Name change for Intel processors: what's new

2023 brings many changes for Intel: we have already seen that the strategy has taken shape in recent months Intel Device Manufacturing 2.0 (IDM) wanted by Pat Gelsinger: the Santa Clara company begins to produce processors for third parties by leveraging the capacity of its factories. Recent news of the multigenerational agreement with ARM to build SoCs for a wide range of devices by leveraging the construction process most up-to-date and advanced (below 2nm). And now it takes shape, officially, the name change for Intel processors.

With the new year, the company has decided to abandon the historic Pentium and Celeron nomenclature that until yesterday distinguished class processors entry level: the generic denomination has been chosen Intel Processor.

Name change for the Intel offer: goodbye to the letters “i”

The arrival of the new processors Meteor Lake marks another important change: there is the architectural one, with the long-awaited transition to design MCM/chiplet after the convinced migration that began with the Alder Lake (introduced earlier with i Lakefield) towards the hybrid scheme based on core P and core E.

But there is also a change of nomenclature for Intel Core processors: talked about it Bernard Fernandes himself, the company’s director of communications, already “between the lines” at the beginning of May 2023. The products of the large family Intel Core they will no longer make use of the i3, i5, i7, i9 classification, which has long been used to differentiate the performance of each processor.

What were the differences between i3, i5, i7 and i9

As we have seen talking about acronyms of Intel processors, the indication i3, i5, i7 e i9 expresses the range of performance and the technical characteristics of the processor. In general, the higher the number you see, the better the performance and capabilities of the Intel processor. However, it is not said that the most powerful model of an “i” series has lower performance than the cheapest of the next “i” class.

In general, i3s are processors Low-end Intel Core, suitable for daily use that does not require high performance. They usually have a small number of physical cores (typically up to 4) and do not support the technology Hyper Threading.

Processors belong to the i5 class Mid-range Intel Core, ideal for home and professional use. They usually have 4-6 cores, support technology Hyper Threading and they can get to have remarkable performances.

The acronym i7 distinguishes the processors High-end Intel Core, designed for applications that require high performance, such as 3D modeling and gaming. They usually consist of 6-8 cores, they support Hyper Threading and offers high performance.

i9 is the acronym used for higher-end Intel Core processors: they are used for more demanding applications such as professional graphic design and advanced gaming. They have a very large number of physical cores (some models can exceed 16 cores).

Intel Core 3, Core 5, Core 7. The Ultra denomination also arrives

The scheme which provides for the use of the denomination i3, i5, i6, i9 has been in force since the end of 2008 and has remained essentially unchanged for 15 years, with the exception of the introduction of some suffixes in the form of letters that have been gradually added to the names of the processors.

Starting with the processors Meteor Lake, Intel divides its processors into two large sets. On the one hand we have what could be considered processors consumer with lines Intel Core 3, Intel Core 5 e Intel Core 7. The “i” is gone. On the other hand we have the introduction of the new brand Ultra with the following names: Intel Core Ultra 5, Intel Core Ultra 7 e Intel Core Ultra 9.

The Santa Clara company has not specifically clarified what are the differences between Intel Core Ultra and “non Ultra”. The former will use clock frequencies higher? More cores? In any case, the discriminant could be superimposable with the concept of “K” and “non-K” processors.

Intel believes that Meteor Lake may represent a turning point: it is the first generation of processors whose models are segment-oriented consumer they are produced with the process node Intel 4the first to use chiplets with packaging technology Foveros 3D. It is also the first generation of processors to include the engine Intel AI Boostaimed at improving processing based on artificial intelligence.


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