Which i5 processor to choose

The Intel Core i5 series includes mid-range processors that suitable for most users (even for undemanding gamers).

Which i5 processor to choose: what to look for?

i5 processor

When choosing a processor series Intel Core i5 should pay attention to the following device parameters:

  1. Generation (determines socket and performance);

  2. A type;

  3. Base clock frequency and heat dissipation;

  4. Options (BOX or OEM).

Almost all processor parameters can be found directly from its name. More precisely, from alphanumeric code, which is indicated immediately after the series and has the form “8350U”.

For example, the Intel Core i5-8350U belongs to the eighth generation, provides fairly average peak performance and Designed for use in ultrabooks. This is clear from the code. models. The first digit in the record – in this case “8” – means model generation. The second is performance. The higher it is, the more basic processor clock speed. The last character is in In this case, “U” means the type of processor.

Processor generation


Intel updates its processors annually. Therefore on the fourth quarter of 2017 is relevant as much as the eighth chip generation – Coffee Lake.

The generation of chips determines not only performance and other performance, but also processor compatibility with motherboard. The fact is that the socket (connector for connection) updates approximately every two to three years. So, processors of generations Haswell and Broadwell (fourth and fifth respectively) designed to be installed in the socket LGA1150, while Skylake, Kabu Lake and Coffee Lake (sixth, seventh and eighth) – in LGA1151.

Since there is no cross-compatibility between Intel sockets, choose the processor is necessary based on which connector is installed in existing motherboard. So if it is equipped with an LGA1150, then an upgrade or processor replacement is available only within generations Haswell and Broadwell.

If you want to purchase a more recent processor, you will need replace the motherboard with the most current one socket version (at the end of 2017 it is Intel LGA1151-v2, Designed specifically for Coffee Lake).

Processor type

Intel Core i5 processors come in a variety of configurations. So, today on the market you can find the following versions of chips:

  1. Y – for laptops and subnotebooks. Have the smallest Energy consumption;

  2. U – for ultrabooks. They have low power consumption, but optimal performance, especially in multi-threaded mode;

  3. Q – quad versions;

  4. K – versions with an unlocked multiplier. Provide the highest performance, suitable for gamers. They can be overclocked directly through the computer BIOS.

It is worth considering that many Intel Core i5 models that are sold in the BOX- and OEM-packages in the retail market, they simply don’t have letter complement in its name. This means that these processors are focused on use in desktop systems and according to their capabilities and characteristics correspond Q-configurations.

Base Clock and Heat

clock frequency

Base Clock – A parameter that indirectly determines processor performance. Actually, chasing him the maximum value in the Intel Core i5 line is not worth it. If you replace the seventh generation processor with a base clock 2.5 GHz for a processor of the same generation, with only 3.0 GHz, a tangible increase in performance will not happen.

But the heat and energy consumption will increase. And these parameters will also have to be considered. May need new cooler and power supply.

Thus, a suitable technique for choosing a processor for upgrade:

  1. First try to find a more recent model (of the following generation);

  2. If it’s not possible, purchase a model with a larger clock speed. frequency.

However, this is only true when upgrading within the family Intel Core i5. If an update is required to enhance computer performance, it is advisable to replace the chip with belonging to another family (i7).

CPU performance is determined by 2-4 digits in the number models. The higher the three-digit number they form, the faster the chip is working.


In the retail market, Intel Core i5 processors are presented in two configuration options – BOX and OEM.

The first is really focused on the retail market. IN BOX package, in addition to the processor itself, includes numerous instructions for it, cooler with mount, as well as a three-year guarantee.

In the second option – OEM – the buyer gets only the processor. And the guarantee for it is 1 year.

However, the purchase of a BOX configuration is impractical. It more expensive than OEM, and the cooler included in it is usually not very productive and quite noisy. Therefore, many professional assemblers immediately change it to some other. The only plus configuration BOX is a three-year processor warranty. But if the chip works the first year without complaints, he will be fine in the rest function.


Thus, when choosing a processor, it is worth starting from characteristics of the existing one, and the selection procedure itself for The upgrade is as follows:

  1. Try to “raise” a generation. Sandy Bridge can be upgraded to Ivy Bridge, Haswell – on Broadwell, Skylake – on Kabu Lake or Coffee Lake, Kabu Lake – on Coffee Lake;

  2. If Ivy Bridge Generation Processors Are Already Installed on Your Computer or Broadwell, you can choose a more productive chip configuration (with higher clock frequency) or purchase model from the i7 family;

  3. If your computer already has a top-end Ivy generation processor Bridge or Broadwell, then the only way out is to replace the motherboard boards for more “fresh”.

When it comes to buying a processor for the first build computer, it is advisable to look after models of Lake-families.


In the following articles, our experts describe how choose the right processor for the computer and the secrets of choice processor for games.

Attention! This material is subjective opinion of the authors of the project and is not a buying guide.

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