I always thought of Intel Core i7 as the best and the fastest compared to Intel Core i5. That is why when I saw computer specifications with Core i7 processor looks wow compared to Core i5 and sometimes it become justifiable for a more expensive price. Few moments ago I conclude that this is not a right opinion. The number of core and clockspeed have more impact on performance compared to processor series or architectures.
Take example a comparison between Core i5-3340M (Ivy Bridge) vs Core i7-4500U (Haswell). From the link we can see that the benchmark score of Core i5-3340M (Ivy Bridge) surpass Core i7-4500U (Haswell) in all types of benchmark. Here is the my result of comparing regular laptop CPU commonly found in Indonesia, ranked by their Passmark score.
- Intel Core i7-4700HQ @ 2.40GHz, 8081
- Intel Core i7-4700MQ @ 2.40GHz, 7946
- Intel Core i7-3630QM @ 2.40GHz, 7766
- Intel Core i7-4702MQ @ 2.20GHz, 7502
- Intel Core i7-3632QM @ 2.20GHz, 7032
- Intel Core i5-4300M @ 2.60GHz, 4556
- Intel Core i5-3340M @ 2.70GHz, 4264
- Intel Core i7-3667U @ 2.00GHz, 4028
- Intel Core i5-3230M @ 2.60GHz, 3994
- Intel Core i7-4500U @ 1.80GHz, 3963
- Intel Core i5-3210M @ 2.50GHz, 3806
- Intel Core i5-4200U @ 1.60GHz, 3345
- Intel Core i5-3337U @ 1.80GHz, 3268
Interesting, right? But does that mean we always have to choose processor solely based on its speed? Not really. Since on the previous comparison, Core i7-4500U have several advantages, such as lower power consumption (means longer battery life) and having Advance Vector Extensions (AVX) 2.0 feature for numerical computation and multimedia. For me, I will choose Core i5-3340M since my laptop mostly plugged to power outlet rather than battery-powered :).