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Is Intel i9 better than i5?

The Intel i9 is among the most proliferated processors on the market while the i5 is an enthusiast chip for the mass public
Last Updated on April 27, 2023
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Processors nowadays are becoming much faster and far more powerful. Manufacturers are more capable than ever to stack up CPUs with fast cores, frequencies, and cache, ending up with some of the best and most effective CPUs. Also, prices are quite similar and at reach, at least with the last generation of CPUs. This is why people ask if the Intel i9 is better than the i5.

Although it’s hard to give a straight answer, we can consider the specs to determine which one is better outright. The Intel i9-13900K is a 24-core, 32-thread processor with a maximum boost frequency of 5.8GHz, while the i5-13600K is a 14-core, 20-thread CPU that can be boosted up to 5.1GHz.

The extra core count and faster frequency make the i9 the best overall CPU; this is a higher-end, more strong, and more capable processor that will deliver a better performance in almost every task, while the i5, although fast, will feel a bit sluggish in some demanding content creation activities.

Differences between Intel i5 and i9

The main difference between the two CPUs is the core count and speed. The i9 was built to endure high-end activities that require the CPU to use a large number of cores and perform a lot of tasks at the same time. For this reason, we can see this type of CPU in professional rigs, that are rendering 3D content, video editing, or streaming.

On the other hand, the Intel i5 is a more price-friendly CPU that is built for more consumer activities, such as gaming. The i5 and i7 are usually the two best gaming CPUs for the wider public. They provide the build-up with a fast enough CPU that will match the GPU speed, and with enough cores for playing games, and other activities at ease.

SpecsIntel Core i9-13900KIntel Core i5-13600K
Cores / Threads24 / 3214 / 20
P-cores / E-coresP-Cores: 8E-Cores: 16P-Cores: 6E-Cores: 8
Base clock speed3.0 GHz3.5 GHz
Boost clock speed5.8GHz5.1 GHz
Cache L336MB24MB
TDP125 W125 W
Intel i9 vs Intel i5 specs

In the above table, we can see how the i9 has double the e-cores than the i5. This means that the CPU is able to deal with more background tasks, leaving more space for the powerful P cores to maneuver.

In definitive, according to the specs, price, and history of use, the Intel i9 is the best overall CPU, capable of delivering high performance in any task that it faces. On the other side, the Intel i5 is a more performance-to-price balanced CPU recommended for 1080p gaming at great FPS counts if matched with a good GPU.

Is the Intel i9 the most powerful?

Out of the Intel i5, i7 and i9 processors, the i9 is by far the most powerful. It has the highest clock speeds, most cores and threads, and a hefty cache to boot. Whether it is the most powerful processor in the world is another question entirely, but against the rest of Intel’s range, it performs outstandingly.

What is the fastest CPU right now?

When it comes to the speediest CPUs in the game, Intel are leading the way. The i9 range is all very powerful, but the very fastest is the i9-13900KS. This is a seriously mega processor which reaches a speed of 6.0Hz without overclocking. It features 24 cores and 32 threads. Most people will not need this CPU, but if you’re running massive programs, it might be worth taking a look at.

Can i5 be better than i9?

Although the i9 outperforms the i5 in basically every way performance-wise, when it comes to value, some would argue the i5 wins out. For most users, it offers better performance per buck, and is more than enough for most gaming and creative tasks. However, if you’re looking for something top-of-the-market, go for the i9.

Camilo is a contributor for PC Guide. He's been into tech since he was a teen, surfing through the web and local stores trying to find the cheapest way to play the latest Half-Life on his old Windows