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7 Best i7 Laptops in 2017

7 Best i7 Laptops in 2017

7 Best i7 Laptops in 2017

Looking for the ultimate best i7 laptop for high-end gaming, ultrafast editing, 3D modeling or just to have several programs open at once without any lag? Well look no further. You’ll find it if you stick this article. But let’s make a few things clear first…

Who should be reading this article?

Gamers, 3D Designers,  image & video editors, heavy multitaskers, those who render images/projects with their laptops and a few programmers running intensive simulations in other words pretty much anyone seeking the highest speeds and the highest number of cores available from laptops today.

However…let’s be honest

There’s actually little benefit from purchasing the a core i7 processor without it  having 4 cores (or having the HQ label).

Core i7 Laptops with only 2 cores (those having an U in their labels) are nearly on par in terms of performance with the lower processor brand , core i5 ,  which are much cheaper.

So those looking forward to multitasking with basic apps and software should seriously consider the lower processor brand. I have a separate article written here if you are interested.

Why did I mention that?

This article will mostly  focus on Intel core i7 laptops with quad core technology rather than any other Intel Core i7 laptop out there. These are indeed the best among the entire family of Intel Core Processors in terms of raw performance.

There’s nothing wrong joining the elite members of the core i7 laptop family though (we’ll welcome you with open arms and empty wallets). Of course, if you have extra cash to spare and don’t mind having excess power on your your laptop too.

I guess it could be future proof. So I’ll also include an option for you too.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way… we still have a problem

There are still a thousand of choices and prices when trying to find the best i7 laptop even if those having 4 cores  with prices going up to $1500.

The price mostly depends on the generation of the processor,  the dedicated graphics card that comes along with it , the storage technology and RAM capacity.

From the thousand of choices out there, you can easily overpay for an Intel core i7 laptop that might be too overpowered or even under-powered if you don’t do your proper research , don’t compare them individually or even worse: don’t know a lot about core i7 processors and how to tell their differences.

What they can do, cannot do, which lines are best for you ( HQ vs HK vs U), which are worth paying extra money, which generations are worth considering (6th or 7th) and what other features will increase their performance even further.

Plus let’s not forget…

Depending on your budget and the kind of activities you do with your laptop,  the best i7 laptop can be different for all you. This is one a time purchase you don’t want to mess up, am I right? After all buying any laptop isn’t cheap at all.

But you can relax…

I’ve  included all of those factors when writing this article.

In fact, not only will this article save you all the time it takes to look for the best i7 laptops out of the thousand of options being thrown out there but also show a complete guide on how to find them yourself, how to get the best i7 laptops specifically for your needs and learn everything there is to know about them (for those with more time in their hands).

However for those who already know what to look for and are ready to see the what best i7 laptops are in 2017, I am listing them first.  Alternatively, you can always use the table of contents to jump to the guide below if you need any clarification on what is being said.

Top 7 Best Core i7 Laptops

Rather than focus on which core i7 processor is best for each type of application (3D Modeling , Gaming , Multimedia Editing, etc), I’ll focus on the best features each option offers for your money.

Again, if you don’t know what to look for your needs. You can always jump down to the guide I’ve written after these reviews  for a quick reference and a full explanation.


  • Generally most users of heavy applications (especially in 3D) benefit from all the extra features an Intel Core i7 laptop may bring along with it: the latest storage devices ,graphics cards, highest RAM  capacities and displaying features. So you won’t likely go wrong with that unless you buy the ones with low performance.
  • However for those who don’t need too many extra features for performance. I’ve included a few options too.

Anyways, whatever type of core i7 laptop  you are looking for or whatever your budget is, you should find the best option for you from this list just keep scrolling down until you’ll find your perfect match.

1. Acer Aspire VX 15 Gaming Laptop

Best i7 Laptop with Dedicated Graphics Card

Processor Generation Cores Threads Speed Turbo Boost Cache Size
Core  i7-7700 HQ 7 4 8 2.8 GHz 3.8 GHz 6MB

RAM: 16GB DDR4 Memory | Storage: 256GB SSD |
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti with 4 GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM
 | Display: 15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen IPS display

For those who need the best performance out of a laptop for any application in 3D or professionals needing a reliable laptop to model or design, there’s no better deal than this Acer Aspire.

Not only does it have the best Intel core i7 processor out of this entire list but it comes along with more features that will boost its performance far beyond.

Let’s start with the processor, it’s a 7th generation core i7 processor ( Kaby Lake ). Although the 7th generation offers a minor in crease in both performance and battery life over its predecessor(the 6th generation or Skylake) , it’s still the latest and current one produced by Intel. It has the highest clock speed from this list and pretty much most i7 laptops out there (can go up to 3.8GHz with Turbo Boost) and of course it has four physical cores.

To boost its performance even further, there’s plenty of RAM in it: 16GB DDR4 and although not the latestSSD (SATA) it still will give you a significant boost in performance across all applications regardless of how heavy they are.

As for graphics, it’s got one of the latest graphics card available and produced by NVIDIA. Enough to run your most intensive games and applications without issues at nearly every settings.

The 4GB of vRAM in particular should be useful for those professionals dealing with bigger models & scenes in their designs.

Speakers are strong and with high quality audio, you’ll be able to distinguish any mixed tracks on it (a background song along with a video or a game at the same time).

However, it may present an issue in  performance in the Storage Capacity for some. While this may not be entirely true for most users, it is for professionals and those having tons of heavy applications and projects where each can take gigabytes for storage.

Luckily , the company offers you a free kit to install yet another hard drive on it, this would be ideal to save any projects, heavy files that do not need to load fast while keeping everything else on the SSD that needs to load up extremely fast.

Lastly, the keyboard and touchPad quality are great keys are responsive and the trackpad has a smooth feeling to it.

The only thing keeping it from being perfect is the display, it isn’t the best and average among laptops near its category: average color accuracy and average brightness levels.

However it does offer an IPS display to work or play at greater viewing angles without any change in image quality.

Even though the ultimate designers with the need of the best color accuracy might find the display unappealing. Overall the rest of users, gamers and 3D modeling users, will not even notice a difference and can safely  take advantage of the price and all the extra features it offers for the best performance across all applications which includes its latest core i7 processor.


Processor Generation Cores Threads Speed Turbo Boost Cache Size
Core  i7-6700 HQ 6 4 8 2.6 GHz 3.5 GHz 6MB

RAM: 16GB DDR4 Memory | Storage:  1TB 7200RPM + 128GB M.2 SSD Storage |
 | Display: 15.6 inches Matte IPS FHD display

Like the laptop above this one is also around 1000$ (actually below) but you get different set of extra features. Where the last one failed to offer for some of you this one will excel at those.

The processor although is one generation lower isn’t much different in performance (only 0.2GHz in base clock speed and 0.3 in turbo Boost).

The graphics card is still of high quality, not the latest but actually the most compatible and recommended gaming card for all types of applications: video, image, 3D design, etc.

It still holds the same amount of vRAM to be able to deal with large models or scenes with your 3D applications.

On the downside, it does not offer the same sound quality as other high performance laptops and does heat up quite a bit on its left side.

In exchange of a bit decrease in performance, this one offers a high quality display. The color accuracy much better covering 116% of the sRGB, almost twice of what the Acer Aspire above (which only has 63%).

It also offers better brightness levels and matte finish to avoid seeing your reflections when playing or working in illuminated areas. Also comes with an IPS panel for greater viewing angles and an increase in color accuracy.

A greater increase in displaying in features has its drawbacks too, a lower battery life than the other low quality displays. This one has around 5 hours though not bad for the performance and display quality whereas other similar or better performance laptops might only offer you 3 hours.

As for storage, you won’t have to install or pay anything out of your pocket to upgrade it either, it comes with the perfect combo for all users: an SSD for all your applications and OS to get ultrafast boot up times and an HDD (1000GB) to store all of your heavy editing files or movies. If you aren’t satisfied with the storage capacity of the SSD, no biggie you can always upgrade it yourself but 128GB should be plenty provided you actually put the 1TB HDD to use.

Though all gamer would benefit from the performance, this is a better choice for those in need of a better display where color accuracy is of extreme importance.

3. HP Pavilion 15.6

Best i7 Laptop without a dedicated GPU

Processor Generation Cores Threads Speed Turbo Boost Cache Size
Core  i7-6700 HQ 6 4 8 2.6 GHz 3.5 GHz 6MB

 RAM: 8GB DDR3L Memory | Storage:  1TB 7200RPM |
Intel HD Graphics 530 
| Display: 15.6 inch Full HD IPS Touchscreen (1920 x 1080), 10-finger multi-touch support

For those users who do not need a dedicated graphics cards at all nor do they have the budget to waste on one, this is the best deal you can get. Who might that be? Basic users doing some intensive multitasking or programmers needing multi core processors at high speeds for emulations or virtual machines.

Surprisingly for the price, it has the same intel core i7 processor as the above options which do have a dedicated graphics card.

It only has 8GB of RAM which is plenty for basic image, video or audio editing, basic users, programmers, etc. However it can easily be upgraded to 16GB RAM.

The storage capacity is plenty for every day users and pretty much any type of files: 1000 GB .

The audio quality is clear though not the loudest out of this list but enough to comfortably listen up multimedia with it.

The display is full HD with the same resolution as the above options, an IPS panel for greater viewing angles and also a responsive touchScreen as a bonus. Nothing to envy the other options in the display department for sure.

The battery life however despite being advertised as 7 hours it’s as low as any other option shown here: 3-4 hours which is expected from a good display that also has a touchScreen feature.

For those not interested in a dedicated graphics card and a quad core processor

4. 2017 Dell Inspiron 

 Best i7 Laptop with TouchScreen & Optical Drive , Basic Users

Processor Generation Cores Threads Speed Turbo Boost Cache Size
Core  i7-6500 U 6 2 4 2.5 GHz 3.1 GHz 4MB

RAM: 16GB DDR4  | Storage: 1TB HDD |
Intel  HD Graphics  
| Display: 17” Full HD TouchScreen

This is for those basic users  not interested in running any 3D Games or Professional Editing/3D Modeling at full settings in other words those who simply want one of the best i7 processors on the market at an affordable price with tons of extra features besides heavy multitasking between basic apps.

The only way to have tons of extra features at an affordable price along with a fast i7 processor is to go for the biggest display most laptops offer these days (17”). Why? You can easily fit tons of extra features due to their size.

For example, this one comes with every port you may ever need from a computer:  x3 USB ports (yes, 3! x2 2.0 and x1 3.0), HDMI, Headphone Jack, SD Card Reader, Ethernet.  It also has space for a DVD+/-RW.

Besides getting one of the latest i7 dual core processors, every other spec is maxed out for basic tasks:16GB RAM & 1 TB HDD Storage.

And If you ever feel the need to upgrade its performance you can switch the HDD it has for storage and put on a SSD or a faster HDD device. Although for basic computing tasks and out of control multitasking that may not even be necessary.

The display besides being huge is actually full HD , that combo will allow you to have several windows open next to each other for ultimate multitasking with basic apps and web browsing windows. It’s a touchscreen display to play around with as well.

The only caveat from having all these perks for a low price it’s the weight, it’s definitely heavy and not something you want to carry around outside of your house all the time: 7.4 lb. The Battery life is 4 hourswhich is expected from touchscreen displays and laptops of this size.

If you just want the best i7 laptop for basic computer tasks (word editing, movies, web browsing, Microsoft Office, basic video & image editing etc) without breaking your budget plus many extra features that go along with it, the Dell Inspiron will fit the bill.

5Dell Inspiron i7559

Best i7 Laptop with Dedicated Graphics Card
Cheap & Good 3D Performance

Processor Generation Cores Threads Speed Turbo-Boost Cache
Core  i7-6700 HQ 6 4 8 2.6 GHz 3.5 GHz 6MB

RAM: 8GB DDR3L | Storage: 1 TB HDD + 8 GB SSD Hybrid Drive |
| Display: 15.6 Inch FHD (1920 x 1080 pixels)

The best budget i7 laptop there is with having 4 cores and a dedicated graphics card too.

The graphics card is the most recommended one NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M everywhere for a decent performance in 3D Gaming, editing, modeling and any other app that requires you to use one to not have any lag or slow performance.

If you are a basic user , you can also take advantage of the price and pay for it too in case you ever want to explore heavy applications.

The storage is a hybrid . It has 1TB HDD to store just about anything you want however the SSD has only 8GB  which might only be useful to boot up your system is no time compared to regular HDDs

On the flip side, it’s easily upgrade-able to share the same increase in boot up times across all of your applications as other high end laptops.

It has the same displaying features as any of the above options full HD and an IPS panel plus a matte finish to protect your vision and to avoid interruptions from reflections hitting your screen.

Although sound quality isn’t the best as higher end laptops, the keyboard and touch pad are comfortableand does not present problems to users despite being affordable.

Overall, I don’t think there is a better deal than this one when it comes to high performance i7 laptops for editing, gaming, professional 3D Work or any other power user.

6. MSI VR Ready GT72VR 

Best i7 Laptop with an SSD and Dedicated Graphics Card
Ultra High Performance

Processor Generation Cores Threads Speed Turbo-Boost Cache
Core  i7-6700 HQ 6 4 8 2.6 GHz 3.5 GHz 6MB

RAM: 32GB DDR4 | Storage:  512GB SSD (PCIE) NVMe + 1TB (7200 RPM) |
NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1070 8G GDDR5  
| Display: 17.3 Full HD  1920×1080

Lastly but actually should have been the first on this list if it weren’t for the price: one of few highest performance Intel core i7 quad core laptop there is are today.

This one includes a 7th generation  i7 Quad Core Processor (the latest) which of course comes with the highest clock speed from the HQ line of i7 processors (2.8 – 3.8 GHZ).

Combine that with one of the latest graphics card as of today: NVIDIA GTX 1070 is suitable for VR apps too and the latest technology in storage devices: 512GB NVME PCIe; you will get insane ultrafast performance for just about any application, game or any other activity you do with your laptop.

Unlike your other choices, the SSD has plenty of capacity for all users: 512GB and on top of that an extra 1 TB HDD for all of your heavy files.

That’s not where it all ends the display is decent too: greatest brightness levels among this list and a good color coverage (~87%). It also has great sound quality with a surround effect, ideal for movies and games with no headphones.

Other features include : great cooling system( for long laptop endurance & keep it performing at its highest speeds), thunderbolt 3 connectivity (for two external displays) , full color back lit keyboard and eye track sensor.

One major issue is the battery life which is expected from both being a high performance laptop with a top of the line GPU and having a great display .

The other one is of course the price. It should only be considered by those with a high budget and those seeking the best features they can get from i7 laptops. Also you can forget about the gaming tag on it, it’s useful for everyone that includes 3D designers, professionals and video editors too.

7. Dell Precision M5510

Best i7 Laptop For Professionals, 3D Editing & Modeling

Processor Generation Cores Threads Speed Turbo-Boost Cache
Core  i7-6820 HK 6 4 8 2.7 GHz 4.1 GHz 8MB

RAM: 16GB DDR4 (up to 32GB) |Storage: 512GB PCIe NVME SSD |
NVIDIA Quadro M1000M 2GB GDDR5 | Display: 15.6″ FHD IPS 1920×1080

If you are professional designer or editor in 3D dealing with the most complex projects needing the highest accuracy & performance you can from an i7 laptop, there’s no better deal than this workstation even in 2017.

The Intel Core i7 processor , besides being quad core , it’s unlocked (labeled by HK) which means you’ll get far more clock speed than any regular quad core (HQ) processor and can deliver up to 4.1Ghz.

This extremely high clock speed will affect how fast you can  edit, model, design with your software, in other words, you’ll have 0 issues and lag when working.

As expected it comes with a certified graphics card perfect for all 3D Software out there and 3D accelerated effects from any other editing software: The Quadro Series.

The ultra high RAM capacity will allow you to multitask between many of your heavy and intensive applications without any lagging issues whatsoever and allow to render large models & designs in no time.

The SSD is of the latest of the latest technologies available PCIe based with NVMe protocol to increase reading/saving/loading files as well as booting up your OS&software in seconds.

Lastly, the battery life is decent : around 6 hours and not replicated by any laptop shown here or any other laptop within its category.

If you have no gaming in mind but the want the best performance with just about any application out there: 3D Modeling, video editing or any extremely powerful software for work, this should be a  top choice.

How To Buy The Best  i7 Laptop

The Intel Core i family offers many options for processors, the i7 brand being the most powerful and having all the features that lower brands may lack: highest number of coreshyper threading , turbo boost and the higher clock speeds.

As mentioned above however core i7 processors also differ due to their line (U vs HQ vs HK ) and generation (5th, 6th or 7th). To land the best i7 laptop out there, you’re gonna have to understand some of the terminology behind so this section will focus on explaining what these term mean and which ones are worth considering buying.

However we’ll also discuss RAM, storage and graphics card. Why?

CPU is not the only factor behind performance. Having the fastest CPU doesn’t translate to the fastest performance for your needs: gaming, 3D Modeling, editing, etc. Picking up the right set of components (amount of RAM, type of dedicated graphics card and storage) wisely and without breaking your budget however will make sure you end up with the best i7 laptop out there.


Intel Core i7: Features

Some of you may already know what these are but we’ll briefly go over these for those who don’t know just yet.

Hyper Threading
Core i7 processors have 4 cores or “4 mini processors”. Roughly speaking each processor can work a single application (office, skype, web browsing) making multitasking more efficiently and faster.

Hyper threading allows each core to have “2 mini processors” out of a single core, these are “virtual cores”. Hyperthreading in an i7 laptop will then give you “8 threads” where each thread can work on a single application. Or 2 or more threads can work on a single application that takes advantage of having more “CPUs” to work on it.

Which programs take advantage of hyper threading?
3D Games, Editing software (video, photos or audio) and rendering (3D Modeling).

Turbo Boost
This feature allows your CPU to hit higher clock speeds than what it normally does. This is why you see in descriptions: 2.7 up to 3.1 GHz. Your processor will hit 3.1 GHz when you actually need it and if it’s at the right temperature (otherwise it will overheat and damage itself). All i7 laptops have this feature even the small fry models.

Core i7 HQ vs Core i7 HK vs Core U vs Core Y: Which one do I need?

This is the most important feature to look out for when shopping for i7 laptops:

HQ= High performance graphics Quadcore ; these are the laptops that you are mostly aware of, which is the main choice for editors, gamers and overall all users dealing with 3D Models and graphics.

This is what you should be aiming for if you want the best i7 laptop for just about anything and the best performance for anything with 3D and everything else that requires multiple cores(virtual machines, rendering, encoding, decoding).

HK = High Performance Unlocked; these laptops are a rare find on stores but can easily be found on websites. They have the highest clock speed among all laptops while still being quad core. They are pretty much the same as HQ processors but they are “unlocked” , they can run faster than what was originally designed on its HQ counterpart.

These are the most expensive and powerful processors but that may not be necessary for most of you, however, I highly recommended for professionals dealing with 3D Modeling. Gamers and multimedia editors can settle down with the HQ series without having any disadvantage.

U = These are dual core processors that operate on Ultralow power.The performance won’t be the same as quadcore processors (mostly because they have higher clock speeds , not because of the number of cores) but very close.

They’re the best processors if you want to save battery life and simply want to get the best performance when it comes to basic tasks. You can also actually play 3D Games with them and deal with 3D Modeling apps if you land a proper graphics card. However they have about the same performance with i5 CPUs which are much cheaper by the way. 

Y = previously labeled as “M”. These are the smallest fries of the i7 family.

You should stay away from them unless your purchasing a laptop for portability. They don’t offer any benefit other than making your laptop fast enough for using basic apps without lagging and consuming too much power while being extremely portable at the same time. Their battery lives are no better than U series just so you know.

If you need further clarification and better explanations, you can always check out this guy’s video series to understand any topic explained in this section. Just be sure to come back as he is missing a few points since his videos are short.

Generations : 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th

There are currently 4 generations you’ll be facing when shopping for the best i7 laptops. How can you tell which one is which?

Just look at the first number of their model:

i7 HQ 4700(Hasswell) is of the 4th generation while i7 HQ 7900 is of the latest generational ( Kaby Lake).

Here’s a quick breakdown of what’s behind each generation:

4th generation = CPUs within this category were designed with energy efficiency in mind and especialy made for ultrabooks and laptops.

5th generation = An overall increase in 10% in battery and speed over the previous generation.

6th generation  = An overall increase from 10-20% in battery and speed over the 5th generation. Graphics performance by 40%.

7th generation = The latest generation available. Not much improvement over the previous generation. However it’s more energy efficient (a bit more batter life).


To get the best out of each core of your processor get as much RAM as you can afford. Think about your processor being as 4 computers each running 2 applications fully the clock speed described in its specifications, the more RAM you can afford the more will be available for each core therefore each app. In other words:

If you want plan to multitask between heavy applications get as much as RAM as you can along with a quad core processor.

Also, applications that do benefit from multi-core processors and the fastest processors out there generally take A LOT of RAM memory each already.

If you are a professional dealing with 3D Modeling or heavy multimedia editing (audio, video or images), then you’re better off with at least 16GB RAM.

Generally most i7 laptops, especially the i7 HQ line, are upgrade-able after purchase and sometimes they always result in a cheaper option than choosing the same model with higher RAM. Just make sure you do check whether your laptop is up gradable or not if you want to save some bucks.


SSD: Get one if you really want the best i7 laptop

Right now I’m sitting with a beefy laptop(maxed out on pretty much anything) but having 1TB for storage. However, it’s not an SSD but an HDD.

While an HDD may be useful to store all the output files from 3D Applications and Editing software due to their huge storage capacities (video & images mostly). Ideally I would have gotten a huge boost in performance from an SSD when dealing with pretty much any heavy application.

If you get an SSD for storage (no matter the size), you can expect your CPU to operate even better since it will be able to access files for its computations many times faster.

If you deal with applications that do require a quad core processor or greatly benefit from them, an SSD is a must. If storage size is a problem , then buy an external hard drive.

For gaming, 3D Modeling an SSD will offer improve in overall performance but money is better spent on a beefy dedicated graphics card.

For multimedia editors (video, images and audio) an SSD is almost a must since you’ll be reading, loading and saving files constantly. Far more useful than a GPU.

Basic users can settle with an HDD, an SSD will only improve the time it takes for your system to boot and your applications to start.

Storage Speed

Here’s a basic speed comparison for SSD & HDD devices, from highest to lowest.

SSD w/ NVMe Protocol > SSD on PCI Express interface > SSD on SATA3 interface > SSD on SATA2 interface > 7200rpm HDD > 5400  HDD RPM.

Hybrid Storage

Quad Core laptops usually come with large screen sizes making your laptop pretty huge in terms of size, this allows for more space available to fit in multiple storage devices.

As a result some laptops (17.3” and 15.6” sometimes), come with a Hybrid system: an HDD with large storage capacity and an SSD, which totally breaks the need of an external hard drive (unless you need a back up system).

You can use the HDD to store all of your heavy projects and files while the SSD can hold onto the software, Operating System and anything you wish to see an increase in performance.

If you find you can afford this option, go for it!

Graphics Card (GPU)

Applications that do take advantage of quad core processors generally need a dedicated graphics card too. So if you are a basic user, you can safely ignore them.

Consumer Dedicated or Gaming Cards

To get the best performance out of your i7 laptop, stick with NVIDIA Graphics Card over AMD Cards if you can.

For all purposes, a gaming graphics card such as the GTX 960M is what you should be aiming for to start. Anything less than that might start giving you issues even at mid settings.

Multimedia editors (video and photo editors) can benefit from any dedicated graphics card regardless of how powerful they are. The more recent ones the better.

The latest cards are labeled by 10×0 and the latest as of today, with few laptops (far too expensive) that actually have it, is the NVIDIA 1080.

Workstation Cards

Quaadro/FirePro graphics card will only be useful for  3D Modeling applications, if that’s what you’re interested in, then get one but keep in mind they can have the same performance as gaming cards such as the GTX 960M and above if your projects aren’t that huge in terms of size and complexity which is mostly true even for professionals far into the industry.

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