Solved Is a new generation i5 more powerful than an old generation i7?


Haydon

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The broad issue could also be phrased: is a new generation i3 more powerful than an old generation i5?

How many generations does it take before 3 catches up to 5, or 5 catches up to 7?
 

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FreeBooter

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In my view the easy answer is "Core i5 is made for mainstream users who care about performance, and Core i3 is made for people who just need an Intel computer. Intel Core i3 systems will be less expensive than Core i5 systems.
 

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DigitalGoat

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In theory a newer generation CPU SKU will be more powerful than an older generation CPU SKU due to increased on board cache, optimised micro code, increased instructions per clock, more efficient architecture (7nm vs 10nm for example), all these manufacturing and design improvements should make a newer i5 more powerful than an older i5 core for core and at the same clock speed.
However it isn't that simple as the i9 11900K ran worse than the previous i9 10900K leading to most reviewers dubbing it "a waste of sand" and "an embarrassment for Intel", there are plenty of video and tech site reviews you can find concerning this issue, Gamers Nexus has an in depth comparison and explanation, if you are interested.
Also in theory it is possible for a 3 generation old i7 to be out performed by a newer generation i3 since the clock speeds and instructions per clock could make the difference, and allowing for improvements in the supporting hardware and software.
You would need to look at specific CPUs for comparison as the above i9 example is not so isolated through out CPU history, so a generalised "yes or no" answer and "this many generations" would be pointless.
 

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A 3 will never catch up to a 5, and a 5 will never catch up to a 7, and a 7 will never catch up to a 9.
Just my opinion :)
 

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cereberus

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There is no easy way to tell but you can look at the various CPU benchmark sites. It may well be that an I5 of a decade ago would be surpassed by an I3 of today. The question is basically unanswerable as there are so many variants within each type, different clock speeds, power saving etc.

In the end, you buy the most powerful one you can afford to buy at any given time.
 

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FreeBooter

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In the grand scheme of things, Core i5 processors will get you better performance overall than Core i3 processors.
 

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cereberus

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In the grand scheme of things, Core i5 processors will get you better performance overall than Core i3 processors.
In any modest time frame e.g. 2 or 3 years, that is almost certainly going to be true but OP's question was whether a new i3 would out perform an older generation i5.

It really depends on the time difference between the generations. I would be very doubtful that a 10 year old i5 out performs a new i3. I have a 7 year old AMD 10 laptop which was equivalent i5 performance at the time, and my pal has much newer laptop which is only i3 and it certainly out performs my old laptop which was mid range at the time but by modern benchmarks is low end now..

So OP's question is rather meaningless without proper context of time difference or generational difference (my grandson can run a lot faster than me LOL).
 

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RFS

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I have two i3s - 8th generation i3-8100 and 10th generation i3-10100. Novabench calculates the 8100 CPU score as 569 and the 10100 as 1009. So almost a doubling of speed within two generations.

I have run the Prime Number benchmark and the 8100 does it in 16 seconds and the 10100 in 9 seconds, which seems to align with the Novabench result.

I don't run games and I'm happy with the PCs but the 10100 is noticeably faster than the 8100.
 

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stormy13

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I have two i3s - 8th generation i3-8100 and 10th generation i3-10100. Novabench calculates the 8100 CPU score as 569 and the 10100 as 1009. So almost a doubling of speed within two generations.

I have run the Prime Number benchmark and the 8100 does it in 16 seconds and the 10100 in 9 seconds, which seems to align with the Novabench result.

I don't run games and I'm happy with the PCs but the 10100 is noticeably faster than the 8100.


Might want to take a good look at the two of them side by side,


4C/4T with no boost, vs 4C/8T with an up to 700 MHz boost. I wonder why the newer one is faster. Disable the turbo and hyperthreading on the newer one and I bet they will bench almost the same (if the results aren't more within the margin of error).

The fact that the 10100 is more like a low end i5 than an i3 has more to do with the difference between the two than what generation they are.
 

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  • i7-11700K > i5-12600K
  • i5-11600K > i7-10700K
  • i5-10600K > i7-9700K
  • i7-8700K > i5-9600K
  • i5-8600K > i7-7700K
 

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hsehestedt

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Remember too that the terms "i5", "i7", etc. are largely marketing terms. I'm currently sitting in front of a laptop with a 7th gen i7 mobile CPU that has only 2 cores. So if I were doing a task that could benefit from multi-core performance such as video editing, I'd be at a big disadvantage.

But, even then it can be hard to compare CPUs. I used the example above of video processing. Now, throw in the mix the fact that my CPU has hardware acceleration of video encoding so now suddenly my performance may be hugely better for that specific task than a CPU of a previous gen even if that CPU has more cores. So new features and capabilities can make a difference as well.

Even within the same generation, there are multiple different performances among i7s, i5s, etc. and even greater variations between generations.

As others have mentioned, use resources such as benchmarks as some general guidelines and see what others have to say about any particular CPU, especially in the context of the type of workloads you plan to put on the CPU.
 

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FJRMarty

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SIW2

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The broad issue could also be phrased: is a new generation i3 more powerful than an old generation i5?

How many generations does it take before 3 catches up to 5, or 5 catches up to 7?


The jump in cores makes a difference.

For example the i5-8400 ( 6 core) supposedly is in the ballpark of the previous gen i7-7700 ( 4core 8thread) and slightly ahead on some measures.


The userbenchmark below is based on the results from hundreds of thousands of users, so gives a pretty good idea.


But then going from i5-8400 to i5-9400 makes only a tiny difference of one or two per cent.
 
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Not sure I agree.

From 3rd to 7th gen each was just a small lift. Hardly worth the cost and hassle of changing. Noticable jump in 8th gen.

Though the third gen machine I still have performs very well even now. It is only when doing something very intense ( e.g. convert wim to esd) that the difference between my 3rd and 8th gen cpus is really noticeable.

Gaming fanatics would probably benefit if they have an expensive separate gpu.

I expect many ( perhaps most) dont do that kind of intense work for the cpu, so in many scenarios the old 3rd gen is fine.

Depends what you are doing. I know plenty of people who would be well served by a 3rd gen i5 and have no need for anything more powerful.

I have two systems that are quite similar yet separated by several generations:

gigabyte b75m d3h
i5-3570s
2x8gb ddr3 1600
crucial ssd

gigabyte b365m ds3h
i5-8400
2x8gb ddr4 3200
crucial ssd

I am not interested in disco lights, and am not a gamer so no separate graphics card.
 
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Haydon

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Folks, my main work computer runs only boring 'officy' apps like MS Office apps, browser, etc. I bought an i7 to future-proof it for 10 years, everything considered (HW aging, a decade worth of app development and new apps, OS bloat, etc.)

It is now 7 years old, and I don't notice any slow down what so ever, and I have the definite impression nowadays that I grossly overbought at the time. I wonder, when I buy my new computer in 3 years (also practically forced by the impending W10 EOL) shall I really buy an i7 again? Or an i5? An i3?
 

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BunnyJ

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Folks, my main work computer runs only boring 'officy' apps like MS Office apps, browser, etc. I bought an i7 to future-proof it for 10 years, everything considered (HW aging, a decade worth of app development and new apps, OS bloat, etc.)

It is now 7 years old, and I don't notice any slow down what so ever, and I have the definite impression nowadays that I grossly overbought at the time. I wonder, when I buy my new computer in 3 years (also practically forced by the impending W10 EOL) shall I really buy an i7 again? Or an i5? An i3?
Buy what you can afford.. I would go for an I5.. but that's me. I think it's a good processor and great for most tasks.
 

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Bree

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the third gen machine I still have performs very well even now. It is only when doing something very intense ( e.g. convert wim to esd) that the difference between my 3rd and 8th gen cpus is really noticeable....

i5-3570s
...
i5-8400

That makes sense, your i5-8400 has a benchmark twice that of the i5-3570s. For general use though it wouldn't be noticeable, neither would be struggling.

 

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    Other Info
    fully 'Windows 11 ready' laptop. Windows 10 C: partition migrated from my old unsupported 'main machine' then upgraded to 11. A test migration ran Insider builds for 2 months. When 11 was released on 5th October it was re-imaged back to 10 and was offered the upgrade in Windows Update on 20th October.


    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, Windows 11 Pro.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Lattitude E4310
    CPU
    i5 M 520
    Motherboard
    0T6M8G
    Memory
    4GB
    Screen Resolution
    1366x768
    Hard Drives
    500GB HDD
    Browser
    Firefox, Edge
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    unsupported machine: Legacy bios, MBR, TPM 1.2, upgraded from W10 to W11 using W10/W11 hybrid install media workaround.


    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, Windows 11 Pro.

Haydon

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Local time
10:20 AM
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957
OS
Windows 10 Pro
That's pretty remarkable that a 9000 benchmark or 4500 won't make a difference for general use.

Presumably, the 2200 benchmark of the new Celeron mentioned earlier won't make a difference for general use either (or else it could not be sold) I wonder for how many years it would be good, though.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro

cereberus

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3:20 PM
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2,011
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Windows 10 Pro + others in VHDs
This is all semantics. In simple terms, pcs get more powerful over time (although rate of change will inevitably slow down as limits of physics are reached}.

In any particular frame, an i5 will outperform an i3.

Endless random comparisons are rather pointless.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro + others in VHDs
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    ASUS Vivobook 14
    CPU
    I7
    Motherboard
    Yep, Laptop has one.
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Integrated Intel Iris XE
    Sound Card
    Realtek built in
    Monitor(s) Displays
    N/A
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    1 TB Optane NVME SSD, 1 TB NVME SSD
    PSU
    Yep, got one
    Case
    Yep, got one
    Cooling
    Stella Artois
    Keyboard
    Built in
    Mouse
    Bluetooth , wired
    Internet Speed
    72 Mb/s :-(
    Browser
    Edge mostly
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    TPM 2.0
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