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Difference Between i3 and i5

i3 vs i5

The latest Intel Core microprocessors are the i3, i5, and i7. For most people, the i7 is out of reach, and the choice is commonly between the i3 and the i5. The main difference between them is the market to which they are intended. The i3 is the entry-level offering of Intel designed to be at the lowest price point. On the other hand, the i5 is the mid-level offering; slightly pricier but also provides better performance than the i3.

When choosing between an i5 and i3, you should take note that while all i3s are dual-core processors, i5 processors have dual core and quad core models. Dual core i5s may be slightly better than i3s, but the quad core models are certainly leaps and bounds ahead. The additional two cores give the i5 a lot more processing power for multitasking and parallel computing.

Another advantage of the i5 processor is having turbo boost. Turbo boost is an Intel technology that lets the processor dynamically overclock beyond its typical speed when the operating system needs it to. The dynamic overclocking is only limited by the power and heat dissipation limits of the processor and is very useful when you only do heavy computing occasionally. The i3 lacks turbo boost, and the clock speed remains the same. You can probably overclock it manually if you are so inclined to do so, but it would cause your computer to consume more power and can make it less stable.

Lastly, there is some difference when it comes to cache memory or the very fast memory that is incorporated into the processor. All i3 processors have the same 3MB of cache. And while some i5 processors also have a 3MB cache, higher-end models can have 4MB, 6MB, and even 8MB. Cache memory is very important because it is much faster compared to RAM. More of it means that your processor accesses the slower RAM much less often.

In the end, it’s down to your needs. For common tasks like browsing the Internet, viewing movies, and light gaming, the i3 is probably more than sufficient. For those who play the latest games or do photo and video editing, an i5 may be necessary.


1.The i5 is categorized a tier higher than the i3.
2.The i3 is only available as a dual core while the i5 is available in dual or quad cores.
3.The i5 has turbo boost while the i3 doesn’t.
4.The i3 only has 3MB of cache memory while i5s can have anywhere between 3MB and 8MB.

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1 Comment

  1. This present article states that i3 has 3 MB of cash, while in another article – http://www.differencebetween.net/technology/difference-between-pentium-and-core-i3/ here is the link it says that i3 has 4MB cash which is one of the difference of it compared to Pentium processor which only has 3MB… Can anybody clarify this?

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