Intel icore Debate. i3 vs i5 vs i7.

The Dilemma:

I am having a huge debate on which processor I want to invest into the build of this project. Mainly it is a price determined baggage, but it is weighed significantly by the utility and longevity of the processor. Lets face it, technology grows faster than a Crap Myrtle sapling –and in terms of OSX, it is just about to graduate into 10.7.x (Lion) in the summer of 2011. As the operating system develops and grows, it’s demands on hardware is naturally going to increase as seen by previous versions of OSX especially ones running Mac OSX. Therefore, is it in my best interest to invest into a more expensive processor keeping in mind I plan to keep this machine up and running -hopefully sprinting, with

  • Heavy HD media streaming
  • Light HD Video editing with Final Cut Studio
  • Web domain Hosting
  • Extensive large quantities of data extraction
  • Light utilization of applications like Handbreak now and then
  • Moderate Audio remix/editing with Logic Studio.

Sure these demands are quite strenuous at the very least for any mac to begin with, but the question remains, with icore technology and my budget: which processor would be economically the best to invest in. Simple answer “get an i7 and be done with it.” Sorry but I know for a fact I cannot afford an i7, but despite that fact, I have included it part of the argument for information’s sake as I did my research into the core technology. Here it is:

Side Note: The tutorial to come and the whole project is concentrated around a hackintosh which will be a media solution to a home theater arrangement or a private network to access, stream, and share with your family remotely stored data. This particular build is going to be able to do more than that, hopefully it will be a studio solution, but note: there are many compromises that can be taken to account to bring the budget down of your build if you choose to peruse a hackintosh solution form our experiences. Alternatives will be provided when considering potential supported hardware which will render a budge of a medium range for readers willing to spend more or less on their hackintosh. The previous demands stated above were personal scenerios kept in mind for this particular computer’s purpose after this project.

NOTE: If considering “Sandy Bridge Processors” they are all LGA 1155 socket so look for Motherboards accommodating these sockets. The models listed in this list are compatible with the gigabyte P55-UD3 mother board and accepts these listed processors with 1156 sockets.

i3 Core Processor (530 – 560)


  • Cheapest of all. $$$ i3 < i5 < i7
  • Low Power Supply
  • Highest 3.33 Ghz Speed
  • pre-HyperThreaded (4 Cores, 2 real 2 virtual)


i5 Core Processor (650 – 760)


  • Midrange Price
  • Quad Core
  • Highest 3.60 Ghz with 4mb Chache or 2.80 Ghz with 8mb Cache
  • Main stream production by Intel. It is their new P4 in my eyes…
  • They all have “Turbo Boost,” a standard in i5 and i7 only.
  • They have Intel’s vPro technology virtualizaton and AES encryption acceleration technology


  • Not Hyperthreaded (4 Cores, 4 real)
  • Not the Fastest intel Offers.

i7 Core Processor (860 – 880)



  • Fastest Intel Offers
  • Over Kill 8 cores
  • It is an i5 processor with a potential 1Ghz faster Clock speed, and hyper threading.

2 comments on “Intel icore Debate. i3 vs i5 vs i7.

  1. Basically, I think bumping up to the i5 is certainly worth it over the i3. I think the four cores will truly speed things up to close to the maximum of what we would be needing them to do. However, the increase from i5 to i7 might have diminishing marginal returns, not being that much better than the i5 for the price. Contrarily as time goes on the marginal returns will increase if the i7 is chosen, as it will increase the longevity of the system. My suggestion would be to definitely get i5 and if you are willing to spend the money, get the i7.

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