Learn about the latest Intel Core Processor lines and how to choose which processor is best for your needs, now that Intel has decided to confuse people even more than before.
Episode #9-11 released on October 28, 2018
Here is something you might be able to identify with, you go to buy a new computer, and you know what you want to do with the computer, but you only know you want an Intel processor. You have no idea what an i3, i5 or i7 processor is, or what is so special about it. And, now, there is even an i9 processor from Intel. Today, I will demystify the desktop processors from Intel, explain some of the future possibilities, and you will be better prepared to know what to expect from all your future purchases.
In order to better prepare you, I will be explaining the past models of each process, and what to expect from future iterations of those lines. It is important to note that some features that previously existed in the i3 and i7 lines may not exist in the new 9th generation processors from Intel but are reserved now for the i9 processors only. Let's begin.
Beginning with the i3 Intel Core Processor, since the original release of the Intel i3 core processor, it has always been a dual core hyperthreaded processor. This means you had two physical processors, and each processor core had two threads. For your computer, it basically has four cores. However, there is a trade off between 2 real cores with 4 threads, and 4 cores with 4 threads. As of the 8th generation, i3 Intel Core now had a 4 core, 4 thread count processor. While, we lose hyperthreading, it was now more like an i5 processor. This means that any i3 processor before the 8th generation has two cores, and 4 threads. These processors are typically good for office work, and light gaming. And, many people with basic needs will greatly benefit from the lower cost for their performance requirements.
The i5 Intel Core Processor, as of the 9th generation, now has 6 distinct cores, instead of 4 cores, as it always had. This allows it to be better at multitasking. This line hasn't had hyper threading available on the desktop. Traditionally, the i5 processor has always had an advantage over i3 processors, mainly because of the unlocked high frequency variants, and the fact it had 4 real cores, with no hyperthreading. Now, the desktop variant has 6 unlocked cores great for gamers and overclockers.
Now, the i7 processor, for the desktop, traditionally had 4 cores, 8 threads, and came with an unlocked variant. It was faster than all previous processors and was the consumer's most accessible high-performance processor meant for virtually all tasks that you could throw at it. This line of processors though has had some back and forth applied to it, and I will explain later to a possible reason. In the 8th generation, the i7 processor came with a new 6 core 12 thread unlocked variant, called the i7-8700k. With two extra real cores, and 4 extra threads, it is definitely better for a lot more tasks than the previous versions. But, you might to still buy this one instead of the 9th generation i7 Intel core processor, which was handicapped at the knees with the disappearance of hyperthreading. A 9th generation i7 core processor like the i7-9700K now has 8 cores instead of 6 cores, a two-core improvement over the 8th generation, but only has 8 threads to work with. In loads benefiting from more threads, the 8th generation i7-8700k might actually be better for you.
And, now the latest line from Intel, the i9 core processor, debuting with the i9-9900K processor. Has access to 8 real cores and being the only 9th generation desktop processor with hyperthreading enabled, enjoys 16 threads of processing power. And, it is an unlocked processor. This new line now dominates as the elitist level and is what every gamer will be dreaming of.
Now, if you are wondering what you might need for your computer, just follow these simple steps in building an upgradable computer that can be improved for future unforeseen needs.
If you need a basic computer where you simply need to go onto the Internet, do office work, and communicate with others via Skype, and other services. Your computer can use an i3 processor, with 8GB of ram, and a hard disk. For better performance, you may opt for an SSD instead. You will be able to add a graphics card later on, if the need arises, or more ram, too.
If you are a gamer, you can take the above computer, and replace the processor with an i5 processor, especially the 8th and 9th generation i5 core processors. For gaming 8GB is the minimum, but the sweet spot can be better 16GB and 32GB. For gaming, you will need a graphics card. For 4K gaming, you need 4GB of VRAM on your graphics card, or higher. Currently you have access to many 4GB or greater equipped graphics cards, check your game's recommended specifications for suggestions for graphics card.
If you want to stream while gaming, edit video, do 3D models, etc. the previous i5 model may benefit from having an i7 processor instead. If you need more than 8 threads, opt for the 8th generation model who has access to 12 threads. This platform can, also, benefit from SLI, under a few very specific circumstances.
Now, if 12 threads are still not enough for you, then you can opt for the i9-9900K, 8 core, 16 thread model for your build, which will bring you up to the top of the consumer tree of parts. I'd suggest using this processor only if you are fully intent and or needing of more than 8 or 12 processor threads. With this processor you can expect higher prices, too. It would definitely be a waste to buy an i9 processor to use the onboard graphics, when the i5 is just as good in that respect. So, my suggestion for this is only gamers, 3D modeling, video editing, or higher end tasks.
Gamers can definitely still greatly benefit from using an i5, over the i7 or i9 processors. It is typically the recommended part by game developers.
Host : Steve Smith | Music : | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Dot Net