Help Me Choose

Help Me Choose: Intel Processors

The processor or CPU processes the critical information and instructions that make your computer perform. Think of it as the system’s brain, 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. As a general rule, a higher number indicates higher performance.

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

Intel® Core™ i3, i5 and i7 processors are designed to deliver faster and smarter performance. Depending on the processor you choose, you can get more multitasking capacity, extra speed on demand and breakthrough performance on digital media consumption and creation. For example, with the Intel® Core™ i5 processor, you have the ability to download and edit high-definition (HD) videos, watch HD movies or run multiple applications simultaneously with virus protection in the background.

If you need...



Ultimate performance: Accelerates everything! Intel® Hyper-Threading and Turbo Boost Technology unlock your full potential with the ultimate smart performance of a Dell™ PC powered by the Intel® Core™ i7 processor.

Intel Core i7 Processor

Intel Core i7 Processor Brand Asset — Unrated

Turbo-charged performance: Features smart multitasking support. Intel® Turbo Boost Technology automatically speeds up your processor when your PC needs extra performance.

Intel Core i5 Processor

 Intel Core i5 Processor Brand Asset — Unrated

Fast and smart performance: A Dell PC powered by the Intel® Core™ i3 processor delivers a fast, responsive experience so you can do the things you love.

Intel Core i3 Processor

 Intel Core i3 Processor Brand Asset — Unrated

An efficient 64-bit dual-core processor able to access and work with data at fast speeds.

Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor

 Intel Core 2 Duo Processor Brand Asset — Unrated

The low-cost option for efficient, high-performance Intel Core technology.

Intel® Core™ 2 Solo Processor

 Intel Core 2 Solo

Which processor is best for me?
Today, AMD offers two APU levels: C-series and E-series. The C-Series is designed to deliver an amazing HD internet experience, while the E-Series is part of AMD’s VISION technology platform, designed to deliver the ultimate visual experience. While both series include on-processor graphics, AMD E-Series APUs can also support "switchable" graphics, meaning the system using the on-processor graphics for mainstream activities such as reading email or writing notes can "switch" to power on the optional discrete graphics for activities such as gaming, watching or transcoding HD video, or editing photos. Depending on the number of cores within each processor, you can get more multitasking capability, extra speed or advanced digital media consumption
AMD C-Series APU
HD Internet Technology is AMD’s APU-based technology for netbooks and entry-level laptops that enables smooth HD-streaming video, fast internet browsing and long battery life. Users can enjoy smooth HD-streaming video, rich online content and faster web surfing for favorite social media sites.
AMD E-Series APU
Vision technology is a combination of advanced HD graphics and multi-core PC processors in one efficient and powerful platform. It enables quick loading, rich web content and sharp photos, watching hours of HD video playback in beautiful detail and color, and playing casual games with smooth, realistic graphics.

When choosing a multi-core processor, it helps to know what a core does. A processor core channels the data threads that carry out the commands required to run the applications on your computer. Older, single-core processors could 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-core processors gave birth to parallel processing — the ability to process multiple data threads simultaneously. Processors such as the Intel® Core™ 2 Duo processor use two cores within a single processor so that you can easily watch movies while running a virus scan, rip CDs while listening to MP3s or play games while downloading files.

Quad-core processors, such as the Intel® Core™ 2 Quad processor, take the performance advantages of dual-core processors to the next level by delivering four complete execution cores within a single processor.

Finally, the Intel Core i7 processor and Intel Core i7 processor Extreme Edition offer incredible levels of multi-core performance. Through their use of Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology, these processors are capable of processing up to eight software threads simultaneously on four cores.


A — Core Indicator
  • Single-core processors provide just the right amount of power for everyday applications such as emailing or creating spreadsheets.
  • Dual-core processors are composed of two cores on one single processor, giving you even more power to multitask so you can download files, watch movies or play games.
B — Series Model Number

This is known as the processor number. In general, the higher the processor's number the higher the performance.

C — Type of APU