Question Difference between two processors: i5-1035G4 vs i7-1065G7

Mahesh Abnave

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I am thinking to upgrade my XPS 15 - 2011 edition.
It came with i7 2630QM. The machine is still working and hosts 16 GB RAM DDR3 and 512 GB SATA SSD.
Point is it is getting older, it gives trouble sometimes, mostly abrupt flickering of screen. I have already replaced its screen several times.

Using this machine for long, I have grown with feeling that i7 is the processor to go for my performance needs.
I mostly multi task. Open 30-50 tabs in chrome, open software development tools, like IDE, database server running and MS Word etc.
I love when machine flies without hickups and making me slow.

XPS 15 originally shipped with HDD not SSD and 8GB RAM, and also used to go slow under heavy loads. even with i7.
With 16 GB and SSD upgrade, this machine flies high.

So I have doubt, what should I focus for my next laptop. Is i7 really that important or I can stay happy with good version of i5 with fast large RAM and secondary storage?

I have shortlisted Lenovo C940 14" with 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD. I am thinking if I should opt for i5-1035G4 or i7-1065G7.

I compared these two processors and found these differences on Intel's site:

i5-1035G4i7-1065G7Difference
Base Frequency1.1 GHz1.3 GHz0.2 GHz
Max Turbo Frequency3.7 GHz3.9 GHz0.2 GHz
Cache6 MB8 MB2 MB
Graphics Max Dynamic Frequency1.05 GHz1.10 GHz0.05 GHz

I feel the difference between the two (last column of above table) is very less and hence performance difference between between i5 and i7 will be negligible.

I also checked other processor comparison sites for reference.

cpu.userbench.com: It gives 69% to i7 and 65.7% to i5
versus.com: it gave 79 points to i7 and 78 to i5

I can save $100+ if I opt for i5. I am of the opinion that there is not much performance difference between the two processor. Am I correct with this? Can I opt for i5 over i7?
 
The biggest difference between the two is the graphics portion of the chip as "G4" and "G7" refer to different iGPU configs.

The G4 is 48 EU's, whilst the G7 is 50% larger with 64 EUs.... the result is the i7 has much stronger graphics performance (if using the integrated graphics).

If the machine has a separate discreet gpu then the difference is smaller as on the cpu side it's just clock speed an 2mb bump in cache on the i7 (which can matter in some applications but won't make a huge difference overall).

Edit: Notebook check links:
i7: https://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-Core-i7-1065G7-Laptop-Processor-Ice-Lake.423851.0.html
i5: https://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-Core-i5-1035G4-Laptop-Processor-Ice-Lake.423866.0.html
 
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Mahesh Abnave

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You can search a comparison like that and find several comparisons online. I see no difference in features. One is faster.
I know, but the question is, how much faster. As per specs, its marginal for multi tasking, and more for gaming. Am I right?

The i7 doesn't DO more, but it may help you get more done
Can you explain it a bit?

Will it pay for itself, and do you care?
Again I feel this is based on margin of performance i7 provides over i5. I believe for software development multitasking, it wont pay much but for gaming, it might be, right?

As I said, I will be mostly doing software development work and not gaming. I may do machine learning work in future, but I feel integrated graphics is not really meant for that and hence integrated IRIS graphics in i7 will provide no benefit in that direction too, right?
 
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Mahesh Abnave

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The G4 is 48 EU's, whilst the G7 is 50% larger with 64 EUs.... the result is the i7 has much stronger graphics performance (if using the integrated graphics).

If the machine has a separate discreet gpu then the difference is smaller as on the cpu side it's just clock speed an 2mb bump in cache on the i7 (which can matter in some applications but won't make a huge difference overall).
So, if I am not doing much gaming, but mostly software development work, I will not see much performance difference overall, right?
I may do machine learning work in future, but I feel integrated graphics is not really meant for that and hence better integrated IRIS graphics in i7 will provide no benefit in that direction too, right?
 
Okay, so first you need some unbiased comparisons. Here are all the processors you are familiar with and considering:
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare/Intel-i5-1035G4-vs-Intel-i7-1065G7-vs-Intel-i7-2630QM/3581vs3466vs873

Your current i7's single thread performance is literally half of the processors you are considering. This is significant as this means that the newer processors will literally be twice as fast. And this doesn't even consider the memory, storage, and other subsystems which will be quicker because of this.

Between the newer i5 and the i7, it's really about how much you want since the only real difference is about 200Mhz of clock speed--which you pointed out--which does translate directly to the single thread performance of the i7, but only about 6% faster. There is the gpu difference as well, but it is slight:
http://www.cpu-world.com/Compare/935/Intel_Core_i5_Mobile_i5-1035G4_vs_Intel_Core_i7_Mobile_i7-1065G7.html

The question is if that 6% and gpu difference is worth $100 more to you? For development work would 6% faster compiles matter? For gaming the gpu difference in shading units might mean a bigger difference, but 25% at best. Is it worth it? Because these are solder chips, you won't be able to upgrade later, so that's something to keep in mind as well. I think once you answer these questions, you'll have your decision. :)
 
So, if I am not doing much gaming, but mostly software development work, I will not see much performance difference overall, right?
I may do machine learning work in future, but I feel integrated graphics is not really meant for that and hence better integrated IRIS graphics in i7 will provide no benefit in that direction too, right?
Yes, if you aren't doing much with the igpu then honestly there's very little between the two options so you'd be fine with the i5.
 
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"The i7 doesn't DO more, but it may help you get more done "

Sometimes the i7 will have an added feature like Hyperthreading, and the i5 wont. So 4C/8T vs. 4C/4T. That would justify the higher price for multitasking. But in this instance it just comes down to whether you wan to buy some more speed.
Another way of putting it would be at the same speed the i7 HT chip could do MORE things. But for simpler tasks it would have no advantage. But those 2 chips don't have that difference.
 
Just to throw another thing out there, there are 6 and even 8 core laptop processors on the market now. Intel made their lineup confusing for the 10th generation chips by taking away some of the differentiation in naming conventions, but both of the CPUs you are looking at are "low power", thin/light battery-oriented CPUs (15w TDP) that still have only 4 cores 8 generations later.

While these CPUs do fine right now, they may not age as well as your old Sandy Bridge considering lots of software/computers are moving to take advantage of more and more cores/threads within the last ~3 years or so. My 4 core Ivy Bridge laptop has aged well and is still quite usable in 2020, but my 2-core Skylake U-series laptop is beginning to drive me crazy because it just doesn't have enough power anymore (and it was fine 3 years ago).

Considering you what I'd consider more of a power user, you might want to look into the AMD Ryzen 4000 laptop CPUs, or the higher-power (similar to the HQ-series you had before) Intel H-series CPUs like the 9750H/10750H (6-core, 45W TDP). Heck, there are even 6-core Intel U-series (10710U).
 
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Mahesh Abnave

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both of the CPUs you are looking at are "low power", thin/light battery-oriented CPUs (15w TDP) that still have only 4 cores 8 generations later.

While these CPUs do fine right now, they may not age as well as your old Sandy Bridge considering lots of software/computers are moving to take advantage of more and more cores/threads within the last ~3 years or so. My 4 core Ivy Bridge laptop has aged well and is still quite usable in 2020, but my 2-core Skylake U-series laptop is beginning to drive me crazy because it just doesn't have enough power anymore (and it was fine 3 years ago).

Considering you what I'd consider more of a power user, you might want to look into the AMD Ryzen 4000 laptop CPUs, or the higher-power (similar to the HQ-series you had before) Intel H-series CPUs like the 9750H/10750H (6-core, 45W TDP). Heck, there are even 6-core Intel U-series (10710U).
This is big concern.

First thing, let me tell how I arrived at the choice of Lenovo C940 2 in 1. I wanted
  1. pen input,
  2. light weight (current XPS 15 L502X is dead bulky, I hate it),
  3. great battery backup (current XPS was super bad at battery)
  4. great performance (thats why I thought I should stick to i7, but while comparing it to i5, I started to feel there is not much difference)
Now point of concern: will this laptop really not age well as my current XPS 15? I feel, it will. As someone already pointed out, these new processors + new RAM and SSD will make newer laptop twice more powerful.

Q1. Is that wrong? Will lower TDP make them less powerful than what they look in specsheet? In other words, will C940 wont be as twice as fast than my current XPS, because of lower TDP, despite specs say it will be?

Q2. Despite almost decade old, my 2630QM still delivers perfect for most software development work. Wont the laptop twice powerful than that deliver perfectly for at least half of that duration, that is at least for 5 years?
 
This is big concern.

First thing, let me tell how I arrived at the choice of Lenovo C940 2 in 1. I wanted
  1. pen input,
  2. light weight (current XPS 15 L502X is dead bulky, I hate it),
  3. great battery backup (current XPS was super bad at battery)
  4. great performance (thats why I thought I should stick to i7, but while comparing it to i5, I started to feel there is not much difference)
Now point of concern: will this laptop really not age well as my current XPS 15? I feel, it will. As someone already pointed out, these new processors + new RAM and SSD will make newer laptop twice more powerful.

Q1. Is that wrong? Will lower TDP make them less powerful than what they look in specsheet? In other words, will C940 wont be as twice as fast than my current XPS, because of lower TDP, despite specs say it will be?

Q2. Despite almost decade old, my 2630QM still delivers perfect for most software development work. Wont the laptop twice powerful than that deliver perfectly for at least half of that duration, that is at least for 5 years?
Sounds like you are moving in the right direction as you want thin/long battery life/powerful then. I do expect 4 cores will continue to be enough power for years to come, as it still makes up most of the existing market.

The 15W TDP processors, due to thin/light cooling solutions, will usually only hit their max turbo speeds for a handful of seconds before throttling back due to heat (the Skylake 6600U in my HP Elitebook hits this thermal limit easily and often despite replacing the OEM thermal paste on it). So yes, they are perfectly fine for web browsing and general office workloads as they can ramp up to high clockspeeds when demand is high, then scale back. Depending on the laptop/cooler, however, they can throttle significantly under sustained workloads such as code compiling/editing.

I'm not sure what products Lenovo has the new Ryzen 4000 series in yet, but again I'd encourage a look at those...the battery life numbers and performance that I've seen in early tests of new laptops hitting the market are VERY impressive, especially the 8-core variants like the 4700U/4800H.
 
This is big concern.

First thing, let me tell how I arrived at the choice of Lenovo C940 2 in 1. I wanted
  1. pen input,
  2. light weight (current XPS 15 L502X is dead bulky, I hate it),
  3. great battery backup (current XPS was super bad at battery)
  4. great performance (thats why I thought I should stick to i7, but while comparing it to i5, I started to feel there is not much difference)
Now point of concern: will this laptop really not age well as my current XPS 15? I feel, it will. As someone already pointed out, these new processors + new RAM and SSD will make newer laptop twice more powerful.

Q1. Is that wrong? Will lower TDP make them less powerful than what they look in specsheet? In other words, will C940 wont be as twice as fast than my current XPS, because of lower TDP, despite specs say it will be?

Q2. Despite almost decade old, my 2630QM still delivers perfect for most software development work. Wont the laptop twice powerful than that deliver perfectly for at least half of that duration, that is at least for 5 years?
Q1. Thermal throttling is more possible as noted above. But knowing the core of their performance is their single thread performance, I don't think you'll find this an issue.

Q2. The problem is not the development platforms but the operating systems which get runaway bloated in a hurry. We've gone from 10MB for an OS to over 10GB in the last 30 years or so. That's 3 orders of magnitude and we're not showing any signs of slowing down. Now if you're using the same software, it's awesome as borland turbo c 3.0 for dos now compiles instantly--but this is rarely the case.
 

Mahesh Abnave

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Q1. Thermal throttling is more possible as noted above. But knowing the core of their performance is their single thread performance, I don't think you'll find this an issue.

Q2. The problem is not the development platforms but the operating systems which get runaway bloated in a hurry. We've gone from 10MB for an OS to over 10GB in the last 30 years or so. That's 3 orders of magnitude and we're not showing any signs of slowing down. Now if you're using the same software, it's awesome as borland turbo c 3.0 for dos now compiles instantly--but this is rarely the case.
Q2. 30 years is quite long duration. I was talking about at least 5 years and software development tools, like database servers, webservers, development IDEs etc. But still can you please tell me any (development / non development) software which you think will work today but may not after 5 years, just to get an idea?
 

Mahesh Abnave

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Sounds like you are moving in the right direction as you want thin/long battery life/powerful then. I do expect 4 cores will continue to be enough power for years to come, as it still makes up most of the existing market.

The 15W TDP processors, due to thin/light cooling solutions, will usually only hit their max turbo speeds for a handful of seconds before throttling back due to heat (the Skylake
in my HP Elitebook hits this thermal limit easily and often despite replacing the OEM thermal paste on it). So yes, they are perfectly fine for web browsing and general office workloads as they can ramp up to high clockspeeds when demand is high, then scale back. Depending on the laptop/cooler, however, they can throttle significantly under sustained workloads such as code compiling/editing.

I'm not sure what products Lenovo has the new Ryzen 4000 series in yet, but again I'd encourage a look at those...the battery life numbers and performance that I've seen in early tests of new laptops hitting the market are VERY impressive, especially the 8-core variants like the 4700U/4800H.
I didnt find any good 13" 2-in-1 laptop with six core processor.
XPS 13 7390 also comes with same processor (i7 1065g7) as Lenovo C940.
Also I am doubtful can six core processors perform well on these 13" 2-in-1 machines?
 
Q2. 30 years is quite long duration. I was talking about at least 5 years and software development tools, like database servers, webservers, development IDEs etc. But still can you please tell me any (development / non development) software which you think will work today but may not after 5 years, just to get an idea?
The windows upgrade cycle is about every 10 years, and with windows 10 already 5 years old that leaves only 5 more years before another major shift is coming. It's just history repeating itself.
 

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