In this article, I will try to explain which Intel processor is the best, including a detailed description of the intel processors Core i3, i5, i7, and i9 models.
Whether you’re planning to build a computer from scratch, want to upgrade your hardware, or buy a new laptop, choosing a processor is one of the most important decisions. As a rule, initially, there is a choice between Intel and AMD, but if you are already inclined towards the first option, then below, I have collected the best Intel processors at the moment. Now the 10th generation of processors from this company has already been released – for both laptops and desktops. To complicate matters, for laptops, the 10th generation is divided into Ice Lake and Comet Lake lines.
Intel has a lot of processors, and it can be very difficult to decide what to choose in the store. The reason is that the names consist of a set of numbers and letters, for which there is decoding. And recently, this decryption has changed. Thanks, Intel.
The first two digits after the main body indicate the generation of the processor. For example, if after “i3” comes “10”, we have a 10th generation Intel processor. Next, you need to look at the last numbers or letters of the name. If there is a letter “G” and a number after it, it means that the processor has a powerful integrated graphics core.
The number after the “G” indicates how powerful it is – there are options from G1 to G7, where 7 means the highest performance. The 8th generation models had the letters “U,” “HQ,” and “Y” at the end. The new G category indicates that Intel now pays more attention to games. And it is not surprising – AMD Ryzen chipsets have become better in this regard. The competitor needs to catch up. The goal is to make the graphics in the processor compared to a separate video card so that you can play any new 1080p games without having to buy additional hardware.
However, there are U and Y processors in the 10th generation, which are less focused on gaming. Their advantage lies, for example, in the GIG + technology for Wi-Fi 6, which provides a much faster network speed. The letter “K” means that the clock speed can be overclocked, and such a processor needs a good cooling system. Otherwise, it can overheat quickly. Also, “S” and “X” mean additional optimization. If there are no letters at the end of the name, we have a regular PC processor.
For powerful gaming machines: Intel Core i9-9900KS and 9900K
If you’re only satisfied with the most powerful processor for gaming, go for the Intel Core i9-9900KS. This eight-core, 16-thread desktop monster is essentially a faster version of the Intel Core i9-9900K. It goes well with a gaming graphics card and a quality cooling system.
And, of course, there is the new Intel Core i9-10900K, which with ten cores and 20 threads, is the most powerful processor from Intel at the moment. However, it is unlikely that these benefits are really worth paying the money required for it.
For simpler assemblies: Intel Core i5-10600K
One of the best 10th Gen Intel processors in terms of value for money is the Intel Core i5-10600K. It has six cores, 12 threads and a maximum clock speed of 4.8 GHz, and considering the price, it would be a great buy.
For laptops: Intel Core i9-10980HK and Intel Core i7-1065G7
Choosing the best Intel processor for laptops isn’t easy either, because there are so many options. The i9-10980HK is the best mobile Comet Lake chipset and has faster speeds. Usually, this model can be found in the most expensive gaming and work laptops because it works better with a separate video card – its integrated graphics processor is rather average.
The Intel Core i7-1065G7 isn’t as powerful as the i9-10980HK, but the integrated graphics are much better. This means that laptops with such hardware will allow you to play and edit video without a separate video card, making the device as a whole becomes lighter and cheaper.
However, the capabilities of the graphics core are, of course, inferior to a good powerful video card, so it is better to play something like Apex Legends and Fortnite, and not modern blockbusters. The Intel Core i7-1065G7 is commonly found in ultrabooks like the Dell XPS 13, where gaming is more of a bonus than a core feature.
Core i3 / i5 / i7 / i9 in desktop computers
Intel Core i3 PC processors have four cores. They work great for their value, but they lack the Hyper-Threading technology of the more expensive models. This technology creates virtual cores that give the processor the same performance as models with a large number of real cores. The i3 also doesn’t overclock as much as other lines. Intel Core i5 PC processors have six cores.
As with the i3, there is no Hyper-Threading feature here, although Turbo Boost does better for speeding up speed. Core i7 chipsets can have six or eight cores, and the availability of Hyper-Threading depends on the specific model. Intel Core i9 comes with eight or ten cores. The i9 is the most powerful of all Cores, so for maximum performance on an unlimited budget, you should go with it.
So what should you choose? Hyper-Threading is best suited for multitasking and video editing, including 3D. For games and simple applications, it is less useful, because the number of cores plays a small role in this case.
However, the benefits of the most advanced processors are visible in other situations as well. They have a higher clock speed, so each core is more powerful in itself, and the cache is also larger here. It stores the data with which the chipset works, and at high loads, this is one of the most important indicators. In a regular Core i3, the cache is 6 MB, in a Core i5 – 9 MB, and in a Core i7, it is 12 MB. This means that among the characteristics of the processor, not only the clock frequency is important, but also many other indicators.
Core i3 / i5 / i7 / i9 in laptops
Laptops with 8th generation chipsets are already outdated, although they are cheaper. You can often find great devices in terms of value for money. For many tasks, this will be enough.
The most powerful models feature 10th generation processors like the Intel Core i9-10980HK. The “H” stands for high performance, which is what you find in the very best gaming and work laptops. The Intel Core i7-9750H has a high TDP (45W), which means it is suitable for more massive and high-performance notebooks.
In general, the type of processor is almost entirely related to the type of laptop you choose. Ultra-compact and thin models cannot use high TDP chipsets because they have no room for adequate cooling systems. And they use up the battery much faster, so they are not suitable for those who need long battery life.
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The best processors for performance and gaming
Intel Core i3 has enough capabilities to be friends with Windows 10 without any problems, but for high performance, you need a good SSD, not a hard drive. For laptops, the G-series processors are the only ones suitable for gaming. All others use a UHD graphics chipset, which cannot handle today’s new products.
None of Intel’s desktop processors are good enough for gaming on their own. If you need a computer specifically for gaming, it is better to spend money on a video card, not a processor. For example, an Intel Core i3-10100 with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 will provide a higher frame rate than a Core i9-10900K and a GeForce GTX 1650. Although, of course, a high-quality video card needs at least a Core i5-10400 or i5-9400 processor.
But, even here, a lot depends on the games themselves. A weak processor is not suitable for strategies like Civilization 6 and Total War: Warhammer 2, because they have a lot of calculations in the background. On the other hand, blockbusters and action games are much more graphics-intensive; they will be quite pulled by a Core i3 or i5.
For example, 3.6 GHz means 3,600,000,000 calculations per second. However, this figure cannot be directly compared between chipsets from different manufacturers, lines, and generations. Different families have different efficiency indicators, so a separate number of GHz in itself does not say everything.
Turbo Boost Technology increases the clock speed of the Intel Core i5 and i7 processors when you need more power to work. This means that the chipset will consume less energy, will not heat up so much. And overclocking will occur only if necessary.
If there is support for Turbo Boost, then it is no longer possible to simply look at the clock rate. For example, the Core i3-8100 has this value of 3.6 GHz, while the Core i5-7600 has only 1.6 GHz, while the i5 is capable of overclocking to the same 3.6 GHz, and as a result, it will work faster, because it has more cores.
The more the processor is overclocked, the higher the temperature. For this reason, Turbo Boost cannot work continuously, but only until the set temperature limit is exceeded. If demanding tasks like video processing take too long, Turbo Boost can be unsafe for the processor.
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THE BEST PROCESSOR FOR GAMING
When buying or assembling a new gaming computer, one of the decisive factors is the choice of processor. The most powerful graphics card will keep your PC running at peak performance. But only when paired with an equally great processor. You may decide to save on it in order to spend more money on other components. But do not succumb to this temptation – you need to take exactly the processor that will ideally complement your video card.
It is worth choosing a processor immediately after you have decided on a video card. Further, based on the selected processor, its socket and supported chipset, a motherboard is selected, which will become the connecting link of your assembly. All AMD processors in this list are socket AM4 compatible and support the 300, 400, and 500 series chipsets. All 9th Gen Intel processors in this review are compatible with the LGA1151 socket and support the 300 series chipset. However, Intel’s new 10th generation processors have switched to the LGA1200 socket and are limited to motherboards with the new Z490 or B460 chipset.
You can rank processors based on performance. But choosing the best processor does not mean choosing the most powerful and expensive processor you can afford for gaming, in particular. You need to find a processor that is powerful enough to realize the full potential of your graphics card, but not idle. The Intel Core i9-9900K processor works well with the NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti graphics card. But will not give a significant performance increase, for example, with the GTX 1060. In this review, you will find processors for several performance levels and prices.
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1.Intel Core i9-10900K
If you want the absolute best processor for gaming, then the Core i9 10900K is the way to go. In the vast majority of cases, the Intel Core i9-10900K is overkill, unless you’re planning an extreme build with a flagship graphics card. However, for those who are not only playing games: the Core i9-10900K is the fastest Intel processor.
The Intel Core i9-9900K is Intel’s first mainstream processor with ten cores and 20 threads. Considering its ability to operate at 5.3 GHz, it delivers impressive performance for 14nm technology. Games still rely on high clock speeds, and the high clock speed of this processor puts it above all others.
The Intel Core i9-10900K has a rated power rating of 95W, but this will often be exceeded under load. Such as the NZXT Kraken X62. The Core i9-10900K is not the most efficient or economical processor for gaming. But it will be enough to pair with the powerful graphics cards of the next few generations. In addition to cooling, you will need to purchase a motherboard based on the Z490 chipset, which will also be expensive.
2.Intel Core i5-9400F
The Core i5-9400F is slightly faster than the previous generation Core i5-8400 processor. Lacks Intel integrated graphics and is therefore cheaper. Overall, intel processors a great budget option that doesn’t cost much more than an Intel Core i3.
It has a locked multiplier, so there is no overclocking option. But you can save money by purchasing an H370 chipset motherboard. At least you get cooler in the box. Most boards will happily run an Intel Core i5-9400KF at 3.9GHz, so the low base clock is worth worrying about.
While the i5-9400F is not as fast as other processors in multi-threaded tests, it is close to AMD Ryzen 9 3900X in gaming tests. Right now, the Intel Core i5-9400F is a reasonably fast and very affordable processor.