Intel Core i7
Which different models are there?
Since the Core-i series already extends over four different microarchitectures, it is divided into different generations. The first receives a three-digit model number, while the others are simply preceded by the corresponding number. For example, the Core i7-3740QM is a third-generation processor. The letters indicate certain functions. For example, M stands for mobile, ie, notebook processors, Q for quad-core, X for the extreme editions, and L, U, Y, S, T for processors with lower power consumption. New additions are those processors with K in the name, which are suitable for overclocking.
What advantages do the individual generations offer?
These processors are based on the Nehalem or Westmere microarchitecture and provide a maximum of six physical cores in the workstation. For notebooks, however, four cores are the maximum. However, the main difference to the Core i5 of the same generation is the activated Hyper-Threading technology, which logically doubles the number of cores. The maximum memory varies by model and is 16 to 24 GB DDR3 RAM for the desktop models and 8 GB for the mobile variants.
In these models, the clock rates and the number of cores behave very similar to the predecessor. However, the processor graphics Intel HD Graphics 3000 is added, making a separate PCI Express graphics card is no longer mandatory. Due to this fact, better runtimes are possible with the notebook. In addition, 32GB of memory is now the maximum on multiple models, which means you can see significant benefits in many applications.
With the Ivy-Bridge microarchitecture, PCI Express version 3.0 and the processor graphics Intel HD Graphics 4000 are making their way into the processors. The latter now allows the operation of three independent monitors. In general, however, improvements were made to the system bus and especially to the memory access. For encryption and cryptography applications, functions such as Intel AES-NI are now also available, which can be used e.g. can be used for key generation.
The innovations of the processors in the fourth generation are quite manageable, since not much has changed in terms of the actual computing power. However, Intel has continued to improve the internal graphics unit here, as the competitor AMD is still a bit ahead in this area. To enable notebooks with longer runtimes, additional power-saving features have been integrated that allow a dynamic adjustment of the performance. If the corresponding system is not in use or is only used for simpler tasks, the power of the processor is also reduced in order to reduce power consumption. So you benefit from the Haswell microarchitecture primarily in the mobile area of ??notebooks and high-end tablets.
In the fifth generation, the CPUs are based on the Broadwell microarchitecture. The production takes place in the 14 nm production process, whereby e.g. the cooling is improved. As a socket in the desktop PC continues to use the LGA 1150. Overall, Intel has made various improvements to the CPU, which allows for higher performance. Likewise, the graphics units (maximum HD Graphics 6000) have been further improved, although there are also models that do not offer integrated graphics.
The successor to Broadwell is the Skylake architecture, which also uses new sockets on the motherboards. Accordingly, a new motherboard is needed for retrofitting. The new generation also brings with it more improvements. The power consumption was, for example, significantly improved and the graphics unit can drive 5K displays with 60 Hz. The Core i7 also includes TSX, TXT, AVX and AVX2 instruction set extensions. Also pleasing is the support of Thunderbolt 3, as well as the decoding and encoding of new multimedia formats such as H.265 / HEVC.
In 2016, the Kaby Lake microarchitecture followed, allowing higher clock rates compared to its predecessor. Further improvements have been made to the turbo-clock, resulting in an overall higher performance. However, the power consumption remained the same, so that in the end there is better energy efficiency. New CPU sockets are not required, which is why some motherboard manufacturers offer appropriate updates for existing motherboards with socket 1151. Another important change is that Intel no longer offers support for Windows 7 and only provides Windows 10 drivers for the integrated graphics.
In the eighth generation called Coffee Lake, even higher beats are possible, which is mainly due to an improvement of the 14 nm manufacturing process. For the first time, you will also get processors that have six physical cores. With the Core i7-8086K, for example, you get a particularly high-performance CPU that clocks at 4 GHz and allows up to 5 GHz in Turbo mode. Although the 1151 socket is still in use, a new motherboard is required for use in the desktop PC because the pinout has been changed. The graphics unit uses the Intel UHD Graphics 630, which easily provides three 4K displays with 60 Hz refresh rate.
Intel Core-i7 Processor Extreme Edition
These processors are suitable for very demanding applications and complex calculations. The CPUs called Extreme Edition have almost exclusively 6 cores (12 logical), which are operated with a maximum turbo clock frequency of 4 GHz. The up to 15 MB cache ensures a noticeable performance boost. In addition, the memory can be 24 to 64 GB. It has four memory channels in some models, increasing the memory bandwidth to a maximum of 59.7 GB / s. Due to the enormous performance, these CPUs can not be used on the same motherboards running Standard Editions. For example, the Socket LGA2011 is used for the Extreme Editions of the fourth and third generation.