Intel is one of the most well-known names in the market, a leading and standard processor that produces a wide range of processors for computers and other devices to innovate their performances. The names of Intel processors can sometimes seem confusing due to the variety of model numbers and code names. Intel uses a letter-based naming scheme for its processors to indicate specific features and performance characteristics of each processor. 


The Intel naming scheme starts with the CPU’s brand and the overall product line for which the processor was designed. The most frequent Intel CPU names begin with Intel® Core™ or the new brand naming scheme. Intel® Core™ CPUs provide quicker performance as well as additional attributes that are not found in other Intel® Processor models.

Brand Modifier

The Intel® Core™ CPU series includes a brand modifier before the remaining portions of the model number. This naming convention is not followed by Intel® Pentium® and Intel® Celeron® processors. Nowadays, the Intel® Core™ processor series comprises the brand modifiers i3, i5, i7, and i9. Higher brand modifier numbers provide a higher level of performance and, in certain cases, additional features. 

For example, within a given processor family, an i9 will outperform an i7, which will outperform an i5, and outperform i3.

Generation Indicator

The processor’s generation indicator appears after the brand and brand modifier. Most Intel® Core™ processor brands indicate Intel® Processor generations in the processor number, with the generation listed after the dash. The first one or two numbers of a four or five-digit processor represent the generation. 

A processor labelled 9700, for example, is a 9th Gen processor, and whereas one labelled 12800 is a 12th Gen processor.

SKU Numeric Digits

The SKU is the last three digits of the product number. In general, SKUs are assigned in the order in which processors in that generation and product line are developed. In general, a higher SKU within otherwise similar processor brands and generations will offer additional functionality. However, SKU numbers are not always the best indicator for comparing generations or product lines.


Suffix Letters:

K: Denotes an unlocked multiplier, allowing for easy overclocking, making the processor run at higher clock speeds than the base frequency.

F: Indicates processors with disabled integrated graphics. These CPUs are suitable for systems with dedicated graphics cards.

T: Represents power-optimized processors with lower TDP (thermal design power), which means they consume less power and generate less heat.

H: Found in mobile processors, indicates higher-performance versions with higher TDP and better integrated graphics compared to standard U-series mobile processors.

U: Indicates ultra-low power processors designed for efficient and fan less devices.

HK: Similar to the “K” suffix, it denotes an unlocked multiplier for easy overclocking but is used for high-performance mobile processors.

G: Used in some Intel Core processors with integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics, offering improved graphics performance compared to processors without the G designation.

E: Typically used in Intel Xeon processors, indicating a CPU designed for embedded applications.

QE: Found in some Intel Core 2 Quad processors, indicating a quad-core processor with embedded graphics.

It’s important to note that Intel’s processor naming scheme can evolve over time, and the details provided here might not cover all possible variations. When comparing processors, it’s recommended to refer to official Intel documentation, benchmarks, and reviews to understand the specific capabilities and performance of a given processor.

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