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Intel® Core™ vs. Intel® Core™ Ultra™ Processors: Which One Is Right for You?

Find out how to select the right option for your computing needs.

Key Takeaways

  • All Intel® processor lines are enabled by years of Intel innovation and development to provide the performance and reliability you can count on to meet your needs.

  • For everyday computing, Intel® Core™ processors excel at tasks like web browsing, video streaming, and photo editing.

  • Built for AI, high-performance, and power-efficient Intel® Core™ Ultra processors help unlock AI experiences on the PC and deliver next-level immersive graphics and longer-lasting battery so you can confidently work and play longer without interruption.



Selecting an Intel® Processor Built to Meet Your Needs

To help you have the best PC experience, we’ve optimized each of our processor lines for specific uses. When shopping for your new computer, look for a PC with an Intel® processor that is designed to meet your needs.

Intel® Processors provide the performance you need for essential tasks like web browsing. At an affordable price, these processors are a good choice for those who anticipate only light computing needs.

Intel® Core™ processors offer outstanding performance you can trust for both your personal and professional computing requirements. If you use your PC for creating documents and spreadsheets, web browsing, streaming videos, videoconferencing, and casual gaming, then Intel® Core™ processors are likely a good fit for you.

Intel® Core™ Ultra processors include a specialized AI processing unit alongside supercharged performance to support advanced, innovative use cases and demanding applications. If you’re a creator who’s editing images and video, a live streamer needing to deliver a smooth broadcast, or a gamer seeking higher frame rates on the go, you’ll want to invest in a PC with a premium Intel® Core® Ultra processor paired with an available, built-in Intel® Arc™ GPU.1 2

For the best experience with Intel® Core™ Ultra processors, look for them in Intel® Evo™ Edition designs, which are tested, tuned, and verified to enable the best overall laptop experience.3 Intel® Evo™ Edition laptops offer longer battery life, improved graphics performance, video collaboration, and more AI-powered experiences, and extended screen sharing with iOS and Android devices.4

What’s the best choice for you?

Getting the Performance You Need

In addition to looking for the processor line that is designed to match how you want to use your computer, you’ll also want to be sure that the individual processor you select from that lineup offers the performance you require.

Under the Hood: Key Differences

While all processor lines offer a balance of power efficiency and performance, their underlying features and architecture are different.

In particular, Intel® Core™ Ultra processors include two specialized, integrated features that allow them to power immersive graphics and AI workloads when compared to Intel® Core™ processors and Intel® processors.

The first is the Intel® Arc™ GPU, a powerful, built-in graphics solution available in select Intel® Core™ Ultra processors.2 This feature provides the high performance needed for accelerated creation and immersive gaming, even while on the go.

The second is Intel® AI Boost, a dedicated engine for AI-related tasks—also known as a Neural Processing Unit, or NPU. As AI becomes increasingly important to our daily lives, this technology helps you enjoy more AI-accelerated experiences such as noise suppression while in a meeting without worrying about performance lags and battery drain.

While the Intel® Core™ processor (Series 1) line does not feature an integrated Intel® Arc™ GPU, it does provide Intel® Graphics, driven by Intel® Xe architecture, to support basic application needs. In general, Intel® Core™ Ultra processors are designed to support a higher level of display output needs and video processing requirements. Intel® Core™ Ultra processors also feature an integrated Intel® Image Processing Unit for additional visual workload support.

Of course, both Intel® Core™ and Intel® Core™ Ultra processors can be paired with a discrete GPU solution, such as an Intel® Arc™ GPU, to better support more-demanding applications.