Help Me Choose: Intel® Processor

The processor or CPU processes the critical information and instructions that make your computer perform. Think of it as the system’s brains, enabling it to run the applications and other operations.

The speed at which your system runs programs, loads images and downloads files depends in part on the processor. Bandwidth, clock speed and the number of cores in the processor all help determine processor performance. In general, a higher core number indicates higher performance when comparing the same type of processor, e.g. a core i7 will perform better than an i3.

Upgrading a processor after you purchase your computer can be costly and difficult. Because of this, we recommend that you choose a processor with enough performance to meet your needs well into the future.

If you want to run multiple applications at the same time, download and edit high-definition (HD) videos, convert media, and play video games on your PC, choose the Intel® Core™ i5 or i7 processor.

If you want to save a little money but still be able to view photos, movies and media, and accomplish everyday tasks like word processing, email and web browsing, choose the Intel Core i3 processor.

New 5th Gen Intel® Processor:
Premium performance, powerful possibilities.

With premium performance and stunning visuals, the new 5th gen Intel® Core™ processor has the power to take your computing to a new level. Enjoy exceptionally smooth, seamless video chats and amazing battery life that keeps you productive on the go. That's serious processing. Only with Intel Inside®.

Improved performance, better battery life.

4th Gen Intel® processors are power efficient without sacrificing performance and provide up to 2x better graphics performance versus previous generations. View your photos, movies and media in stunning clarity — even when you’re on the go.

IntelWhich processor is best for me?
When it comes to choosing a processor, keep in mind that a higher number generally indicates better performance. Available in three performance levels, Intel® Core i3, i5 and i7 processors are designed to deliver faster, smarter performance. Depending on the number of cores within each processor, you can get more multitasking capability, extra speed or advanced media capability.
3rd Gen Intel® Core™ i7 and Core™ i7 Extreme Edition Processors 

3rd Gen Intel® Core™ i7 and Core™ i7 Extreme Edition Processors
3rd Gen Intel Core i7 and Core i7 Extreme Edition Processors
For ultra high-end gaming and content creation, the 3rd Gen Intel Core i7 and Core i7 Extreme Edition processors give you the performance you need to compete. These processors have all the capabilities of Intel Core i3, i5 and i7, but even greater performance. With up to six cores, 40 lanes of PCIe gen3, 4-channel DDR3 1866, and 12-way multitask processing, these Core i7 processors are packed with performance features. These high-end Core i7 processors also enable you to overclock* the CPU for even greater performance, perfect for serious media enthusiasts and hard-core gamers. These processors are available on select Alienware™ systems.
4th Gen Intel® Core™ i7
Intel Core i7
4th Gen Intel Core i7
Thanks to new processor technology that adapts to meet your needs and enables you to multitask faster; Core i7 processors have all the capabilities of Core i3 and i5, including Intel Turbo Boost Technology. Plus they deliver serious PC performance, especially when it comes to creating digital videos, music and photos. With four- and eight-way* multitask processing, you can get things done quicker, saving you time. Core i7 is available on select Dell systems.
Core™ i5
Intel Core i5
Core i5
Apart from providing great graphics and multitasking, Core i5 processors automatically speed up when your PC needs a little extra boost, thanks to Intel® Turbo Boost Technology. With four-way multitask processing, you can get many things done at once.
Core™ i3
Intel Core i3
Core i3
Core i3 processors are perfect for everyday applications and are a huge step up from Pentium® processors. Featuring two cores, four-way multitask processing and new graphics capabilities, you can be sure that you will have the performance you need to get your everyday tasks done faster and enjoy a great visual experience.
 Intel® Pentium® dual core processor Intel Pentium® dual core processor 
Dual core processors are ideal for multitasking and everyday computing.
 Intel® Celeron® M processor Intel Celeron® M processor 
This low-cost option is great for basic business and personal productivity applications.

When choosing a multi-core processor, it helps to know what a core does.

A processor core channels the data that carries out the commands required to run applications on your computer. The more cores you have, the more lanes that data can travel on, like a highway with multiple vehicle lanes.

Older, single-core processors can only process one thread at a time. When processing more than one task, such as surfing the web while playing an MP3, single-core processors alternated between each thread, processing a small chunk of data each time. This often resulted in a noticeable system slowdown.

Dual, quad and six core processors are available to give you the performance you need to get things done faster. Dell offers the latest 4th generation Intel Core processors (Core i3, i5 and i7) as well as 2nd and 3rd Gen, so you can be sure there is a Dell system that will meet your needs.