Updated at: 27-03-2023 - By: Leo Hall
Many people who are in the market for a new central processing unit (CPU) are torn between the Intel Core i5 and the Intel Core i7. We decided to investigate, and we came up with a surprising conclusion.


Intel’s Core i5 processors are perfectly adequate for mid-range computers. High-end systems with SLI GPU configurations should only be built with Intel Core i7 processors.

When it comes time to select the central processing unit (CPU) for your high-end or mid-range gaming PC, you may find yourself in a sticky situation.

One reason for this is the widespread misconception that a computer’s CPU is not crucial to a gaming rig.

In that case, what’s real and what isn’t?

In this piece, we’ll dive into that topic in detail.

What Does Intel Corei5 Mean?

The Intel Corei5 is a custom processor designed by Intel and based on the principles of multiprocessor design.

Intel Core i5 vs i7: Which One Is the Better Choice For Gaming in 2023?

It’s a processor with four separate processing units and a variety of different micro-architectures, including:

  • Lynnfield
  • Mr. Clark Dale
  • Toll Bridge Over the Sandy
  • Bridge of Ivy
  • Haswell

In addition to mobile and desktop computers, it can also be installed in embedded devices.

Techopedia Explains Intel Corei5

Since the Intel Corei5 features Intel’s Turbo Boost Technology, it excels at processing intensive media files, games, and software. It’s possible to get an Intel Corei5 with anywhere from two to four cores, each of which can handle four threads at once. It has a cache memory of 3–6 MB and a processor clock speed of 1.50 GHz–3.10 GHz.

Temperature design power (TDP) can be as low as 15 TDP and as high as 84 TDP. Error-correcting code (ECC) memory, Intel Platform Protection Security, and Intel OS Guards are all features that have been included in recent generations of the Intel Corei5, much like they were in Corei3 processors. Protecting the BIOS, enabling secure boot, and thwarting attacks are all made possible by these built-in safeguards.

What Does Intel Corei7 Mean?

Intel’s Corei7 is a custom microprocessor designed on the principles of parallel processing.

It comes with two cores, four cores, or six cores, depending on the model you choose. There are a number of different micro-architectures used in the Intel Corei7.

  • Arrandale
  • Clarksfield
  • Lynnfield
  • Bloomfield
  • Gulftown

It’s available for use on smartphones, computers, and even embedded systems.

Techopedia Explains Intel Corei7

The Intel Corei7 is the company’s most recent and fastest processor designed for consumer electronics. Intel’s Corei7 processor also includes Intel’s Turbo Boost Technology, like the Corei5. The Intel Corei7 comes with anywhere from two to six cores and can handle as many as 12 threads at once.

The processor can run at speeds of up to 3.90 GHz, and it has 4-12 MB of cache memory. Intel Corei7 processors can have a thermal design power (TDP) of anywhere from 130 watts down to 15 watts. The Intel Corei7, like other processors in the Corei family, features built-in support for error-correcting memory (ECC), as well as Intel Platform Protection Security and Intel OS Guards. Secure boot and protection from attacks are made possible by these built-in safeguards for the BIOS.

Intel Core i5 vs Intel Core i7

When comparing the prices of an i5 and a i7, the differences between the two processors can seem small and nebulous.

Intel Core i5 vs i7: Which One Is the Better Choice For Gaming in 2023?

Which is better doesn’t always have a black-and-white answer. Of course, cost is always a factor. Knowing the basics of both processor families will help you make a more informed decision. Let’s dive into the primary distinctions between the 12th-generation Core i5 and Core i7 processors.

The Processor Is An Intel Core i5-12600K VS Technology: Intel Core i7-12700K
LGA 1700 Socket LGA 1700
3.7 GHz The Minimum Required Speed 3.6 GHz
4.9 GHz Max Speed 5.0 GHz
6 4 Cores 8 4
16 Threads 20
Yes Overclocking Yes
9.5 MB L2 cache 12 MB
UHD 770 from Intel Built-in Graphics Processing Unit High-Definition Graphics Processor from Intel (UHD) 770
150 W TDP 190 W
Yes Hyper-Threading? Yes

The future plans for your PC will largely determine whether the i5 or i7 processor series is the better choice.

When comparing two identical computers, the one with the Intel Core i5 processor will be less expensive. The Core i5 will always come out on the short end of the stick when comparing identical chips (desktop or laptop CPUs) from the same generation. As can be seen in the table, this is typically represented by the number of cores, the number of threads, and the clock rate. If you’re confused by any of these terms, our article on the central processing unit (CPU) should help.

Over all, the Core i5 and Core i7 processors handle data in different ways.

In general, i5 processors have fewer cores and can only handle a smaller number of concurrent threads. Programs utilize these threads to handle multiple tasks simultaneously rather than putting them in separate queues.

So, i5 processors aren’t as efficient at handling multiple tasks at once. But for the vast majority of us, they work just fine.


The gaming community has overused the term “bottlenecking.” Yet, I have yet to learn the meaning of this word. It’s all down to the computer’s internals.

Simply put, the central processing unit (CPU) controls what and when the graphics processing unit (GPU) renders. The GPU’s performance will be limited and bottlenecked if the CPU is unable to handle the workload.

Should you be concerned about bottlenecks at this time?

Most people’s answers will be negative to this question. Only if your intended GPU is significantly newer than your current CPU, or if you intend to get multiple GPUs, should you be concerned about bottlenecking.

An RTX 2080, one of the most powerful consumer graphics cards currently available, will barely be bottlenecked by even an i5 model from the previous generation.

When is an Intel Core i5 worth it?

Always, in our opinion. Looking at the frame rate (FPS) variations in video games in the following section will hopefully shed light on why we hold this view. An i5 is always a good choice, but it’s especially recommended for budget-conscious gamers on a tighter budget.

In spite of its good gaming performance, an i5 is “only” a mid-range processor, so there is of course still room for improvement for those with more money. When it comes to performance, gaming, web browsing, and light productivity tasks, Core i5 processors are excellent all-around chips.

When comparing price and performance, Intel Core i5 processors are hard to beat. The majority of users won’t need anything more powerful than an i5 for everyday tasks and games. While there are variations between models, the most powerful i5 processor available today (the 12600K) can run all modern games at high settings with no issues.

The most powerful i5 processors have six four cores for desktop computers, and four four cores for mobile devices. Boost clock rates are near 5 GHz, too.

This means that the i5 can also handle some resource-intensive programs, though its true strength lies in gaming. Get an i5 (along with a good GPU) if you want to play games, surf the web, and use a few apps like Adobe.

Currently, three different i5 processors stand out:

  • i5-12600
  • i5-12500
  • i5-12400

The 12600 is the most powerful of Intel’s current i5 processors, while the 12400 is the least powerful.

There are numerous variants of each of these processors. Unlike the 12400F, which lacks an IGP, the 12600K can be overclocked. The characteristics of the processor are indicated by the number of letters following the K, F, or T.

When is an Intel Core i7 worth it?

High-end gaming (on maximum settings and high resolutions in conjunction with a high-end graphics card), media editing and creation, and similar demanding tasks are typically best suited to a Core i7 processor. Although the price gap between an i7 and an i5 (on the same model) isn’t always as large as one might think, it’s still a good idea to set aside an extra $100 or so.

Core i7 processors are recommended for those who want to run compute-intensive applications and games at their highest settings, as they typically offer slightly more performance than their i5 counterparts.

More cores and threads, as well as boost frequencies over 5 GHz, can be found in the most recent i7 CPUs for desktop PCs. An i7 is recommended if you frequently use professional applications, such as when editing video or audio with motion graphics, rendering, or simulations.

As of the current generation, code-named Alder-Lake, there is only one i7 chip available, the i7-12700. This processor, like the i5 series, is available in a number of different configurations. The overclockable Core i7-12700K and – 12700KF are excellent choices for desktop computers.

Intel Core i5 vs i7 For Gaming - Which Should I Choose? [Simple]

If you plan on doing any of the following with your PC, a Core i7 is a must-have:

  • Use of an SLI or X-Fire bridge for simultaneous operation of two video cards.
  • Overclocking is a common practice for high-end gaming computers.
  • Complex tasks like editing photos, making videos, and creating 3D models
  • The i7 processor is the most popular choice among streamers.
  • You put your system through the wringer with your frequent use of taxing real-time strategy and simulation titles.
  • You want to do everything simultaneously, right?

i5 vs i7 Gaming – How do the FPS look in games?

But let’s get back to the original question: which is better for gaming, an i5 or an i7 processor?

Yes, the Core i7 will always provide slightly better performance in terms of FPS (frames per second) when gaming. However, on 1080p and high settings, that’s “only” 15–20% more FPS. The gaps close up at higher resolutions. Particularly given that modern games still place a greater emphasis on the graphics card than the CPU, the gaps between the i5 and i7 are not particularly large.

Accordingly, we recommend the Intel Core i5-12600K for gamers who want to save money while making only a minor sacrifice in gaming performance. The i5-12600K has everything a gamer could want and provides excellent value for money.

However, the i7 is not a bad series (on the contrary), and the 12700K is highly recommended for those who still have room in their budget.

i3 vs i5 vs i7 vs i9: The main differences briefly explained

Here we will briefly explain the differences between the i5 and i7 series of our processors and the other Intel processors in order to put them back into context.

Consequently, the i3 series, which is designed to be the entry-level segment for budget systems, is still available. A Core i3 processor may be the least expensive option, but it also has the weakest performance.

The Core i9 line of processors is Intel’s top tier. Those who want to squeeze every last drop of speed out of their PC will find this useful.

You can use the following information as a guide if you’re still unsure about the type of processor you require:

  • Computers with a Core i3 processor are great for office use, light web browsing, and casual eSports gaming.
  • Core i5 processors are mid-range processors with great gaming performance but not a lot of room for video editing.
  • High-end gaming PCs with Core i7 processors can achieve higher frame rates and handle more demanding tasks with ease.
  • Absolute top-tier power with the Core i9 processor. With these processors, anything is feasible.


The Intel Core i7 models are best reserved for workstations and only the most powerful gaming rigs, we have found.

You’d be better off investing in a more potent GPU rather than an i7 CPU unless you intend to use SLI, which requires multiple high-end graphics cards.

Think of it this way: even if you pair an i5 with a top-tier graphics card and experience some CPU throttling, it won’t be a huge deal. After all, a GTX 1080 with a minor performance hit is preferable to an i7 with a GTX 1070.