Intel Core i7 vs. i9: Which CPU Should You Buyin 2020?
Intel Core i7 vs. i9: When you are buying or building a PC, you need to know the truly important differences between these two chip stacks—the layer of nuance that goes beyond Intel’s simple i7-versus-i9 marketing-speak.
Intel® Core™ i7 and Intel® Core™ i9 processors are the most advanced members of Intel’s renowned Core series of high-end computer CPUs.
Systems with Core i7 and i9 processors are typically more expensive than models running lesser chips, but each version brings advantages that are worth considering, depending on your needs.
Intel launched its Core i7, Core i5, and Core i3 product lines between 2008-2010 and has sold millions of powerful CPUs since their debut.
Each series have seen significant speed enhancements and other improvements thanks to Intel’s ongoing succession of die-shrinks and new processor microarchitectures (Coffee Lake, Sky Lake, Tiger Lake, etc.).
The Core i9, introduced in 2017, added still more power to the line-up, now boasting up to 10 cores and 20 threads – a truly impressive CPU.
Simply put, Core i5-equipped systems are less expensive than Core i7-equipped PCs.
Intel has moved away from the star ratings it had used with previous-generation Core processors in favor of a capability-driven marketing message.
Essentially, the Core i7 processors have more capabilities than Core i5 CPUs.
They will be better for multitasking, multimedia tasks, high-end gaming, and scientific work.
Core i7 processors are certainly aimed at people who complain that their current system is “too slow.”
Spot-checking a system such as the Dell XPS 13 Touch ultra-portable, you’ll find the Core i5 to be about $200 less expensive than a similarly equipped Core i7 system.
For the most part, you’ll get faster CPU performance from Core i7 than Core i5.
Core i7 vs. Core i9: Desktop Performance
The Core i7 and the Core i9 lines of chips are only able to really stretch their legs on desktop systems, because of their high power draw and thermal output.
Their serious power is better managed in desktop PC builds that can utilize custom cooling and larger power supplies.
Here’s a comparative look at the Core i7 and Core i9 desktop CPUs that we have tested in the last few years, on four key tests that outline pure CPU power with all cores and threads in play.
Why Buy an Intel Core i7 Laptop or Desktop?
Intel Core i7 is the company’s “performance” CPU band. offering both high processing speeds and impressive multitasking capabilities.
Core i7-based laptops and i7-based desktops are built for users who need to do more than everyday home/office computing and computer gaming, for which multiple Core i3 and Core i5 models will suffice.
Typical Core i7 buyers might use their systems for creating 3D animation and VR environments or to play high-end video games.
In addition, the i7’s bigger on-chip cache allows it to keep more of your “working data” ready for processing.
With a Core i7 CPU, you can keep multiple demanding applications running smoothly –
with minimal delays. And you’ll save a bit compared to systems with the Core i9.
Core i7 vs Core i9 in Laptops
Right now, the laptop market has far fewer options than the desktop space when it comes to Core i9 processors.
As mentioned earlier, Intel’s mobile processors for powerful laptops are dubbed the H-Series, with names that end in “H” or “HK.
” Core i9 chips show up only in this series, as do some Core i7s.
You’ll also see plenty of Core i7s in Intel’s U-Series, but these are meant for thin laptops, not power machines. They’re not relevant to a Core i7-versus-i9 comparison.
In its current 10th Generation line of H-Series chips, dubbed “Comet Lake-H,” Intel offers only a Core i9-10880H and i9-10980HK.
while Core i7-based machines are more ubiquitous. You’ll see Core i7 models flow out in the course of Intel’s 11th Generation “Tiger Lake” laptop-CPU launch, but for now, they are all lower-power chips.
The company has made no official announcements yet on any laptop-minded H-Series 11th Gen CPUs.