If you are in the market for a new desktop or laptop, you are probably going to come across tonnes of confusing terms like m3, i3, i5 and i7 processors, amongst other technical jargons like SSD, HDD and GTX graphic cards. However, in this first installment, we are solely going to talk about i-Class processors, which is probably the most important component of your PC. They are your chipsets that are going to play a huge role in determining the speed of your PC.
A Brief Primer
In general, the larger the number, the faster the processor. So it goes like this, an i7 is faster than an i5, that is faster than an i3, and most i-Class processors are faster than m-Class processors. The i7 processor is now the fastest processor you can find on the market.
Digging Into the Details
There’s a huge variety of processors out there, how do you tell which ones are better than others? Clock speed, pretty much. These are measured on GigaHertz (GHz), so if you have a processor that gives you a higher GHz, chances are, your computer is going to run much faster than one that’s lower.
i7 processors always have 4 cores, whereas i5 processors can have 2/4 cores and i3 processors nearly always only have 2 cores. Obviously, the more cores, the better the processing power and hence speed. The higher end models also have more cache, which helps you handle more processes simultaneously, which helps the computer cope as the number of processes increase.
i7 processors also have higher-grade graphics processing units, such as the HD Graphics 4600 for the i7 ones and the HD Graphics 4400 for the i3 processors, which is of lesser importance. In general though, if you want to game or do graphic-related work, consider the i7.
Which One is Right for You?
Note that this is a very basic guide to your processors, but essentially, if you are a casual user concerned with just using your computer for productivity purposes and watching movies, the i3 processor is already good enough for you. If you love speed and do want to do some rather intensive programs with your
computer, such as Photoshop or Premiere Pro, try to get at least an i5 processor.
Most users will find an i5 processor to meet nearly all their needs, with little lags noticeable in laptops released within these 2 years. Getting the i7 processor should probably only be reserved for those who intend to use their PC for heavy gaming, graphics processing and running intensive applications simultaneously, because the price jump from an i5 processor to an i7 one is rather large. This may not be worth it for the average consumer.
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