If you want your laptop or desktop just for watching online videos, attending online classes, reading articles, editing pdfs, making presentations, or doing other simple things, an Intel Core i5 is more than enough as a school student. However, if you studying any specific subject where you need to run some heavy software, a low-generation i5 CPU might not be a perfect pick for you. The main point here is to check the system requirements of your desired software and then make your decision on any CPU (whether laptop or desktop CPU).
Basically, if your work includes anything on the browser, any Intel i5 is good for you. But, for example, if you are studying 3D animation and you want to run Blender on your computer/laptop, you can’t get the most out of your software because 8 CPU cores are recommended for running this program. But, no Intel i5 CPU comes with 8 cores at all.
So, the point is, even if you are a student, firstly make a list of all the software/games you want to run on your laptop. Then check the system requirements on the official websites. If the CPU requirements are Core i5 or below that, you are good to go with an Intel Core i5 CPU laptop or desktop.
Checking the CPU generation is also very important.
For example, if you want to buy an Intel i5 laptop and you see two options. The first one comes with an Intel i5 8th generation and the second one with 10th generation. We imagine that all other specs like RAM and storage are the same in both. So, it is always clear that the 10th generation i5 is going to have some advantages over the i5 laptop.
Generally, an Intel i5 CPU is considered a good option for most students. Let’s clear all the things in this article. So, keep reading until the end.
Intel Core i5 Laptop vs Desktop for students
Well, a laptop is always a perfect option for any student. As you know, you can take them anywhere you want. However, if you are looking for a performance-oriented i5 computer, a desktop is definitely a good option as compared to a laptop.
The same generation i5 CPU in a good desktop build will offer you much more performance as compared to a laptop. But, again, it has its own drawbacks, especially for the students.
If we talk about the price, there is no serious difference between them both if you are buying the CPUs of the same series in both. Generally, you will see the laptops coming at a little cheaper prices as compared to a complete build.
A good Intel Core i5 11th gen laptop will cost you around 600$.
But, the price of most desktop i5 CPU units is between 150$ to 300$. When you add the price of the PC case, motherboard, RAM, power supply, SSD/HDD, to it, the price may go beyond 600$.
So, in order to keep things simple and convenient for you, it is always good to go for a laptop as a student. Intel Core i5 is a good CPU to go with even if you want to use some moderately-heavy software as well. Running Adobe Photoshop, Filmora, Premiere Pro, etc will be possible with most of the i5 laptops. Again, it is crucial to check the system requirements and compare them with your laptop’s specifications before going further.
Which i5 CPU generation to choose?
Again, it depends on the kind of usage you want to do on your laptop. If you just want to do things on Google Chrome or any other browser and nothing outside them, even an 8th generation i5 is more than enough. If this is the case for you, I would suggest going for an i3 laptop instead of i5.
However, if you are interested in light gaming, for example, you are a fan of CS: GO, you can choose to go for the i5 10th generation with at least 250GB video graphics memory. Even UHD inbuilt graphics cards from Intel are great to play some light games. For more performance or hardcore gaming, it is good that you build your own custom PC. Or, you can choose a good gaming laptop if you want.
But, for students, an Intel Core i5 10th generation laptop is a good sweet spot. Neither you will get a lot of performance nor you will have to compromise with anything while doing your day-to-day tasks. Also, an i5 10th generation will be a cheaper laptop to buy as compared to an 11th or 12th generation.
Is Intel Core i5 12th generation laptop good for school?
When we talk about the CPU generation, the higher is always the better. So, if you can afford to buy an Intel Core i5 12th generation laptop, you are getting the best you can ever achieve with an i5 until now. But, the i5 12th generation CPUs are still new and it is not easy to find them in the markets. So, the best you can get is an Intel Core i5 11th generation laptop.
It is definitely a good option to choose as a student because it will allow you to play most of the games on low resolutions. For the best options available in the market such as HP Envy x360 or Lenovo Ideapad 3, you will generally have to spend around 600-700$.
So, you can wait for the 12th generation i5 laptops to come out or just go for an 11th gen laptop which will offer you almost similar performance.
Is it worth spending on an i5 instead of buying a cheaper i3 laptop?
If you want a very smooth experience and some more features as compared to a very basic i3 laptop, you should go for an i5 laptop. But, as we discussed earlier, if everything you want to do as a student can be done on a browser, you don’t need an i5 at all. In that case, just choose an i3 and you can afford a laptop with much more RAM and hopefully 500GB or 1TB SSD storage. So, make your decision wisely.
Conclusion: Is an Intel i5 good for school students?
Definitely, it is a good option to choose as a student. However, if you just want to use it for online classes, reading online books, watching videos, or researching your subjects, it is clearly an overkill. For that usage, you should not spend 500$ at all. For heavy usage, you can still choose to go with this CPU. But, normally, students are good to go with the i3 laptops.
Now, if you want to choose between an i5 laptop or an i5 desktop, that is a completely subjective matter. You will have to make your decision. Again, just make a list of software you want to run on your laptop. Check their requirements and then make your decision.
I am Anshul Rana, an experienced author specializing in PC gear reviews and Windows 10 software tutorials. With a strong passion for technology and an in-depth understanding of the PC industry, I provide insightful and detailed analyses of computer peripherals, gaming gear, and software solutions. My writing style is concise yet informative, making complex topics accessible to both beginners and advanced users. Through my reviews and tutorials, I aim to offer valuable guidance, helping readers make informed decisions to enhance their PC experience and explore the vast possibilities of Windows 10 software.