Which Laptop CPU is Right for You?

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A computer's processor is its brain, the component where most of the "thinking" happens. A faster CPU (central processing unit) lets you crunch spreadsheets, surf web pages, play games or edit photos faster, but a higher-wattage processor may also give you worse battery life.

When you're shopping for a laptop, you'll usually see the name of the processor listed prominently in every product description. However, just seeing the CPU model name, without any context, can be confusing. Is a laptop with a Core i7-7Y75 CPU faster than one with a Core i5-8250U? How much speed do you really need, anyway?

Image Credit: Iaroslav Neliubov / Shutterstock

Most laptops today are powered by an Intel CPU, though there are several models that use AMD processors. Even if you only look at Intel's lineup, there are more than two dozen different models you might see featured in a brand new notebook. Fortunately, learning the basics isn't too difficult.

TLDR; Which CPU Do I Need?

We detail all the different CPU types and their capabilities below, but if you just want the broad strokes, we've got a small cheat sheet below.

Purpose Recommended CPU Sample SKUs Typical Battery Life
Workstation / Gaming Intel Core i5 / i7 H Series Core i9-8950HK, Core i5-8300H 3 to 8 hours
Everyday Productivity w/ a Boost Intel Core i7 U Series / Intel Core i5 or i7 G Series / AMD Ryzen Mobile 7 Core i7-7500U, Core i7-8550U, Core i7-8705G 5 to 17 hours
Everyday Productivity Intel Core i5 U Series / AMD Ryzen Mobile 5 Core i5-7200U, Core i5-8250U 5 to 17  hours
Super Thin (Mediocre Performance) Intel Core m / Core i5 / i7 Y Series   Core m3, Core i5-7Y54 5 to 9 hours 
Budget Laptops, Low Performance Intel Celeron, Pentium Celeron N3050, Pentium N4200 4 to 6 hours
Super Cheap, Worst Performance Intel Atom Series Atom Z3735F, Atom x3, Atom x5 7 to 12 hours

 

How to Read a CPU Model Name

When you're glancing at spec sheets, the name of the processor has a confusing jumble of numbers and letters.

Intel CPUs

The first word in the processor name is the brand, which is usually "Intel Core" but may also be labeled as Xeon, Celeron, Pentium or Atom. There's also "AMD Ryzen" and "AMD FX." Following the brand, you see the brand modifier, which is most often i3, i5 or i7 but can also be other letters and numbers such as m5, x5, E or N.

On Intel processors, the first number after the hyphen is the generation indicator; the latest generation is the 8th so the very newest CPUs have an 8 here. However, many laptops that are currently for sale haven't been updated to the latest platform yet and will still have a 7 (for 7th Gen) in the model number.

Then you'll probably see some combination of a two or three digit number and a single letter which is probably U, Y, H (also H or HK). The numbers indicate that particular SKU and the letters indicate the processor line. The line is extremely important because it tells you roughly how much wattage this processor needs.

On AMD processors, the numbers and names aren't quite as straightforward. The company's new Ryzen Mobile CPUs are named Ryzen 5, which competes with Core i5 U series and Ryzen 7, which competes with Intel's Core i7 U series.

AMD Ryzen vs Intel Core

For many years, AMD processors only appeared in budget systems with mediocre performance and battery life. However, late in 2017, the company got its swagger back, releasing its new Ryzen Mobile platform. In our tests, an HP Envy x360 laptop with Ryzen 5 beat a nearly-identical model with a Core i5-8250U chip on a number of tests and tied or finished barely behind on some others. The AMD chip's graphics performance was significantly better and its battery life was about the same.

As of this writing, there are only three Ryzen Mobile-powered laptops on the market (Acer Swift 3, HP Envy x360 and Lenovo IdeaPad 720S). However, if the laptop you want is available with Ryzen Mobile at the same price or less than the Intel version, you should definitely consider the AMD-powered model. Don't pay extra to get Ryzen because the performance is so similar to Core i5 or Core i7. 

Other AMD chips that are non-Ryzen are less capable than a modern Core i5 or Core i7 and should only be considered when getting a very low price, rather than strong performance is your main concern. 

Core i3 vs Core i5 vs Core i7

Most Intel CPUs you'll see on laptops that cost over $400 are branded as Core i3, Core i5 or Core i7. As the numbering suggests, Core i3 is the slowest, i5 is in the middle and i7 is fastest. Usually, the i5 model is more than adequate for a regular, everyday user who is not doing intensive graphics work, engineering / science or gaming. 

Both Core i5 and Core i7 support turbo boost, which allows the clock speed to go higher based on the task, and Hyper-Threading, which gives you two unique threads (aka virtual cores) for each core. However, Core i3 does not provide either of those features. In addition, Intel's new 8th Gen Core platform is only available in Core i5 and Core i7.

7th Gen Core or 8th Gen Core?

In fall 2017,  Intel released its latest CPU platform, which is known as 8th Gen Core or "Kaby Lake Refresh." The latest chips offer a huge performance increase over the 7th Gen "Kaby Lake" processors that power most laptops today. They also move the most common processor line, the U series, from dual-core to quad-core, which means that you have eight threads (two per Core) to help with multitasking and productivity tasks.

According to our tests, 8th Gen Core chips are between 50 and 92 percent faster than their predecessors on multi-threaded tasks. For example, in our tests, a Dell XPS 13 9360 with Core i7-8550U processor completed a giant Excel macro in just 1 minute and 8 seconds, compared to an identical XPS 13 with Core i7-7500U CPU that finished in 2:30. Even on single-threaded tasks, we saw a noticeable 10 to 11 percent improvement. 

Initially, laptops with Intel’s 8th Gen Core i5 and Core i7 U series processors were the only ones available. Since then, Intel’s “Kaby Lake G proceesors” with AMD’s Vega graphics built into the CPU have released, as well as the first notebooks with Coffee Lake H-series processors that go up to Core i9.

However, a number of Intel's processor series are still stuck on 7th Generation Core. There's no 8th Gen Celeron or Pentium processor for low-end systems. The low-power Y series CPUs that appear in a few super-thin, fanless tablets are also stuck in the 7th Gen.

MORE: Should You Wait to Buy a Laptop with 8th Gen Core?

CPU Specs: Cores, Hyper-Threading, Clock Speed

When you read about any individual CPU model, you'll see that, just like the laptop it powers, it has a complete set of specs. The most important specs are these:

  • Cores:  The processor within a processor, a Core is capable of working on one discrete task while the other core(s) does something else. Most laptop CPUs have two cores, but some of the higher-performance models have four cores. With 8th Gen Core, mainstream Core i5 and Core i7 laptops will now have four cores also.
  • Hyper-Threading: A process where the CPU splits each physical Core into virtual Cores called threads. Most of Intel's dual-core CPUs use hyper-threading to provide four threads while its quad-core CPUs provide eight threads.
  • Clock Speed: Measured in gigahertz, this is the number of cycles per second that the CPU can execute. A higher number is better, but this is far from the only factor in processor speed.
  • Turbo Boost: Temporarily raises the clock speed from its base frequency to a higher one in order to complete a task more quickly. Most Core i5 and i7 CPUs have this feature, but Core i3 models do not. The default frequency is listed as "processor base frequency" while the highest frequency is listed as "max turbo frequency."
  • Cache: A small amount of RAM that lives directly on the CPU die, the cache stores frequently used information to speed up repetitive tasks. Most CPUs have between 1 and 4MB of cache.
  • TDP (Thermal Design Power): The amount of watts the CPU uses. More watts means better performance, but higher temperatures and greater power consumption.
  • vPro: A built-in remote management feature that's designed for corporate IT departments. Many business laptops have CPUs with vPro, but consumer systems do not.

Generations

Every 12 to 18 months, Intel releases a new processor generation, which is always a bit faster and more power-efficient than its predecessor. Unfortunately, not every processor line is moved to the new architecture at the same time. While Intel launched some "Kaby Lake Refresh" chips in fall 2017 and January 2018, the chip-maker debuted its "Coffee Lake" chips for gaming notebooks and other power user systems in April 2018.

Major Intel CPU Platforms
Generation Code Name Launch Year Nanometers
8th Kaby Lake Refresh, Kaby Lake G, Coffee Lake 2017, 2018 14nm
7th Kaby Lake 2016 14nm
6th  Skylake 2015 14nm
5th Broadwell 2014 22nm

 

Once every few generations, Intel will institute a "die shrink," which allows the company to fit more transistors into a smaller space during manufacturing, giving higher performance at the same TDPs. This fabrication process size is measured in nanometers and lower is always better.

Processor Lines (from Most to Least Powerful)

Choosing the right processor line is much more important than picking Core i5 over Core i3. Intel has four main lines, each of which has its own set of Core i3s, i5s and i7s. Each line has a different TDP (Thermal Design Power), ranging from 4.5 watts in the Y Series all the way up to 45 watts for an H series.

A higher TDP means speedier processing, but more heat and energy use. However, just because a processor has a really low TDP, that doesn't mean laptops which use it will have longer battery life. For example, many systems we've tested with 4.5-watt CPUs have had below-average battery life, because they also had low-capacity batteries or power-hungry screens.

Xeon E: High-End Workstations Only 

Good For: Engineering, Research and Professional Animation
Bad For: Battery Life, Affordability, Weight 

For the very highest-end mobile workstations, there's Intel's Xeon E3 processor. Laptops with this processor inside are capable of doing more calculations so they can develop 3D animations or run complex simulations for someone like a medical researcher or an engineer.Xeon E3 processors have a 45-watt TDP, four physical cores and come with both hyperthreading and turbo boost. Don't expect great battery life or low prices.

The latest Xeon processors, which now have Coffee Lake architecture, are the Intel Xeon E-2186M and E-2176M. Since they're made for business, all Xeon processors have vPro management technology built-in.

Common Xeon E Series CPUs (4 cores, 8 Threads)
Model Base Clock Turbo Cache GPU Gen
Xeon E-2186M 2.9 GHz 4.8 GHz 12MB
Intel UHD Graphics 630
8th
Xeon E-2176M 2.7 GHz 4.4 GHz 12MB Intel UHD Graphics 630 8th
Xeon E3-1535M v6 3.1 GHz 4.2 GHz 8MB Iris Pro P630 7th
Xeon E3-1505M v6 3.0 GHz 4.0 GHz 8MB Iris Pro P630 7th

 

H Series: Six-Core, High Performance

Best For: Gamers, Creative Professionals, Power Users
Bad For: Portability, Affordability, Battery Life

If you're a power user or gamer, a laptop with an H processor is probably your best choice. H Series processors have four to six cores, instead of the two or four you find on most other Intel CPUs. Thanks to hyper-threading, the Core i7 units can actually have 12 concurrent threads. HQ processors also have a TDP of 45 watts, which means that the laptops holding them are either going to have poor battery life or giant batteries. Because they generate more heat than U series chips, you won't find H CPUs in super-light or thin laptops.

One of the smallest laptops with an HQ processor is Lenovo's ThinkPad T470p, which has a 14-inch screen and tips the scales at 3.6 pounds (4 pounds with 6-cell battery). With its 3-cell battery, the T470p taps out after a very-short 3 hours and 7  minutes, but that time grows to 8:50 with the 6-cell battery on board.

You may see processors labeled as either H, HQ or HK. H and HQ are standard while the HK denotes a processor that has been unlocked for overclocking. You'll only find those in high-end gaming laptops.

Common H Series CPUs (4 cores)
Model Base Clock Turbo Cache GPU Threads vPro
Core i9-8950HK 2.9 GHz 4.8 GHz 12MB Intel UHD 630 12 No
Core i7-8850H 2.6 GHz 4.3 GHz 9MB Intel UHD 630 12 Yes
Core i7-8750H 2.2 GHz 4.2 GHz 9MB Intel UHD 630 12 No
Core i5-8400H 2.5 GHz 4.2 GHz 8MB Intel UHD 630 8 No
Core i5-8300H 2.3 GHz 4.0 GHz 8MB Intel UHD 630 8 No
Core i7-7920HQ 3.1 GHz 4.1 GHz 8MB Intel HD 630 8 Yes
Core i7-7820HK 2.9 GHz 3.9 GHz 8MB Intel HD 630 8 No
Core i5-7440HQ 2.8 GHz 3.8 GHz 6MB Intel HD 630 4 Yes
Core i5-7300HQ 2.5 GHz 3.8 GHz 6MB Intel HD 630 4 No

G Series: With Better Graphics

Good For: Productivity, Photo Editing, Light Gaming
Bad For: Battery Life; Heavy Gaming

In what once seemed like a sign of the apocalypse, Intel and AMD are on the same chip. Intel’s Kaby Lake G series pairs Intel’s processors with AMD’s Radeon RX Vega on-board graphics. The first laptops released in the spring of 2018 were the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and HP Spectre x360 15-inch. The chips come in both Core i5 and Core i7 varieties.

The chips have a TDP of 65 watts and have graphics performance falling between an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 and GTX 1050 Ti. When not using the Vega GPU, it falls back on the more efficient Intel UHD Graphics 630.

Common G Series CPUs (4 cores, 8 Threads)
Model Base Clock Turbo Cache GPU vPro
Core i7-8705G 3.1 GHz 4.1 GHz 8MB
Radeon RX Vega M GL, Intel UHD Graphics 630
No
Core i5-8305G 2.7 GHz 3.8 GHz 6MB Radeon RX Vega M GL, Intel UHD Graphics 630 No

U Series: Everyday Performance

Good For: Productivity, Content Consumption, Battery Life
Bad For: Gaming, Professional Animation

 If you're looking for a "typical" laptop experience, with solid performance and the possibility of good battery life, then an Intel U Series is for you. In particular, a Core i5 U series CPU such as the Core i5-8250U should be more than adequate for most everyday users, whether they are consumers who want to surf the web or business users who need to edit spreadsheets. 

As of winter 2018, many mainstream and business laptops are shipping with Intel 8th Gen Core "Kaby Lake Refresh" chips which double the number of cores from two to four. However, a number of laptops still haven't gone from 7th to 8th Gen. Considering the dramatic performance difference between a Core i5-7200U and the equivalent Core i5-8250U (8th Gen), you should definitely look for 8th Gen.

Most U Series processors have a TDP of 15 watts, which is the sweet spot between solid performance and good battery life, but does require active cooling in the form of a fan. There are a few U series CPUs with 28-watt TDPs, though only a handful of laptops use them. With a large battery and a power-efficient screen, U series laptops can get well over 10 hours of endurance with some high-end systems getting closer to 20 hours.

A number of U Series laptops feature Intel's Iris Plus 640 or 650 graphics processor on-board. Iris Plus promises significantly better 3D graphics performance than the base-level Intel HD 620 GPU. 

Common Intel U Series CPUs (2 cores, 4 threads)
Model Base Clock Turbo Cache TDP (w) GPU vPro
Core i7-8650U 1.9 GHz 4.2 GHz 8MB 15 Intel UHD 620 No
Core i7-8550U 1.8 GHz 4.0 GHz 8MB 15 Intel UHD 620 No
Core i7-7600U 2.8 GHz 3.9 GHz 4MB 15 Intel HD 620 Yes
Core i7-8559U 2.7 GHz 4.5 GHz 8MB 28 Iris Plus 655 No
Core i5-8269U 2.6 GHz 4.2 GHz 6MB 28 Iris Plus 655 No
Core i5-8350U 1.7 GHz 3.6 GHz 6MB 15 Intel UHD 620 No
Core i5-8250U 1.6 GHz 3.4 GHz 6MB 15 Intel UHD 620 No
Core i7-7567U 3.5 Ghz 4 GHz 4MB 28 Iris Plus 650 No
Core i5-7200U 2.5 GHz 3.1 GHz  3MB 15 Intel HD 620 No
Core i5-7267U 3.1 GHz 3.5 GHz 4MB 28 Iris Plus 650 No
Core i3-7100U 2.4 GHz N/A 3MB 15 Intel HD 620 No

 

Y Series / Core m: Fanless Designs, Mediocre Performance

Good For: Portability, Fanless Design, Light Productivity
Bad For: Battery Life, Serious Number Crunching

When you're shopping for a laptop, be wary of the Y series, which you may see branded with Core i5 / Core i7 or with the Core m3/m5/m7 brand (for lower-end or last-gen modesl). Intel Y Series processors have a very-low TDP of 4.5 watts, which allows manufacturers to use them in fanless, super-thin laptops. Unfortunately, most of those laptops also have low-capacity batteries or high-powered screens so they actually end up with worse battery life than competitors with more-powerful U series processors.

For example, the svelte Acer Spin 7 has a Core i7-7Y75 CPU  and lasts just 6 hours and 53 minutes on a charge while scoring 5,777 on the Geekbench performance test. Meanwhile, the HP Spectre x360 with a Core i7-7500U CPU weighs about the same and lasts over 10 hours on a charge while racking up a Geekbench score of 8,147. The Spin 7 is 0.2 inches thinner than the HP Spectre x360, but there are also a number of extremely-thin laptops with U series processors, including the 0.47-inch thick Asus ZenBook 3 and 0.41-inch HP Spectre.

Common Intel Y Series CPUs (2 cores, 4 threads)
Model Base Clock Turbo Cache GPU vPro
Core i7-7Y75 1.3 GHz 3.6 GHz 4MB Intel HD 615 No
Core m7-6Y75 1.2 GHz 3.1 GHz 4MB Intel HD 515 Yes
Core i5-7Y54 1.2 GHz 3.2 GHz 4MB Intel HD 615 No
Core m5-6Y57 1.1 GHz 2.8 GHz 4MB Intel HD 515 Yes
Core m3-7Y30 1.0 GHz 2.6 GHz 4MB Intel HD 615 No
Core m3-6Y30 900 MHz 2.2 GHz 4MB Intel HD 515 No

Laptops with Y series processors are also no less expensive than those with U series. The Spin carries an $1,199 MSRP while a similarly-configured Spectre x360 goes for around the same price. As of Intel's 7th Generation "Kaby Lake" platform, Y series processors are marketed as Core m3 (base model), Core i5 and Core i7. Models from the 6th generation were listed as Core m3, Core m5 and Core m7. If you want better performance, make sure the Core i5 or i7 chip in your desired laptop doesn't have a Y in its model number (ex: Core i7-7Y75).

Despite their drawbacks, we wouldn't rule out a laptop with a Y series. The 12-inch MacBook and HP EliteBook Folio G1 are two laptops that get passable performance and decent endurance with Y Series (Core m-branded) processors inside.

MORE: We Call Bullchip! Intel Wrong to Rebrand Core M as Core i

Celeron / Pentium: For Those Who Don't Care

Good For: Web Surfing, Saving money
Bad For: Gaming, Serious Productivity, Video Editing

If you're looking at a laptop that costs between $200 and $400, there's a good chance it has an Intel Celeron or Pentium series CPU. These budget-minded processors deliver performance that's just good enough for web surfing, email and light productivity. Celeron chips are very common in Chromebooks, because Google's browser-based OS doesn't require as much horsepower as Windows.  If you're buying a Windows laptop, get one with Celeron / Pentium only if price is a primary concern.

Celeron CPUs have TDPs ranging from 4 to 15 watts. Celeron model names that begin with N (ex: N3060) use 4 to 6 watts while those that end in U (ex: 3855U) take 15 watts and promise better performance. Battery life varies a great deal, depending on the battery capacity of the system, but systems with the 4 and 6-watt chips tend to be cheaper and longer lasting. 

Less common, but a tad faster, Pentium CPUs have TDPs ranging from 6 to 15 watts, though most are either 6 or 7.5 watts. One of our favorite budget laptops, the Asus Vivobook E403SA uses a Pentium N3700 CPU, which allows it to provide palatable multitasking performance and over 9 hours of battery life for under $400. Some Celerons and Pentiums are dual-core and others are quad-core.

Common Celeron / Pentium Series CPUs
Model Base Clock Turbo Cache GPU Cores Threads TDP
Pentium N3700 1.6 GHz 2.4 GHz 2MB HD Graphics 4 4 6 w
Pentium 4405U 2.1 GHz N/A 2MB HD 510 2 4 15 w
Celeron N3060 1.6 GHz 2.48 GHz 2MB HD 400 2 2 6 w
Celeron 3855U 1.6 GHz N/A 2MB HD 510 2 2 15 w

 

Atom: Good Battery Life, Weak Performance

Good For: Saving Money, Long Battery Life, Light Weight
Bad For: Multitasking, Serious Productivity

Intel's cheapest processor line and largely on the way out, Atom appears in super-cheap Windows laptops or tablets  like the Lenovo Miix 320. Almost all Atom CPUs have four cores and are extremely low power, allowing them to have excellent battery life, but the lowest level of performance.We recommend that you buy an Atom-powered laptop only as a secondary device for an adult or a primary for children. Atom is good enough for surfing the web and watching videos, but struggles with content creation and productivity tasks. Most current-generation cheap laptops now use Celeron chips rather than Atom so you'll probably find Atom only on older systems.

Intel doesn't list a TDP for most of the current-gen CPUs in this line, but instead says that they have an SDP (Scenario Design Power) of 2 to 2.5 watts, about half of the low-power Y series. Perhaps that's why a tiny, 2.2-pound laptop like the 100S can last nearly 10 hours on a charge and cost under $200.

Common Atom Series CPUs (4 cores, 4 threads)
Model Base Clock Turbo Cache GPU
Atom x7-Z8750 1.6 GHz 2.56 GHz 2MB HD 405
Atom x5-Z8500 1.44 GHz 2.24 GHz 2MB HD Graphics
Atom Z3735G 1.33 GHz 1.83 GHz 2MB HD Graphics

Integrated Graphics

All Intel laptop CPUs come with their own built-in graphics processors (GPUs). On most Core i3/i5/i7 CPUs of any line, these GPUs are named as Intel HD Graphics with a number after them. For 7th and 8th generation processors that number begins with a 6 (ex: Intel HD graphics 620) and for 6th -gen processors it begins with a 5 (ex: Intel HD Graphics 520). Some high-end CPUs may come with "Iris Plus" graphics which are significantly faster but still no much for discrete graphics chips from Nvidia and AMD.

Intel's upcoming 8th Gen "Kaby Lake G" processors are the first to pair AMD's powerful Radeon Vega integrated graphics with an Intel CPU. We haven't had a chance to test any of the Kaby Lake G chips yet, but Intel says that performance will be better than a laptop with low-end Nvidia discrete graphics.

The integrated GPUs are right on the CPU die so laptop manufacturers can't mix and match them. A Core i7-7600U will always come with an Intel HD Graphics 620 GPU on board, for example, while a Core i7-7660U CPU will always have the faster, Iris Plus 640 graphics. For 7th Generation U series processors, those with a a model number that ends in 60 (ex: i5-7360U) have Iris Plus Graphics 640 while the ones that end in 67 (Core i5-7287U) have the slightly-faster, Iris Plus Graphics 650.

Generally speaking, integrated GPUs are good enough for productivity, web surfing, video playback and either casual gaming or gaming at low settings. If you want to do high-res video editing, professional animation or serious gaming, you need a discrete GPU.

Other Components Matter Too

It's important to remember, though, that the CPU is not the only determinant of performance in a laptop and that even the slowest CPUs can provide a decent user experience when paired with other good components. For most people, picking a Solid State Drive over a hard drive will make their computers a lot more responsive than paying extra to get a Core i7 rather than a Core i5. And for graphics performance, having a powerful discrete GPU (graphics processing unit) is even more important than having the fastest CPU.

Lead Image Credit: Iaroslav Neliubov / Shutterstock

Author Bio
Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch, LAPTOP Online Editorial Director
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of Laptopmag.com since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
Avram Piltch, LAPTOP Online Editorial Director on
Add a comment
28 comments
  • Shivam Says:

    Ya messed up, 8th gen i7 and i9 H processors are 6 cores.

  • Max Mueller Says:

    KUDOS for such great, easy readable Summary on Hardware specs! Thank you :-)

  • Destiny Says:

    I just simply love your articles, it's not simple language and beautifully explained tht a not a tech lover person like me easily understanding these mind bobling things

  • John pierre Says:

    I am in the market for a new laptop and since reading your article feel fully competent in what to search for what i need. I did not feel competent prior to reading this. So thank you for explaining in layman's terms.

  • Hk Qc Says:

    Thanks for this article, still relevant and easily comprehensive for an update on the mobile processor messy market denominations!

  • Leonid Says:

    Hello,

    Thank you for the article.
    I have an Asus n73sv with i3-2310M/ 4Gb RAM/ notebook. I'd like to upgrate a CPU as better as possible. Can you please advise which CPUs are compatible with my comp? The 2d generation only? With 2 cores only? Etc... Will be very grateful.

  • Karthikeyan Says:

    Hi sir, I am thinking of upgrading my asus x541u laptop core i3 7th generation processor to i5 processor is it possible?

  • Ro Vyas Says:

    8th gen i5 and the 8th gen i7 have 6 cores, standard.

  • Tom P Says:

    I'm very interested in the 8th gen quad-core. Clearly there are performance improvements all over. But what about reliability over time? Will these CPUs last as long before breaking or losing significant performance?
    My Acer i3 from 2011 has had easily 6-10 hours a day six days a week for 6 years. It's time is up, but worked tirelessly for over 5 years.

    Will a quad core last over time and extended use, or will I be buying a new laptop in 12-18 months?

  • klyde Says:

    The table for the U series is wrong, the 8th gen U series i5 and i7 are 4 core/8thread.

  • omegatalon Says:

    Early Core i7-7700HQ machines have issues of overheating, then came machines with 3-4 fans which caused the weight to increase to possibly 10 lbs, the next variation was Nvidia adding MAX-Q technology which meant you could have a Core i7-7700 with Nvidia 1070 MAX-Q weighing 5 lbs but this came with a $2,500 price tag.

    The Core i7-8550U is almost as fast as a Core i7-7700 while running at just 15 watts meaning no cooling problems and what's even better is that the price is less than half of the MAX-Q machines.

  • Bruno Vincent Says:

    Good article but outdated information by now. The i5-8250U is faster than all previous i7 7th gen chips, comparing i5-8250U to i5 7200u is not relevant anymore, even i7 7500u is slower. Time to redo your graphs or a new article;)

  • Mohit Paridwal Says:

    Respected Sir, Thanks for your contribution about increase knowledge of laptops & Computer technology. Sir, please give me advice about buy a budget laptop for my uses for exp. Typing work, Internet works, operate Ms-Office & run some Accounting Software.

  • Leonard Says:

    Thanks Avram. Articles like this is what makes this website so great. Keep it up! :)

  • Faisal Reza Says:

    I saw a typo 'modesl.' Can you fix it? Sorry if this disturbs you guys. Grammar Nazi gonna Grammar Nazi (I know it isn't about grammar :v)

  • more than 5 characters Says:

    Byron,

    Sadly, the free computer he's been offered won't cut it. An i5-U will *probably* work, but I'm not familiar with the school's program, so I can't be certain.

    If I were in your position, I would contact the school's IT department, as they likely have worked with engineering students before and are familiar with the computers they generally use.

    Good luck to you and your son!

  • Byron Says:

    My son is going to be a first year Engineering student in two weeks.
    Computer requirements require I5 processor, not sure if U or HQ. I know HQ is faster. He has been offered a free computer, about 5 years old, with AMD A6-4400M with Radeon HD 7250G. Is that adequate to meet requirements? I know so little about AMD. In my search to understand more I read the article on which CPU is right for you. It sounds like AMD is not as good of a choice. What do you think? If not, which would you choose Lenovo Thinkpad t470p or Dell XPS 15? Thanks. Byron

  • marisa Says:

    WOW! thank you, picking a laptop is no easy task, your info really helps simplify it.

  • Stuart Says:

    Excellent and concise article, well done writer, I really needed this when buying a new laptop.

  • eugene Says:

    dear writer
    i want to buy a laptop for my video mixing software with virtual dj and serato and editing i finding it had because of the laptop i have, the current laptop i have it keep on hanging will i mix the videos with the metion software kindly suggest for the best specs for to shop for

  • layman Says:

    Wanted to comment that this article is an excellent synopsis for an average laptop shopper like myself. I really appreciate the concise and relevant information.

  • leah manimtim Says:

    hi sir,could you help me find laptop that can use for my online business but a much affordable.

    i was able to look this laptop "ASUS NBK X455LA WX49 intel core i3-5005U, 4gb DDR3 memory,500GB HDD would this kind of model.will satisfy me with regards on web net,paper works,skype esp money wise? help before i could buy this.i have a budgeted money so this item only fits for my budget.

    thank you for helping.GOD bless.

    im hoping for your immediate response on this.

  • Stumped Says:

    Nice article. Helped me decipher the meaning behind all the numbers on processors these days.

  • Ari94 Says:

    This is what I have been looking for thank you for great article.

  • William H Says:

    I like the article but I take serious issue with the performance of the N3710 pentium, I have a dell 3168 with 4gb ram 240gb ssd and it performs really well with chrome open 6 to 7 tabs, office 2013 opened, foxit pdf opened. Responsive and a pleasure to use. Now its a cheap laptop and the screen is not great since there is limited viewing angles but over all its sub $400 with long battery life balanced with acceptable performance. Does not feel weak to me.

  • seeker Says:

    Nice article, very informative. One nit - Broadwell CPUs are 14nm, not 22nm as shown on your chart.

  • Qwerty r.m Says:

    Can you guys make an article that compares equivalent Intel and AMD processors?

  • Bhargav Says:

    A higher TDP only implies more heat and not necessarily speedier processing.

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