Core i7 vs Core i9: What’s the difference?

Core i7 vs Core i9 What's the difference

There’s a lot of buzz around the Core i9 processor and for good reason. It’s the latest and most powerful chip from Intel, designed for gamers and power users who need the best performance possible. But what exactly is the difference between the Core i7 and Core i9? And which one is right for you?

The short answer is that the Core i9 is faster and more powerful than the Core i7. It has more cores, meaning it can handle more tasks at once, and it runs at a higher clock speed, meaning it can process data faster. If you need maximum performance for gaming or other demanding tasks, then the Core i9 is your best bet.

But if you don’t need that much power, or if you’re on a budget, then the Core i7 will still give you plenty of bang for your buck. So which one should you choose? It all depends on your needs and budget. But either way, you can’t go wrong with an Intel Core processor.

Core i7 vs Core i9: a brief history

We’ll be taking a brief look at the history of Intel Core i7 and Core i9. We’ll examine how these processors have changed over time and how they’ve affected the market for PC processors. We’ll also touch on some of the main differences between these two processor types. Finally, we’ll give our thoughts on where these processors may be headed in the future.

Intel Core i7 was first released in 2008. It was intended to be a high-end alternative to the then-existing Core 2 Duo line of processors. The Core i7 line has since seen several iterations, with each new release bringing higher performance and lower power consumption. The most recent release is the 13th generation.

Intel Core i9 was first released in 2017 as part of the “Skylake X” release. These processors are designed for high-end gaming rigs and workstations. They offer significantly higher performance than even the top-of-the-line Core i7 processors but at a much higher price point. The most recent release is the 13th generation.

So there you have it—a brief history of Intel Core i7 and Core i9 processors. These processors have come a long way since their initial release, and they show no signs of slowing down anytime soon. If you’re in the market for a new PC, make sure to consider both options before making your final decision.

Core i7 vs. Core i9: Desktop Performance

To help you make a decision, we’ve put together a side-by-side comparison of these two processors.

Read on to learn more.

Processor Type

Both the Core i7 and the Core i9 are part of Intel’s “Core” line of processors. The “Core” designation indicates that these processors are designed for mainstream users. That said, there are some differences between the two processors in terms of their architecture.

In general, the Core i9 will offer better performance than the Core i7—but it comes at a higher price point.

Clock Speed and Turbo Boost

Another important difference between these two processors is their clock speed. The clock speed is measured in gigahertz (GHz) and indicates how fast a processor can complete tasks. The higher the clock speed, the faster the processor.

The Core i7 has a base clock speed of 3.6 GHz and a turbo boost clock speed of 4 GHz. The Core i9 has a base clock speed of 3 GHz and a turbo boost clock speed of 4.5 GHz. This means that, in general, the Core i9 will be faster than the Core i7—but again, it comes at a higher price point.

Cache Size

Cache size is another important factor to consider when choosing a processor. Cache is high-speed memory that is used to store frequently accessed data so that it can be quickly retrieved by the processor when needed. The larger the cache size, the more data can be stored—which can lead to better performance.

The Core i7 has a cache size of 8 MB, while the Core i9 has a cache size of 16 MB. This means that, in general, the Core i9 will offer better performance than the Core i7—but you guessed it…it comes at a higher price point.

Core i7 vs. Core i9: Power Consumption

In today’s world, almost everyone is concerned about power consumption. With the rise of renewable energy and electric vehicles, it’s more important than ever to understand how much power your devices are using—and how you can reduce your consumption.

One area where power consumption is a big factor is computing. Specifically, when choosing between Intel’s Core i7 and Core i9 processors, power consumption is an important consideration. So, which one is more energy-efficient? Let’s take a look.

Core i7 vs. Core i9: The Battle for Efficiency

When it comes to processors, there are two main considerations: speed and power consumption. As a general rule, the faster a processor is, the more power it will consume. That’s why Intel’s Core i7 and Core i9 processors are two of the fastest on the market—but they’re also among the most power-hungry.

The Core i7 processor has a base clock speed of 3.6GHz and a turbo boost speed of 4.2GHz. It can handle eight threads simultaneously and has a maximum memory bandwidth of 45GB/s. In terms of power consumption, the Core i7 has a TDP (thermal design point) of 95 watts.

The Core i9 processor, on the other hand, has a base clock speed of 2.9GHz and a turbo boost speed of 4.8GHz. It can handle 16 threads simultaneously and has a maximum memory bandwidth of 41GB/s. In terms of power consumption, the Core i9 has a TDP of 140 watts—nearly 50% higher than the Core i7.

If you think about it – despite its higher TDP, the Core i9 consumes less power than the Core i7 under load conditions (when all cores are being used). That’s because it’s able to complete tasks faster than the Core i7, which means that it spends less time working at full capacity and more time idle—drawing less power overall.

If you’re looking for the most efficient processor, then, the choice is clear: go with the Core i9 over the Core i7—you’ll get better performance and lower power consumption in one package!

Case Study (13th Gen)

Last week we built a 13th Gen computer for two of our clients. One has the top spec 13900KS and the other an i7 13700K.

The new Core i9-13900KS Special Edition may be the fastest gaming chip out there, clocking a record-breaking 6 GHz peak turbo speed – but don’t break your wallet! This pricey processor has only very marginal performance gains compared to its more affordable vanilla 13900K model.

Featuring 8 P-Cores clocking up to an impressive 6GHz on one core and 2.4GHz across all cores, plus 12 E-Cores at 4.5 GHz boost clock – you can expect lightning-fast speeds with this baby but be warned that your wallet may also get equally turbocharged in return!

Now, the i7 13700K is no slouch here!

A whole new level of computing power with the Intel Core i7-13700K with its 16 cores plus 24 threads, running at up to 5.40 GHz! 🙂 Plus there’s support for 128 GB of RAM in two memory channels – that should have everyone covered. 

However, if you’re looking for even more oomph then look no further than the Intel Core i9-13900KS – it features an impressive 24 cores paired with 32 threads which can clock frequencies up to 5.80 GHz while still supporting 128 GB across 2 memory channels so your gaming or rendering sessions won’t slow down any time soon! 

Both CPUs arrived on shelves just last quarter (Q4/2022), so pretty much fresh out of the oven 😉

Our Tests

The Core i9-13900KS mastered the WinRAR 5.90 benchmark! 

Not only did it come in a full 3.3 seconds faster than our comparison, but our testing compared against AMD’s Ryzen 9 7950X showed that this bad boy was clocking 4.6 seconds ahead of them too – pretty commendable if you ask us! 🙂

While single-threaded performance saw some slight improvements thanks to higher P-core turbo clock speeds, we don’t think these are enough to justify its additional cost!

The 13700K proved a formidable competitor in the Cinebench R23 multi-core test, scoring 29045 points after 10 minutes.

Our 13900KS outperformed the latter scoring 2,366 and 40,998 in the single and multi-threaded benchmarks, respectively!

As of 2023, i9s are simply faster processors than i7s, offering significantly more cores, higher clock speeds, and oodles of cache memory than their predecessors. If you want to stay ahead of the game with your desktop PC, Intel’s new Core i9-13900KS is a no-brainer choice. This beastly processor packs more cores and higher clock speed than any other consumer chip around! And when it comes to benchmark testing, well let’s just say this bad boy takes first place every time! 🙂


The Intel Core i7 is the company’s flagship line of processors. It offers exceptional performance and is suitable for demanding tasks such as gaming, video editing, and 3D rendering. The Core i9, on the other hand, is Intel’s top-of-the-line processor. It offers even better performance than the i7, making it the ideal choice for power users who need the absolute best performance possible. So, which processor should you choose? If you need the best possible performance, go with the Core i9. However, if you don’t need quite that much power, the Core i7 will be more than sufficient.

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I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...