The CPUs specification

Nadir BELHADJ used Ask the Experts™
i5 and i7 CPUs what's the difference ? CPUs generation ??
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018
i7 CPUs are roughly 20% faster than i5 CPUs.

MUCH more important is what goes with the i7.  I7 plus PCI-e NVM-e SSD drive and 16 GB of memory engineered as a unit (not parts out of a box) will make a very swift machine. My X1 Carbon is such a machine.
dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.
Very roughly, i3 low performance, i5 average performance, i7 high performance.

You can get i5 CPUs which are higher performance than i7 ones.  There is a wide range for each CPU and there are 5 different generations of these CPUs.

So you could get a modern i3 which could beat an old i7 CPU.

All very confusing.
Shaun VermaakTechnical Specialist
Awarded 2017
Distinguished Expert 2018
A lot of factors... Here is a sample comparison between two random i5 and i7 CPUs
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RaminTechnical Advisor
Cache size:
i5s have 6MBcache memory and the Core i7s have 8MB cache memory.

the Core i5  doesn't have Hyper-Threading so can also only process four cores. i7 processors do have it, so can process eight threads at once that means more performance and more multitasking.

Clock speed
Both are built on the same architecture, so a higher clock speed means better performance.

a computer with a Core i5 chip will have lower power and heat than a computer with an i7 chip.
Intel today builds 3 types of core i processors the i3, i5 and i7.  Their generation can be determined by their model number...
     1st gen  only have 3 digits (numerals)  
     2nd gen and on have  4 digits with the first number being the generation.  

So, an i5 4340M  would be a 4th gen CPU.  

 While it may be true in many cases, I must disagree a bit with my colleagues, who indicate Type, Generation, Speed and Model are good indicators of CPU performance.  There are too many variables and too many discrepancies.    

I use the Passmark guide to check CPU performance.  See:

It provides a performance benchmark number for hundreds of CPU models.  You can sort on performance, Model, cost, or a cost to performance ratio by clicking on the column headers.    

Benchmarks are the only fair indicators.   Some benchmark rate graphics, some computing power, some I/O.   The Passmark site I linked above provides a work load balanced benchmark to and collects the results from thousands from real life systems.  The results are illuminating.

For  example...
     Intel Core i7-7700K @ 4.20GHz       is rated at   12276  
     Intel Core i7-6950X @ 3.00GHz       is rated at   19999
In this case, the older gen,  slower CPU is rated significantly higher.  

Neither is the core i model, for example
     Intel Core i5-5675C @ 3.10GHz         is rated at    8094
     Intel Core i7-6500U @ 2.50GHz         is rated at    4398
     Intel Core i7-7500U @ 2.70GHz         is rated at    5238
In this case the core i5 is significantly better than newer the newer i7s

As Intel comes out with each gen of CPU, they market to a wide array of consumers and OEMs.  Each attracted by some facet of dollars, performance and impressibility.   Hence they need budget CPUs, bargain CPUs, elite CPUs, workhorse CPUs, commodity CPUs etc.  I don't know how they arrive at their model designations, but they are not a reliable indication of performance.  In fact,  in some situations,   they can be downright deceptive.   CPU speed and model numbers are prominently shown on the marketing stickers and descriptions of laptops, desktops, all in ones -- each vying for the consumer eye, while indicating little to the uninformed.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

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