If you’re considering a new computer, Intel’s latest CPUs might be the best choice for your needs. But with so many options to choose from, it can get confusing figuring out which one is right for you. This article will compare these two CPU platforms and help you determine if the Core i7 or Core i9 is better suited to your needs.

It’s critical to understand the differences when selecting a new CPU for your build. Processors have a variety of names, making it tough for first-time customers to figure out what they require. The higher the number, the more powerful the CPU will be, but this does not guarantee that it will be the best for the task. So what do you choose when Intel’s top CPUs square off? What’s the difference between an i7 and an i9 processor? Well, because this relies on the purpose of your new PC setup, we’ve chosen to make a CPU comparison!

Don’t worry, gaining a handle on the necessities can help you avoid going bankrupt on your next buy. This post will go through the fundamental distinctions between these two high-end CPU families.

What is the difference between an Intel Core i7 and an Intel Core i9 processor?

The Intel Core i3, i5, and i7 CPU families have been available for over a decade, with the i9 chips debuting in 2017. Since their introduction, these CPUs have dominated the desktop PC and laptop markets, with significant microarchitecture developments.


With the i7, Intel’s 9th generation of CPUs saw the conclusion of Hyper-Threading and the introduction of the Intel Core i9 series. Unfortunately, the highly praised i7 looks limited to large gaming and light application tasks, as seen by this comparison, with the i9 series taking up the enthusiast bracket.

The Basic Idea

The top-of-the-line Intel i7 and i9 CPUs have a lot of cores, but does it matter? Like the preceding 8th-gen i7 CPUs, Intel’s 9th-Gen i7 and i9 processors all have eight physical cores. The Core i7 processors typically have six to eight cores, but the i9 processors all have at least eight.

Hyper-Threading is the biggest distinction between these CPUs, but we’ll get to it later. When you consider the HEDT (high-end desktop) X-series machines for both CPU families, the core count appears quite different. Up to 18 cores will be available in these enthusiast-level workstation CPUs. If you’re searching for a gaming PC, this would be overkill, not to mention expensive.

What’s the deal with the cache?

As you go through the CPU families, you’ll see a pattern of increasing cache capacity. The cache is the CPU’s onboard memory, responsible for allowing quicker data access. A multi-threaded CPU with a bigger cache capacity may handle several tasks more effectively. For example, the L3 cache on i7 processors is 12MB, but the L3 cache on i9 CPUs is typically 16MB. The X-series CPUs may be considerably more powerful, with the i9-9980XE having a 24.75MB L3 clever cache.


When discussing the fundamental distinctions between the i5 and i7 processor families, we mentioned that Intel had damaged the highly respected i7 CPUs’ names. This was due to the removal of Hyper-Threading with the introduction of the 9th generation. Only standard 9th-gen i9 machines will now come with Hyper-Threading (8c/16t), orienting this series of CPUs toward multi-tasking, although there is still plenty of gaming power available.

Speed of the Clock

A higher Speed of the Clock means your CPU can process more instructions per second. Therefore, a higher Clock speed will usually equate to better performance, but this largely depends on the CPU’s tasks.

9th-gen Intel Core i7s and i9s mostly ship with a base Speed of the Clock of around 3.6GHz, with only max boost speeds being slightly different (4.9/5.0GHz, respectively). These figures are for the higher-end models from both processor families and shouldn’t factor into your decision-making too much. You will find that the X-series CPUs with the higher core/thread counts will have a much lower base clock and boost speed. This comparison isn’t fair as the HEDT processors are designed to run a little slower, but they can run many more applications without breaking a sweat.

So, which CPU is the most suitable for you?

So i7 vs. i9, which do you go for? While there is an argument that both can be part of the enthusiast’s repertoire, the i9 takes the multi-tasking biscuit. Which processor family you choose to go for largely depends on what you plan to use for your PC. That is a no-brainer, but the Core i7 is certainly a processor geared toward high-end gaming, and if you went for an older 8th gen model, you could also take advantage of some Hyper-Threading. The standard LGA1151 socket i9s offer much more than just the fast Speed of the Clocks, with them being a decent option for streamers and content creators.

Although I feel the i9 series gets lost amongst AMD’s latest Ryzen Desktop and Threadripper CPUs for multi-tasking, it still offers a reasonable Clock Speed to give Intel fans something to think about. The bottom line here is that while both CPUs are powerful, you will want an i9 for hardcore workstation tasks and leave it to the i7s for fast computing and gaming!

Related Tags

  • i7 vs i9 for gaming
  • i7 vs. i9 MacBook pro
  • i7 vs. i9 11th gen
  • i5 vs. i7 vs. i9
  • i7 vs. i9 Reddit
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