Skip to main content

Laptop Processor Comparison: Intel Core i5 vs i7 (8th Gen & 7th Gen)

Isaac is a tech enthusiast who enjoys following top brands and closely reviewing new gadgets in both the PC and smartphone markets.

As I explained in my previous laptop buying guide, your processor’s performance is not something you can afford to disregard if you are serious about your notebook computer’s speed and ability to multitask.

Every type of processor comes with its set of specifications, which enables advanced users to assess their capacities even without trying them out. If you take into consideration the general public opinion however, chances are, you’re aiming for Intel’s microprocessors targeted at businesses and high-end consumers. In other words, Intel Core is most likely your go-to brand.

Intel’s official website and Wikipedia both have exhaustive lineups of Core processors from different generations and codenames. That is plenty to choose from; but if you are not tech-savvy, the pile of information illustrated on these sources will immediately scare you off.

Thankfully, you don’t need to learn about all the brand names before knowing the type of processor that will suit you best. The logic is quite simple. If you’re running away from Core i3 because you don’t plan to use your laptop only for basic tasks such as surfing the web, then you will need an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor.

Now, that’s where things get interesting, as we are about to find out what the differences between these CPUs are.

Note: This laptop guide was recently updated to include both 7th generation and 8th generation Intel Core i7 and i5 processors.

i5 and i7 processors are designed for business use and entertainment.

i5 and i7 processors are designed for business use and entertainment.

Overall performance comparison

Intel Core CPUs are differentiated into performance tiers, making it possible for laptop buyers to know which ones they should consider.

Core i5 = Mainstream user
Core i7 = High-end user

Unlike “weak” Core i3 processors, which are aimed at budget systems, fast i5 processors are built for more powerful use. Aside its support for daily routines such as browsing or creating and editing Microsoft Office documents, Core i5 works well for gaming and heavy usage, which involves using many applications at the same time without experiencing glitches or freezing.

Core i7 is even faster; it comes with better graphics and is built for the most demanding tasks, including running high-end video games, video editing and audio rendering.

Not totally impressed? Here is a fact that will close the argument: With a good amount of RAM, laptops or notebook PCs equipped with Core i7 processors can let you run all these demanding tasks while letting your download programs and browsing windows remain open without any risk of crashing… And all this, while your resource-sucking antivirus program works in the background to keep you protected to the maximum.

Falling for i7 already? Just keep in mind that this type of microprocessors comes with huge price tags.

Generally, mobile processors are less powerful than their desktop-only equivalents.

Generally, mobile processors are less powerful than their desktop-only equivalents.

Prices comparison

Good mobile processors – in this case, those that are fixed in mobile PCs – come at affordable prices. The best ones, however, can only be grabbed with significant extra cash.

Below is a table comparing 7th Gen and 8th Gen Intel Core processors, their main features and prices (information courtesy of Intel’s official website).

This table lists 7th Gen and 8th Gen i5 processors released in 2017 and 2016.

Processor numberCache and FrequencyCustomer Price


4MB Cache, up to 3.50 GHz



4MB Cache, up to 3.70 GHz



3MB Cache, up to 3.10 GHz



4MB Cache, up to 3.40 GHz



3MB Cache, up to 3.50 GHz



4MB Cache, up to 3.60 GHz



4MB Cache, up to 3.20 GHz



4MB Cache, up to 3.30 GHz



9MB Cache, up to 4.30 GHz

$257 - $258


9MB Cache, up to 4.00 GHz

$182 - $187


6MB Cache, up to 3.60 GHz



6MB Cache, up to 3.40 GHz


This table lists 7th Gen and 8th Gen i7 processors released in 2017 and 2016.

Processor numberCache and FrequencyCustomer Price


6MB Cache, up to 3.80 GHz



8MB Cache, up to 3.90 GHz



8MB Cache, up to 3.90 GHz



8MB Cache, up to 4.10 GHz



8MB Cache, up to 3.70 GHz



4MB Cache, up to 4.00 GHz



4MB Cache, up to 3.50 GHz



4MB Cache, up to 3.80 GHz



4MB Cache, up to 3.90 GHz



4MB Cache, up to 4.00 GHz



4MB Cache, up to 3.60 GHz



12MB Cache, up to 4.70 GHz

$359 - $370


12MB Cache, up to 4.60 GHz

$303 - $312


8MB Cache, up to 4.20 GHz



8MB Cache, up to 4.00 GHz


So clearly, Core i7 processors are more expensive than their counterparts. Yet, if your experience means more to you than your money, you should be setting your eyes on their specifications and forget about the numbers after the dollar sign.

Let’s go into the more techy side of things, shall we?

Quad-core or Dual-core?

Scan through Intel’s generations of i5 and i7 processors and you’ll find that there are dual-core and quad-core processors in both categories. Gone are the days when CPUs were manufactured with a single core.

Overtime, thanks to the evolution of technology, the addition of more cores allowed for the increment of CPU power – hence improving performance. In Matt Bach’s words, “each core is basically a whole new processor”.

Nevertheless, there are debates as to whether quad-core processors provide better system performance than dual-cores. This is simply because quad-core processors require more energy to run and a more complex algorithm than dual-cores, so not many applications take full advantage of quad-core processors.

This could cause a quad-core-equipped laptop user to run mainly on two cores, although his processor would still have to process more calculations.

At the end of the day, you can console yourself with the fact that the number of cores isn’t everything. Core i5 and i7 multi-core processors will both let you enjoy decent speed, so you can just move on to other specs.

Cache size comparison

CPU cache is used by the processor to access memory with speed, so size is important. Think of it as the key behind your processor’s ability to deal with repetitive tasks faster.

Indeed, CPU cache helps with multitasking; therefore, the larger the cache, the faster a user can navigate between his tasks back and forth.

Clock Speed comparison

The clock speed or frequency of a CPU tells you how fast a processor can perform an activity. In order words, how many instructions it can process per second. Clock speed rates are reported in gigahertz (GHz).

Note that if you tend to juggle around with many tasks rapidly on your laptop, then a processor with a base clock speed of 2.4 GHz should be fast enough for you.

Currently at 3.60 GHz, the Core i5-8600K is the 8th Generation (Coffee Lake) mobile processors with the highest base clock speed.

The mobile Core i7-8700K is even faster, with a base clock speed at 3.70 GHz.

Turbo Boost Technology

Intel Turbo Boost Technology allows processor cores to run faster than their normal frequencies. It acts as a temporary overclock that increases the CPU’s base clock speed. Power, current and temperature levels are factors taken into consideration prior to the automatic activation of this feature.

The good news is that both Core i5 and i7 processors support Turbo Boost. Then again, the latter achieves higher speeds than the former. Among Intel’s mobile 8th Generation i5 processors, the i5-8600K CPU stands out with a Max Turbo Frequency reaching 3.60 GHz.

As of December 2017, all 8th Generation i7 mobile processors can reach 4 GHz in Turbo Boost mode. In effect, the i7-8650U can be clocked at 4.20 GHz, whereas the i7-8550U can reach exactly 4.00 GHz.

Hyper-Threading Technology

Traditional processor cores can only perform one task at a time, but Hyper-Threading Technology allows cores to handle two tasks at a time. This technology, which lets applications perform many tasks simultaneously, elevates a CPU’s potential through advanced multi-tasking power.

The benefit is that a user can thus run several demanding applications at the same time, without experiencing system responsiveness issues.

All Core i5 and i7 mobile processors from Intel’s 4th Generation family support Hyper-Threading Technology.



Core i7 processors provide the best graphics, speed, power and overall performance. They’re basically the best CPUs you can have, regardless of how extreme you are. It really doesn’t matter if you are into movie production, music making, video game development, design... Just see Core i7 CPUs as do-it-all components.

But because they are so advanced and effective, they are also very expensive. As a result, it is up to you to decide if you should spend big once and for all, or if you should save towards second-best items.

All in all, don’t forget that Core i5 processors will very likely be perfect for you if you have nothing to do with technology or the media industry; plus, they are great if you want a balance between your laptop’s performance and its price.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

Question: The cost difference between a 6th generation Intel Core CPU and a 10th generation Core CPU is $500 on a laptop. For basic computing, e-mail and word processing, is a 6th generation processor good enough?

Answer: Yes, for the most basic use, a 6th Gen CPU should be enough. Whilst you at it though, an i7 6th Gen would generally be a better bet than an i5 6th Gen. For your information, I still use a 5th Gen i7 laptop for office work when I'm at home, and aside from the battery being dead, the laptop is able to handle most of my tasks satisfyingly. Of course, there's more to laptop performance than CPU alone (e.g. RAM, etc.). But again, we're talking about very basic usage here, so you should be fine with your affordable option.

© 2013 Isaac Asante


Isaac Asante (author) from Accra, Ghana on June 15, 2019:

@jai Hey Jai Field, you are right when you say that some i5 can give you a generally more superior experience (performance-wise) than some i7 processors. This is especially true when the i5 is of a higher generation (e.g. Gen 8 vs Gen 7), and the i5 has an "H" in its name (referring to "High Performance"), whereas the compared i7 is on the lower end of its group. Now, based what you say your needs are, I don't think you need the very best of high-end gaming laptops, but you still need something decent. I have found what could be the perfect laptop for you, and it is under 1,000 USD. Even if you add Amazon shipping costs, it should still be under 1,000 GBP.

Have a look:

This is the Lenovo Legion Y7000. It comes with an 8th Generation high-performance quad-core i5 CPU, the i5-8300H, which scores higher on CPU benchmark tests than the already-powerful Intel Core i7-7700HQ. It also has 16GB of RAM, more than enough to multitask even when you have heavy editing programs opened simultaneously. Moreover, it has an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti graphics card, which should make editing of 1080p videos and high-resolution images smoother.

It also has HDMI and USB ports for easy transfer of your files, and it runs on Windows 10 (you didn't state that you were a Mac user).

Let me know if you prefer something else.

jai field on June 15, 2019:

hi isaac.

i have a go pro 7 and my current lap top doesnt cut it..

i am confused as to which processor to go for in my new laptop..

an i5 or i7 i read somewhere a good model i5 is just as good as a low end i7, if so which models?

i have been looking at gaming laptops so get a good graphics card etc but am unsure, no serious editing just family holidays, snowboarding, diving etcs

max budget is under £1000


Isaac Asante (author) from Accra, Ghana on September 28, 2018:

@umair What do you plan to use the laptop for?

umair on September 28, 2018:

i5 8th gen with ssd or i7 8th gen with hdd

which will be best combination?

Isaac Asante (author) from Accra, Ghana on September 13, 2018:

@Miles Hi, data analytics is a resource-intensive task that demands high specs. I would recommend a lot of RAM (16GB or more), a 7th Gen or 8th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU and a robust graphics card, as the latter can also be used to increase the amount of data can be processed. Would you like me to recommend some laptops for you?

Miles on September 13, 2018:

Hi Isaac, what specs would u recommend for data analytics (working on big data files)?


Isaac Asante (author) from Accra, Ghana on September 06, 2018:

@Rahda Thanks for your comment. 4GB of RAM is really small in this day and age. I would definitely go for the 8GB RAM option (if there's nothing higher within your budget). After all, in addition to 8GB of RAM, it comes with the latest generation of Intel Core processors (8th Gen), and that should be enough to give you decent performance.

Radha on September 06, 2018:

Hello Issac, I'm looking for a new laptop as a student which would last for a minimum of 7 years. I certainly prefer speed and performance over storage although I'm not a gamer. I've found 2 laptop models of almost the same price, could you help me to choose which processor and RAM should I opt for:

1. 262GB SSD, 4GB RAM, 7th Gen i7 (discrete graphics)

2. 2TB HDD, 8GB RAM, 8th Gen i5 (integrated graphics)

Isaac Asante (author) from Accra, Ghana on August 16, 2018:

@Daizen Hey, I'd still recommend the 7th Gen i7 processor. Do you need help finding a robust gaming laptop?

Daizen on August 16, 2018:

Hello isaac i want to know for gaming purposes which one is better i7 7gen or i5 8th gen

Isaac Asante (author) from Accra, Ghana on August 09, 2018:

@raj--patel Okay sure! I'm glad to know you made a choice.

raj--patel on August 09, 2018:

Hi Isaac! Thanks for your opinion. Definitely the one you suggested(Quad Core 7th Gen i7) is better. But that's going a little bit over my budget.

The only 2 options in my budget are (1) Quad Core 8th Gen i5

(2) Dual Core 7th Gen i7

But as you mentioned that i7 is better than i5 for statistically demanding tasks, I think I now have a clearer picture in mind as to what to go for.


Isaac Asante (author) from Accra, Ghana on August 08, 2018:

@raj--patel Hi, many people will have different opinions about this, but I'll almost always go for an i7 for such demanding tasks (i.e. data processing with statistical software), because i7 processors are built for performance, especially when the difference in CPU comparison is just a generation apart (e.g. 8th Gen vs 7th Gen). I have to note, however, that 8th Gen i5 processors will also give you fine performance with good energy efficiency for longer battery life.

But why settle for a Dual-Core i7 when you can get an Intel 7th Gen Quad-Core i7 processor in a MacBook Pro? Check this one out from the Apple store on Amazon and let me know what you think:

It's also got a lot of cache so you're guaranteed good speed.

raj--patel on August 08, 2018:

Hi Isaac! I will be using statistical software STATA and also few other tools like R, SQL, Matlab and VBA.

I was considering MacBook Pro.

But I was confused between:

(1) Quad Core 8th Gen i5

(2) Dual Core 7th Gen i7

Any suggestions from your side as to which might be better?


Isaac Asante (author) from Accra, Ghana on August 06, 2018:

@Govind: If your activities don't require you to overly read and write to the disk, then you definitely want to prioritize processor speed over your drive. I would go for the i7.

Govind Shukla on August 06, 2018:

Sir which one will be better for programming : i5 8th gen with ssd or i7 8th gen with hdd

Isaac Asante (author) from Accra, Ghana on August 05, 2018:

Hey there @Shobhit, thanks for commenting on my article. Below are my personal recommendations, with brief justifications:

1) Acer Predator Helios 300:

Contrary to what many may assume prior to proper research, gaming laptops are a good choice for resource-intensive tasks like data analysis, and that's because both gaming and data processing require heavy computation and multitasking in the background. The good news is, the Acer Predator Helios 300 I'm recommending to you is one of the very best you can find out there for only $1.2K. Competing laptops cost way higher than that. Among the good things this 64-bit Windows 10 laptop provides are: the highly-rated 8th Generation Intel 6-Core i7-8750H, 16GB RAM, long battery life and amazing graphics (for data visualizations, etc.). Keep in mind that Graphics Processing Units (GPU) can also be used for computation, and the Helios 300 uses the advanced GeForce GTX 1060, so you're covered. This laptop would be your best bet, in terms of value for money, without compromising on your needs... especially considering you additionally want to use Adobe software.

2) ASUS ROG Strix Scar Edition:

This insanely fast ASUS laptop comes with the same mighty processor as the first laptop I proposed above and also the same vast amount of RAM, but it is equipped with an even more robust graphics card for better computation and graphics (GTX 1070 8GB) and more storage space (1TB). Having said that, it's more expensive ($1.9K), bigger, and has less battery life; but it's certainly an excellent choice for data science-like activities or creative work (image/audio/video rendering, etc).

2) New 15-inch Apple MacBook Pro:

Like I said, for your use case, performance definitely matters. If performance is your priority and you have a greater budget, then the MacBook Pro would be another wise choice. It boasts a powerful multi-core Intel i7 CPU. It also has very long battery life, great display, and it's built to boost productivity with heavy creative software like Photoshop, etc. You'll have 16GB of RAM anyway for all that. The main downsides, though, may be that it is around $2.5K (it comes down to your budget), and it does not come pre-installed with Microsoft Office Suite. There are however alternatives for that on Mac.

Let me know if you like any of these, or if you'd like something else.

Shobhit on August 05, 2018:

Hello Isaac

I am looking for a laptop for research related work. I would be mostly working on Python, MATLAB, R, and Java. It would be great if you could recommend me a laptop with a fast processor, as I might be working with large datasets. Also, I would be using software like Adobe Photoshop which hopefully doesn't make my laptop slow. It would be great to have Microsoft 10 pre-installed along with MS-Office suite.

Hoping for a positive response!

Isaac Asante (author) from Accra, Ghana on June 08, 2018:

@Denise, Hey I'm glad decided to inquire from me. I wouldn't recommend you go for Windows 7. You always want to use the latest system that's actively maintained and secured, with regular security patches, so Windows 10 is a much better choice. In terms of the exact laptop that'll suit your other requirements, the following is the best one I could get (it's sold by Acer):

Price: $499

Processor: 6th Gen Intel i7 (4M Cache, up to 3.10 GHz)


Operating System: Windows 10 Home

Size: 15.6 inches

That should be enough to get you started with at least basic or intermediate video editing/rendering. Let me know if it suits you.

Denise on June 08, 2018:

Hello Isaac, Could you recommend the best laptop with a fast processor (like i7) and good memory for video editing. I would prefer Win 7 OS. I like 15.6" screen. Price up to $500. Thank you.

Isaac Asante (author) from Accra, Ghana on May 26, 2018:

@Tan Yes, it could be sufficient. One of the most powerful i5 processors around today is the i5-8250U. Some budgets laptops come with it, along with lots of RAM as well. Check out the HP 17-bs153cl:

Let me know if you need other recommendations.

Tan on May 26, 2018:

Hi Isaac

Thank you very much for your reply! I am not a data analyst.

I might be using stata but probably not going to work with huge datasets. In this case, would an i5 be sufficient?

Thank you!

Isaac Asante (author) from Accra, Ghana on May 26, 2018:

@Tan Software like Stata requires a processor that is able to make lots of calculations/computations very rapidly. You definitely want an i7 for that. Are you a data analyst?

Tan on May 26, 2018:

Hi Isaac,

I might be using statistical software such as Stata on my laptop.

I'm wondering in this case, would you recommend a laptop with i5 or i7 processor?

Thank you so much!

Isaac Asante (author) from Accra, Ghana on May 24, 2018:

@Abdulkader That's great!

Abdulkader on May 24, 2018:

@Isaac actually I am planning to buy it from Lenovo USA website, one of my friend's is living there and he will buy it for me and bring with him to turkey...

Isaac Asante (author) from Accra, Ghana on May 24, 2018:

@Abdulkader What do I think? I think you've done a great job with your research, and I would have probably gone for the same laptop! Where do you intend to buy it? Online?

Isaac Asante (author) from Accra, Ghana on May 24, 2018:

@Anamika Hi Anamika, 3D simulations and graphics manipulation require a powerful graphics card and processor. Since you're on a budget, let me recommend the Acer Aspire E 15, 15.6" laptop (selling at $599.99):

It comes equipped with an 8th Gen i5 processor, NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8GB oF RAM and more. The great thing is that, in case you need more RAM, you can easily add it to the laptop (you can easily open it and boost up the components). It'll be a great choice for your needs.

In case you have $200 more to spend for added performance, then you can get the i7 version of that laptop here:

Let me know if this helps.

Abdulkader on May 23, 2018:

Hi Isaac

Actually I am planning to buy a new laptop for school and also for gaming.

My priority is to find light laptop under 2kg, so after long time from searching I found Lenovo ideapad 720s 15, but it's bit expensive for core i7 version and also it just come with 8gb of ram.

So I am considering to buy the Core™i5-7300HQ Processor (2.50GHz 6MB) version it's also come with 8 GB of ram and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti 4GB.

I know it's still above the 1000$ and for this price y can get core I7 and higher graphic cards for different brands, but the build quality and the weight of this laptop seems to be perfect for me...

So what do you think about it and what I your advice if you were in my place..

Anamika on May 22, 2018:


I am a PhD scholar, I will use my laptop for simulations, like designing 3D objects and simulate them under EM field. then Micro-controller related coding softwares. I want to buy a budget laptop so, Is i5 enough for me or should I invest more to get i7?

Isaac Asante (author) from Accra, Ghana on May 18, 2018:

@Daniel Hey Daniel, thanks for your question. I happen to have a bit of knowledge in Digital Audio Workstations as well. One of the most popular and efficient DAWs out there is FL Studio, and in its online Support section, it recommends either of the following multi-core processors: i7-8700K or i7-7700K

As you can see, your current desktop PC uses the latter, which is a robust 7th Gen CPU. Now that you're going for a laptop, you should definitely stick to i7 and lots of RAM, considering that DAWs put a lot of pressure on your machine. Don't cancel out gaming laptops either, because these are designed for high computation, which is what you generate when you're doing music production. I suggest the powerful laptops below, with their key CPU and RAM details (note that I'm adding benchmark scores from reputable source

Below $1,000:

2018 HP Pavillion:

CPU: i7-8550U, Quad-core (Benchmark score: 8320)


Above $1,000:


CPU: i7-8750H, 6-core (Benchmark score: 12267)


2018 Flagship HP:

CPU: i7-8550U, Quad-core (Benchmark score: 8320)


Dell Inspiron:

CPU: i7-8550U, Quad-core (Benchmark score: 8320)


Let me know if you want something else. Hope this helps, and all the best with your university life/studies.

Daniel on May 18, 2018:

Hi Isaac,

I'll be picking up a Laptop soon. I'm going to University and the main usage will be for daily Tasks as a Student. Furhtermore I will be doing music production with different Digital Audio Workstations. However I will get rid off my Desktop PC for space reasons. So the Laptop should definitely be able to replace the Desktop PC (which runs a I7-7700K). Will I be statisfied with a i5-8250-U or should I spend 300 bucks more to upgrade to the i7? Regardless of the CPU I'll be opting for 16GB RAM and a 512GB NVMe SSD.

Isaac Asante (author) from Accra, Ghana on April 26, 2018:

@Memo: Thanks for your comment. Regarding your question, comparing processors doesn't always give you a straight answer (e.g. 8th Gen i5 is far better than 7th Gen i7). You've got to consider your needs first, along with the exact tasks you intend to carry out using either of these CPUs. There's more to processors than clock speed.

In any case, both categories of processors will give you high performance, and if you're not an intensive user, you probably won't notice the difference between the two.

Here are two affordable, all-around laptops I'd personally recommend from both CPU categories. Note that they are also highly-rated on Amazon:

Asus Zenbook i5-8250-U:

Acer Aspire i7-7500U:

Memo on April 26, 2018:

Very good article .. thanks alot .

My question is i want to buy laptop for games with balanced price so i heard alot that the core i5 8th gen is better than core i7 7th gen .

Is that true ? Or should i go for i7

Isaac Asante (author) from Accra, Ghana on April 20, 2018:

@Desmond Thanks for your comment. If portability matters to you, then you definitely want to get something smaller than 15.6 inches, with a light weight. Regarding resolution, the higher, the better. But then two things determine which resolution you should get: Your activities and your budget.

If you're not into multimedia and you're not big on gaming either, then a high resolution won't matter much. You'll be paying extra for screen power without using it.

There are always products that give you the best of all worlds at affordable prices though. I strongly recommend you check the Dell XPS 13 on Amazon here:

It's 13 inches wide, weighs less than 3 lbs, has a 1080p resolution with touchscreen, 8th generation Intel processor, and enough battery life to keep you working all day. Let me know what you think.

Desmond on April 20, 2018:

Hi Isaac, thanks for a great write up. Helps with readers who aren't very tech savvy.

For laptop screens, is 15.6 the min screen size to get these days?

And what resolution would be ideal?


Isaac Asante (author) from Accra, Ghana on April 03, 2018:

@Laurie That's great! Glad to know I helped :)

Laurie Heikkenen on April 03, 2018:

@Isaac, Thank you so much! I will definitely follow up on your advice via the link you posted. It will be later in the month.

I'm looking forward to it!

Isaac Asante (author) from Accra, Ghana on April 03, 2018:

@Laurie Hey Laurie, considering you use a lot of programs that use up a lot of resources (for photo/audio rendering, etc.), it's fair enough to consider yourself a power user, in which case you would be better off with a high-end device (having a high-performance i7 processor with a lot of RAM) instead of a less robust option that may come at a cheaper price. Reviews matters, of course, but technicalities are extremely important. You definitely want to pay attention to the specifications, in your case.

Speaking of the UX430UA-DH74, some users have indeed mentioned the fan noise as a con, but that's not the case for everybody, though. Some top review sources such as and did not mention that issue as part of the main downsides of the product.

I'd recommend you get the UX430UA-DH74 directly from Asus on Amazon for the best guarantee on top quality:

Laurie Heikkenen on April 02, 2018:

Hi, Isaac, I appreciate the advice you've given on this topic. I hope you can help me.

I've narrowed my search for a new laptop to the Asus Zenbook models UX430UA-DH74 with 8th gen 17 processor and 16GB DDR3, and UX330UA-AH55 with 8th gen I5 processor and 8GB LPDDR3 RAM.

I use my computer hard. I always have Google Chrome open with several tabs. I have satellite internet--the only option where I live--and it is so slow that it's actually more productive to keep the tabs I use open than to wait for them to load when needed.

Along with Chrome, I may at any given time have two or three, sometimes four of the following programs open, and two or three Explorer windows. I know it's a lot and I try to keep it to a minimum, but it's just the way my creativity flows :)






Paintshop Pro


PhotoStage Slideshow Editor

High Logic Font Manager (around 2500 fonts)

Quickbooks Pro


In Windows 10, both on my laptop and on external hard drives, I'm continually working with an image library of thousands of images and I need to be able to scan through them, move, and open them quickly.

I need power and speed, especially to help compensate for the very slow internet connection.

Reviews say the UX430UA-DH74 has a noisy fan and tends to run hot, both of which concern me. I need quiet for work, and the laptop lives, well, on my lap, which I'd rather stayed cool. The UX330UA-AH55 has much better reviews on Amazon, though some reviewers say it has a stiff touchpad. I don't know what that means; I long for a well-functioning touchpad as the one I have on my current lowest-price Lenovo isn't grounded properly and often acts independently of me. A highly-responsive, reliable touchpad and keyboard are crucial. Unfortunately, I don't live where I can look at and touch these models.

So given all that, does the UX430UA-DH74 have enough more speed and power (for my needs) than the UX330UA-AH55 to make it worth any noise and heat? Or for my needs, are the two computers going to perform pretty much the same, making the UX330UA-AH55, less expensive and much higher-rated at Amazon, the better choice?

Thanks for reading all this!

Isaac Asante (author) from Accra, Ghana on January 08, 2018:

@Jenny I think I replied to you before approving your comment. You may want to check your notifications...

Isaac Asante (author) from Accra, Ghana on January 08, 2018:

@Jenny Thanks for reaching out. I believe I've got just what you need. Considering you're on your laptop for most of the day, you need very good battery life for moments when you're not close to an AC adapter. Since you have a lot of Windows applications running at the same time, some of which are heavily in use (e.g. 20 Chrome tabs), you need a lot of RAM -- something around 12GB or above (preferably 16GB RAM, to be safe). You also want a laptop with the right ports, and possibly a touchscreen as a plus. Additionally, you want something built for resistance and high performance. Considering you want speed, you definitely want to go with a laptop that comes with an i7 7th Gen or, better yet, 8th Gen processor.

Lastly, since you appreciate Dell, I strongly recommend you go for the laptop that meets all your requirements: the Dell XPS 13 9360.

You can purchase it here directly:

It comes with an 8th Generation i7-8550U processor, which is largely considered to be one of the fastest i7 mobile processors around today (up to 4GHz). It's packed with 16GB of RAM for easy multitasking, 512GB of storage for enough flexibility, a 13-inch size for portability, weighs less than 3 pounds, comes with a touchscreen and Thunderbolt 3 USB-C. It also has a battery life exceeding 12 hours during constant video streaming in high resolution, and Dell claims it can even exceed 20 hours during normal usage.

Not only is it durable as it's made of aluminium and carbon fiber, but Amazon's Warranty and Support policy allows you to get a full refund within 30 days if your laptop is damaged on arrival. If you like it, you may purchase it on the link above and let me have your first-hand review :)

Jenny on January 07, 2018:

@issac, for the first time in my purchasing history I have stumped myself. I made the mistake of buying an HP Envy touch screen in 2013. I insisted on an i5 processor, they bumped me up to i7-4700MQ @2.5GHz, 8GB Ram, an SSD & 1TB. Early on I had issues with it design/hardware wise. Coming from custom Dell desktops & laptops this was odd to me. I HAVE to replace this notebook now. It's done. Cooked. I'd like to stick to Dell if they have something, small (13ish?) with the right specs & price tag. I am not a gamer. I AM on my notebook nearly 15 hours a day. Usually breaking the rules of smooth, efficient, operation by having minimum of 20 Chrome tabs open and bouncing between, email, calendar, lists, also using evernote desktop, windows explorer (usually about 3-5 windows open), excel minimum. Always have at least 1-2 usb's flash drives in use. Often Word, PPT, WMP, Photo's, GIMP, & Streaming/Casting get thrown into the mix. I love having the touch screen but this is a computer not a tablet for me, so it's not a primary use. I worry about heat and I am an EXTREMELY impatient person. I've never bought an economical computer, but I want to this time. Is it possible and still meet my needs? What would match or exceed what I have now for processor? will one of the i5's work or do I need to jump to i7? Is a graphics card a concern in a situation like mine? Do I need to make a huge jump in RAM? I want something that will last a bit longer than the warranty & that's basically it this time - get my money's worth & trade up or something like that. OH! And I'm extremely clumsy. That was the one good thing HP had, their accidental damage warranty. LOL!...I don't trust the people helping me "get" the pc at dell or a big box store...I've read so many articles I'm dizzy...please save me from myself.

Marta on December 13, 2017:

Thank you Isaac!

Isaac Asante (author) from Accra, Ghana on December 13, 2017:

@Marta Hey, thanks for your comment! If you can afford it, go for the higher-end option. A laptop's duration at top level is largely determined by the pressure it has to deal with continuously. The less difficulty it has handling the tasks you throw at it, the longer it'll be able to work for you (because it'll heat up less often, battery life will be better, etc.). Plus, you can't tell if you'll need to perform heavier tasks (video editing, heavy rendering, etc.) in two or three years. Better be safe now, than be trapped with a struggling machine in a few years. Then again, you want value for money, so only go for the higher end option if you can afford it now.

Marta on December 13, 2017:

Hi Isaac, thank you for this very informative and very enlightening guide! The best info I found online!

I am planning to get a new 13 inch MacBook Air and have no clue whether I should get a cheaper version with Intel Core i5 dual core 1,8 GHz (Turbo Boost to 2,9 GHz) and 128 GB SSD or a more expensive version with Intel Core i7 2,2 GHz (Turbo Boost to 3,2 GHz) and 256 GB SSD :) Apart from basic use (browsing, Office editing) I will be regularly editing photos and doing a bit of graphic design in Photoshop/ Lightroom. I also want my laptop to be operational for a few years. Thanks a lot in advance for your help! :)

Isaac Asante (author) from Accra, Ghana on December 07, 2017:

@Ali I see, in this case I'd recommend you go for a new one. At $199.99, the Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Series (3162) seems like a good choice.

Ali on December 07, 2017:

@Isaac, that's what she just broke. She has an HP stream and it fell while opened and the screen is damaged. I received a quote for $125 to repair it, but they told me it may be a better idea to just buy her a new one. That's why I was looking at the Dell's. Should I just get it repaired instead?

Isaac Asante (author) from Accra, Ghana on December 07, 2017:

@Ali You may consider the HP Stream 14 laptop. It is designed for basic productivity and media streaming, and it has a great battery life. It's available for only ~220 USD on the HP Store. I believe it will be enough for an 11-year-old.

Ali on December 07, 2017:

Hello! I am looking to purchase a laptop for my 11 year old daughter. I am looking for the most cost effective way to get something that will do what a typical 11 yr old does like homework, school projects, surfing the web, watching youtube videos and playing simple games - she's no "gamer" by any means. I'm on a budget therefore I was looking at Inspiron 11 - 3162, a Chromebook 11 - 3180 or an Inspiron 15 - 3552. Does anyone have any advice as to if these will suffice for an 11 year old? Thank you!

Isaac Asante (author) from Accra, Ghana on December 03, 2017:

@Betty: The cost involved in that process will probably be higher than a machine replacement. So I'll suggest you simply replace your laptop if you need an i5 instead of an i3.

Betty on December 02, 2017:

Hi Isaac, I purchased a laptop with core i3 processor and I think I need a more improved speed. Can the core i3 be altered and i5 installed?

Vaidas on September 08, 2017:

What about battery usage and heat comparison?

Nash on July 17, 2017:

Thats a remarkable piece put out there champ.

Pls whats do you think about Hp envy laptop with the following spec for gaming.

6th generation

Intel core i7

Hard drive 1TB


Windows 10

Graphics card: Nvidia

Hope to hear from you.

Thank You.

Isaac Asante (author) from Accra, Ghana on February 22, 2017:

@Hemanth That's a lot of power that you need! Are you sure you'll need that much? Anyway, I say an i7 is your best bet. Try searching for "i7 laptops" on eBay or Amazon... You should get some good suggestions.

Isaac Asante (author) from Accra, Ghana on February 22, 2017:

@Jon Yes, i5 iMacs are pretty robust and you should be able to carry on that task easily. Of course, depending on how large the video is, the rendering process might take a while and it may add pressure on the CPU, hence making the PC not too usuable while the process is underway. However, I think you should be good, especially if you're not aiming to carry video editing activities on a regular basis. If you have the money though, there's never any harm in going for the high-end i7 version of the iMac, just so you know you'll not run into challenges if ever you decide to edit videos more often.

Jon on February 21, 2017:

Hello. I want to edit video with an imac 21.5. I'm sure I will just do one thing at a time. Well, maybe edit and open a window to preview film before I load it into final cut x. Do you feel a i5 quad core processor will handle the load at a decent speed?

Hemanth on February 08, 2017:

Hi Isaac, need a suggestion on Laptops with i5 & i7 processor.

I need a processor which would be good to run 4 VMs on top of windows. I planning have 32 Gig of RAM. Do you think a Laptop with i5 processor would support such load ? or should I just go for a Laptop with i7 processor.

Isaac Asante (author) from Accra, Ghana on January 26, 2017:

@Mehernosh Hey man, thanks! So I think I've got the exact answer to your CPU comparison answer here:

Note however that when it comes to gaming, the graphics card is what you'll want to look at very closely. The GTX 960 is not up there with the best graphics cards when we talk about high performance gaming with high-end titles, but you should still be able to enjoy some decent gaming like FIFA 17, PES 2017 and the likes.

Mehernosh L Bharucha on January 23, 2017:

Hello Isaac, very informative, straightforward, easy to understand and you kept the interest flowing. Now for the meat of the matter. I am looking at purchasing a brand new laptop of an extremely world wide popular brand. It has an intel i7-6700hq i could not find any with the i7 mq chip. The other option is an i7-7200u. The laptop is 1200$ and includes: nvididia gtx 960 4gb video ram , 1tb hdd, 8gb of ram, again it comes with i7-6700hq.

Canyou please tell me wich of the 2 i7 chips i mentioned is faster, better, more powerful for web design graphics, watching streaming videos, and of course gaming, video conferencing and multitasking projects via the Internet.

Thank you and great article. You have made me a follower.

Mehernosh L Bharucha

Isaac Asante (author) from Accra, Ghana on September 28, 2016:

Hey Derek, note that 3.3GHz is actually the clock speed. Bottom line is that, if you're looking to play games, I'd recommend an i7 laptop, especially if the games you want to play require top PC performance. I'd recommend you check your favorite game's minimum and recommended PC requirements to make a decision as to what CPU you're going for in your next PC.

Derek Erzoah on June 11, 2016:

What to know the difference between Intel core i5 vs 3.30 ghz ... Or which one is good for playing game

Mustafa kuwait on April 07, 2015:

Thanks 4 nice tep

TTGReviews on November 18, 2014:

Nice comparison overall. It's easy to get confused when going to laptop CPU's because they are so different in terms of cores, hyper-threading etc..., when compared to their PC counterparts.

Isaac Asante (author) from Accra, Ghana on August 21, 2014:

@Socratesk Thanks! Good feedback. Happy to know you enjoyed the article... I'll be making more hopefully.

Socratesk on August 20, 2014:

Love giving credit where credit is overwhelmingly due.

Thanks for what would have to be one of the best guides to comparing processors I've ever read. There are a myriad of reasons why I think your article is so good: for example clear, concise, accurate, well organized and laid out, and best of all no technobable.

I'm currently researching the best laptop to use for developing eLearning programs, which involves tasks such as video and audio editing, as well as a lot of multitasking. As a result, I've been reading a lot of articles and I have to say yours beats all of them hands down.

One of the most helpful things about your article is that unlike others, rather than focusing primarily on the processor, you've given us an excellent overview of the main factors that determine laptop performance: all in a very easy to follow step by step format.

Prior to reading your article I already knew I'd be looking for a laptop with an I7 processor. However, what I didn't yet fully comprehend was how other elements, such as Cache and Turbo Boost Technology, factored in. Thanks to you now I do.

Isaac Asante (author) from Accra, Ghana on August 18, 2014:

My first answer is that I didn't miss the i7-4800MQ... I randomly picked some processors to review. For the place where you can buy a 4700HQ's, check these links:



I hope I helped.

You seem to be missing something on August 18, 2014:

Where is the comparison for Intel i7-4800MQ?

You jump from 4700 to 4900....

Also, do you know anywhere currently selling the 4700HQ's? I'm looking to upgrade my GP60 2PE i5-4200H to the 4700HQ since it has same powerconsumption and is the currently used processor of the i7 series of GP60's

Isaac Asante (author) from Accra, Ghana on August 05, 2014:

Yah, I get it. Hopefully you find the right product! And feel free to ask me anything in case you're confused.

Dr Pradip Hira from Ahmedabad-India on August 05, 2014:


Thanks for your nice tip,

I go through the link in your post, but as I am from India shipping from would be costly so I prefer I will check there.

Isaac Asante (author) from Accra, Ghana on August 05, 2014:

@pradiiphira, you can buy directly from the laptop links I've put in my articles from Amazon. They're available at this moment, and very cheap.

Dr Pradip Hira from Ahmedabad-India on August 05, 2014:

I was thinking to buy new laptop for my home use but I was little bit confuse,but thanks for the detail information

Isaac Asante (author) from Accra, Ghana on June 17, 2014:

@Hezekiah Nice, and how are you enjoying your i7 processor?

Hezekiah from Japan on June 17, 2014:

Nice Hub, I tend to play a lot pf games at home so I definitely went for the Core i7 processor and a high end graphics card.

Isaac Asante (author) from Accra, Ghana on May 15, 2014:

Thanks WestelCS... The bottom line though is to assess your needs before selecting your type of processor.

Tim Anthony on May 15, 2014:

Nice hub and very well explanation of i5 and i7 processors and their capabilities. Though i7 is best, i5 quad-core processors are also smooth while working in media sector, business communication services or even in IT development.

Isaac Asante (author) from Accra, Ghana on April 10, 2014:

@Livingoom, thanks! I've got another hub coming up...

Ashadur zaman from Bangladesh on April 10, 2014:

good hub

Isaac Asante (author) from Accra, Ghana on January 10, 2014:

@mohanad, Thanks!

mohanad was on January 10, 2014:

thanks a bunch for the awesome info