Home Hardware Intel Core Vs Intel Core X Series – Best Differences?

Intel Core Vs Intel Core X Series – Best Differences?


Intel Core Vs Intel Core X Series

Intel Core Vs Intel Core X Series: CPUs are one of the more complicated pieces of hardware that you’ll have to study up on when the time comes for you to build a PC or even just upgrade your existing one.

For a comprehensive look at the basics of CPUs and how you should weigh the value of individual specs when deciding on the best one for your build? It is not a shameless self-plug; we say that with the assumption that you’ve already got your basics down.

Without a rudimentary grasp of the basics, the discussion about the differences between the Intel Core series and the Intel Core X series of processors becomes somewhat pointless.

What this terminology means and how it can cause issues?

Common sense dictates that the X series should be more advanced than the regular set. It is the gist of it but as always. Intel has gone out of their way to make things unnecessarily complicated and convoluted.

So, we’ll be clearing up the mess along the way as well. You’ll get to know the fundamental differences between these two series of CPUs and their value for gaming in particular. 

Intel Core series

The Intel core series of CPUs dates back to the mid-2000s with the introduction of the original Intel Core solo and the Intel Core duo CPUs.

The ranking system of Intel core series;

In 2008 Intel introduced the ranking system that still holds to this day, giving us the i3, i5 and i7 CPUs

  • Intel Core i3 CPUs were and still intended as budget solutions for low-end builds. 
  • The i5 CPUs were and still are perfectly serviceable mid-range models.
  • The i7 CPUs touted as the ultimate high-end models. Nowadays, i7 CPUs are no longer the highest of high-end mainstream CPUs, but they’re still incredibly powerful in their own right.

Intel Core X series

On the other hand, the Intel Core X series of CPUs made its debut almost a decade later in 2017 as a successor to the Intel Core i7 extreme lineup. Like the i7 strong lineup, the Core X series made with enthusiasts and professionals in mind.

It was the series that gave us the first core I 9 models. For a while, all i9 CPUs were part of the core X series but, of course, until hot to go and make an i9 model for some of its regular course series make things a little bit more complicated.

In any case, the core difference pun intended between the Intel Core and the Intel Core X series of CPUs boils down to its target audience.

Intel Core CPUs made with mainstream audiences in mind. While Intel Core X CPUs aimed towards professionals, needless to say, the cortex CPUs offer better performance, but they also carry a higher price tag.

Number the less the performance gap and the intended audience aren’t all that separates these two series of CPUs. After all, there’s already a high-performance gap and a sizable price gap between the i3 and i7 models.

So, let’s take a look at what defines an Intel Core X CPU. We try our best to make it easy for everyone, but CPUs are a subject matter that makes this extremely difficult. If you don’t know your Intel CPU architectures, this part won’t make any sense. So, we’ll keep the technical discussion to a minimum.

What does X mean in Intel processors?
What is the difference between Intel and Core?
Which Intel Core is the best?

Architectures that the core CPUs

There are three at structures that the core CPUs have based on so far,

  1. Skylake x 
  2. The short-lived cable an X  
  3. Cascade Lake X.

These include both i7 and i9 CPUs and even a single i5 model. However, we should point out that all of the cascades, like X models available at the time of the recording, are i9s. So those of you are looking to get the latest core x CPU currently have the benefit of narrowing your search to i9 models.

As we’ve said, the i9 moniker is no longer exclusive to the core X series as it was brought over to the mainstream core series in 2019 as part of the refresh coffee leak five lineups.

The current typical lake five lists also feature i9 models. So, while all current-gen core X CPUs bear the i9 name, not all current-gen i9 CPUs are core X CPUs. It’s like with fingers and thumbs when comparing the core and the core X series side-by-side we need to look at three factors,

  • The performance 
  • The price 
  • The socket 

The performance

The core X CPUs are all-powerful and expensive high-end processors with more cores than their mainstream cousins. A core X CPU can cost anywhere between 400 and $2,000, depending on a model. They also all use the IGA 2066 socket.

The number of courses that they feature changes from year to year. But they always feature more cores than the mainstream core CPUs released around the same time.

Another thing that has distinguished the correct series of CPUs so far is that all of its members come equipped with hyper-threading. Meanwhile, mainstream core CPUs cover a price range from around 100 to about $500 and include i3 CPUs i9 CPUs and everything in between.

The mainstream core CPUs also utilize a different socket for several generations. It has been the LGA 1511 socket, but the LGA 1200 socket set to supplant with the advent of the 10th generation of mainstream Intel Core processors.

The price

All in all, the best way to distinguish the core series from core x-series at face value is by looking at the price. As they use a lot of overlapping terminologies. Even hyper threading on all models won’t be a core x exclusive deal pretty soon. Now there’s no denying that the core x CPUs are simply more potent than their mainstream core CPUs.

They offer more processing power and feature more cores. For example, the upcoming 10th gen mainstream core CPUs said to have the following core and thread counts. The i3s will have four cores and a thread the i5 will have six cords and 12 threads the i7s will have eight cores, and 16 threads and the i9s will have ten cores and 20 threads.

To be clear, we’re talking about the mainstream core CPUs that sell in a 100 to $500 price range. Please take a moment to appreciate that these are some compelling specs. Until wouldn’t be offering them if AMD hadn’t stepped up their game, but still, the i3 is of today easily outdo many of the mid-range models from just a few years back. 

Now compare this to the cascade Lake x i9 CPUs that start with ten cores and 20 threads and go as high as 18 cores and 36 threats. These CPUs will run you anywhere between 600 and $1,000 needless to say the latter CPUs offer better overall performance, but this does not mean that they are better for gaming.

No matter how much raw power a piece of hardware has. If it is not a graphics card, it will reach a point of diminishing returns sooner or later. It is because game developers have to optimize their games to run on mainstream hardware.

After all, what’s the point of spending hundreds of thousands of hours developing a game if only a select few gamers with supercomputers will be able to run it. And if a game made to utilize say eight CPU cores, then it will use eight CPU cores.

The other two or 1228 cores will not contribute much to improving the performance of that game. So, no, the core X CPUs are not better than mainstream CPUs for gaming.

It isn’t to say that you won’t see any improvements between a $700 CPU and a $400 CPU when gaming. But the gains will be marginal and most certainly not worth the extra money. If you’ve got an additional $300 to burn on your PC, then getting a better graphics card is always a better option.

The socket

Since, as we’ve said, games simply cannot squeeze more performances out of a CPU after a certain threshold has reached. What’s more, since the core X CPUs use a different socket, they also require particular motherboards that aren’t compatible with regular core CPUs, and LGA 2066 motherboards are reasonably pricey.

So, gamers should stick to mainstream CPUs as they’re more affordable and more cost-effective. 


The GPU should be the sole indicator of how powerful a CPU you need for gaming. Your primary concern should be that it doesn’t bottleneck your GPU. It happens when the GPU is significantly more powerful than the CPU. Since the CPU is the one issuing commands to the GPU, it merely won’t be able to realize the GPUs full potential.

So, if you’re building to build the most cost-efficient gaming rig, it should only aim to get a CPU powerful enough so that it doesn’t bottleneck your GPU. Leaving some extra wiggle room there for potential GPU upgrade is okay, but don’t overdo it.


In conclusion, the port Act series of CPUs packs significantly more power, but it also comes at a much higher cost. However, since the added processing power of these CPUs doesn’t do much to affect gaming performance.

There is no use in getting them if the primary goal of your PC is to run games. These CPUs are intended for professionals and include a mainstream Intel core CPU is more than good enough for gaming.

The i3 models are perfectly serviceable for budget builds. The i5 models are great for mid-range belts, and the i7 models are powerful enough to support all but the most high-end builds. 

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