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Pentium vs. Core i3: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Published on February 21, 2024
Pentium is an older series of entry-level processors by Intel, while Core i3 is a more recent series of mid-range processors offering better performance and efficiency.

Key Differences

The Pentium brand, introduced by Intel in the 1990s, represents an older generation of CPUs mainly used for basic computing tasks. In contrast, the Core i3, part of Intel's Core series introduced in 2010, is designed for more advanced computing, offering higher efficiency and processing power.
Pentium processors are generally more affordable and are found in budget-friendly computers, suitable for everyday tasks like web browsing and document editing. The Core i3 processors, while also affordable, provide better performance and are used in a wider range of computers, including those for light gaming and multimedia.
In terms of technology, Pentium processors often have fewer cores and lower cache memory, resulting in slower processing speeds compared to Core i3 processors, which have more cores and higher cache memory, allowing for faster and more efficient multitasking.
The Core i3 series is part of Intel's newer generation of processors, incorporating more advanced technology like hyper-threading, which is typically not available in most Pentium models. This makes Core i3 more suitable for running modern applications and multitasking.

Comparison Chart


Older generation (first released in 1993)
Newer generation (first released in 2010)

Performance Level

Entry-level, suitable for basic tasks
Mid-range, suitable for advanced computing

Price Range

More affordable, budget-friendly
Slightly higher priced, but still affordable


Basic computing like web browsing, documents
Light gaming, multimedia, multitasking

Technological Features

Fewer cores, lower cache memory
More cores, higher cache memory, hyper-threading

Pentium and Core i3 Definitions


Known for its affordability and reliability.
He bought a Pentium-based computer because it was budget-friendly.

Core i3

Offers better performance and efficiency than Pentium.
Upgrading to a Core i3 significantly sped up her computer.


Less advanced than newer Intel processors.
Though not as fast as newer models, her Pentium CPU ran reliably.

Core i3

Suitable for light gaming and multitasking.
His Core i3 laptop could handle light gaming without any lag.


Suited for basic computing tasks.
The office computers, equipped with Pentium processors, handled everyday tasks well.

Core i3

Incorporates features like hyper-threading.
The Core i3’s hyper-threading capability improved his video editing workflow.


A brand of entry-level processors by Intel.
The Pentium processor in her laptop was sufficient for her schoolwork.

Core i3

More cores and higher cache memory compared to Pentium.
The Core i3's additional cores made multitasking more efficient.


Offers lower processing power and efficiency.
The Pentium processor was slower in multitasking compared to modern CPUs.

Core i3

A mid-range processor line from Intel.
The Core i3 in his laptop provided smooth performance for his multimedia projects.


What is a Core i3 processor?

Core i3 is a line of mid-range processors from Intel, offering higher performance than Pentium.

Are Pentium processors outdated?

While older, Pentium processors are still relevant for basic computing tasks.

Do Core i3 processors have hyper-threading?

Yes, most Core i3 processors have hyper-threading technology.

What is a Pentium processor?

Pentium is a series of entry-level processors developed by Intel.

Are Core i3 processors good for gaming?

Core i3 processors are suitable for light gaming, but not for high-end gaming.

Does Core i3 support 4K video playback?

Core i3 can support 4K playback, but it also depends on other system components.

Who should use a Pentium processor?

Pentium processors are ideal for users with basic computing needs like web browsing and document processing.

Can I upgrade from Pentium to Core i3?

Yes, you can upgrade, but it depends on the compatibility of your motherboard and chipset.

What type of tasks is a Core i3 processor best suited for?

Core i3 is well-suited for multitasking, multimedia, and light gaming.

Is a Pentium processor enough for a student?

Yes, a Pentium processor is typically sufficient for a student's basic computing needs.

Is Pentium slower than Core i3?

Generally, yes. Core i3 processors are faster and more efficient than Pentium processors.

What is the power consumption of Pentium vs. Core i3?

Core i3 typically has higher power consumption due to its increased performance capabilities.

Is Pentium a good choice for a budget PC?

Yes, Pentium processors are a good choice for budget-friendly PCs.

What is the price difference between Pentium and Core i3?

Core i3 processors are generally more expensive than Pentium processors, reflecting their higher performance capabilities.

Can Core i3 handle video editing?

Core i3 can handle basic video editing but might struggle with more demanding tasks.

Can I use a Pentium processor for online streaming?

Yes, a Pentium processor can handle basic online streaming.

Can Pentium processors run the latest software applications?

Pentium processors can run the latest applications, but their performance might be limited compared to more recent processors like Core i3, especially for resource-intensive software.

How many cores do typical Pentium processors have?

Pentium processors usually have two or four cores.

Are Core i3 processors good for laptops?

Yes, Core i3 processors are commonly used in laptops, offering a good balance between performance and energy efficiency.

How does the cache size compare between Pentium and Core i3 processors?

Core i3 processors typically have a larger cache size compared to Pentium processors, contributing to faster data access and improved performance.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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