i3 vs i5

i3 vs i5 – Intel Core Processors

 

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Intel’s Sandy Bridge architecture is a major upgrade from the previous one, Nehalem.  This new architecture aims for a better computing performance and to do this, it must have a better set of processors.  This made Intel re-launch its popular i3/i5/i7 line of processors which features faster computing speeds as well as other improvements.  We have compared the upper two processors on our i5 vs i7 page. In here we will have an i3 vs i5 clash.

i3 vs i5

 

THE PRICE – i3 vs i5

One will know right away which one is pricier based on the numbers on their Intel Core i3 i5 i7name.  The i5 is more expensive than the i3 while the i7 is the most expensive among them.

The price on the Core i5 could be from $160 to $200, depending on the processor clock speed.  The highest clock speed for an i5 is 3.3 Ghz while the lowest is 1.4 Ghz.  Most Sandy Bridge architectures use i5 as their processor.

The Core i3 can be bought for as low as $90 and as high as $135.  The same range of speed is available for the Core i3 which means the difference in price between the two is not related to their clock speeds.  Comparing prices for the i3 vs i5 gives the edge to the i3.

 

Click Here to Get a Great Deal on CPU Processors at Amazon.com

 

THE PERFORMANCE – i3 vs i5

If the cheaper i3 can give me the same clock speed as the i5 then why would I have to choose the latter?  The simple answer here is the number of cores.  The i3 is a dual core processor while the i5 is a quad core device.  This means i5 is better at multitasking than the i3.

The odd thing is that i3 can do hyper-threading while the i5 cannot.  Hyper-threading is a technology for improving the processors multitasking capabilities.  It works by telling the OS that it has virtual cores in addition to the actual works.  Thus, even though the i3 is a dual core processor, it can also work like a quad core device.

Although i3 might be similar in performance with the i5 based on the above statement, there are other significant differences.  One is Turbo Boost, a technology which enables a processor to increment its clock speed.  The i5 supports this which means 3.3 GHz of clock speed is not really its ceiling.  The Core i3, in contrast, has no Turbo Boost.

Besides clock speed, another good measure of a processor’s performance is the cache memory.  The Core i5 at 3.3 Ghz has a cache memory of 6 MB while the Core i3 at the same clock speed only contains 3 MB of cache memory.  Another minor difference is the presence of vPro virtualization and AES Encryption technologies on the Core i5.

The IGP or Integrated Graphics Processor is a noteworthy addition to the new Core processors.  Although buying a separate graphics card is still the better choice, the IGP can still do the job at lower power consumption.

Intel created two versions of the IGP: 2000 and 3000.  The 3000 can process graphical information 50% quicker than the 2000.  Both the Core i3 and Core i5 support IGP 3000 and IGP 2000.

Below are some i3 and i5 powered laptop computers:

 

MerchantProductPriceBuy Now
AmazonSamsung NP300U1A-A01US Ultra Portable 11.6" Laptop (1.30 GHz Intel Core i3-2357M Processor, 4 GB RAM, 320 GB Hard Drive,

Too Low to Display

used from: 424.99

Go to Store
AmazonToshiba C655-S5206 15.6" Notebook, Intel Core i3-2310M (2.1GHz), 4GB DDR3 Memory, 500GB HDD, DVD Super Multi-Drive, Inte

Too Low to Display

used from: 424.99

Go to Store
AmazonDell Inspiron 11z-1121 laptop / Intel i3-330um / WiMax 4G Networking / 2GB DDR3 / 11.6'' HD Truelife WLED / 250G Hard Dr

Too Low to Display

used from: 380.00

Go to Store
AmazonHP ProBook 4530s XU015UT 15.6" LED Notebook (2.1 GHz Intel Core i3-2310M Dual-Core Processor, 4 GB RAM, 320 GB Hard Driv

Too Low to Display

used from: 448.00

Go to Store
Best BuyAcer 14" Aspire Laptop - 4GB Memory - 500GB Hard Drive - Cobalt Blue

$545.98


Go to Store
Product prices and availability are accurate as of Apr 15 21:56:24 UTC but are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the merchant site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

MerchantProductPriceBuy Now
AmazonAcer Aspire 5742-6838 15.6' Notebook - Intel Core i5-460M

Too Low to Display

used from: 400.00

Go to Store
AmazonAsus U52F-BBL9 Notebook, Intel Core i5-460M Mobile Processor, 4GB, 640GB, 15.6-Inch HD+,Webcam,Windows7 Home Premium 64-

Too Low to Display

used from: 500.00

Go to Store
AmazonHP Pavilion dm4-2070us Intel Core i5-2410M 14.0-Inch Notebook PC (Steel Gray Aluminum)

Too Low to Display

used from: 524.94

Go to Store
AmazonDell Inspiron i14R-2265MRB 14 Inch Laptop, Intel Core i5-450M 2.4GHz, 4GB DDR2 RAM, 500GB HDD, Windows 7 Professional

Too Low to Display

used from: 425.00

Go to Store
AmazonASUS K53E-BD4TD Laptop / Intel Core i5-2430M Processor / 15.6" Display / 4GB Memory - Matte Brown Suite

Too Low to Display

used from: 400.00

Go to Store
Best BuyLenovo ThinkPad 4178A53 14" LED Notebook - Intel Core i5 i5-2520M 250 GHz - Black

$1192.99


Go to Store
Product prices and availability are accurate as of Apr 15 21:56:29 UTC but are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the merchant site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

 

i3 vs i5 Specifications

 

Product Name

Core i3 (2100T)

Core i5 (2500K)

Price

$124.99

$216

# of Cores

2

4

# of Threads

4

4

Clock Speed

3.1 GHz

3.3 GHz

Max Turbo Frequency

n/a

3.7 GHz

Cache

3 MB

6 MB

Bus/Core Ratio

31

33

System Bus

5 GT/s

5 GT/s

Instruction Set

64-bit

64-bit

Lithography

32 nm

32 nm

Max TDP

65 W

95 W

Memory Specifications

Max Memory Size

32 GB

32 GB

Memory Types

DDR3-1066/1333

DDR3-1066/1333

# of Memory Channels

2

2

Max Memory Bandwidth

21 GB/s

21 GB/s

Graphics Specifications

Processor Graphics

Yes

Yes

Graphics Model

Intel® HD Graphics 2000

Intel® HD Graphics 3000

Intel® Quick Sync Video

Yes

Yes

Intel® InTru™ 3D Technology,

Yes

Yes

Intel® Insider™

Yes

Yes

Intel® Wireless Display

No

No

Intel® Flexible Display Interface (Intel® FDI)

Yes

Yes

Intel® Clear Video HD Technology

Yes

Yes

Dual Display Capable

Yes

Yes

Advanced Technologies

Intel® Turbo Boost Technology

2.0

2.0

Intel® vPro Technology

No

No

Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology

No

No

Intel® Virtualization Technology (VT-x)

No

Yes

Intel® Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O (VT-d)

Yes

No

Intel® Trusted Execution Technology

Yes

No

AES New Instructions

No

Yes

Intel® 64

No

Yes

Idle States

No

Yes

Enhanced Intel SpeedStep® Technology

Yes

Yes

Thermal Monitoring Technologies

Yes

Yes

Intel® Fast Memory Access

Yes

Yes

Intel® Flex Memory Access

Yes

Yes

Execute Disable Bit

Yes

Yes

 

i3 vs i5 – THE VERDICT

i3 vs i5

 

Unless you use your computer for high-end software then the difference between the Core i3 and Core i5 is not significant.  Core i5’s four cores are somewhat negated by Core i3’s dual core with hyper threading.  Both processors are actually equal in terms of performance with only the price as the deciding factor.  But since i3 is cheaper then we give the i3 vs i5 victory trophy to it.

Click Here for the Best Prices on CPU Processors

We hope you found this i3 vs i5 comparison useful.  You may also be interested in our i5 vs i7 article.

 

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