Intel 4th Gen

Intel® Core™ i3 vs. i5

When it comes to buying a computer, be it a laptop or desktop, you’ll find that there are numerous options available, including the type of processor you choose. If you aren't familiar with the many processors on the market, it can be difficult to determine which is right for you.

To make matters even more complicated, because of the many factors that affect the price of a PC, it often isn't enough to conclude that Processor A is better than Processor B simply due to cost. Though this works as a general guideline, it isn't always the case.

The Intel® Core™ series of processors include the Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, and Core i9. The information below can help you determine which popular and proven processor is better suited to your needs: the Intel Core i3 or i5?

Why consider Intel Core i3?

The Intel Core i3 was introduced in 2010 and has since been improved through multiple microarchitecture updates. It's considered the budget option of the Core series, and is a capable, multi-core processor that’s found in a wide range of Lenovo PC models.

In most cases, devices with i3 processors will be less expensive than those that feature i5 processors, although it’s best not to assume that a laptop or desktop computer has a certain processor type simply based on price alone. In fact, depending on other parts of the processor's construction, some i3 models might have faster cycle times than some lower-end i5 processors. So, always look at the tech specs.

If you’re seeking an affordable laptop that offers superior computing power compared to something like a tablet, the Core i3 may be right for you. However, if you run memory-intensive software programs or regularly multitask, then the Core i5 might be a better option.

Why consider Intel Core i5?

Individuals seeking greater performance will want to consider an Intel Core i5 or later processor. i5 processors, which first launched in 2009 and have since undergone a series of improvements, are generally faster than the i3 counterparts, making this series of CPUs better suited for content creation, multi-media consumption, multi-tasking, and other complex computing tasks.

What’s the difference between Intel Core i5 & Core i3 processors?

One reason for the differences between the i3 and i5 processors is the number of cores that each contains. Most i3 processors are dual-core (some quad-core i3 products began to appear in 2018), while many i5 processors contain four cores (in addition to support for turbo boost over-clocking).

A quad-core processor will outperform a dual-core processor in nearly all cases, but the difference can be particularly noticeable when running memory-intensive software programs, such as Adobe's Creative Suite.

How can you tell which processor a Lenovo product has?

Key processor information can be found on Lenovo's laptop and desktop series pages, as well as in the tech specs sections on each individual product page. On a Series overview page, you can reference the bullet points underneath each product for details about processors, storage space, extra features, and more, or select the “Learn More” link for a more in-depth overview of the model that interests you.

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