What’s the difference between various Intel processor?

Mishaal February 13, 2013
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I am so confused about it, i just want to know the MAIN difference between Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, Core i3, i5 and i7. And which is quickest.

  1. Tanveer Ahmed
    February 19, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Core 2 Duo is a dual core processor without hyperthreading
    Core 2 Quad is a quad core processor without hyperthreading
    Core i3 is a dual core processor with hyperthreading
    i5 is a quad core processor without hyperthreading
    i7 is a quad/hexa core processor with hyperthreading

    According to their performance i7>i5 >Core 2 Quad >i3>Core 2 Duo

    • Mishaal Fatima
      February 19, 2013 at 6:05 pm

      what is hyperthreading? :P

    • Nevzat Akkaya
      February 19, 2013 at 8:22 pm

      Not quite true, my laptop has an i5 3317U (Ivy Bridge) and apparently it has 2 cores with 4 virtual cores (hyperthreaded). I can see them on CPU-Z and Windows Task Manager.

      • Tanveer Ahmed
        February 20, 2013 at 5:19 am

        i was talking about the desktop processors not laptop \processors

        • Nevzat Akkaya
          February 20, 2013 at 6:48 am

          ok then.

  2. Nevzat Akkaya
    February 15, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    The latest and greatest Intel processor family is now Ivy Bridge based ones, among the Ivy Bridge based ones i7 code named CPU's tops the family. The details are here : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivy_Bridge_%28microarchitecture%29

  3. Aska Nag
    February 13, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    Everybody here is in detail described.

  4. Oron Joffe
    February 13, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    Mishaal, as you may have picked up from the answers, thre isn't a single MAIN difference. It's like comparing cars from different makes, models and made in different years.
    The Core 2 range are older, Core i3-i7 are the latest.
    Very generally, new CPUs are faster than old ones, but as there is a huge range of speeds, this is not true for each and every combination (e.g. some top-of-the-range Core 2 Quads will be faster than the i3).
    You can see a review of the CURRENT processor range at http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/processor-comparison/compare-intel-processors.html?select=desktop
    The fastest processor, as others have said, would be the top of the range i7.

  5. Anish Parameshwaran
    February 13, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    i7 is surely the fastest in comparison to all the other processors. I'm sure we'd all unanimously recommend that you go for a computer with the fastest available processor, but usually, cost is also a factor.
    It depends on how you wish to use your computer. If you use your computer for general use, like e-mail, social networking, document editing, I'd say a core 2 duo should be fine all the way up to an i3. If you use photoshop or do 3D modeling, an i5 would be a minimum requirement for optimal performance. And of course, if you're a heavy gamer, tend to run 5-10 processor-hungry programs at the same time (though that has more to do with RAM, than processing), an i7 is your processor.

  6. Switchblade Rebirth
    February 13, 2013 at 11:19 am

    I7, but depends on what generation of Core I7

  7. Jan Fritsch
    February 13, 2013 at 9:49 am

    The difference mostly is within the details I'm afraid. The only distinct difference is that the Core-i series is the successor to the Core 2 family. But that doesn't rule out that a Core 2 Quad could be faster than a Core i3.

    The "2" basically stands for 2. generation wherein the "i" is considered third generation. However, this has to be distinguished that the Core-i series is currently in it's own third generation – generation "3.3" so to speak.

    Things you can take from the naming convention:
    Core 2 Duo = dual-core
    Core 2 Quad = quad-core
    Core i3 = dual-core (considered the low end of the i-Series)
    Core i5 = dual- or quad-core (mid-range)
    Core i7 = quad-core (upper range)

    Anything named "Extreme" is considered the high-end line of the processors and usually very expensive although they not always offer that much more performance.

    • Mishaal Fatima
      February 13, 2013 at 1:44 pm

      i just want to know the main difference in Dual Core, Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, Core i3, i5 and i7 but just in terms of "numbers of cores and processors",,thats all

      • Jan Fritsch
        February 13, 2013 at 6:23 pm

        Intel Dual-Core = 1 processor, 2 cores, 2 threads
        Intel Core 2 Duo = 1 processor, 2 cores, 2 threads
        Intel Core 2 Quad = 1 processor, 4 cores, 4 threads
        Core i3 (Desktop) = 1 processor, 2 cores, 4 threads
        Core i5 (Desktop) = 1 processor, 4 cores, 4 threads
        Core i7 (Desktop) = 1 processor, 4 cores, 8 threads
        Core i3 (Mobile) = 1 processor, 2 cores, 4 threads
        Core i5 (Mobile) = 1 processor, 2 cores, 4 threads
        Core i7-xxxx (Mobile) = 1 processor, 2 cores, 4 threads
        Core i7-xxxxQ (Mobile) = 1 processor,4 cores, 8 threads

        Also, each processor comes in multiple versions with different frequencies (Gigahertz).

        While this seems to be the main difference it doesn't give any indication about the processing power of the CPU.

        a upper-range Core 2 Duo processor can be better than a Core 2 Quad
        a upper-range Core 2 Quad processor can be better than a Core i5
        a upper-range Core i5 processor can be better than a Core i7
        a mobile Core i7 even with 4 cores might be slower than a Core i5 (Desktop)

        Adding to this each processor series saw several updates over the time they have been on the market. The Core i series is currently in it's third generation. So a first generation Core i3 with 3.1GHz might not be as good as a third generation Core i3 with 2.9GHz although numbers indicate it has 200MHz higher speed

        The assumption that more cores, more threads or more megahertz are better doesn't apply. That's why tech sites perform all kinds of benchmarks with processors and systems to determine the actual performance.

  8. ha14
    February 13, 2013 at 9:43 am

    more expansive better will be, Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad belong to older processor architecture, whereas Core i3, i5 and i7 are the new architecture. Core i7 is made for high-end users.

    Core 2 duo has 2 cores on 1 processor
    Core 2 quad has 4 cores on 1 processor.

    Intel Core i7
    Codenamed: Bloomfield – Nehalem
    Fabrication: 45 nm
    Instruction set: X86, X86-64, MMX, SSE 4.2
    Socket: LGA 1366
    Bus: Quick Path Interconnect
    RAM: DDR3
    Chipset Support: X58

    Intel Core 2 Duo
    Codenamed: Conroe, Allendale, Wolfdale – Core 2
    Fabrication: 65 nm / 45 nm
    Instruction set: X86, X86-64, MMX, SSE 4.1
    Socket: LGA 775
    Bus: 1333 MHz FSB
    RAM: DDR2
    Chipset Support: 965, P3x, G3x, P45, X48

    Intel Core i3
    Codenamed: Clarkdale (Westmere)
    Fabrication: 32 nm
    Instruction set: X86, X86-64, MMX, SSE 4.2
    Socket: LGA 1156
    Bus: Direct Media Interface
    RAM: DDR3
    Chipset Support: P55, H55, H57, Q57

    Intel Core i5
    Codenamed: Lynnfield (Nehalem), Clarkdale (Westmere)
    Fabrication: 45 nm, 32 nm
    Instruction set: X86, X86-64, MMX, SSE 4.2
    Socket: LGA 1156
    Bus: Direct Media Interface
    RAM: DDR3
    Chipset Support: P55, H55, H57, Q57

    All the Core i7 processors are Native Quad Cores (4 cores), which means that they actually have 4 cores on a single die, older Core 2 Duo processors like the Q6600 (2×2 = 4 cores) had two cores on a single die. Core i7 processors support HyperThreading which means that each of the 4 cores can process 2 threads simultaneously, so you get 8 virtual cores. They also have 256 KB L2 cache per core and a shared 8 MB L3 cache which has proven to be much better than any cache configuration in Core 2 Duo. cire i5 CPUs have 3MB to 6MB of L3 cache, while i7 processors have 8MB to 15MB. You'll find Intel HD graphics 3000 and 4000 on Core i7, while Core i5 features one of all four versions of Intel HD graphics, depending on the part number. Integrated graphics saves power, since there won't be an extra graphics chip on your laptop or desktop's motherboard using power.

    Intel Core i3 vs Core i5 vs Core i7 – The Difference

    Processors have their own socket to be housed there, LGA775 platform uses FSB (Core 2 CPU's use FSB), X58 uses QPI ( Quick Path Interconnect). QPI faster than FSB and it's used by Core i7 9xx CPU's, i3,i5 and i7 8xx use DMI, which is between FSB and QPI in speed. QPi therefore offers the ability to transfer larger amounts of data on a smaller electrical footprint than a Front Side Bus.

  9. Alan Wade
    February 13, 2013 at 7:19 am
  10. Junil Maharjan
    February 13, 2013 at 4:55 am

    i7 is the fastest among the processors. check this out for the difference http://www.pcworld.idg.com.au/article/386100/what_difference_between_an_intel_core_i3_i5_i7_/

  11. Bruce Epper
    February 13, 2013 at 2:54 am

    The first thing to remember with the Core i3, i5, and i7 processors is that they are not divided into these classes based on technical features, but instead are based on performance (low-end, mid-range, and high-performance). What this does is create a 5-star hierarchy of current Intel CPUs from Celeron (1-star), Pentium, i3, i5, and i7 (5-star).

    Another item that separates the latest Nehalem processors (i3, i5, and i7) from their Core 2 predecessors are the Nehalem processors have the DDR3 memory controller, QuickPath Interconnect or PCI Express, and Direct Media Interface integrated on-chip to greatly increase performance (especially regarding RAM access). Most (but not all) Core ix processors also have an integrated GPU.

    If you are looking for a new system, going with any of the more recent Core ix processors is your best option, even if you are just going with an entry-level i3 processor.

    The quickest processor out of these would be the Core i7-9xxX (6 cores, 12 threads, QPI, 3 x DDR3). This is one of the Extreme Edition processors.

    • Paul Pruitt
      February 13, 2013 at 6:37 pm

      Well, it should be pointed out that OS and application start up and general computer responsiveness is greatly improved with an SSD or hybrid drive, not a faster CPU. A faster CPU ,might be better for game performance and intensive applications like AutoCad...

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