i3, i5, i7, Quad Core, Dual Core. How to Choose?
The new Intel processors go by brand new names. i3,i5,i7 ..some a single,some a dual or some even a quad core processor . When buying a desktop or laptop you are confronted with all these jargons but very often we end up buying something we absolutely don’t need!
Found this article about what should buy for your usage.
If you’re in the market to buy a PC and you’re looking for the best value for money, you’ve likely asked yourself:
What’s the difference between Dual and Quad Core and what about i3, i5, and i7?
This guide offers a basic explanation of these five types of processors and will help you determine the best for your needs.
Before we go much further, I should make it clear that comparing Quad Core with i7 is not as simple as it sounds as they are not completely comparable. You’ll see why as you read on.
This guide will answer the following questions:
* What is a processor?
* What is a core?
* What is a multi-core processor?
* Why do I need multiple cores?
* How many cores do i3, i5, and i7′s have?
* Do I need a Dual/Quad core or an i3/i5/i7?
What is a Processor?
The Processor or Central Processing Unit (CPU) component of your PC that carries out instructions given to it by your Operating System (Windows.) Think of the processor as a brain that receives instructions and messages (i.e. “HOT HOT HOT Burning!!!”) and sends out instructions to other hardware (i.e. “Arm: lift hand” or “mouth: open; vocal chords: scream”.)
What is a Core?
A standard processor has one core (single-core.) Single core processors only process one instruction at a time (although they do use pipelines internally, which allow several instructions to be processed together; however, they are still run one at a time.)
What is a Multi-Core Processor?
A multi-core processor is composed of two or more independent cores, each capable of processing individual instructions. A dual-core processor contains two cores, a quad-core processor contains four cores, and a hexa-core processor contains six cores.
Why do I Need Multiple Cores?
Multiple cores can be used to run two programs side by side and when an intensive program is running (AV Scan, Video conversion, CD ripping etc.) you can utilize another core to run your browser to check your email etc.
Multiple cores really shine when you’re using a program that can utilize more than one core (called Parallelization) to improve the program’s efficiency. Programs such as graphic software, games etc. can run multiple instructions at the same time and deliver faster, smoother results.
So if you use CPU-intensive software, multiple cores will likely provide a better experience when using your PC. If you use your PC to check emails and watch the occasional video, you really don’t need a multi-core processor.
How many cores do i3, i5, and i7′s have?
* A Dual-core processor has two cores.
* A Quad-core processor has four cores.
* An i3 processor has 2 cores.
* An i5 processor has 2 or 4 cores (depending on the model you have.)
* An i7 processor has 2, 4 or 6 cores (depending on the model you have.)
Do I need a Dual/Quad core or an i3/i5/i7?
The reason you’re reading this guide is to find out which type of processor you need. I want to give a simple answer and, if you have more to add, please let us know in the comments. As with all computer hardware, the type of processor you need depends on your needs, for how long you want your computer to stay current, and your budget.
Here’s a very simple breakdown of what you should look to buy depending on your computing needs. All suggestions assume you are buying a pre-built PC (so you don’t have to worry about motherboard and RAM specs and so you don’t have to worry about upgrade compatibility.)
* Browse the internet, check email, and play the occasional flash game (like Farmville): Get a single core netbook or desktop (and don’t spend more than $350 USD.)
* Do your word processing, spreadsheets etc. on your PC, listen to music often, and watch movies, get a dual core or i3.
* Play the occasional game and are happy with lower resolution and lower quality graphics (my suggestion assumes the graphics processor on the pre-built PC will be well-matched for the processor suggestions), watch HD movies etc., get a dual core or i5.
* If you do graphic publishing, music creation, programming (and compilation), watch HD movies, and like to play visually appealing games, get a Quad core, i5, or i7.
* If you like to have the very best hardware and play the most graphically intense games, get an i7 Extreme.
Here’s a tool that you can use to help choose whats best for you