Like most of the computer technology, processors come in basically two classes – desktop and mobile. Mobile processors, are used for smartphones, laptops, or IOT devices, and are generally designed for power efficiency first and performance second. But, the Desktop processors being less limited by the thermals and not at all by the potential battery life, can have the performance champs and will on average have higher stock and Turbo speeds, higher cache, and higher TDP.
So is desktop i7 not the same as a mobile i7?
Not really. Even though both mobile and desktop processors can share the same i7 (and i3 or i5 for that matter) name, that does not mean they are equal. For example, a desktop Intel Core i7-6700 has 4 cores at 3.4/4.0 GHz with an 8MB cache with a Passmark score of 9,973. Its mobile counterpart, Intel Core i7-6700HQ, comes at a 2.6/3.5GHz and a 6MB of cache for a Passmark score of 8,001, which is almost 20% less.
So does a laptop with a desktop processor mean better performance?
In short, yes. Because desktop processors have higher clock speeds and less power restrictions than their mobile brethren, you’ll get much better performance, especially with higher demand applications like photo manipulation, 3D design, and video editing. The downside is that desktop processors do run warmer and because of the higher power draw, are not conducive to long battery life, so it is a bit of a trade off. Make sure you choose appropriately for your specific use-case and applications.