i5 vs i7 – We Explore the Difference to Help You Choose the One You Need

28th October 2020
Black bacground with electric blue squares and an Intel Core i5 and Intel Core i7 label with Vs between them

We take the stress out of choosing the right processor by exploring the differences between the Core i5 vs Core i7

Choosing a new PC or laptop can be a stressful experience, especially when comparing all of the differences between models, but choosing the right processor is vital if you want a PC or laptop that will suit your needs.

Don’t worry, we’re here to help! Read on for our guide exploring the difference between Core i5 vs Core i7 processors.

Choosing Your Processor

There are many different Intel processors on the market. Within the mid-range Intel Core range, there are two families:

  • Core i5
  • Core i7

Within these families is a range of processors that vary in prices and CPU clock rates.

The Core i7 is the top of the range option. It will provide the best performance but it also costs the most. Also, it may be considered the best but it’s not always the right option. It all depends on your needs and budget.

Core i5 sticker on a laptop

Core i5 vs Core i7

The Core i5, in general, will have less or more dialled-down functions and capabilities. Usually, a Core i7 will cope better for media editing, multitasking, high-end gaming.

If you’ve got a demanding workload, it should handle it better. Here, we’ll break things down further and get into the details.


Most Intel Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs have at least 4 Cores. For most general users this is the ideal amount.

Increasingly more powerful Core i5 and Core i7 processors contain 6 Cores. For super high-end gaming, there are also a few laptops that come with Core i7s with 8 Cores. On the flip side, there are a few super low-power laptops using Core i5 or Core i7 CPUs with only 2 Cores.


Core i7 processors will usually have faster base-line clock speeds (more GHz). Within the i5 and i7 families, each processor model name ends with a 3 digit number. The higher the number, the better it will perform, the i5-X500 is faster and performs better than the i5-X400.

Hyper Threading

Intel Core i7 and Nvidia GeForce RTX stickers on laptop

Hyper threading is basically where your system is told a processor has more cores than it does. It uses multi-threading tech which increases performance on multi-threaded tasks. So each Core can address 2 processing threads at a time, instead of just 1.

All Intel Core i7 processors come with hyper-threading. So those 4 Cores can handle 8 threads. A few i5s have it, but they’re limited to 4 threads only. Either by 4 real Cores or 2 cores that are hyper-threaded to take on 4 threads.


As well as faster clock speeds, Core i7 processors will have larger on-chip memory. This is its cache and it helps the processor cope with repetitive tasks. Or to access data that you use more often, faster. Having a larger cache size helps you multitask. Background tasks are there, ready for when you switch your focus onto another window.

Core i5 vs Core i7 – the best choice for you

The answer to Core i5 vs Core i7 comes down to use case. For most people, an i5 processor provides the right balance between performance and price. But if you are using more intensive applications like video editing or 3D rendering, the extra capabilities of an i7 will be worth the price.

Now you know which processor family is right for you it is time to pick your next PC or laptop. We have a wide range of devices available to lease with our 3-year Flexi-Lease, covered by our ‘no quibble’ warranty and technical support, making it affordable with monthly payments. Give our expert team a call on 020 7111 1643 or email sales@hardsoft.co.uk