What is i7 processor? The i7 processor was first launched by Intel in 2009 but over the years it has evolved with several new features added to it. This has made it all the more powerful and enhanced its level of performance.
As it is common with Intel and all of the chips designed and developed by them, this specific processor also comes in different types. i7 is just the broad umbrella that signifies all different types of processors in this category.
The i7 processor is as fast as the i5 processor but it has the additional Hyper Threading technology in it. This allows each core of this processor to be used twice at the same time.
This means that it mimics the cores as doubling each other. This, in turn, enhances the speed and performance of the processor.
For the records, Intel also has a processor with a different name, Xeon. This specific processor is considered to be the best for server computers that are used by several businesses.
It is also found in a few specific types of computers, both desktops and laptops. The i7 processors, at least a few of them, are almost similar to a few of the specific types of Xeon processors.
The difference between a Xeon processor and an i7 processor is that Xeon processors support the Error Correction Code memory, unlike i7 processors. The i7 processor also does not support multiple CPUs on any similar motherboard.
The Intel Core i7 processor is in the line of the eight generations of chipsets designed by Intel. Normally, the i7 processors come with either 4 or 6 cores. It is also known to have a stock frequency that ranges between 2.6 GHz and 3.7 GHz.
The different varieties of the i7 processor is designed to support different types of personal computers and computing devices. Check out Intel Atom, Celeron and Pentium Processors.
For example, there are a few high-performance i7 processors that are best suited for desktop computers like the i7-8700K processor. These processors can be unlocked easily for overclocking.
There are also a few other high-end and most efficient i7 processors that can be used for different types of computing devices such as laptops and mobile devices like tablets, apart from the desktop.
These high-end i7 processors conserve as low energy as possible but it can come at an expense of a few specific tasks.
What is i7 Processor?
Ideally, the i7 processors are designed mainly for the digital artists such as the animators and filmmakers, and of course, for the gaming enthusiasts.
This highly powerful speedy and exceptional processor belongs to that specific chip family of Intel that has succeeded the Pentium series with its i3 and i5 processors with its Nehalem Microarchitecture.
While i3 is considered to be the processor for the starting level, i5 indicates the mid-level and i7 depicts the high level of the processor family.
Going by the basics, every CPU comes with either one or several cores in it. Each of these cores act as a processor by itself. However, if you look at the Intel processors, most of these come with two physical cores and two virtual cores as well.
In common terms, these are known as hyperthreading. For example, the core i3 processor comes with two physical cores only while, on the other hand, both i5 and i7 processors have four physical cores making it even better than its predecessors.
The hyper threading feature of i7 processors actually refers to the processing of a series of programmed instructions within a certain time by the computer. The higher number of cores means processing a larger number of such threads.
For example, if a CPU comes with only one core, it will be able to process only one set of instructions at a time.
On the other hand, when the CPU has a processor that has two cores in it, like the i3 processors, it can read two threads at a time with each of the two cores. This means that the computer can run a total of four threads at a time.
The i5 processor does not have the hyper threading feature and therefore can only process four threads at a time. However, the i7 processor uses this hyperthreading technology and therefore can run as many as eight threads at a time.
In addition to that the larger cache memory of the i7 processor also plays a significant role in the processing and computation of data by the processor.
The usefulness of it cannot be ignored because it can store a large number of data in its cache memory. This is exceptionally useful especially when a computer has to use the same set of data and instructions over and over again.
This means that when a processor has more memory, it is better because the wait time is less. Ideally, according to the design, the memory structure of the different core processors is:
- 3 to 4 MB for Core i3 processors
- 6 MB for the i5 variant and
- 8 MB for the Core i7 processors.
Since the cache memory is much faster than the RAM, this increases the speed of processing and deliverance of the results. This is because the cache memory is a component of the processor itself.
Best Uses of i7 Processor
Though most people think that the i7 processors are designed only for the high-end gamers, there are different uses of it. You just have to change the way you think to know how you can make the best use of this powerful processor.
The high-end performance of the x86 64-bit i7 processors is designed to be used in high-end laptops and desktops.
Therefore, if you want to gain some supercomputing power then you should use i7 processors. The most significant reason that make this an ideal processor for the digital artists and the gaming fans are the advantages provided by it that includes:
- Much faster processing speeds
- Easy handling of complex software that needs a lot of computations with its four cores and
- A very reliable cooling system to maintain the temperature within the desired level even working on it for long hours and in demanding environments.
Lifespan of the i7 Processor
As opposed to the common belief of 3 to 4 years, the average life expectancy of any processor, including Core i7, is 20 to 30 years! This is when there is no failure due to any other external or internal factors.
The 3 to 4-year myth is based on Moore’s law of practical obsolescence, which is common due to the advancement and implementation of latest technology and features.
Ideally, your hard disk, the CPU fan and the power supply will fail much, much before the processor fails.
The modern CPUs and processors are highly advanced and come with thermal cut-off features that will not allow your processor to fail or deteriorate due to overheating. If you take care of the voltage, temperature and clocking, your processor is unlikely to fail soon.
However, you will certainly not use your computer 24×7, even if you are the craziest of all gamers in the world, so that it fails fast.
How Does i7 Processor Work?
It is the advanced features of the i7 processor that helps in the working process of this chip. These features of the processor support an execution at 64-bits. It also allows it to process data at a superior front side bus speed of 2GH that also enables it to multi-task.
The processor supports DDR3 main memory as well as a very large cache memory that helps in its hyper-threading technology.
The other features that help in the working process are:
- The scheduler at the OS level
- The decoder
- The fetcher
- The core
- The thread
- The I/O controller
- The registers and
- The FPU or Floating-Point Unit.
The entry and exit of data from the CPU and to it is managed effectively by the I/O controller and the memory. This data is transferred from the SSD or hard disk to the RAM.
Thereafter, the more relevant and crucial data is brought to the cache in the CPU. This cache works in three different levels.
- First, the data is brought to the 8 MB L3 cache which is shared at 2 MB or each core in the CPU for execution.
- From the L3 cache the data is picked up by the L2 cache which is much faster. Every core of the processor has its specific L2 cache of 1 MB in total and 256 KB for each of the cores. Since the i7 processor has the hyper threading capability, there are two threads or series of information for each core. This means that this L2 cache is practically shared by both these threads.
- The L1 cache which is 256 KB in total and 32 KB for each thread now receives the data when sent. This data is now sent to the registers of the L1 cache.
If you are using a 32-bit mode, there will be 8 such registers in total and if you are using a 64-bit mode, there will be 16 registers to complete the execution of data.
Since the i7 processor contains 8 threads, the data in it switches to and from each thread present in the cores, physical or logical.
What does the i7 processor mean?
Using the 8th generation Core i7 processor means that it will have a faster processing and provide a better gaming experience. It will have 6 cores and 12 threads that will help you to maintain a clock speed based on the core counts. The i7 processor also has a faster base clock speed and you can even get higher clock speeds using its Turbo boost feature making it the best processor for gaming fans.
Is i7 better than i5?
Yes, the i7 processor is much better than the i5 variant. The best part of the i7 processor is that it comes with the most useful hyper-threading technology.
Do I need an i7 processor?
If you are a gaming enthusiast or work on some complex software programs, then you will surely need an i7 processor to superpower it and ensure easy and faster computations.
What is the advantage of i7 over i5?
The most significant advantage of i7 processors is that it comes with hyperthreading technology that helps in faster computing. It is more useful than an i5 processor if you want to do intensive tasks such as video and graphics editing, data crunching and gaming. It has a larger cache and a much higher clock speed.
The i7 processors are most advanced chips that will enhance the performance of your CPU. This will help in gaming, multitasking, scientific computations and multimedia consumption, on both desktop and laptop computers.