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That awkward moment when a Core i5-1135G7 can outperform the more expensive Core i7-1165G7

That awkward moment when a Core i5-1135G7 can outperform the more expensive Core i7-1165G7 (Image source: Intel)
That awkward moment when a Core i5-1135G7 can outperform the more expensive Core i7-1165G7 (Image source: Intel)
If you plan on buying a new 11th gen Intel Tiger Lake laptop, then you might want to keep in mind that the cheaper Core i5-1135G7 can actually match or outperform a handful of Core i7-1165G7 laptops in raw CPU performance.
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Just because a processor is more expensive and with higher digits doesn't mean it will run faster than a cheaper version. As we've proven many times before, Core i5 laptops can sometimes run better than Core i7 laptops even within the same generation.

Our latest example involves Intel's newest 11th gen Tiger Lake Core i5-1135G7 and Core i7-1165G7 CPUs. Though the latter is advertised to be faster and more expensive than the former, we've come across at least one Core i5-1135G7 laptop that can consistently outperform its pricier Core i7-1165G7 configuration. Our Dell Inspiron 7506 2-in-1 Silver Edition outscores the Dell Inspiron 7506 2-in-1 Black Edition by a small yet consistent margin in almost all multi-threaded benchmarks.

When looking at each Dell system in more detail, the Core i5 Inspiron is able to maintain slightly faster clock rates at around 3 GHz compared to ~2.8 GHz on the Core i7 Inspiron. It's worth noting that the latter includes a much faster discrete GPU, but that's not an excuse for having an under-performing CPU.

Does this mean users should always go with the cheaper Core i5-1135G7 whenever possible? Not necessarily. The biggest difference between the Core i5-1135G7 and Core i7-1165G7 lies in graphics performance and not raw CPU performance. The Core i5 integrates an Iris Xe GPU with 80 EUs (Execution Units) compared to 96 EUs on the Core i7. 3DMark benchmarks show the Core i5 Iris Xe performing about 10 to 15 percent slower than the Core i7 Iris Xe and this deficit can drop to as much as 30 to 40 percent if the Core i5 system is on single-channel memory.

If you're a casual gamer or graphics editor, then the Core i7-1165G7 option may be worth the investment for its faster integrated graphics. Otherwise, users can just go with cheaper Core i5-1135G7 SKUs without sacrificing all that much CPU horsepower, if any.

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Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7506 2-in-1 Black Edition Intel Core i7-1165G7; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø761 (740.62-782.95)
Dell Inspiron 15 7506 2-in-1 P97F Intel Core i5-1135G7; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø815 (792.91-822.98)
Cinebench R20: CPU (Multi Core) | CPU (Single Core)
Cinebench R15: CPU Multi 64Bit | CPU Single 64Bit
Blender 2.79: BMW27 CPU
7-Zip 18.03: 7z b 4 -mmt1 | 7z b 4
Geekbench 5.3: 64 Bit Single-Core Score | 64 Bit Multi-Core Score
HWBOT x265 Benchmark v2.2: 4k Preset
LibreOffice : 20 Documents To PDF
R Benchmark 2.5: Overall mean
Cinebench R20 / CPU (Multi Core)
Dell Inspiron 15 7506 2-in-1 P97F
Intel Core i5-1135G7
2067 Points ∼100% +10%
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14ITL5
Intel Core i5-1135G7
2031 Points ∼98% +8%
Average Intel Core i7-1165G7
  (1285 - 2657, n=66)
1972 Points ∼95% +5%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7506 2-in-1 Black Edition
Intel Core i7-1165G7
1874 Points ∼91%
Cinebench R20 / CPU (Single Core)
Average Intel Core i7-1165G7
  (471 - 588, n=66)
553 Points ∼100% +8%
Dell Inspiron 15 7506 2-in-1 P97F
Intel Core i5-1135G7
522 Points ∼94% +2%
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14ITL5
Intel Core i5-1135G7
517 Points ∼93% +1%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7506 2-in-1 Black Edition
Intel Core i7-1165G7
511 Points ∼92%
Cinebench R15 / CPU Multi 64Bit
Average Intel Core i7-1165G7
  (599 - 1027, n=68)
855 Points ∼100% +9%
Dell Inspiron 15 7506 2-in-1 P97F
Intel Core i5-1135G7
823 (792.91min - 822.98max) Points ∼96% +5%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7506 2-in-1 Black Edition
Intel Core i7-1165G7
783 (740.62min - 782.95max) Points ∼92%
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14ITL5
Intel Core i5-1135G7
755 (708.93min - 754.89max) Points ∼88% -4%
Cinebench R15 / CPU Single 64Bit
Average Intel Core i7-1165G7
  (158 - 230, n=60)
215 Points ∼100% +5%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7506 2-in-1 Black Edition
Intel Core i7-1165G7
204 Points ∼95%
Dell Inspiron 15 7506 2-in-1 P97F
Intel Core i5-1135G7
201 Points ∼93% -1%
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14ITL5
Intel Core i5-1135G7
200 Points ∼93% -2%
Blender 2.79 / BMW27 CPU
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14ITL5
Intel Core i5-1135G7
619 Seconds * ∼100% -1%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7506 2-in-1 Black Edition
Intel Core i7-1165G7
613 Seconds * ∼99%
Average Intel Core i7-1165G7
  (468 - 958, n=65)
612 Seconds * ∼99% -0%
Dell Inspiron 15 7506 2-in-1 P97F
Intel Core i5-1135G7
567 Seconds * ∼92% +8%
7-Zip 18.03 / 7z b 4 -mmt1
Average Intel Core i7-1165G7
  (4625 - 5507, n=65)
5209 MIPS ∼100% +2%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7506 2-in-1 Black Edition
Intel Core i7-1165G7
5132 MIPS ∼99%
Dell Inspiron 15 7506 2-in-1 P97F
Intel Core i5-1135G7
4794 MIPS ∼92% -7%
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14ITL5
Intel Core i5-1135G7
4752 MIPS ∼91% -7%
7-Zip 18.03 / 7z b 4
Dell Inspiron 15 7506 2-in-1 P97F
Intel Core i5-1135G7
23708 MIPS ∼100% +1%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7506 2-in-1 Black Edition
Intel Core i7-1165G7
23443 MIPS ∼99%
Average Intel Core i7-1165G7
  (15556 - 27405, n=65)
22979 MIPS ∼97% -2%
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14ITL5
Intel Core i5-1135G7
22682 MIPS ∼96% -3%
Geekbench 5.3 / 64 Bit Single-Core Score
Average Intel Core i7-1165G7
  (882 - 1595, n=64)
1514 Points ∼100% +2%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7506 2-in-1 Black Edition
Intel Core i7-1165G7
1488 Points ∼98%
Dell Inspiron 15 7506 2-in-1 P97F
Intel Core i5-1135G7
1419 Points ∼94% -5%
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14ITL5
Intel Core i5-1135G7
1407 Points ∼93% -5%
Geekbench 5.3 / 64 Bit Multi-Core Score
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14ITL5
Intel Core i5-1135G7
5261 Points ∼100% +1%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7506 2-in-1 Black Edition
Intel Core i7-1165G7
5187 Points ∼99%
Average Intel Core i7-1165G7
  (1821 - 5926, n=64)
5145 Points ∼98% -1%
Dell Inspiron 15 7506 2-in-1 P97F
Intel Core i5-1135G7
4640 Points ∼88% -11%
HWBOT x265 Benchmark v2.2 / 4k Preset
Dell Inspiron 15 7506 2-in-1 P97F
Intel Core i5-1135G7
6.88 fps ∼100% +8%
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14ITL5
Intel Core i5-1135G7
6.45 fps ∼94% +1%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7506 2-in-1 Black Edition
Intel Core i7-1165G7
6.39 fps ∼93%
Average Intel Core i7-1165G7
  (1.39 - 8.47, n=65)
6.34 fps ∼92% -1%
LibreOffice / 20 Documents To PDF
Dell Inspiron 15 7506 2-in-1 P97F
Intel Core i5-1135G7
50 s * ∼100% -6%
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14ITL5
Intel Core i5-1135G7
49.1 s * ∼98% -4%
Average Intel Core i7-1165G7
  (21.5 - 88.1, n=63)
48.6 s * ∼97% -3%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7506 2-in-1 Black Edition
Intel Core i7-1165G7
47 s * ∼94%
R Benchmark 2.5 / Overall mean
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14ITL5
Intel Core i5-1135G7
0.633 sec * ∼100% -3%
Dell Inspiron 15 7506 2-in-1 P97F
Intel Core i5-1135G7
0.626 sec * ∼99% -2%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7506 2-in-1 Black Edition
Intel Core i7-1165G7
0.613 sec * ∼97%
Average Intel Core i7-1165G7
  (0.552 - 1.002, n=65)
0.591 sec * ∼93% +4%

* ... smaller is better

3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7506 2-in-1 Black Edition
Intel Iris Xe MAX Graphics, i7-1165G7
6111 Points ∼100%
Average Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs
  (3113 - 5909, n=70)
4930 Points ∼81% -19%
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14ITL5
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs, i5-1135G7
4626 Points ∼76% -24%
Dell Inspiron 15 7506 2-in-1 P97F
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs, i5-1135G7
3195 Points ∼52% -48%
2560x1440 Time Spy Graphics
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7506 2-in-1 Black Edition
Intel Iris Xe MAX Graphics, i7-1165G7
1697 Points ∼100%
Average Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs
  (994 - 1819, n=70)
1461 Points ∼86% -14%
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14ITL5
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs, i5-1135G7
1319 Points ∼78% -22%
Dell Inspiron 15 7506 2-in-1 P97F
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs, i5-1135G7
1059 Points ∼62% -38%
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance GPU
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7506 2-in-1 Black Edition
Intel Iris Xe MAX Graphics, i7-1165G7
7804 Points ∼100%
Average Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs
  (4841 - 7090, n=64)
6432 Points ∼82% -18%
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14ITL5
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs, i5-1135G7
5991 Points ∼77% -23%
Dell Inspiron 15 7506 2-in-1 P97F
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs, i5-1135G7
5431 Points ∼70% -30%
1280x720 Performance Combined
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14ITL5
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs, i5-1135G7
5510 Points ∼100% +1%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7506 2-in-1 Black Edition
Intel Iris Xe MAX Graphics, i7-1165G7
5479 Points ∼99%
Average Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs
  (2912 - 7160, n=63)
5386 Points ∼98% -2%
Dell Inspiron 15 7506 2-in-1 P97F
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs, i5-1135G7
4030 Points ∼73% -26%
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Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - Lead Editor U.S. - 4669 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2011
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 01 > That awkward moment when a Core i5-1135G7 can outperform the more expensive Core i7-1165G7
Allen Ngo, 2021-01- 3 (Update: 2021-01- 4)