Intel Core i7-10510U vs i5-10210U – don’t throw your money at the i7

One of the biggest questions following the presentation of the new 10th Gen Intel Comet Lake processors is Which is the better option – i7-10510U or i5-10210U. Budget Core i7 or regular Core i5? Here’s the answer.

Quick Specs

Let’s start with the prices. Intel is selling the i7-10510U for $409 and the i5-10210U for $297 which is a pretty big difference – 38% (of course, this is a bulk price for 1000 units). So we should expect much more from the 10510U.

However, it doesn’t look like the i7-10510U will deliver much more, at least before our benchmarks. Both chips feature 4 cores / 8 threads and support DDR4-2666, LPDDR3-2133 types of RAM. Core i7-10510U has a slightly higher base clock (1.8 to 1.6 GHz) while the difference is bigger when the Turbo Boost pushes the CPU to the limit – 4.9 GHz to 4.2 GHz (+17% for i7-10510U).

Core i7-10510U also has 33% more Smart cache than i5-10210U – 8MB to 6MB. Well, we’re still not convinced.

Intel Core i7-10510U Intel Core i5-10210U
Cores / Threads 4 / 8 4 / 8
Base / Max frequency 1.80 – 4.90 GHz 1.60 – 4.20 GHz
Cache 8MB Intel Smart Cache 6MB Intel Smart Cache
TDP / up / down 15W / 25W / 10W 15W / 25W / 10W
Memory support DDR4-2666; LPDDR3-2133 DDR4-2400, LPDDR3-2133

If you’d like to see the detailed specs sheet of these CPUs head to their dedicated pages: Intel Core i7-10510UIntel Core i5-10210U

CPU Benchmarks

For this comparison, we’ll pit against each other ASUS ZenBook 15 UX534 and Dell Vostro 5590. As you can see from the chart below, the performance advantage for i7-10510U is just 10%. Given the price difference of almost 40%, we can easily say – Don’t buy the i7-10510U.

Results are from the Cinebench 20 CPU test (the higher the score, the better)

Results are from our Photoshop benchmark test (the lower the score, the better)

Which one is for you – Core i7-10510U or i5-10210U?

As we already said, there is no point in throwing more money at the Core i7 just because of the prettier name. It turned out that the “entry-level” i7 is almost nothing more than the “regular” i5.

If you need more computing power, consider buying a laptop with Intel Core i7-10710U. It has 6 cores / 12 threads and will wipe the floor with its sibling 10510U.

All laptops with Core i7-10510U:

All laptops with Core i5-10210U:

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2 years ago

thank for this info. I really appreciate your candor!

Jere Gröhl
Jere Gröhl
2 years ago

Thanks for the information. Sadly I have the option between i5 & 8gb RAM or i7 &16gb and I need the 16gb of RAM…