’s Core i9 CPU has eight cores, the next will likely have eight &#;big&#;cores and eight &#;little&#;cores. The hope is for a high-end processor that can beat the standard-setting AMD Ryzen 9 x/X, and make up some of the ground Intel has lost to Apple in the laptop space. 

Intel’s next generation of CPUs will be far more interesting than the 11th. But you’ll also need a new motherboard as they will connect using a different socket. Stick to Trusted Reviews for all of the latest news on Intel&#;s upcoming processors. 


Intel® Core™ Processor Family

Product and Performance Information


Best in Class Wi-Fi 6: Intel® Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) products support optional MHz channels, enabling the fastest possible theoretical maximum speeds ( Mbps) for typical 2x2 ax PC Wi-Fi products. Premium Intel® Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) products enable x faster maximum theoretical speeds compared standard 2x2 ( Mbps) or 1x1 ( Mbps) ax PC Wi-Fi products, which only support the mandatory requirement of 80 MHz channels.


As measured by AIXprt workload on pre-production 10th Gen Intel® Core™ iG7 processor vs. 8th Gen Intel® Core™ iU processor (INT8 Results). Performance results are based on testing as of May 23, and may not reflect all publicly available security updates. See configuration disclosure for details. No product can be absolutely secure.

Intel is a sponsor and member of the BenchmarkXPRT Development Community, and was the major developer of the XPRT family of benchmarks. Principled Technologies is the publisher of the XPRT family of benchmarks. You should consult other information and performance tests to assist you in fully evaluating your contemplated purchases.


Nearly 3X Faster: ax 2x2 MHz enables Mbps maximum theoretical data rates, ~3X (X) faster than standard ac 2x2 80 MHz ( Mbps) as documented in IEEE wireless standard specifications, and require the use of similarly configured ax wireless network routers.


As measured by 3DMark FireStrike* workload on pre-production 10th Gen Intel® Core™ iG7 processor vs. 8th Gen Intel® Core™ iU processor. Performance results are based on testing as of May 23, and may not reflect all publicly available security updates. See configuration disclosure for details. No product can be absolutely secure.


Intel® technologies' features and benefits depend on system configuration and may require enabled hardware, software or service activation. Performance varies depending on system configuration. No product or component can be absolutely secure. Check with your system manufacturer or retailer or learn more at


No product or component can be absolutely secure.

Altering clock frequency or voltage may damage or reduce the useful life of the processor and other system components, and may reduce system stability and performance. Product warranties may not apply if the processor is operated beyond its specifications. Check with the manufacturers of system and components for additional details.


Intel and the Intel logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or other countries.

*Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others. (when using third-party trademarks and names).


Intel® technologies may require enabled hardware, software or service activation.


Your costs and results may vary.

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Intel® Processor Names and Numbers

Intel® Core™ Processors

To learn more about Intel® Core™ processor numbers, refer to the appropriate generation below.

10th and 11th Generation Intel® Core™ Processor Family

10th and 11th Generation Intel® Core™ processors designed for laptops and 2 in 1s that are generally thin, light, and for everyday usage have two different naming conventions. To understand which type of processor you’re looking at, simply check for the presence of a “G” in the processor number, just before the final digit. Processor numbers with a “G” are optimized for graphics-based usages and include newer graphics technology.

SKUs with a “G” consist of a two-digit generation indicator (“10” or "11"), then a two-digit SKU, followed by a two-character alphanumeric suffix. The suffix indicates the level of graphics offered by the processor; higher numbers (e.g., G7) indicate improved graphics performance relative to lower numbers (e.g., G1).

10th and 11th Generation Intel® Core™ processors without a “G” also start with “10” as a generation indicator and are followed by a three-digit SKU (five total digits in a row). These digits are followed by a single-letter suffix (U, Y, H, K, etc.) that is similar to previous-generation naming conventions and indicates the level of power consumption and type of device they are designed for.

6th to 9th Generation Intel® Core™ Processor Families

Processor numbers for 6th through 9th Generation Intel® Core™ processors start with a single digit indicating the generation number, followed by a three-digit SKU number.

When applicable, an alpha suffix appears at the end of the processor name, representing the processor line. Intel® processor letters following the SKU may contain an additional one or two letters.


CPU Benchmarks and Hierarchy Intel and AMD Processors Ranked

Our CPU benchmarks performance hierarchy ranks all the current and previous generation Intel and AMD processors, including all of the Best CPUs for Gaming, based on performance. Your CPU has a huge effect on overall performance and, to many, is a computer's most important component. CPU benchmarks help us sort out the differences, but when it comes time to buy a CPU for your desktop, you'll find a dizzying collection of model numbers and specs from both Intel and AMD

We've listed the best CPUs for gaming and best processors for workstations in other articles, but if you want to know how each chip stacks up against all the others and how we come to our decisions, this CPU benchmarks hierarchy is for you. If you're looking for a broader view of the current state of the market, head to our AMD vs Intel feature. We also have an article covering CPU performance in Cyberpunk

AMD's Ryzen G 'Cezanne' APUs have arrived, with the Ryzen 7 G and Ryzen 5 G leading the charge. These chips' strong integrated graphics could be a godsend to gamers looking to sit out the GPU shortage, provided they keep their expectations in check.

We also recently reviewed the Ryzen 3 G that isn't available at retail yet, so you can see how it stacks up in our rankings below. We're not sure if AMD will bring this chip to market in the near future, but there is a chance that we could see it on store shelves. We've included the Cezanne chips in both our standard rankings below and also added a new integrated graphics CPU benchmark ranking so you can see how they stack up relative to prior-gen AMD chips and Intel's lineup.

These new chips build on AMD's resounding success with its Zen 3 architecture. We have the full Ryzen lineup in our CPU benchmarks, including the Ryzen 5 X, Ryzen 9 X, X, and Ryzen 7 X, along with all of the previous-gen Zen 3, Zen+, and Zen 1 versions of those chips.

Intel's 11th-generation Rocket Lake-S CPUs are in the other corner, led by the Intel Core iK and Core iK that have improved Intel's competitive standing. As a result of its solid performance and AMD's continued chip shortages, the Core iK is now our Best CPU for gaming. The Core i is the hidden star of Intel's new lineup. AMD has no response for this chip on the lower-end of its price range – in fact, the Core i grapples with the two-year-old Ryzen 5  

If you want to see Intel and AMD's most important models square off head-to-head in our CPU benchmarks, check out these articles:

At Computex , AMD announced that it will bring new Zen 3-powered Ryzen models to market that will come armed with its new 3D V-Cache tech. This technique stacks L3 cache on top of the compute die, enabling up to a mind-boggling MB of cache per chip to provide up to 15% more performance in gaming. The first chips enter production at the end of the year.

We'll explain how we ranked the processors under each table. The game testing ranking is first. We also include an application performance metric in our application score tables, which we've split up into single- and multi-threaded measurements (below gaming table). The most powerful chip gets a , and all others are scored relative to it. If you want our recommendations for specific price bands, please check out our Best CPUs for Gaming.

We are on the cusp of Windows 11, which presents new challenges for testing. That means we'll be revisiting all of the Windows compatible processors in our CPU benchmark hierarchy with updated testing to reflect the latest performance trends. 

CPU Benchmarks and Performance Hierarchy Charts

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We rank all the Intel and AMD processors in the tables below, but we don't include overclocked performance or 99th percentile fps rankings. You can see all of those numbers in the charts above. We've also added separate charts for integrated graphics testing.

Bear in mind that the charts above use the raw performance numbers, whereas our CPU benchmarks rankings below use a score to rank the chips relative to one another. Admittedly, the charts are getting a bit packed as we expand our rankings pool, but we'll work to separate this out into different classes as our CPU benchmarks database grows.

Intel and AMD Gaming CPU Benchmarks Hierarchy 

p Gaming Scorep Gaming ScoreCPUCores/ThreadsBase/Boost GHzTDPBuy
AMD Ryzen 9 X%%Zen 312 / 24 / WRyzen 9 X
AMD Ryzen 9 X%%Zen 316 / 32 / WRyzen 9 X
Intel Core iK%%Rocket Lake8 / 16 / WCore iK
AMD Ryzen 7 X%%Zen 38 / 16 / WRyzen 7 X
AMD Ryzen 5 X%%Zen 36 / 12 / 65WRyzen 5 X
Intel Core iK%%Rocket Lake8 / 16 / WCore iK
Intel Core iK%%Comet Lake10 / 20 / WCore iK
Intel Core iK%%Comet Lake10 / 20 / 95WCore iK
Intel Core iK%%Rocket Lake6 / 12 / WCore iK
Intel Core i%%Rocket Lake6 / 12 / 65WCore i
Intel Core iK%%Comet Lake8 / 16 / WCore iK
Intel Core iXE%%Cascade Lake-X18 / 36 / WCore iXE
Intel WX%%Skylake28 / 56 / W@Newegg
Ryzen 7 G*%%Zen 38 / 16 / 65WN/A
Intel Core iKS%%Coffee Lake-R8 / 16 / W Intel Core iKS
Intel Core i/F~~Comet Lake8 / 16 / 65WIntel Core i
Intel Core iK%%Comet Lake6 / 12 / W@Newegg
Intel Core iK%%%Coffee Lake-R8 / 8 / 95W@Amazon
Intel Core iK / F%%Coffee Lake-R8 / 16 / 95WCore iK
AMD Ryzen 9 X%%Zen 216 / 32 / W@Amazon
AMD Threadripper X%%Zen 232 / 64 / WAMD Threadripper X
AMD Threadripper X%%Zen 224 / 48 / WAMD Ryzen Threadripper X
AMD Ryzen 7 XT%%Zen 28 / 16 / W@Newegg
AMD Threadripper X%%Zen 264 / / WAMD Ryzen Threadripper X
AMD Ryzen 9 XT%%Zen 212 / 24 / WRyzen 9 XT
AMD Ryzen 9 X~~Zen 212 / 24 / W@Amazon
Intel Core iXE ~~Skylake18 / 36 / W@B&HPhoto
AMD Ryzen 9 ~~Zen 212 / 24 / WOEM only
AMD Ryzen 7 X%%Zen 28 / 16 / 65W@Newegg
AMD Ryzen 5 G%%Zen 36 / 12 / 65W
AMD Ryzen 7 X%%Zen 28 / 16 / W@Amazon
AMD Ryzen 5 XT%%Zen 26 / 12 / 95W@Newegg
AMD Ryzen 5 %%Zen 26 / 12 / 65W@Amazon
Intel Core iX~~Skylake16 / 32 / W@Newegg
Intel Core iK%%Coffee Lake6 / 12 / 95W@Amazon
AMD Ryzen 5 X%%Zen 26 / 12 / 95W@Newegg
AMD Ryzen 3 X%%Zen 24 / 8 / 65W@Newegg
Intel Core iK%%Coffee Lake-R6 / 6 / 95W@Newegg
AMD Threadripper Pro WX%%Zen 264 / / WThreadripper Pro WX
Intel Core iK%%Coffee Lake6 / 6 / 95W@Newegg
Intel Core i%%Coffee Lake6 / 12 / 65WCore i
Intel Core iK%%Coffee Lake6 / 12 / 95WCore iK
Intel Core i / iF%%Coffee Lake6 / 6 / 65W@Amazon
Intel Core i%%Coffee Lake6 / 6 / 65W@Newegg
AMD Ryzen 5 X~~Zen 26 / 6 / 65W@Newegg
Core i%%Comet Lake4 / 8 / 65WCore i
AMD Ryzen 7 X%%Zen+8 / 16 / W@Newegg
Ryzen 7 G*%%Zen 28 / 16 / 65WRyzen 7 G
AMD Ryzen 3 %%Zen 24 / 8 / 65W@Newegg
Intel Core iXE~~Skylake18 / 36 / W@Amazon
Intel Core iX~~Skylake10 / 20 / W@Newegg
AMD Ryzen 5 X%%Zen+6 / 12 / 95W@Amazon
Intel Core iK~~Kaby Lake4 / 8 / 91W@Amazon
AMD Threadripper WX (GM)~~Zen+32 / 64 / W@Newegg
Intel Core iX~~Skylake8 / 16 / W@Amazon
AMD Threadripper X (GM)~~Zen +16 / 32 / W@Amazon
AMD Threadripper WX~~Zen +24 / 48 / W@Amazon
AMD Ryzen 7 ~~Zen+8 / 16 / 65W@Amazon
AMD Threadripper X (GM)~~Zen8 / 16 / W@Amazon
Intel Core i~~Kaby Lake4 / 8 / 65W@Amazon
AMD Ryzen 5 ~~Zen+6 / 12 / 65W@Newegg
Intel Core iX~~Skylake6 / 12 / W@Newegg
Intel Core iK~~Kaby Lake4 / 4 / 91W@Amazon
AMD Threadripper X (GM)~~Zen16 / 32 / W@Newegg
AMD Threadripper X (GM)~~Zen12 / 24 / W@Amazon
Intel Core iKF%%Coffee Lake4 / 4 / 91W@Amazon
AMD Ryzen 3 G%%Zen 34 / 8 / 65WOEM Only
AMD Ryzen 7 X%%Zen8 / 16 / 95W@Newegg
Intel Core i~~Kaby Lake4 / 4 / 65W@Amazon
Intel Core i~~Coffee Lake4 / 4 / -65W@Amazon
Intel Core i~~Kaby Lake4 / 4 / 65W@Amazon
Intel Core i~~Kaby Lake4 / 4 / 65W@Amazon
AMD Ryzen 7 X~~Zen8 / 16 / 95W@Amazon
AMD Ryzen 5 AF~~Zen +6 / 12 / 65W@Amazon
AMD Ryzen 7 ~~Zen8 / 16 / 65W@Newegg
Intel Core iK%%Coffee Lake4 / 4 / -91WCore i3 iK
Intel Core i%%Coffee Lake-R4 / 4 / 65W@Newegg
AMD Ryzen 5 X%%Zen6 / 12 / 95W@Amazon
AMD Ryzen 5 ~~Zen6 / 12 / 65W@Amazon
AMD Ryzen 5 G%%Zen +4 / 8 / 65W@Amazon
Intel Core i~~Kaby Lake4 / 4 / 65W@Newegg
Intel Core i%%Coffee Lake4 / 4 / -65W@Amazon
AMD Ryzen 3 G%%Zen +4 / 4 / 65W@Amazon
AMD Ryzen 5 G%%Zen+4 / 8 / 65W@Newegg
AMD Ryzen 5 X~~Zen4 / 8 / 65W@Newegg
Intel Core iK~~Kaby Lake2 / 4 / -60W@Newegg
Intel Pentium G~~Coffee Lake2 / 4 / -54W@Newegg
AMD Ryzen 3 G%%Zen+4 / 4 / 65W@Amazon
AMD Ryzen 3 X~~Zen4 / 4 / 65W@Amazon
Intel Core i~~Kaby Lake2 / 4 / -51W@BH&Photo
Intel Pentium G%%Coffee Lake2 / 4 / -54W@Intel
Intel Pentium G%%Coffee Lake2 / 4 / -54W@Amazon
Intel Core i~~Kaby Lake2 / 4 / -51W@Amazon
AMD Ryzen 5 ~~Zen4 / 8 / 65W@Amazon
Intel Pentium G~~Kaby Lake2 / 4 / -54W@Newegg
Intel Pentium G~~Kaby Lake2 / 4 / -54W@Newegg
AMD Athlon G~~Zen+2 / 4 / -35W@Amazon
AMD Athlon GE~~Zen2 / 4 / -35W@Amazon
AMD Athlon GE~~Zen2 / 4 / -35W@Amazon
AMD Athlon GE~~Zen2 / 4 / -35W@Amazon
AMD Ryzen 3 ~~Zen4 / 4 / 65W@Amazon
Zhaoxin KaiXian KX-UA~~LuJiaZui 8 / 8 / -70WN/A
AMD A~~Bristol Ridge4 / 4 / 65W@Newegg

*indicates an APU tested with a discrete GPU. Note: These types of processors are geared for performance with integrated graphics - please see individual reviews or our section below for those performance rankings.

We've ranked all the consumer Intel 11th, 10th, 9th, 8th, and 7th Gen processors, along with AMD's Ryzen and Threadripper chips from all four generations. We have two rankings for each chip, based on p and p CPU gaming benchmarks, but the chart is aligned sequentially based on the p game results. The p listings aren't listed in sequential order due to the unfortunate limitations with our tables. Pay attention to the p rankings: Some faster chips at p CPU benchmarks may be listed below slower chips simply because of the p results.

We measured performance for the p CPU gaming benchmarks with a geometric mean of Borderlands 3, Hitman 2, Far Cry 5, Project CARS 3, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider. We measured performance for the p CPU gaming benchmarks with a geometric mean of Borderlands 3, Project CARS 3, Far Cry 5, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

As you can see, AMD's Ryzen 9 X and Ryzen 9 X take the slimmest of leads over Intel's flagship Core iK in p, but the Core iK takes the lead at p, meaning these chips are very closely matched. Also, check out those CPU benchmarks performance deltas between the previous-gen Ryzen processors and the series, and between the 10th-Gen Comet Lake and 11th-Gen Rocket Lake. That's impressive and comes as the byproduct of a heated competition for gaming supremacy. Enthusiasts are surely benefiting.

Most folks overlook the incredible power efficiency of the Zen 3 processors, but that equates to a faster, cooler, and quieter system that doesn't require super-expensive cooling solutions. Take note of the TDP divide in our charts - it's surprising. Check out our review for more in-depth power testing.     

Intel and AMD Integrated Graphics Gaming CPU Benchmarks Hierarchy 

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Ryzen 7 G BE %%
Ryzen 5 G%96%
Ryzen 7 G%%
Ryzen 3 G%%
Ryzen 5 G%%
Ryzen 3 G%%
Intel UHD Graphics 32 EU (K, K)%~%
Intel UHD Graphics 24 EU (i)%%
Intel UHD Graphics 24 EU (K)%%

Here's our list of gaming performance with integrated graphics on several of the leading APUs available. We've split this into two different price ranges, so be sure to flip through all of the performance charts. For a bit of commentary and analysis of these results, head to our recent Ryzen 7 G, Ryzen 5 G and Ryzen 3 G reviews. 

Intel and AMD Single-Threaded CPU Benchmarks Performance Hierarchy

Single-Threaded App ScoreArchitectureCores/ThreadsBase/Boost GHzTDP
Intel Core iK (ABT off/on)% / %Rocket Lake8 / 16 / W
AMD Ryzen 9 X%Zen 316 / 32 / W
Core iK%Rocket Lake8 / 16 / 95W
AMD Ryzen 9 X%Zen 312 / 24 / W
AMD Ryzen 7 X%Zen 38 / 16 / W
Intel Core iK%Rocket Lake8 / 16 / W
AMD Ryzen 5 X%Zen 36 / 12 / 65W
Ryzen 7 G%Zen 38 / 16 / 65W
Intel Core iK%Comet Lake10 / 20 / W
AMD Ryzen 5 G%Zen 36 / 12 / 65W
Intel Core iK%Comet Lake10 / 20 / 95W
Intel Core iKS%Coffee Lake-R8 / 16 / W
Intel Core i%Rocket Lake6 / 12 / 65W
Intel Core iK%Coffee Lake-R8 / 16 / 95W
Intel Core iK%Comet Lake8 / 16 / W
AMD Ryzen 3 G%Zen 34 / 8 / 65W
Intel Core iK%Coffee Lake-R8 / 8 / 95W
AMD Ryzen 7 XT%Zen 28 / 16 / W
AMD Ryzen 5 XT%Zen 26 / 12 / 95W
AMD Ryzen 9 XT%Zen 212 / 24 / W
Intel Core iK%Comet Lake6 / 12 / 4.W
AMD Ryzen 7 X%Zen 28 / 16 / W
AMD Ryzen 9 X%Zen 216 / 32 / W
AMD Ryzen 9 X%Zen 212 / 24 / W
Intel Core i/F~Comet Lake8 / 16 / 65W
Ryzen 7 G%Zen 38 /16 / 65W
AMD Threadripper X%Zen 232 / 64 / W
AMD Threadripper X%Zen 224 / 48 / W
Intel Core iK%Coffee Lake6 / 12 / 95W
AMD Ryzen 7 X%Zen 28 / 16 / 65W
Intel Core iK%Coffee Lake6 / 12 / 95W
AMD Ryzen 5 X%Zen 26 / 12 / 95W
Intel Core iKF%Coffee Lake4 / 4 / 91W
AMD Ryzen 3 X%Zen 24 / 8 / 65W
Intel Core iK%Coffee Lake-R6 / 6 / 95W
Intel Core iXE%Cascade Lake-X18 / 36 / W
AMD Threadripper X%Zen 264 / / W
Intel Core i%Coffee Lake6 / 12 / 65W
AMD Threadripper Pro WX%Zen 264 / / W
AMD Ryzen 5 %Zen 26 / 12 / 65W
Intel Core iXE~Skylake18 / 36 / W
Intel Core iK~Kaby Lake4 / 8 / 91W
Intel Core iK%Coffee Lake6 / 6 / 95W
Core i%Coffee Lake4 / 8 / 65W
AMD Ryzen 7 X%Zen+8 / 16 / W
Intel Core i%Coffee Lake-R4 / 4 / 65W
AMD Ryzen 3 %Zen 24 / 8 / 65W
Intel Core i / F%Coffee Lake6 / 6 / 65W
Intel Xeon WX%Skylake28 / 56 / W
AMD Ryzen 5 X%Zen+6 / 12 / 95W
Intel Core iK / KF%Coffee Lake4 / 4 / -91W
Intel Core i%Coffee Lake6 / 6 / 65W
AMD Ryzen 5 X~Zen 26 / 6 / 65W
AMD Ryzen 9 ~Zen 212 / 24 / 65W
Intel Core i~Kaby Lake2 / 4 / -51W
AMD Threadripper X~Zen +16 / 32 / W
AMD Threadripper WX~Zen+32 / 64 / W
AMD Threadripper WX~Zen +24 / 48 / W
AMD Ryzen 5 G%Zen +4 / 8 / 65W
AMD Ryzen 5 X%Zen6 / 12 / 95W
AMD Ryzen 7 X%Zen8 / 16 / 95W
Intel Core i~Kaby Lake4 / 4 / 65W
AMD Ryzen 3 G%Zen +4 / 4 / 65W
AMD Ryzen 5 G%Zen+4 / 8 / 65W
AMD Ryzen 3 X~Zen4 / 4 / 65W
AMD Ryzen 5 AF~Zen6 / 12 / 65W
Intel Pentium G%Coffee Lake2 / 4 / -54W
Intel Core i%Coffee Lake4 / 4 / -65W
AMD Ryzen 3 G%Zen4 / 4 / 65W
Intel Pentium G%Coffee Lake2 / 4 / -54W
AMD Athlon G~Zen+2 / 4 / -35W
AMD Athlon GE~Zen2 / 4 / -35W
Intel Pentium G~Kaby Lake2 / 4 / -54W
AMD Athlon GE~Zen2 / 4 / -35W
AMD A~Bristol Ridge4 / 4 / 65W
Zhaoxin KaiXian KX-UA~LuJiaZui 8 / 8 / -70W

We calculate the above single-threaded CPU benchmarks rankings based on a geometric mean of Cinebench, POV-Ray, and LAME. The latter consists of two tests: One short duration test and one extended-duration test to measure performance once Intel's boost duration limits have been exceeded.

Single-threaded performance is often tied directly to the responsiveness and snappiness of your PC in any number of daily applications, like loading an operating system or surfing the web. This metric largely depends upon a mixture of instruction per cycle (IPC) throughput (the number of operations the chip can execute in one clock cycle) and frequency, which is the speed at which the transistors switch between on and off states.

However, a whole host of other considerations, such as cache, architecture, and interconnects (like rings, meshes, and infinity fabric) impact this measure of per-core performance, so these results do not align perfectly based upon clock frequency. Instead, performance varies with each application and how well it is tuned for the respective architectures.

With all that said, the CPU benchmarks delta between Intel's flagship Core iK and the Ryzen processors was incredible - at worst, Ryzen was 10% faster in single-threaded performance. The paradigm has changed, though, as the Core iK takes a convincing 5% lead over AMD's Ryzen 9 X to take the lead in our single-threaded hierarchy. Rocket Lake's Cypress Cove architecture has proven to be beastly in single-threaded work, but we don't see those same gains translate over to gaming performance.

Intel and AMD Multi-Threaded CPU Benchmarks Performance

Multi-Threaded App ScoreArchitectureCores/ThreadsBase/Boost GHzTDP
AMD Threadripper X%Zen 264 / / W
AMD Threadripper Pro WX%Zen 264 / / W
AMD Threadripper X%Zen 232 / 64 / W
AMD Threadripper X%Zen 224 / 48 / W
Intel Xeon WX%Skylake28 / 56 / W
AMD Ryzen 9 X%Zen 316 / 32 / W
AMD Ryzen 9 X%Zen 216 / 32 / W
AMD Ryzen 9 X%Zen 312 / 24 / W
Intel Core iXE%Cascade Lake-X18 / 36 / W
Intel Core iXE~Skylake18 / 36 / W
AMD Threadripper WX~Zen+32 / 64 / W
AMD Ryzen 9 X%Zen 212 / 24 / W
AMD Ryzen 9 XT%Zen 212 / 24 / W
Intel Core iK (ABT off/on)% / %Rocket Lake8 / 16 / W
AMD Threadripper WX~Zen +24 / 48 / W
Core iK%Rocket Lake8 / 16 / W
Intel Core iK%Comet Lake10 / 20 / W
AMD Ryzen 7 X%Zen 38 / 16 / W
Intel Core iK%Comet Lake10 / 20 / 95W
AMD Threadripper X~Zen +16 / 32 / W
AMD Ryzen 9 ~Zen 212 / 24 / 65W
Ryzen 7 G%Zen 38 / 16 / 65W
Intel Core iKS%Coffee Lake-R8 / 16 / W
AMD Ryzen 7 XT%Zen 28 / 16 / W
AMD Ryzen 7 X%Zen 28 / 16 / W
Intel Core iK%Comet Lake8 / 16 / W
Intel Core iK%Coffee Lake-R8 / 16 / 95W
AMD Ryzen 7 X%Zen 28 / 16 / 65W
Intel Core iK%Rocket Lake8 / 16 / W
AMD Ryzen 5 X%Zen 36 / 12 / 65W
AMD Ryzen 7 G%Zen 38 / 16 / 65W
Intel Core i/F~Comet Lake8 / 16 / 65W
Intel Core i%Rocket Lake6 / 12 / 65W
AMD Ryzen 5 G%Zen 36 / 12 / 65W
Intel Core iK%Coffee Lake-R8 / 8 / 95W
AMD Ryzen 5 XT%Zen 26 / 12 / 95W
AMD Ryzen 5 X%Zen 26 / 12 / 95W
AMD Ryzen 5 %Zen 26 / 12 / 65W
AMD Ryzen 7 X%Zen+8 / 16 / W
Intel Core iK%Comet Lake6 / 12 / W
Intel Core iK%Coffee Lake6 / 12 / 95W
Core i%Coffee Lake6 / 12 / 65W
Core iK%Coffee Lake6 / 12 / 95W
AMD Ryzen 7 X%Zen8 / 16 / 95W
AMD Ryzen 5 X%Zen+6 / 12 / 95W
Intel Core iK%Coffee Lake-R6 / 6 / 95W
AMD Ryzen 5 X~Zen 26 / 6 / 65W
Intel Core iK~Kaby Lake4 / 8 / 91W
Intel Core iK%Coffee Lake6 / 6 / 95W
AMD Ryzen 3 G%Zen 34 / 8 / 65W
AMD Ryzen 3 X%Zen 24 / 8 / 65W
AMD Ryzen 5 AF~Zen6 / 12 / 65W

Processors core all intel

Intel Core

Mid-range to high-end central processing units

This article is about the Intel processor brand name. For the Intel microarchitecture that is the basis of the Intel Core 2 processor family, see Intel Core (microarchitecture).

Intel Core are streamlined midrange consumer, workstation and enthusiast computers central processing units (CPU) marketed by Intel Corporation. These processors displaced the existing mid- to high-end Pentium processors at the time of their introduction, moving the Pentium to the entry level. Identical or more capable versions of Core processors are also sold as Xeon processors for the server and workstation markets.

The lineup of Core processors includes the Intel Core i3, Intel Core i5, Intel Core i7, and Intel Core i9, along with the X-series of Intel Core CPUs.[2][3]


Although Intel Core is a brand that promises no internal consistency or continuity, the processors within this family have been, for the most part, broadly similar.

The first products receiving this designation were the Core Solo and Core Duo Yonah processors for mobile from the Pentium M design tree, fabricated at 65&#;nm and brought to market in January These are substantially different in design than the rest of the Intel Core product group, having derived from the Pentium Pro lineage that predated Pentium 4.

The first Intel Core desktop processor—and typical family member—came from the Conroe iteration, a 65&#;nm dual-core design fabricated brought to market in July , based on the Intel Core microarchitecture with substantial enhancements in micro-architectural efficiency and performance, outperforming Pentium 4 across the board (or near to it), while operating at drastically lower clock rates. Maintaining high instructions per cycle (IPC) on a deeply pipelined and resourced out-of-order execution engine has remained a constant fixture of the Intel Core product group ever since.

The new substantial bump in microarchitecture came with the introduction of the 45&#;nm Bloomfield desktop processor in November on the Nehalem architecture, whose main advantage came from redesigned I/O and memory systems featuring the new Intel QuickPath Interconnect and an integrated memory controller supporting up to three channels of DDR3 memory.

Subsequent performance improvements have tended toward making additions rather than profound changes, such as adding the Advanced Vector Extensions instruction set extensions to Sandy Bridge, first released on 32&#;nm in January Time has also brought improved support for virtualization and a trend toward higher levels of system integration and management functionality (and along with that, increased performance) through the ongoing evolution of facilities such as Intel Active Management Technology.

Since , the Core brand has been based on four product lines, consisting of the entry level i3, the mainstream i5, the high-end i7, and the "enthusiast" i9.



In early , news reports indicated that security flaws, referred to as "Meltdown" and "Spectre", were found "in virtually all Intel processors [made in the past two decades] that will require fixes within Windows, macOS and Linux". The flaw also affected cloud servers. At the time, Intel was not commenting on this issue.[17][18] According to a New York Times report, "There is no easy fix for Spectre as for Meltdown, the software patch needed to fix the issue could slow down computers by as much as 30 percent".[19]

In mid , the majority of Intel Core processors were found to possess a defect (the Foreshadow vulnerability), which undermines the Software Guard Extensions (SGX) feature of the processor.[20][21][22] In March , computer security experts reported another Intel chip security flaw, besides the Meltdown and Spectre flaws, with the systematic name CVE (or, "Intel CSME Bug"). This newly found flaw is not fixable with a firmware update, and affects nearly "all Intel chips released in the past five years".[23][24][25]


Clock speeds range from &#;GHz to &#;GHz. (Intel Core iK) (or &#;GHz via Intel Turbo Boost Technology)[27]



Main article: Enhanced Pentium M (microarchitecture)

For details about the processor core, see Yonah (microprocessor).

The original Core brand refers to Intel's bit mobile dual-corex86CPUs, which derived from the Pentium M branded processors. The processor family used an enhanced version of the Intel P6 microarchitecture. It emerged in parallel with the NetBurst microarchitecture (Intel P68) of the Pentium 4 brand, and was a precursor of the bit Core microarchitecture of Core 2 branded CPUs. The Core brand had two branches: the Duo (dual-core) and Solo (Duo with one disabled core, which replaced the Pentium M brand of single-core mobile processor).

Intel launched the Core brand on January 6, with the release of the bitYonahCPU&#;&#; Intel's first dual-core mobile (low-power) processor. Its dual-core layout closely resembled two interconnected Pentium M branded CPUs packaged as a single die (piece) silicon chip (IC). Hence, the bit microarchitecture of Core branded CPUs&#;&#; contrary to its name&#;&#; had more in common with Pentium M branded CPUs than with the subsequent bit Core microarchitecture of Core 2 branded CPUs. Despite a major rebranding effort by Intel starting January , some companies continued to market computers with the Yonah core marked as Pentium M.

The Core series is also the first Intel processor used as the main CPU in an Apple Macintosh computer. The Core Duo was the CPU for the first generation MacBook Pro, while the Core Solo appeared in Apple's Mac Mini line. Core Duo signified the beginning of Apple's shift to Intel processors across the entire Mac line.

In , Intel began branding the Yonah core CPUs intended for mainstream mobile computers as Pentium Dual-Core, not to be confused with the desktop bit Core microarchitecture CPUs also branded as Pentium Dual-Core.

September and January 4, , marked the discontinuation of a number of Core branded CPUs including several Core Solo, Core Duo, Celeron and one Core 2 Quad chip.[28][29]

Core Solo[edit]

Intel Core Solo[30] (product code ) uses the same two-core die as the Core Duo, but features only one active core. Depending on demand, Intel may also simply disable one of the cores to sell the chip at the Core Solo price—this requires less effort than launching and maintaining a separate line of CPUs that physically only have one core. Intel had used the same strategy previously with the CPU in which early SX CPUs were in fact manufactured as DX CPUs but with the FPU disabled.

Core Duo[edit]

Intel Core Duo[31] (product code ) consists of two cores on one die, a 2&#;MB L2 cache shared by both cores, and an arbiter bus that controls both L2 cache and FSB (front-side bus) access.

Core 2[edit]

Main article: Core (microarchitecture)

The successor to Core is the mobile version of the Intel Core 2 line of processors using cores based upon the Intel Core microarchitecture,[32] released on July 27, The release of the mobile version of Intel Core 2 marks the reunification of Intel's desktop and mobile product lines as Core 2 processors were released for desktops and notebooks, unlike the first Intel Core CPUs that were targeted only for notebooks (although some small form factor and all-in-one desktops, like the iMac and the Mac Mini, also used Core processors).

Unlike the Intel Core, Intel Core 2 is a bit processor, supporting Intel Another difference between the original Core Duo and the new Core 2 Duo is an increase in the amount of Level 2 cache. The new Core 2 Duo has tripled the amount of on-board cache to 6&#;MB. Core 2 also introduced a quad-core performance variant to the single- and dual-core chips, branded Core 2 Quad, as well as an enthusiast variant, Core 2 Extreme. All three chips are manufactured at a 65&#;nm lithography, and in , a 45&#;nm lithography and support Front Side Bus speeds ranging from &#;MHz to &#;MHz. In addition, the 45&#;nm die shrink of the Core microarchitecture adds SSE support to all Core 2 microprocessors manufactured at a 45&#;nm lithography, therefore increasing the calculation rate of the processors.

Core 2 Solo[edit]

The Core 2 Solo,[33] introduced in September , is the successor to the Core Solo and is available only as an ultra-low-power mobile processor with Watt thermal design power. The original U2xxx series "Merom-L" used a special version of the Merom chip with CPUID number (model 22, stepping A1) that only had a single core and was also used in some Celeron processors. The later SU3xxx are part of Intel's CULV range of processors in a smaller µFC-BGA package but contain the same Penryn chip as the dual-core variants, with one of the cores disabled during manufacturing.

Core 2 Duo[edit]

Inside of a Sony VAIO laptop (VGN-CG)

The majority of the desktop and mobile Core 2 processor variants are Core 2 Duo[34][35] with two processor cores on a single Merom, Conroe, Allendale, Penryn, or Wolfdale chip. These come in a wide range of performance and power consumption, starting with the relatively slow ultra-low-power Uxxxx (10&#;W) and low-power Lxxxx (17&#;W) versions, to the more performance oriented Pxxxx (25&#;W) and Txxxx (35&#;W) mobile versions and the Exxxx (65&#;W) desktop models. The mobile Core 2 Duo processors with an 'S' prefix in the name are produced in a smaller µFC-BGA package, which allows building more compact laptops.

Within each line, a higher number usually refers to a better performance, which depends largely on core and front-side bus clock frequency and amount of second level cache, which are model-specific. Core 2 Duo processors typically use the full L2 cache of 2, 3, 4, or 6&#;MB available in the specific stepping of the chip, while versions with the amount of cache reduced during manufacturing are sold for the low-end consumer market as Celeron or Pentium Dual-Core processors. Like those processors, some low-end Core 2 Duo models disable features such as Intel Virtualization Technology.

Core 2 Quad[edit]

Core 2 Quad[36][37] processors are multi-chip modules consisting of two dies similar to those used in Core 2 Duo, forming a quad-core processor. This allows twice the performance of a dual-core processors at the same clock frequency in ideal conditions.

Initially, all Core 2 Quad models were versions of Core 2 Duo desktop processors, Kentsfield derived from Conroe and Yorkfield from Wolfdale, but later Penryn-QC was added as a high-end version of the mobile dual-core Penryn.

The Xeon 32xx and 33xx processors are mostly identical versions of the desktop Core 2 Quad processors and can be used interchangeably.

Core 2 Extreme[edit]

Core 2 Extreme processors[38][39] are enthusiast versions of Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad processors, usually with a higher clock frequency and an unlocked clock multiplier, which makes them especially attractive for overclocking. This is similar to earlier Pentium processors labeled as Extreme Edition. Core 2 Extreme processors were released at a much higher price than their regular version, often $ or more.

1st generation[edit]

Nehalem microarchitecture[edit]

Main article: Nehalem (microarchitecture)

With the release of the Nehalem microarchitecture in November ,[40] Intel introduced a new naming scheme for its Core processors. There are three variants, Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7, but the names no longer correspond to specific technical features like the number of cores. Instead, the brand is now divided from low-level (i3), through mid-range (i5) to high-end performance (i7),[41] which correspond to three, four and five stars in Intel's Intel Processor Rating[42] following on from the entry-level Celeron (one star) and Pentium (two stars) processors.[43] Common features of all Nehalem based processors include an integrated DDR3 memory controller as well as QuickPath Interconnect or PCI Express and Direct Media Interface on the processor replacing the aging quad-pumped Front Side Bus used in all earlier Core processors. All these processors have &#;KB L2 cache per core, plus up to 12&#;MB shared L3 cache. Because of the new I/O interconnect, chipsets and mainboards from previous generations can no longer be used with Nehalem-based processors.

Core i3[edit]

Intel intended the Core i3 as the new low end of the performance processor line from Intel, following the retirement of the Core 2 brand.[44][45]

The first Core i3 processors were launched on January 7, [46]

The first Nehalem based Core i3 was Clarkdale-based, with an integrated GPU and two cores.[47] The same processor is also available as Core i5 and Pentium, with slightly different configurations.

The Core ixxM processors are based on Arrandale, the mobile version of the Clarkdale desktop processor. They are similar to the Core ixx series but running at lower clock speeds and without Turbo Boost.[48] According to an Intel FAQ they do not support Error Correction Code (ECC) memory.[49] According to motherboard manufacturer Supermicro, if a Core i3 processor is used with a server chipset platform such as Intel //, the CPU supports ECC with UDIMM.[50] When asked, Intel confirmed that, although the Intel 5 series chipset supports non-ECC memory only with the Core i5 or i3 processors, using those processors on a motherboard with series chipsets it supports the ECC function of ECC memory.[51] A limited number of motherboards by other companies also support ECC with Intel Core ix processors; the Asus P8B WS is an example, but it does not support ECC memory under Windows non-server operating systems.[52]

Core i5[edit]

Lynnfield was the first Core i5 processors using the Nehalem microarchitecture, introduced on September 8, as a mainstream variant of the earlier Core i7.[53][54] Lynnfield Core i5 processors have an 8&#;MB L3 cache, a DMI bus running at &#;GT/s and support for dual-channel DDR// memory and have Hyper-threading disabled. The same processors with different sets of features (Hyper-threading and other clock frequencies) enabled are sold as Core ixx and Xeon series processors, which should not be confused with high-end Core ixx and Xeon series processors based on Bloomfield. A new feature called Turbo Boost Technology was introduced which maximizes speed for demanding applications, dynamically accelerating performance to match the workload.

After Nehalem received a 32 nm Westmere die shrink, Arrandale, the dual-core mobile Core i5 processors and its desktop counterpart Clarkdale was introduced in January , together with Core ixx and Core ixx processors based on the same architecture. Arrandale processors have integrated graphics capability. Core ixx does not support for Turbo Boost, L3 cache in Core ixx processors is reduced to 3&#;MB, while the Core ixx uses the full cache[55] , Clarkdale is sold as Core ixx, along with related Core i3 and Pentium processors. It has Hyper-Threading enabled and the full 4&#;MB L3 cache.[56]

According to Intel "Core i5 desktop processors and desktop boards typically do not support ECC memory",[57] but information on limited ECC support in the Core i3 section also applies to Core i5 and i7.[citation needed]

Core i7[edit]

Intel Core i7 as an Intel brand name applies to several families of desktop and laptop bitx processors using the Nehalem, Westmere, Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, Haswell, Broadwell, Skylake, and Kaby Lakemicroarchitectures. The Core i7 brand targets the business and high-end consumer markets for both desktop and laptop computers,[59] and is distinguished from the Core i3 (entry-level consumer), Core i5 (mainstream consumer), and Xeon (server and workstation) brands.

Introduced in late , Bloomfield was the first Core i7 processors based on the Nehalem architecture.[60][61][62][63] The following year, Lynnfield desktop processors and Clarksfield mobile processors brought new quad-core Core i7 models based on the said architecture.[64]

After Nehalem received a 32 nm Westmere die shrink, Arrandale dual-core mobile processors were introduced in January , followed by Core i7's first six-core desktop processor Gulftown in March 16, Both the regular Core i7 and the Extreme Edition are advertised as five stars in the Intel Processor Rating.

The first-generation Core i7 uses two different sockets; LGA designed for high-end desktops and servers, and LGA used in low- and mid-end desktops and servers. In each generation, the highest-performing Core i7 processors use the same socket and QPI-based architecture as the medium-end Xeon processors of that generation, while lower-performing Core i7 processors use the same socket and PCIe/DMI/FDI architecture as the Core i5.

"Core i7" is a successor to the Intel Core 2 brand.[65][66][67][68] Intel representatives stated that they intended the monikerCore i7 to help consumers decide which processor to purchase as Intel releases newer Nehalem-based products in the future.[69]

2nd generation[edit]

Sandy Bridge microarchitecture[edit]

Main article: Sandy Bridge

In early , Intel introduced a new microarchitecture named Sandy Bridge. This is the second generation of the Core processor microarchitecture. It kept all the existing brands from Nehalem, including Core i3/i5/i7, and introduced new model numbers. The initial set of Sandy Bridge processors includes dual- and quad-core variants, all of which use a single 32&#;nm die for both the CPU and integrated GPU cores, unlike the earlier microarchitectures. All Core i3/i5/i7 processors with the Sandy Bridge microarchitecture have a four-digit model number. With the mobile version, the thermal design power can no longer be determined from a one- or two-letter suffix but is encoded into the CPU number. Starting with Sandy Bridge, Intel no longer distinguishes the code names of the processor based on number of cores, socket or intended usage; they all use the same code name as the microarchitecture itself.

Ivy Bridge is the codename for Intel's 22&#;nm die shrink of the Sandy Bridge microarchitecture based on tri-gate ("3D") transistors, introduced in April

Core i3[edit]

Released on January 20, , the Core ixxx line of desktop and mobile processors is a direct replacement of the "Clarkdale" Core ixx and "Arrandale" Core ixxM models, based on the new microarchitecture. While they require new sockets and chipsets, the user-visible features of the Core i3 are largely unchanged, including the lack of support for Turbo Boost and AES-NI. Unlike the Sandy Bridge-based Celeron and Pentium processors, the Core i3 line does support the new Advanced Vector Extensions. This particular processor is the entry-level processor of this new series of Intel processors.

Core i5[edit]

A Core iK. The K suffix indicates an unlocked clock multiplier, which allows for easier overclocking.

In January , Intel released new quad-core Core i5 processors based on the "Sandy Bridge" microarchitecture at CES New dual-core mobile processors and desktop processors arrived in February

The Core ixxx line of desktop processors are mostly quad-core chips, with the exception of the dual-core Core iT, and include integrated graphics, combining the key features of the earlier Core ixx and Core ixx lines. The suffix after the four-digit model number designates unlocked multiplier (K), low-power (S) and ultra-low-power (T).

The desktop CPUs now all have four non-SMT cores (like the i), with the exception of the iT. The DMI bus runs at 5&#;GT/s.

The mobile Core ixxxM processors are all dual-core and hyper-threaded chips like the previous Core ixxM series, and share most of the features with that product line.

Core i7[edit]

The Core i7 brand was the high-end for Intel's desktop and mobile processors, until the announcement of the i9 in Its Sandy Bridge models feature the largest amount of L3 cache and the highest clock frequency. Most of these models are very similar to their smaller Core i5 siblings. The quad-core mobile Core ixxxQM/XM processors follow the previous "Clarksfield" Core i7-xxxQM/XM processors, but now also include integrated graphics.

3rd generation[edit]

Ivy Bridge microarchitecture[edit]

Main article: Ivy Bridge (microarchitecture)

Ivy Bridge is the codename for a "third generation" line of processors based on the 22&#;nm manufacturing process developed by Intel. Mobile versions of the CPU were released on April following with desktop versions on September


This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (April )

Core i3[edit]


This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (April )

The Ivy Bridge-based Core-ixxx line is a minor upgrade to 22&#;nm process technology and better graphics.

Core i5[edit]

Core i7[edit]

4th generation[edit]

Haswell microarchitecture[edit]

Main article: Haswell (microarchitecture)

Haswell is the fourth generation Core processor microarchitecture, and was released in

Core i3[edit]

Core i5[edit]

Core i7[edit]

5th generation[edit]

Broadwell microarchitecture[edit]

Main article: Broadwell (microarchitecture)

Broadwell is the fifth generation Core processor microarchitecture, and was released by Intel on September 6, , and began shipping in late It is the first to use a 14&#;nm chip.[71] Additionally, mobile processors were launched in January [72] and Desktop Core i5 and i7 processors were released in June [73]

Desktop processor (DT-Series)[edit]

Mobile processors (U-Series)[edit]

Processor brandingModel (list)Cores
L3 CacheGPU ModelSocketTDPProcessI/O BusRelease
Core i7 5xx7U 2 (4)4&#;MBIris BGA 28&#;W 14&#;nmDirect Media Interface,
Integrated GPU
5x50UHD 15&#;W
Core i5 5xx7U2 (2)3&#;MBIris 28&#;W
5x50UHD 15&#;W
Core i3 5xx7UIris 28&#;W
5xx5U HD 15&#;W

Mobile Processors (Y-Series)[edit]

Processor branding Model (list) Cores
L3 Cache GPU ModelSocket TDPProcess I/O Bus Release
Core M 5Yxx 2 (2) 4&#;MB HD BGA &#;W 14&#;nm Direct Media Interface,
Integrated GPU

6th generation[edit]

Broadwell microarchitecture[edit]

High-end Desktop Processors (E-Series)[edit]

Skylake microarchitecture[edit]

Main article:

[Hindi/Urdu] i3 Vs i5 Vs i7 Explained in Detail: Everything you want to know
intelth-gen-core-ice-lake-cpuorig.jpgCredit: Intel

Intel's first Core processors made their debut in At this point, children born in the same year are almost old enough to drink. Over a half-dozen generations of Intel Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 CPUs have come and gone since then but most consumers are still asking the same kinds of questions.

Intel Core i3, Core i5 or Core i7? What's the difference? Is it worth it to own a CPU with more cores, a faster clock-speed or advanced features like hyper-threading?

Unless you're looking to embrace AMD’s new Ryzen processors (Looking to learn which CPU is best: Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen? Check out our full feature here), you’re almost certainly going to have to make the choice between Intel's three families of consumer-grade processors. 

In the past, we’re analysed what the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 CPU was for things like Intel's 7th gen. Kaby Lake processors and whether Google’s mesh node Wi-Fi system lives up to the hype. But with the advent of Intel’s new Coffee Lake, Ice Lake and Whiskey Lake CPUs, there’s a whole new generation of PC buyers facing the same familiar decisions.

No matter who you are, you’ll want to know whether an Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 CPU is the right choice for you and this buyer's guide is here to help.

Thinking of building a new PC around Intel’s high-end Core i9 processors? Check out our guide to Which Intel Core CPU is best here

Core i3, Core i5, Core i7 — the difference in a nutshell

If you want to boil things down to something plain and simple, then generally speaking, "most" Core i7 CPUs are better than most Core i5 CPUs, which are in turn better than most Core i3 CPUs. 

Below that, you’ve got fare like the Intel Celeron and Intel Pentium processors. We’re not going to go to deeply into those and how they compare to Intel's Core proecessor, since this article is specifically focused on the difference between Intel’s Core i3, Core i5 and i7 CPUs - but they do merit a mention.  

intel-core-i9-logoorig.jpgCredit: Intel

If you're building your first PC, the main thing you need to keep in mind here is that the 3, 5 and 7 attached to each family of Intel Core processors are simply meant to be indicative of their relative processing power. They’ve got nothing to do with the number of cores in each CPU nor the speed of each. Intel’s Core i7 CPUs don’t have seven cores nor do Core i3 have three cores.

Which family an Intel Core CPU falls into is based on a collection of criteria involving their number of cores, clock speed (in GHz) and cache size, the number of Intel technologies they integrate also plays a role. In other words, you’re much less likely to find things like Turbo Boost and Hyper-Threading in an i3 processor compared to an i5 or i7 processor. 

At the most basic level, these numbers reflect where each class of Intel Core CPU sit relative to one another and are intended to give consumers an idea of the kind of performance they should expect from each. 

Essentially, the idea that Intel are looking to convey with this CPU classification system is that PC builders should expect:

  • An Intel Core i3 to provide adequate performance for basic tasks

  • An Intel Core i5 to provide good performance for most tasks

  • An Intel Core i7 to provide great performance for the most demanding of tasks

Since some older i7 CPUs might not out-perform more recent i5 CPUs, these designations shouldn’t always be taken as gospel but if you’re after a short and easy way to understand which processor is better, the numbers attached to each Intel Core family serve nicely.

Intel’s Core i3, i5 and i7 processors can also be grouped in terms of their target devices. Some are intended for us inside laptops, others are intended for use with desktop PCs. Wattage is the big differentiator here, since CPUs inside mobile devices generally have to make do with less power draw,

In some cases, the difference in specs and performance for the desktop and laptop variants of Intel’s i5 and i7 CPUs can be quite significant. However, to avoid confusion, let's start by exclusively talking about the desktop variants. 

Number of cores

intel-xmmmodemorig.jpgCredit: Intel

While the number of cores inside an Intel Core CPU isn’t everything, the more cores there are, the more tasks (known as threads) can be served at the same time. This means that a PC with a higher core-count is going to be better for tasks where multithreading is important, such as web servers, web browsers and some video games.

While there isn’t a hard and fast rule around it, you’re also more likely to find less cores in a Core i3 than you are a Core i5 or i7. With a few exceptions, such as Intel’s 8th Gen Core i3 “Coffee Lake” CPUs, most Core i3 CPUs only have two cores. 

The reason for this is that i3 processors are designed to hit a lower price-point more than they are push boundaries for performance. They tend to be found inside PCs that target a more budget-conscious market-segment where the need for a device to be affordable eclipses the demand for higher performance. 

As you’d expect, Intel’s Core i5 processors tend to be more powerful than their i3 counterparts. Part of this comes down to faster average clock speeds. Part of this comes down to additional cores. More cores means these CPUs can handle more threads at once and faster clock speeds mean they can complete tasks more efficiently.

In years past, Intel’s Core i5 CPU line-up has generally been built around CPUs with up to four-cores. However, in recent times (like the 9th-Gen Coffee Lake refresh), Intel have upped the ante to six cores for many of their i5 CPUs. This includes stuff like the Intel Core i, Intel Core i and Intel Core i 

Credit: Intel

Lastly,  you’ve got Intel’s Core i7 CPUs. Again, you’re looking at both faster average clock speeds and additional cores. Intel’s Kaby Lake i7 Core CPUs included only four cores but the more modern Coffee Lake family of i7 CPUs feature up to eight cores and standard clock speeds that range go up to Ghz. 

At this point, you may be wondering just how important clock speeds are. The answer: pretty important. However, when it comes to clock speed, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. 

The first is that, in general, a higher clock speed is better. However, due to the thermal issues involved, processors with more cores tend to operate at a lower clock speed.  Often-times, choosing a CPU involves choosing between a CPU capable of delivering faster clock-speeds or choosing one with more cores.

This brings us to the second thing you’ll want to keep in mind: faster might be better but it's not always necessary. Although a faster core might be more efficient than a slower one, it might not necessarily be better for the tasks you want to use your computer to be better at.

Many applications only run single-threads while others are designed to utilize multiple. For cases where the latter applies, such as video rendering and gaming, having more cores is going to offer up an enormous improvement over having faster ones.

Rather than run out and dropping the cash on the CPU with the fastest clock speed you can find, it might be worth thinking about what the clock speed you actually need looks like. To that end, it's worth looking up the recommend system specifications for the game or software you'll be running on your new PC.

For more everyday things like web browsing, an i5 processor with a higher clock speed is probably going to offer more bang for your buck than a beefier i7 might. Still, sometimes it’s more important to have those extra cores than an i5 or i7 CPU includes and often-times the choice between one Intel Core CPU and another will come down to whether you want to have a CPU with more cores or one with better clock speeds.

Are you building a PC that does the things you might do or are you happy to settle for one that can do the things you need it to do?

The other thing you’ll want to factor in here is that there’s an important difference between a CPUs standard clock speed and turbo clock speed. The former is the normal clock speed that an Intel CPU is able to deliver. The latter refers to the fastest speeds it can reach using Intel’s Turbo Boost features.

These sorts of technologies, found exclusively in Intel CPUs, are one of the key things that separate i3, i5 and i7 processors - since the more-affordable i3 CPU (plus some i5 CPUs) often don’t include them. 

Find out more about Intel Turbo Boost, Cache size, Hyper-Threading on the next page.

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List of Intel processors

Wikimedia list article

Intel Haswell Core i CPU, sitting atop its original packaging that contains an OEM fan-cooled heatsink

This generational list of Intel processors attempts to present all of Intel's processors from the pioneering 4-bit () to the present high-end offerings. Concise technical data is given for each product.


11th generation Core[edit]

Desktop (codenamed "Rocket Lake")[edit]

Mobile (codenamed "Tiger Lake")[edit]

Wiki letter w.svg

This section is missing information about Intel 11th Gen mobile processors. Please expand the section to include this information. Further details may exist on the talk page.(August )

10th generation Core[edit]

Desktop (codenamed "Comet Lake")[edit]

Mobile (codenamed "Comet Lake", "Ice Lake", and Amber Lake)[edit]

9th generation Core[edit]

Desktop (codenamed "Coffee Lake Refresh")[edit]

8th generation Core[edit]

Mobile (codenamed "Coffee Lake", "Kaby Lake Refresh", and "Whiskey Lake")[edit]

7th generation Core[edit]

Desktop (codenamed "Kaby Lake" and "Skylake-X")[edit]

Mobile (codenamed "Kaby Lake" and "Apollo Lake")[edit]

All processors[edit]

All processors are listed here in chronological order.

The 4-bit processors[edit]

Intel D (ceramic variant)
Intel P (plastic variant)

Intel [edit]

First microprocessor (single-chip IC processor)

MCS-4 family:

  • – CPU
  • – ROM & 4-bit Port
  • – RAM & 4-bit Port
  • – bit Shift Register
  • – Memory+I/O Interface
  • – Memory+I/O Interface
  • Introduced November 15,
  • – General Purpose Byte I/O Port
  • – Programmable General Purpose I/O Device
  • – Programmable Keyboard Display Device
  • – Standard Memory Interface for MCS-4/40
  • – bit ( × 8) ROM w/ 4-bit I/O Ports
  • – bit ( × 8) Static ROM
  • – bit ( × 8) EPROM
  • – &#;MHz Clock Generator Crystal for /A or /A
  • Introduced

Intel [edit]

  • Introduced in by Intel
  • Clock speed was &#;kHz (same as the microprocessor)
  • 3, transistors
  • Interrupt features were available
  • Programmable memory size: 8&#;KB ( B)
  • bytes of data memory
  • pin DIP

The 8-bit processors[edit]


  • Introduced April 1,
  • Clock rate &#;kHz (–1: &#;kHz)
  • MIPS
  • Bus width: 8 bits (multiplexed address/data due to limited pins)
  • Enhancement load PMOS logic
  • 3, transistors at 10&#;μm
  • Addressable memory 16&#;KB
  • Typical in early 8-bit microcomputers, dumb terminals, general calculators, bottling machines
  • Developed in tandem with
  • Originally intended for use in the Datapoint microcomputer
  • Key volume deployment in Texas Instruments microcomputer in >3, Ford dealerships


  • Introduced April 1,
  • Clock rate 2&#;MHz (very rare B: 3&#;MHz)
  • MIPS[3]
  • Data bus width: 8 bits, address bus: 16 bits
  • Enhancement load NMOS logic
  • 4, transistors at 6&#;μm
  • Assembly language downward compatible with
  • Addressable memory 64&#;KB (64 x B)
  • Up to 10× the performance of the
  • Used in e.g. the Altair , traffic light controller, cruise missile
  • Required six support chips versus 20 for the
Intel P (plastic variant)



They are ICs with CPU, RAM, ROM (or PROM or EPROM), I/O Ports, Timers & Interrupts

Intel [edit]

MCS family:

  • Intel – Single-Component 8-bit Microcontroller, 1KB ROM, 64 Byte RAM, 13 I/O ports
  • Intel – Single-Component 8-bit Microcontroller, 1KB ROM, 64 Byte RAM, 21 I/O ports
  • Intel – Single-Component 8-bit Microcontroller, With On-Chip A/D Converter
  • Intel – Single-Component 8-bit Microcontroller, 64 Byte RAM
  • Intel – Single-Component 8-bit Microcontroller, Byte RAM
  • Intel – Single-Component 8-bit Microcontroller, Byte RAM
  • Intel – Single-Component 8-bit Microcontroller, 1KB ROM, 64 Byte RAM, 27 I/O ports, MIPS @ 11 Mhz
  • Intel – Single-Component 8-bit Microcontroller, 2KB ROM, Byte RAM, 27 I/O ports,
  • Intel – Single-Component 8-bit Microcontroller, 4KB ROM, Byte RAM, 27 I/O ports,
  • Intel – Single-Component 8-bit Microcontroller, 1KB EPROM, 64 Byte RAM, 27 I/O ports,
  • Intel – Single-Component 8-bit Microcontroller, 2KB EPROM, Byte RAM, 27 I/O ports,
  • Intel 87P50 – Single-Component 8-bit Microcontroller, ext. ROM socket(//), Byte RAM, 27 I/O ports

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