How to read the name of the Intel CPU

This post is lesson 29 of 42 in the subject Computer Hardware

The name of the Intel CPU series indicates their basic specifications. Let’s learn their meaning now.

name of Intel cpu

1. Brand

Brand of Intel's CPU name

The Intel naming scheme begins with the processor’s brand. Currently, the most common Intel® processor names start with Intel® Core ™, Intel® Pentium®, Intel® Celeron®, Intel® Xeon®.

Intel® Pentium®Intel® Celeron® processors are economical product lines created for price-conscious consumers. Meanwhile, Intel® Core ™ processors bring faster performance and additional features not available in Intel® Pentium®Intel® Celeron® models.

Intel® Xeon® processors offer a higher level of performance for servers and workstations.

2. Brand Modifier

Grand modifier in Intel's CPU name

Intel® Pentium®Intel® Celeron® processors do not use this naming convention. Intel® Core ™ processor series includes a brand modifier before the remaining parts of the model number. Today, the Intel® Core ™ processor series includes the brand modifiers i3, i5, i7, and i9. Higher brand modifier numbers offer a higher level of performance and, in some cases, additional features.

3. Generation Indicator

Generation indicator in Intel's CPU name

After the brand and brand modifier comes the processor’s generation indicator. Intel® processor generations are identified in the processor number in all Intel® Core ™ processor brands. In a four-digit processor number, the first digit typically represents the generation.

For example, a processor with the digit 9800 is a 9th-generation processor. While one labeled 8800 is 8th-generation technology.

However, for 10th generation Intel® Core ™ processors, the first two digits in the product number will be 10.

4. SKU Numeric Digits

SKU digit in Intel's CPU name

For the majority of Intel® processors, the final three digits of the product number are the SKU. SKUs are generally assigned in the order in which processors in that generation and product line are developed. A higher SKU within otherwise-identical processor brands and generations will generally have more features.

For example, the Intel Core i5-8600 will have a higher processing speed than the Intel Core i5-8400.

However, SKU numbers are not recommended for comparison across different generations or product lines.

5. Product Line Suffix

Product line suffix in Intel's CPU name

The SKU suffix is another key indicator of the processor’s capabilities. These remaining differences are indicated by a letter-based product line suffix. The product line suffix can indicate the intended use and performance of the CPU.

G1 – G7Graphics level (processors with new integrated graphics technology only)Intel® Core™ i7-8705G
FRequires discrete graphicsIntel® Core™ i9-9900KF
HHigh performance optimized for mobileIntel® Core™ i3-7100H
HKHigh performance optimized for mobile, unlockedIntel® Core™ i7-7820HK
HQHigh performance optimized for mobile, quad coreIntel® Core™ i7-7920HQ
KUnlockedIntel® Core™ i9-9900K
SSpecial editionIntel® Core™ i7-4770S
TPower-optimized lifestyleIntel® Core™ i7-6700T
UMobile power efficientIntel® Core™ i7-8650U
YMobile extremely low powerIntel® Core™ i7-7Y75


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