Question Two Intel Desktop CPUs: 2014-era Core i7 vs 2020 (current) Core i3?!

josephandrews22

Junior Member
Mar 7, 2010
6
0
66
I know some things but don't know a lot more things. I'd like to learn a bit more about CPU performance.

I'm quite happy with the performance of my five year-old Dell XPS 8700...the CPU inside is the Core i7 4790. I am not a gamer.

From here: https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Intel-Core-i7-4790-vs-Intel-Core-i3-10100/2293vs4075

...I learned from the link that the particulars of the 2014 i7 4790 include 4 Cores, 8 Threads at 3.6GHz [Haswell].

If I buy the least expensive 2020 XPS desktop [https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/desktop-computers/new-xps-desktop/spd/xps-8940-desktop/xd8940ms01s], it comes equipped with the 2020 Core i3 10100...and from the above link at least some of its particulars are identical to the 2014 i7 4790.

Specifically, 4 Cores, 8 Threads at 3.6GHz [Comet Lake].

So after six years...what was i7-level performance is now i3-level performance (at least for this comparison).

...and checking the link...the 2020 i3 is 11% faster real world speed (compared to the 2014 i7).

What am I missing? Lots? Little?

Is this a 'true' measure of half-a-decade's worth of R&D in desktop processors? What was i7 in 2014 is now i3?


[Please please no Intel vs AMD etc...]

Thanks for reading.
 

biostud

Lifer
Feb 27, 2003
15,150
414
126
It uses less power, but otherwise it is pretty much the same. The same reason my system has had three different videocard without being severely Cpu limited.
 

lobz

Golden Member
Feb 10, 2017
1,250
1,244
106
I know some things but don't know a lot more things. I'd like to learn a bit more about CPU performance.

I'm quite happy with the performance of my five year-old Dell XPS 8700...the CPU inside is the Core i7 4790. I am not a gamer.

From here: https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Intel-Core-i7-4790-vs-Intel-Core-i3-10100/2293vs4075

...I learned from the link that the particulars of the 2014 i7 4790 include 4 Cores, 8 Threads at 3.6GHz [Haswell].

If I buy the least expensive 2020 XPS desktop [https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/desktop-computers/new-xps-desktop/spd/xps-8940-desktop/xd8940ms01s], it comes equipped with the 2020 Core i3 10100...and from the above link at least some of its particulars are identical to the 2014 i7 4790.

Specifically, 4 Cores, 8 Threads at 3.6GHz [Comet Lake].

So after six years...what was i7-level performance is now i3-level performance (at least for this comparison).

...and checking the link...the 2020 i3 is 11% faster real world speed (compared to the 2014 i7).

What am I missing? Lots? Little?

Is this a 'true' measure of half-a-decade's worth of R&D in desktop processors? What was i7 in 2014 is now i3?

[Please please no Intel vs AMD etc...]

Thanks for reading.
The case you just covered has the least to do with R&D.
 

josephandrews22

Junior Member
Mar 7, 2010
6
0
66
I wasn't writing about any controversy...simply that a stock i7 sold in Dell's XPS line of desktops about five years ago has the same specs (I think) as a stock i3 sold in the same line of XPS desktops today.

Is there something I'm missing?

Do the specs miss something? Is a five year old i7 equal to today's i3?
 

Thunder 57

Golden Member
Aug 19, 2007
1,431
1,241
136
I wasn't writing about any controversy...simply that a stock i7 sold in Dell's XPS line of desktops about five years ago has the same specs (I think) as a stock i3 sold in the same line of XPS desktops today.

Is there something I'm missing?

Do the specs miss something? Is a five year old i7 equal to today's i3?
Pretty much. The i3 of today likely uses less power. Clock speeds are probably different but not by too much.

Is this a 'true' measure of half-a-decade's worth of R&D in desktop processors? What was i7 in 2014 is now i3?
From 2011-2017 the i7 was 4C/8T. It got better through better IPC, AVX2, better power consumption, and better clock speeds. But yes it was pretty much that. I think it is rather underwhelming and did not start to change until there was renewed competition.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tlh97

Arkaign

Lifer
Oct 27, 2006
20,516
971
126
Indeed. The biggest difference by far is that the i3 has a dramatically better (but still unremarkable) IGP. As an enthusiast, this was definitely frustrating to see, particularly of die shots. As things progressed from Lynnwood to Sandy Bridge to Ivy Bridge to Haswell and beyond, you could see them putting increased transistor budget into graphics rather than CPU portions of the processors, along with splitting some of the difference in just increasing profitability (eg number of 32nm dies per wafer of 4C/8T vs number of 22 and 14nm dies per wafer of 4C/8T.

Attached I have a Sandy quad compared to a Kaby quad. Look at how much die space the IGP started using! Wild.
 

Attachments

simas

Senior member
Oct 16, 2005
215
28
91
and your question is …?

the only in 5 years you can get better performance, lower power consumption, all for the price that is 3 times cheaper??

now here is my challenge to you - take a 55k car from 2015, say a new Audi and show me the same car now 5 years later new that is 14k in price and beats it in every possible way in performance , MPG, features, etc. all for the third of the price. come on, where did the R&D money go ?? ;)

also, you are at all serious about enjoying R&D, forget Intel for a moment (at least few years). not competitive.
 
Last edited:

Gideon

Senior member
Nov 27, 2007
833
1,259
136
Bear in mind this has been the norm for CPUs for much longer than it has not.

Sandy Bridge Core i3 was certainly faster than any core 2 from 2006, it even beat q6600 Core 2 Quad in most tasks by a sizable margin (it pretty much only lost marginally in rendering)

And Even low end Core 2 chips in 2006 creamed everything Intel released even just a year before, let alone 5, etc ...

Low end arm chips murder 5 year old flagships, as do AMDs chips (in any actual real-world use case). If anything, "Being just equal" is actually a bit dissapointing result. Though it's far better than what we would have gotten, had intel not faced competition from 2017 and onwards.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Tlh97

ASK THE COMMUNITY