Reading Time: 2 minutes
Intel Core i7 was first released in 2008 as the fastest process released for any desktop CPU. This processor took Intel far ahead of its competitor AMD in terms of CPU speed. Core i7 should be the CPU of choice for any speed enthusiast. Intel Core i5 which is the next in line to i7 when it comes to performance is itself a very fast processor. Most of the modern games and powerful softwares which needs more CPU power runs smoothly on i5. So is it worth buying i7 at an extra cost?
What makes Intel Core i7 so powerful?
Core i7 comes with 4 cores. Top of the line i7 processors such as i7-3900 series comes with even 6 cores. Core i5 comes with 4 cores, but it does not support Hyper Threading. This is what makes i7 different from i5. Intel Core i7 supports Hyper Threading allowing 8-12 concurrent threads function at the same time. For most of the applications, this is an unwanted luxury as they don’t use it to its full advantage. However some of the heavy duty graphic and 3-D rendering software can take full advantage of Hyper Threading and produce faster and amazing results.
Another advantage of Core i7 processor is the ability to overclock more using Turbo boost compared to i5 processors. This means, if you have an i5 and i7 processor which runs at the same speed, you will be able to clock the i7 to a higher speed compared to i5.
Intel Core i7 performance in Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge
Intel processors are now in third generation with “Ivy Bridge” architecture. The second generation “Sandy Bridge” processor is also available in the market which is priced less and gives a good performance. But “Ivy Bridge” architecture gives a better CPU performance, improved graphics and long battery life. It’s easy to identify the architecture of a processor. Processors with Sandy Bridge architecture will have model number starting with 2 e.g. Core i7-2600K and Ivy Bridge starts with 3 eg, Core i7-3610QM.
In the tests conducted on i7-2600K, it scored a little better than i5 at a cost of higher power draw and costs more. It is better to go for i5 than buying this i7 model. The other Sandy Bridge model i7-2700K is easily surpassed by i7-3770S as the latter consumes less power and also comes almost at the same price compared to former. Verdict: Ivy Bridge chips are better when it comes to low power consumption and high performance compared to Sandy Bridge. Since Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge processors are almost equally priced now, better to go for Ivy Bridge.
Overall Verdict: Considering the more economical i5 processor giving an impressive performance and comparatively lower price than i7, Intel Core i7 processor is definitely not the choice for everyone. For most users this is going to be an unwanted luxury. However if you are dealing with heavy applications and modern high end games, go for it. You won’t be disappointed.