Intel Core i7 computers are high-performance, all purpose machines that can handle demanding computing applications including 3D rendering and gaming. They will typically cost more than their equivalent Core i5 model but offer superior performance while running heavily workload oriented tasks such as engineering, scientific analysis work or high resolution gaming. They are also generally more adept at multitasking than i5 and i3 PCs.
Most of the latest Core i7 PCs have at least four cores with many having six cores and a few high end gaming machines boasting eight-core i7 processor chips. Since each core is essentially a mini processor in its own right, the higher the core count, the better the overall performance usually is although other characteristics of the processor also come into play such as clock speed and cache size.
If you’re trying to decide whether a Core i7 PC is right for you, start by thinking about the type of work you’ll be using the PC for most of the time. Core i7 PCs are powerful computers that will come at a price premium compared to Core i5 and i3 machines. If you need a heavy duty machine that can run demanding workloads such as media creation or high end gaming, a Core i7 PC might be a good fit. If you just need a PC to run mainstream applications, buying a Core i7 is probably overkill.
You would never pick a PC based on the processor alone of course; there are a variety of other criteria to throw into the mix as well. If you’ve decided a Core i7 PC is appropriate, it’s prudent to look at the PC’s wider specs. A good place to start is by referring to the vendor’s recommended specifications for the software you plan to run on the PC. These will often state both the minimum required specs for the software to operate smoothly but also the recommended specifications to look out for. Match these to a shortlist of Core i7 PCs to filter down your selection.
Form factor could also be important to you. Core i7 PCs are available in a range of sizes from full sized tower PCs right down to tiny micro PCs you can mount on a monitor stand. Keep in mind that the smaller the PC you choose, the less options you are likely to have when it comes to future upgrades. The number and type of available ports and interfaces might also have a bearing if you need to hook up an assortment of external devices such as monitors, keyboard and mouse.