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P Cores Vs E Cores: What’s The Difference?

As we all know, the CPU is arguably the most important part of any system, whether it is a desktop, laptop, or even a smartphone. The CPU performs all the calculations and processes the data to generate the results you see on the display. And for that reason, it is often regarded as the brain of a computer which plays a crucial role in its overall performance. The CPU’s significance lies in its ability to handle complex tasks quickly and efficiently, affecting the speed and responsiveness of a computer system.

The CPU interprets and processes data from various hardware components, such as memory and storage devices, enabling the execution of software instructions and facilitating the smooth functioning of applications. With its control and processing capabilities, the CPU determines a computer’s overall computing power and performance, making it a vital component in modern computing systems. And for that, Each CPU core functions as an independent processing unit, capable of executing instructions and carrying out calculations independently of other cores.

So by having multiple cores, a CPU can divide and distribute workload among them, allowing for parallel processing and faster execution of tasks. But, it is also important to know what type of CPU core you are getting with a CPU to get a complete idea about its performance. Apart from physical and virtual cores, the CPU cores can be further subdivided into options like P and E cores that Intel offers with its new-gen CPUs. In this guide, we will compare both options in detail and try to understand the compatibility and applicability of both of these units.

What is An Intel P Core?

Intel P CoreThe P in P core stands for performance. So as the name suggests, these are high-performance cores developed by Intel. However, these are also the stronger of the 2, which require the most energy but are capable of handling the toughest tasks. These cores also operate at a relatively higher clock speed, making it easier for P cores to get through a heavy load of tasks quickly.

You can also consider the P cores as the main cores on an Intel CPU as these cores perform most of the tasks and handle most instructions. Right now, Intel is offering Golden Cove and Raptor Cove microarchitecture P cores for Intel 12th Gen and 13th Gen CPUs respectively. This technology is the successor to the previous Cypress Cove cores implemented with the Rocket Lake 11th Gen Intel CPUs.

What is An Intel E Core?

Intel E CoreIt would be easier to refer to Intel E cores as the new addition to the Intel family since the Intel P cores are pretty much what we have been using with Intel so far. The letter E in E cores refers to efficiency, indicating that these cores are created for power-saving performance.

Unlike P cores, the Intel E cores are developed to handle routine and repetitive tasks, taking the load off the P cores and helping with the performance and efficiency of P cores. Even in terms of design, E cores are comparatively smaller than P cores and have a lower power rating. Thus, Intel E cores offer the best performance per unit wattage of power consumed by the CPU.

For both, the Intel 12th and 13th Gen CPUs, the E cores are designed based on Gracemont microarchitecture. This is the successor of the Tremont technology developed by Intel which was first introduced with Intel Pentium Gold and Celeron laptop CPUs. Also, the clock speed of Intel E cores was relatively lower than P cores which range around 700 MHz.

How Do P Cores and E Cores Work?

In comparison, the P cores available on Intel 12th CPUs offer nearly 19% higher performance than the ones available on the Intel 11th Gen CPUs, and further improvements were observed on the Intel 13th Gen CPUs. However, the real significant development has to be the Intel E cores as they offer nearly 40% improvement in performance at the same power consumption rating as that of the Intel Skylake chips.

Regarding benchmarks, the Intel chips with the new core layout have performed amazingly, especially in the single-core score along with massive improvements in the multi-core score. This shows the versatility of this new CPU lineup and the benefit of P cores, E cores, and combined hybrid architecture. It has also managed to cover the gap between the performance rating of older Intel CPUs and AMD CPUs, making it a much better choice for almost all types of PC builds.

Hybrid Architecture in Intel CPUs

The hybrid layout of Intel CPUs brings the benefits of both Intel P cores and Intel E cores on a single chip. The first lineup of CPUs to offer the hybrid design was the 12th Gen Intel Core Alder Lake CPUs. And after that, you can find the hybrid architecture on almost all CPU models developed by Intel, including the latest and most powerful options available on the market right now.

With the hybrid core layout, Intel has regained its position as the best CPU supplier on the market. More importantly, the new and improved architecture is also preferred by gamers, making it an ideal choice for gaming bulbs and content streaming setups. It is possible because of the combination of P and E core CPUs from Intel and the harmony of balance offered by these cores when they function together.

Advantages of P Cores and E Cores

Until the launch of Alder Lake CPUs from Intel, there were a lot of doubts about the performance of the CPUs and power efficiency, considering there are 2 types of CPU cores that increase the core count and the power requirement. And the CPUs were initially designed for Windows 11, it took a couple of months for Microsoft to deliver stable updates and make the CPUs perfectly compatible with OS versions. But looking past that, the hybrid Intel architecture has numerous benefits that you can observe with the new CPU series.

1. Increased Performance Speed: First and foremost, the best advantage of the hybrid architecture is the increased speed of the system which enables the CPUs to be more capable of multitasking and heavier loads. As we mentioned before, there is a nearly 19% performance increase with the 12th Gen P Cores and a massive 40% gain on the single-core performance for the E cores with the hybrid design.

2. Increased Battery Life: Apart from the performance, one more factor that should not be overlooked is the battery performance. While it may not be important for desktop users, it is one of the most important factors for laptops. And the enhanced battery performance is the best benefit of hybrid CPU architecture. With the increased efficiency of Intel E-cores, these CPUs can operate at lower power for background processes, increasing the overall battery performance of the laptop.

P Cores Vs E Cores – FAQs

1. What is the difference between P cores and E cores?

Ans: Unlike before, where all CPU cores of an Intel CPU were drawing the same amount of power and operating with identical performance, Intel has developed the hybrid technology, separating the performance and efficiency cores. The P cores are performance (P) cores designed to handle heavier tasks and calculations, whereas efficiency (E) cores are there to take care of routine tasks and background processes. This creates a perfect balance of power distribution and offers you the best output possible from the CPU.

2. Can P cores and E cores work simultaneously?

Ans: Yes, the P and E Cores on Intel CPUs work together in complete synchronization to increase the overall effectiveness and performance of the CPU. More specifically, the hybrid architecture and the simultaneous load sharing of P and E cores is the main reason behind the increased performance of the CPU.

3. Can P cores and E cores be independently controlled?

Ans: To answer simply, yes. The P and E cores of Intel CPUs can be controlled independently. But, it is not generally possible to manually control the CPU cores. Instead, the balance of the operation is maintained by the operating system or the firmware of the CPU. This makes it possible to dynamically allocate tasks to the CPU cores and generate the best results based on the program’s requirements.

4. Which type of core is more suitable for multitasking?

Ans: In comparison, the Intel P cores are more suitable for multitasking as these are high-power cores with a higher performance rating. These cores can handle highly demanding multitasking loads simultaneously and maintain smooth and lag-free system performance. The same cannot be said for E cores as the Intel E cores may not be able to deliver the same level of performance, especially when it comes to multitasking.


Intel offers different types of CPU cores with their CPU lineup, including P cores and E cores. P cores, which are performance cores, are high-performance cores developed by Intel. They handle heavy tasks, operate at higher clock speeds, and are considered the main cores of an Intel CPU. Intel’s P cores include the Golden Cove and Raptor Cove microarchitecture cores found in the 12th and 13th Gen CPUs.

On the other hand, E cores, which stand for efficiency cores, are designed for power-saving performance. They handle routine and repetitive tasks, helping improve the efficiency and performance of P cores. E cores are smaller, have a lower power rating, and offer better performance per wattage. Intel’s E cores in the 12th and 13th Gen CPUs are based on the Gracemont microarchitecture.

Both P cores and E cores work together in a hybrid architecture found in Intel CPUs. This hybrid design combines the benefits of both core types, providing increased performance speed and enhanced battery life. The P cores deliver higher performance for demanding tasks, while the E cores handle background processes efficiently.

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