We know how confusing picking a laptop can be. Whether to go for a newer 5th gen Broadwell Core i3 or a fourth generation Haswell Core i5? Of course, newer generation offers a better battery life and performance, but that’s when you’re comparing apples to apples. To help you with with it, we’ve put major Core i3, i5, and i7 processors against each other to see how they perform on certain benchmarks. We’ve also put them against some chips from AMD’s arsenal, in case you’ve a doubt there too. We’ll only be covering the popular ones to keep things simple. Also, these are all laptop variants belonging to the U series. The first numerical in the CPU nomenclature depicts its generation. For instance, Core 5xxxU will always belong to fifth generation, while a 6xxxU would be from the sixth generation Skylake architecture. Check out the scores below.
As the above results would tell you, an older generation Core i5 can give better performance than say a newer generation Core i3. For instance, a fourth gen Core i5-4200U outperforms the fifth gen Core i3-5005U. Or, a fifth gen Core i7-5500U seems to do a better job than the sixth gen Core i5-6200U. Although that’s not the case always and you should best compare the two CPUs you’re considering. AMD’s A8 and A10 seem to be no match for Intel chips and are at the bottom alongside fourth generation Core i3 chipsets.
However, this is just one side of the story. Keep in mind that newer generation also brings better GPU. This is not applicable when the notebook you’re considering comes with a dedicated AMD or NVIDIA GPU, but could impact performance if not. You can check the benchmarks for major GPUs. Lastly, newer generations of processors generally are better at power efficiency and heat management and are a smaller drain on the battery. All in all, if the price difference isn’t huge and the difference in the two CPUs’ performance isn’t huge, we’d say go for the one from a later generation.