Intel Core i7 vs i9: Which One is Better?

Without a doubt, processors go a long way to impact and determine the overall performance of any system. And if you are looking to build your laptop by yourself, you need to have a vast knowledge of the best processors in the market and how they work.

What if you are a newbie who is looking to get the perfect processor for their build but has no idea how? In this article, I have carefully made a compare-and-contrast analysis of the best processors around. Read on to learn more about them and ultimately decide which one is best for your build.

The Difference between Intel Core i7 and i9

When selecting a new laptop, one of the significant factors that you need to consider is the performance level of the processing unit. Basically, the higher the number, the more powerful the processor is, but it does not mean that the processor will do the required job.

The Intel Core i3, i5, and i7 processors have been around for more than ten years, but the i9 processors were first launched in 2017. And since then, these processors have dominated both the desktop and the laptop industry and have aided the rapid growth of technological advancement over time.

9th Generation

When Intel launched the 9th generation of processors, Hyper-Threading with the i7 became irrelevant, and everyone joined the Intel Core i9 family. Right now, you will hardly see any serious game developer using a laptop powered by an i7 processor. 

Core Concept

Most of the high-end i7 and i9 Intel processors come with a high core count. For example, Intel’s ninth-generation i7 has eight physical cores, the same number of cores that come with the i9 models.

However, it is imperative to inform you that most i7 processors feature at least 6 to 8 cores. In comparison, the i9 processors come with a minimum of 8 cores.

In terms of the core concept, the only significant difference between these two processors is Hyper-Threading. The core count of both processors becomes more evident when you consider the high-end desktop X-series. These top-level workstation processors have a minimum of 18 cores, which will be more than enough for a gaming PC.    


The cache is simply the processors onboard memory, and its job is to ensure that there is smooth and fast access to data. A multi-threaded processor with a large cache size will enhance the speed by which a user multitasks.

The i7 processors sport an L3 cache size of 12MB while the i9 processors are natively equipped with a 16MB. And with the X-series processors, the cache size can be even more significant, for example, the i9-9980XE sports an L3 smart cache size of 24.75MB. This shows that there is a considerable gap between the i7 and the i9 processors. 


Like I mentioned earlier, Intel somehow reduced the popularity of the highly regarded i7 processors when they launched the i9 CPUs.

This was because, when i9 was launched, Hyper-threading became obsolete. Most i9 processors do not come with hyper-threading, as a matter fact, the only processors that come with Hyper-Threading are the 9th generation i-9 models, and they sport the Hyper-Threading (8c/16t). 

Clock Speed

A higher clock speed means that your processor can act on instructions faster, which means that a higher clock speed means better performance. But this is contingent on the task that the processor is undertaking.

Most of the popular 9th-gen Intel Core i7s and i9s come with a clock speed of around 3.6GHz. They also possess a maximum clock speed of approximately 4.9 to 5.0GHz. These figures are from the new and high-end models of both processors and cannot be used as a yardstick to compare both processor families.

For instance, the X-series comes with a higher number of cores but a slower clock speed. This is because the HEDT processors are engineered to work slower. Still, they can run as many apps as possible without struggling. 

So Which Processor Is Best For You?

So i7 processor family vs. i9 processor family, which one do you go for? Although but processors are great when it comes to multitasking capability, the i9 is the right one. What you are planning to use your computer to do will largely dictate the processor family that you will choose.

 If you are a pro-gamer, the Core i7 family will suit your taste. If you choose the old eight generation model of the family, you will be able to use some of the Hyper-Threading features. If you are a content creator or you love streaming movies, the LGA1151 socket i9 is a decent option because it offers more than just high clock speeds.

The i9 is basically for Intel fans that are into major workstation tasks because it offers a decent clock speed.

However, AMD’s latest Ryzen Desktop and Threadripper processors are much better for running multiple apps. At the same time, the pro gamers should stick to the i7s.

Overall, both of these processors are quite powerful.