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SOLVED: What is the Difference Between Intel Atom, Celeron, Pentium, i3, i5, and i7

Jan 2013 Posted by in Other Technologies | 1 comment

This is a VERY large topic that I am going to massively simplify.

Description/
Used in
Cores /
HThreads/
Cache
Turbo
Boost
CoreCode /
Year
Trigate/
Size /
RAM
Speed
Socket Avg
Price
Jan
2013
Core i7 Top End
Science & Games
4 / 4
8MB
Yes Ivybridge
2012
Yes
22nm
DDR3
1600
1156 $300
Core i5 Mass Market
Business & Games
2 / 4
6MB
Yes Ivybridge
2012
Yes
22nm
DDR3
1600
1156 $200
Core i3 Entry Level Modern
Home PC's
2 / 2
3MB
No Ivybridge
2012
Yes
22nm
DDR3
1600
1156 $150
Pentium Last Years
Technology
Very Entry
Level PC's
2 / 0
2MB
No SandyBridge
2011
No
32nm
DDR3
1066
1155 $70
Celeron Slow Last
Years Tech
Appliances
2 / 0
2MB
No SandyBridge
2011
No
32nm
DDR3
1066
1155 $50
Atom Ultra Low Power
Netbooks &
Appliances
2 / 2
1MB
No CedarTrail
2012
No
32nm
DDR3
1066
559 $25

 

In addition to the specs above, you need to know:

  1. I have provided specs for the current 2012 / 2013 CPU’s but that does not mean that is what you are looking at.  For instance, in January 2013 there are still many Gen2 i3 i5 and i7 CPU’s.  Make sure your starts with a 3 (ie. i5-3500) and the price difference is $0 but the performance difference is about 25%.  Note the Gold bar through the middle of the logo on all Gen3 “Ivy Bridge” CPU logos
  2. all of these CPUs (excluding Atom for now) MIGHT come equipped with ‘Intel HD Video’ “cards” built in.
    1. The i7, i5 and i3’s support THREE monitors when paired with the correct chipset and motherboard.  From experience I can tell you to be careful and verify with ark.intel.com or your motherboard manufacture PRIOR to purchase to confirm your combination will work.  It MUST output TWO Display Ports and one VGA for three head to work.
    2. The Pentiums and Celerons support TWO monitors when paired with the correct chipset and motherboard, typically one VGA and one DVI.
  3. If your CPU provides Intel HD video it will be quite usable for all common desktop tasked including decoding DVD’s and playing slightly older games (produced before 2011?)
  4. The third generation of i3, i5 and i7 using Intel HD 4000 video are very very good and support even current games at lower resolution and frame rates.

To find, compare and contrast the specifications of the Intel CPU you are considering, just use Intel’s handy tool: intel.com/content/www/us/en/processor-comparison/comparison-chart.html

i7_gen3-2012i5_gen3-2012i3_gen32012

 

 

 

pentium_2012

celeron_2012 atom_2012

 

 

 

.

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  1. avatar
    david03-14-14

    Thank you

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