f47d79c6f4 Components | News

For many consumers on the hunt for a new desktop or laptop PC, one of the biggest considerations is the type of processor the system should have. Two of the CPU families most often in contention in mainstream systems are the Intel Core i5 and the Intel Core i7. And that makes picking tricky, because the two lines have a lot in common.

The differences among Intel's key processor families are clearer when you're looking at the Core i3 (found mainly in budget systems) or the Core i9 (powerful CPUs for content-creation and other high-performance scenarios). The differences between the Core i5 and the Core i7 can seem subtle and more nuanced, especially when the prices for a Core i5 versus a Core i7 PC sometimes can be so close.

There isn't always a clear-cut, definitive answer to which is better in a given situation, and often, it just comes down to your budget. But knowing the essentials about each can help you make a smarter choice. Let's get into the key differences between the Core i5 and the Core i7.

How Many Cores Is Enough?

Simply put, a Core i5-equipped system will be less expensive than a Core i7-equipped PC, if all else is equal. But in most cases, if you're comparing apples to apples (that is, a desktop chip to a desktop chip, or a laptop chip to a laptop chip, and the same generation to the same generation), the Core i5 will have fewer, or dialed-down, capabilities. A Core i7 will typically be better for multitasking, media-editing and -creation tasks, high-end gaming, and similar demanding workloads. Often, though, the price difference will be small, so it's worth playing around with the online configurator of whatever PC you're buying to see if you can afford a Core i7-powered machine.

Intel is demonstrating the strengths of its data-centric platform strategy with the new Stratix 10 DX FPGA, a reprogrammable chip that works in tandem with Optane DC persistent memory and future Xeon Scalable processors to expand system memory and accelerate data-intensive workloads.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company Thursday unveiled the new field-programmable gate array product, an extension of Intel's Stratix 10 FPGA line that the chipmaker said will "dramatically increase bandwidth" and offload certain tasks from Xeon processors to improve data center efficiency.

[Related: Intel Gets FPGA Win As Dell EMC, Fujitsu Adopt Reprogrammable Chips For Their Server Lineups]

The Stratix 10 DX, which is now available for engineering samples, is the first FPGA to support Intel's Ultra Path Interconnect technology, according to Patrick Dorsey, vice president and general manager of product marketing in Intel's Networking and Custom Logic Group. That's significant because it allows the FPGA to share memory from Intel's Optane DC persistent memory dual in-line memory module with select Xeon Scalable processors or any of its cores or any virtual machines running on those cores.

"We're able to share the memory space coherently between the FPGA and processor, expanding memory available to the application," Dorsey said, adding that the chip, along with new Intel developer tools, will enable the building of applications that can leverage new coherent memory capabilities.

This expansion of memory can accelerate workloads running larger data sets, which can benefit data centers as well as edge applications, according to Dorsey. Intel's Ultra Path Interconnect, or UPI, can also lower latency in edge applications that require real-time responses. In addition, The Stratix 10 DX supports PCIe 4.0 connectivity, which doubles the available bandwidth for applications compared to the third, current generation of PCIe.

VMware is among the early adopters of the Stratix 10 DX, which VMware executive Krish Prasad said is part of a "long history" VMware and Intel have of "delivering innovation solutions to the industry.