If money is not an issue, my advice is to always go for the best. Scaling down the processing speed is not an issue; however, boosting up the speed will be an uphill task.
Furthermore, based on my own personal experience, a good processor will power all of your future software while an average processor bought today will not be able to run future software. Making sure your processor has all the processing speed required in the future will save you even more money on the long run.
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Intel Processor i7 vs. i5 vs. i3
- Intel i7 – Video Photo Editing and Gaming
- Intel i5 – Basic photo editing and simple gaming
- Intel i3 – Basic computing, word processing and surfing internet
- Intel Atom – Good battery life for portable devices for mobile computing
|Intel Core i7 4th Gen||Intel Core i5 4th Gen||Intel Core i3 4th Gen||Intel Atom|
|1.6 GHz - 3.9 GHz||1.06 GHz - 3.9 GHz||2.4 GHz - 3.9 GHz||800 MHz - 2.13 GHz|
|32 nm, 45 nm||32 nm, 45 nm||32 nm||32 nm, 45 nm|
|Quad||Double, Quad||Dual||Single, Double|
|4.8 GT/s, 6.4 GT/s||2.5 - 5 GT/s||1066 MHz, 1600 MHz|
2.5 - 5 GT/s
|400 MHz, 533 MHz|
667 MHz, 2.5 GT/s
|4×256 KB||256 KB||256 KB||512 KB - 1 MB|
|6 MB - 8 MB||4 MB - 8 MB||3 MB - 4 MB||-|
|35 W - 84 W||35 W - 84 W||35 W - 54 W||0.65 W - 13 W|
|4 - 8MB||3 - 6MB||3 - 4MB||-|
|Intel HD 4600||Intel HD 4600||Varies||-|
Newer Generation Processor Vs Previous Generation
At the time of writing, Intel’s lineup consist of 4th Generation processor. More often than not, the newer generation will be more expensive than previous generation, the question is, is it worth paying extra for a 4th generation over 3rd generation?
- 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-3770K 4 Core Processor 8M Cache up to 3.90 GHz @ 77 W
- 4th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-4790T 4 Core Processor 8M Cache up to 3.90 GHz @ 45 W
As the technology matures, so does the power consumption. If you are a heavy user, it is worth paying extra because the more you use your computer, the cheaper it will be because it consumes less Watt. In the long run, the electricity bill will make up for the extra you paid for the processor.