In his recent post, “How Much Difference Does the Core Make?,” my colleague Joe Staples wrote about the research we’ve been doing into Intel Core i5 processors and Intel Core M processors. He discussed why Intel Core M processors are better compared to Intel Core i5 processors than Intel Atom processors.

There’s No Comparison

Usually, our testing compares the performance and effectiveness of two devices running the same applications in the same user scenarios. For example, we’ve tested using an Apple iPad device compared to a Microsoft Surface device when viewing a high-resolution image. For these tests, we usually look at both the raw processor performance or speed and what we call “human elements”—in other words, how much time it takes a human to perform the same tasks.

The end goal is to typically to show that one device is much better than another.

Our recent research on Intel Core M processors and Intel Core i5 processors was a bit different in that we weren’t aiming for an outright comparison of the two devices and processors like we usually do. As Joe writes, both are winning processors and the difference between them really comes down to the form factors in which they’re used.

So, we had to switch gears, and instead chose to compare the devices in a way that will help end users or IT managers who are buying devices understand which device or processor is best suited for which use case. We knew that we didn’t have one overall “winner.” Our goal instead became to show that, because both devices and processors performed well in our testing, there are times when one is an obvious choice over the other, but it really comes down to the different device form factors.

Think Differently

Given the amount of testing we do where we pit one device against another, this testing was actually more challenging than it sounds. It was difficult to step out of the mindset that one device should “win” over the other. Likewise, it was difficult to avoid comparing the devices’ performances, to instead focus on how the form factors made the devices ideally suited for different types of users.

Check Back for Results

We release our full paper about Intel Core M processors and Intel Core i5 processors in a few weeks. Check back then to see what we found and to learn how the form factors we tested might be suited to which of your users’ needs.

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