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Intel Core i3 VS Intel Core i5

It’s significant to understand the difference between the Intel Core i3 and Intel Core i5, as these two are the new and most found in desktops and laptops available, and especially the prices are too close between them.

“Core i5 is made for mainstream users who care about performance while Core i3 is made for those who just need an Intel computer," say majority, but there are some more differences we emphasize on.

Clock Speed

When you’re comparing two processors in the same family, with the same architecture, the megahertz or gigahertz ratings for the processors doesn’t stay true. Comparing Core i3 and i5 processors remain valid. Core i5 processors are clocked higher than the Core i3 ones, and have the ability to handle intense operations quicker and faster. The Core i5 processors are equipped with Turbo Boost and this automatically speeds up the processor when the PC needs extra performance. However, none of the Core i3 processors are equipped with Turbo Boost. This means Core i5 processors often perform quickly than the base clock speed suggests.

Dual-core versus quad-core

Core i3 processors are as of the fifth generation are equipped with dual-core on both desktops and laptops, and they are low-power and economical. While the desktop Core i5 processors are almost quad-core, some of the smaller and more power-efficient laptop versions of Core i5 processors are dual-core, yet they are powerful and expensive. High-power games and programs will run faster and effectively on quad-core processor. This means Core i5 desktops are advantageous compared to Core i3 counterpart, when it comes to performance. Core processors feature Hyper-Threading which allows effective scheduling of CPU tasks, especially for multi-core architectures. Hyper-Threading is available in second generation Core i5 processors and fourth generation Core i3 processors.

Power Draw

Core i5 processors are higher at performance than Core i3 processors, but they consume more electricity than Core i3 processors. Intel processor models with , U, and UM labels are designed to be power-efficient though. However, i5 processors will consume more power compared to the Core i3 processors. While it’s not a major concern for the desktop users, laptop users may want to shift top processors with lower wattage ratings to save the power of battery.

The higher the clock speed and the more watts a processor draws, the more heat it is set to generate. So, comparably Core i3 processors tend to run cooler than the Core i5 ones. However, this is only concerned to laptops and not desktops.


Core i5 processors with new and effective configuration are expensive than Core i3 processors. The price varies depending on the processor generation and capability, and it would be $50-100 more for an i5 processor versus the similar model of the i3 family. The price also varies depending on the other features like Hyper-Threading and extra L2 and L3 cache, performance-enhancing options, which are not offered on low-power processors.


Core i5 processors will get you better and faster performance compared to the core i3 processors, but the i3 ones are still capable of running the multi-programs with ease. If you just need a processor for everyday tasks like web browsing, editing document or web videos, i3 will serve the purpose, plus it’s cost-efficient and doesn’t consume more power. However, if you’re planning for high-end 3D gaming, media editing, or 4K video playback, gets the Core i5 processor spending extra bucks. Opt for Core i5 processor if it’s with more powerful components like extra RAM or a discrete graphics card.

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