What's the difference between an i5 and i7 processor?


Episode 1138

Jim from Hollywood, CA

Jim had one of the original iMacs and he heard a 'pop' and the display died. A Cinema display he had connected also went down. So he has to buy a new computer. He's wondering what the difference is between th i5 and i7 processor. Leo says about $300. They're very similar.

The i7 does multithreading, which is great for video editing. Multithreading allows each core to do two things at once. He can check out this site for more in depth comparisons -

Why aren't newer processors getting much faster?

Episode 1099

Greg from Camarillo, CA

Greg is looking to upgrade his processors and he's noticing they aren't that much faster. Leo says that processors aren't. They've found that faster processors get hotter and more unstable. So they've added more cores and more L2 cache to make them appear faster. We're pretty much at the limits of single core speeds. So Greg is wondering whether he should wait for it to die or replace it? Leo says just wait for it to die and keep his data backed up.

Intel Releases Next Generation, 'Haswell' Processors

Episode 983

Today Intel released the next generation i3-i5-i7 processors. Dubbed Haswell, the new processor is a 22nm architecture, which Leo says will get down to 14nm by next year. The Haswell processors will offer laptops very long battery life thanks to its lower power requirements. Windows Tablets will enjoy that as well. It will also offer improved graphics performance. New Haswell based laptops will be out soon.

How do I reattach a heat sync on a computer processor?

Episode 955

Barbara from New Jersey

Barbara was upgrading the RAM on her computer and she discovered her heat sync has loosened on the processor. She knows she needs to reattach it with that heat sync glue that has to be in between it. Leo says to be sure she only uses a drop of that stuff. As for the clip, if it's lose or comes apart, it may need to be soldered back into place. She should be careful to not get solder anywhere else but where she wants it soldered. Solder isn't really strong enough to hold down a clip, though. Since her PC is 8 years old, it may be time to just upgrade.

Would a faster graphics card solve problems with lagging while gaming on my PC?

Episode 896

Casey from Clovis, CA

Casey loves gaming, but consoles are slow behind the times. Leo says that console games have stagnated over the last 10 years, while PCs have leapfrogged into better graphics and faster processors.

Casey uses his PC for gaming, but he's getting a lot of lag. He's wondering if upgrading his graphics card would improve the performance. Leo says he could upgrade the graphics, but if his CPU isn't fast enough, it will still perform slow. They really work together.

Comments on the hyper-threading processor in the new Macbook Pro.

Episode 883

Jeff from Los Angeles, CA

Jeff is part of the Apple Consultant's network and he says the new Macbook Pro has a redesigned hyper-threading processor which can handle more small packets of data. Leo says we've had hyper-threading since the Core 2 Duo, and that's nothing new. The new processors in every PC and even some phones are quad-core. Intel has the i3, i5 and i7. One of the differences between the i5 and i7 is that the i7 has hyper-threading turned on. That means each individual chip (or core) can do two things at once. So the processors in the new Macbooks can do eight things at once.