Intel Processors: Which one is best for you?

Updated: Jun 19, 2020


Whether you are buying a laptop or building your own PC it's very important to buy the best product according to your needs. Intel is now at its 10th generation for both laptops and PC chips. To make things even more complicated Intel has launched 2 types of CPUs

Comet Lake and Ice lake. As of now, Comet Lake CPUs are only to be found only in 10th gen processors and there is still a lot of development to happen.

Naming Conventions:

For everyone who thinks processors name is just for the nerds to understand, its not really the case. Intel names their products in a very systematic manner so that even laymen can understand with just a bit of acquired knowledge.

Now let's dive down deep! While buying laptops or building a PC you might have come across processors names like

- Intel Core i9-10900X Desktop Processor 10 Cores up to 4.7GHz Unlocked LGA2066 X299 Series 165W (BX8069510900X)
- Intel Core i7-9500U Desktop Processor 8 Cores up to 4.9 GHz Turbo unlocked LGA1151 300 Series 95W
- Intel Core i3-9100F Desktop Processor 4 Core Up to 4.2 GHz Without Processor Graphics LGA1151 300 Series 65W

Now let's try to understand it in a simpler way

  • Here as shown Intel Core represents the Brand name

  • i7 is basically the product line, for example, i3,i5, i7, i9.

  • The first digit(i.e 7) in the four-digit sequence indicates the generation of the chip.

  • Following the generation number, the next 3 digits are SKU numbers.

  • The "U" is known as an alpha suffix, represents the processor line.

In laymen words, Alpha Suffix defines speciality of processors

So which one is better for you?

Since we have done the hard part of understanding the names. Now let us check which one is better for you; Core i3, i5, i7, i9.

Intel Core i3 - With 4 cores this is the cheapest processor from intel but they offer excellent performance for normal usage but lack a technology found in high-end CPUs i.e Hyperthreading.

Intel Core i5 - With 6 cores this will be obviously better than i3 processors and offers turbo boost with will improve multitasking and best in the budget.

Intel Core i7 - Core i7 processors either six or eight cores, either with or without Hyper-Threading depending on the model you pick.

Intel Core i9 - Here CPUs have eight or ten cores. The i9 is the most powerful option of the Intel Core ranges, so would be the processor to go for if you’re not shy spending money.

Now let's look at this in Gaming perspective

If you do a lot of gaming or video editing or 3d rendering, the greater the CPU power the better. However, there are more important considerations if you want a productivity PC or a system for games.

Intel released 9th gen processor especially taking gaming into consideration. A G-series( Alpha Suffix) laptop CPUs are also the only models with good gaming abilities baked in. All other Intel CPUs use a version of the UHD graphics chipset, which provide a significantly poorer gaming performance and will unlikely be able to cope with AAA titles.

For Example, a core i3-10100 with Nvidia Geforce RTX 2070 will give better framerates than core i9 10900K CPU with a GeForce GTX 1650 GPU provided i3 installed with SSD. But Core i5 is recommended as a minimum for decent gaming results if you want lower CPU with high-end GPU. With certain games, a lower-end CPU will act as a bottleneck. This is particularly true of games such as Civilization 6 and Total War: Warhammer 2, as a result of all the background calculations involved. Most glossy action-adventure games are a lot more GPU-led and will run fine with a Core i3.

It is all about finding the right balance for your needs and getting the right processors, especially for video editors and gamers.

I hope this made things more clear and crisp. Let me know if you wish to know about AMD processors as well.