What is i5 Processor – FAQ, Uses, Lifespan & Work Process

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What is i5 processor? The i5 processor is designed, developed and manufactured by Intel which can be used for any desktop and laptop as well. Though manufactured by Intel, it is not called the ‘Intel 5.’ The correct name of it is ‘Core i5’ processor.

This Core i5 processor is available in two specific forms, one with a dual-core and the other with a quad-core system.

Considering the usability and design, the i5 processor is actually one of the four main types of core processors belonging to the Intel Core Family, denoted by the letter ‘í’ before the digit 5 in its nomenclature.

Intel released the first i5 processor in September 2009 and the latest generation of it is to be released this year. This shows that the company is relentlessly trying to develop the features and functionality of the i5 processor to meet every need of the users.

The features of the latest i5 processors include:

Though most of the i5 processors come with four cores, there are a few specific ones that come with six cores.

Usually, the type of RAM used in the Core i5 processor is either a DDR3 1333 or a DDR3 1600 RAM. You may also upgrade it with a RAM that has even a higher specification, provided your motherboard supports it.

As for the power consumption, it varies according to the speed of the i5 processors. For example:

  • Those with slower speeds ranging between 1.90 GHz and 2.30 GHz will use 11.5 watts of power,
  • Those with medium speeds of 2.60 GHz and up to 3.10 GHz will use 15, 25, 28 or 37 watts of power, and
  • Processors with higher speeds between 3.20 GHz and 3.80 GHz will consume power up to 35, 37, 45, 47, 65 or 84 watts.

The Core i5 processors, with these improved features, ensure enhanced performance, higher and better user experience and support for all types of needs and heavier workloads.

The battery usage is low at lower speeds but even if you use it at higher speeds, it will last for at least three hours with a single charge. Check out Intel Atom, Celeron and Pentium Processors.

What is i5 Processor?

What is i5 Processor

The Core i5 processors are one of those CPU series that will work well for the mid-range computers.

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As of now, you will find only four diverse generations of Core i5 processors in the market. As for the types and their usability, it can be summarized as follows.

For the desktop computers you can use different models of Core i5 processors such as:

  • Core i5 7xx
  • Core i5 6xx
  • Core i5 4xxx
  • Core i5 3xxx and
  • Core i5 2xxx.

As for the mobile devices you can use the Core i5 4xx, Core i5 5xx models apart from the Core i5 4xxx, 3xxx, and 2xxx models.

The Core i5 processors are certainly and significantly more efficient and powerful processors as compared to the Core i3 series in terms of speed, number of cores and integrated graphics.

It is also very close in quality and durability to the Core i7 series processors, which, however, are costlier than the Core i5 processors.

It is also required to note here that the Core i5 processors do not have the hyperthreading technology as the i7 variant does.

This means that the Core i5 processors will be a tad lower in performance than i7 processors and cannot perform as many tasks as the i7 at the same time, when you consider the desktop computers.

This process is called ‘multithreading.’ This is because each of the cores of the i5 processors can run only two threads or set of instructions at the same time.

As for the Intel CPUs for mobile devices, the Core i5 processor comes with this multithreading capability. This means that the mobile devices can enjoy the advantages of i7 processors even with a Core i5 processor. This will also ensure that your mobile device has:

  • Greater clock speeds
  • Higher performance gains
  • Better temperature maintenance and
  • Longer battery life.

Lastly, the i5 processors come with a high-quality Graphical Processing Unit or GPU integrated in it. This will meet with your content creation and high-end gaming needs.

For example, the Core i5-8259U mobile CPU includes Iris Plus Graphics 655 which is faster and useful for video encoding and other creative tasks.

All these features and functions of the Core i5 processors make it the best processor to use in computers in home and businesses for:

  • Video streaming
  • High-end gaming and
  • Creating 4K graphics.

However, the 9th generation of Core i5 processors, such as the Core i5-9400F, also has a discrete and separate GPU in it. This ensures fast startup and provides higher speed on demand.

Best Uses of i5 Processor

There are few good reasons people suggest to choose a Core i5 processor than the i7 variant of it. You can put this processor to some best uses, even though the newer i7 processors are considered to be faster and come with hyperthreading technology.

The best use of a Core i5 processor is for:

  • Gaming
  • Video editing
  • 4K videos as well as
  • A few other less intensive resource tasks.
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A Core i5 processor is also sufficient for rendering, simulating, multitasking, though to a lower level because this is the mid level processor with i3 and i7 processors at its two lower and higher extremes respectively.

There is one important thing that you should keep in mind regarding the names i3, i5 and i7. The digits do not signify the recentness of these processors.

These are just numbers and simply denote the generation to which the specific processor belongs, currently to 6th or Skylake, and the higher end and performance of it.

Lifespan 

Even if you go for the more expensive models of the Core i7 processors, this will have nothing to do with the lifespan. You may think that the Core i7 processor will last longer than the Core i5, but you cannot expect it to last for ten years.

It is the performance that matters when it comes to selecting a processor, and, in that case, the Core i5 processor is enough for gaming and other small tasks.

Even if the processor and the CPU last for ten years, there are a few vital factors that may affect the lifespan adversely.

The other parts in the system will experience changes in heating and cooling changes affecting its thermal performance due to the changes in loads and voltage when you switch your computer off and on.

This change in temperature will affect different components in different ways such as:

  • The hard drives will spin up and down causing mechanical stress that may affect the motors
  • The wires that connect the CPU silicon die with the pins or pads of the CPU with tiny bits will be affected
  • The power controller of the drive will warm up and cool down causing thermal stress.

However, the Core i5 processor is so designed that it is highly unlikely that the silicon die will be damaged soon. Since the paths are well designed, the voltages will remain low preventing the silicon insulation from breaking down.

Therefore, it is unlikely that the lifespan of the i5 processor, which is normally 100,000 hours, will deteriorate due to normal failure of the components in your CPU. Use it to the fullest extent till it becomes technologically obsolete.

How Does it Work?

The working process of the Intel Core i5 processor depends on the technological specifications as well as the software you use to run it.

However, the working of this processor may be somewhat limited in case you use it for any application that needs heavy and multi-threading, such as video encoding. This is because the i5 Core processor does not have hyperthreading ability.

Even with that limitation, the processor works faster as compared to any average AMD processor, Intel’s main competitor, and even the older version of Core 2 Quad processor of Intel. The performance level and working will be affected if you punish the memory bus.

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The working of the i5 processor is controlled by the new memory controller integrated in it.

Apart from this controller that has three separate channels, there is an interconnect system that will improve and replace the architecture of the bus on the front side.

It will split the physical cores of the processor into more virtual cores. This will enhance the performance level of the system.

The LGA 1156 socket and the latest P55 chipset adds to the performance of the Core i5 processor, for which you may need a new and separate type of motherboard.

However, Core i5 will adopt a range of permutations of the memory configurations for best results.

i5 Processor FAQ:

What does an i5 processor mean?

The Core i5 processor is a dual and quad core chip that has a 64-bit and x86 configuration. This midlevel chip of the "i" series of Intel may also have Turbo Boost feature to ensure faster results, though it lacks hyperthreading technology.

Is i5 a good processor?

Yes, it is. It is the features of i5 processor will provide better and faster results and a higher user experience. If you want some thing more than the i3 processor but do not have the money to go for the expensive i7 variant, then the Core i5 processor is good enough to go for.

How many GHz is an i5 processor?

Ideally, it will range between 1.90 GHz and 3.80 GHz ensuring that it supports multiple speeds when you need.

Is intel core i5 outdated?

No, it is certainly not. You will find a lot of laptops and desktop computers that come with an i5 processor and support intense gaming and a few video editing. Even if the latest version of Core processors such as the i7 processor has a higher number of cores, thread counts and hyperthreading technology, the i5 processor surely has some time left to be marked as ‘obsolete.’

How much RAM can an i5 handle?

All i5 processors can handle at least 16 GB of RAM. However, there are a few other variants of this processor that may even support a 32 GB RAM as well. However, the total available RAM may be much less than the maximum limit because the RAM will be shared by the graphic units and the operating system.

Final Thoughts

The Core i5 processors are good enough a chip to install in your computer, provided you do not use it for highly intense resource work.