Intel Processor Names

While looking at a processor name, you must be confused what those tricky numbers and letters means. Your doubts will be cleared in the article. Let’s get started.

Image showing 5 elements of a Processor Model Number

Brand Name: Intel Core processors are specially designed for laptops and desktops which have to be used for definite time in a definite manner. Intel Xeon processors are specially designed for Servers and Workstations which are capable to run 24/7 at heavy workload.

Model Number: Intel always keeps on working on technology to give their customers the best. Therefore, keeps launching processors with new technology. These can be differentiated on the basis of model number of the processor.

Different Intel Core Models. Image Courtesy: Mobilator
Model Number Common Usage Frequency Number of cores Cache Memory Hyper-threading Year TDP
Atom Tablets & Cell Phones 1.3 GHz to 1.9 GHz 2 to 4 512Kb to 1Mb No 2008 0.13W to 13W
Celeron Entry-Level PCs 1.7 GHz to 2.9 GHz 2 to 4 1Mb to 2Mb No 1998 4W to 86W
Pentium Entry-Level PCs 1.2 GHz to 3.7 GHz 2 to 4 3Mb No 1995 2.9W to 115W
i3 Basic Usage PCs 1.06 GHz to 4.2 GHz 2 to 4 3Mb to 4Mb Yes 2010 35W to 73W
i5 Standard Multitasking PCs 1.6 GHz to 4.4 GHz 2 to 6 6Mb Yes 2009 17W to 95W
i7 Heavy Multitasking and Gaming PCs 3.0 GHz to 5.0 GHz 2 to 8 8Mb Yes 2008 45W to 150W
i9 High-End Gaming and 3D Rendering and Professional Usage 2.9 GHz to 5 GHz 2 to 8 *also 16 in Extreme series 16Mb Yes 2018 45W to 165W
Table comparing different Intel Processors Model numbers in the terms of Year, TDP, Frequency, No. of Cores, hyper-threading and usage

*There are more models to explore. i.e. Core Solo, Core Duo, Core Extreme, Pentium 4, Pentium M etc. Please refer to Wikipedia for these.

Generation: In order to provide customers, the best, Intel is always working on new technologies. As we know, the core of a processor consists of a large number of transistors to process upon the data, smaller the size of the transistor, more efficient it is, less power it consumes, the greater number of cores we can include in the processor.

Here is a comparison of Intel Core Generations till now.

Generation Name Architecture Year
1st Nehalem 45nm 2010
2nd Sandy Bridge 32nm 2011
3rd Ivy Bridge 22nm 2012
4th Haswell 22nm 2013
5th Broadwell 14nm 2015
6th Skylake 14nm 2015
7th Kaby Lake 14nm 2016
8th Kaby Lake – Revised 14nm 2017
9th Coffee Lake 14nm 2017
10th Sky Lake / Cannon Lake 14nm 2018
11th Tiger Lake 10nm Not Yet

Do you Know?

  • 1st Gen – 6th Gen Processors uses DDR3 Memory. DDR4 Memory was launched with 7th Gen Processors.
  • Intel Core i9 was launched with 9th Gen Processors.
  • All of the Generations from 1st to 9th uses LGA socket with LGA 1150-1156 and so on expect some of the processors in 4th Gen uses LGA 2011 – 3 Socket.
  • Core i9 Extreme uses LGA2066 Socket.
  • 11th Gen Processors will have L4 Cache Memory.

SKU Digits: Well, the three or four numeric after the generation are SKU Digits of the Processor Model Number. These differentiate the processors on the basis of their cache memory and specially clock speed.

i.e. Core i3 9100 has a clock speed of up to 3.6GHz and 6Mb Cache whereas i3 9350 have a clock speed of 4GHz and 8Mb Cache.

*Please search for the model number on Intel Official Website to view the specifications of the process before purchase.

Product Line Suffix: Well, most of the persons are always confused because of this one alphabet. Here is what it means:

Alphabet Meaning Description
K Unlocked It means the processor version is unlocked for overclocking and can easily be overclocked to increase its performance by increasing the clock speed.
U Ultra-Low Power These processors are specially designed for Mobile Phones, Laptop Machines etc. These comes with BGA Sockets instead or regular LGA and consumes 60-80% less power than regular ones.
F Requires Discrete Graphics These processors do not have any integrated graphics in them and hence requires an additional Graphics Processor / Graphics card to give Display output.
T Power Optimized These processors are optimized to consume 50-80% less power than the regular ones.
H High Performance Graphics Used to indicate a mobile/laptop processor having high performance graphics processor as integrated graphics. These usually comes with BGA Package.
HK High Performance Graphics + Unlocked Used to indicate a mobile/laptop processor having high performance graphics processor as integrated graphics and these are unlocked and hence can easily be overclocked.
HQ High Performance Graphics + Quad Core This is used to indicate that the mobile/laptop processor is quad core and have high performance graphics processor as integrated graphics processor. Usually comes in a BGA Package.
C Unlocked Generally used in 5th Gen Processors, Unlocked desktop processor based on the LGA 1150 package with high performance graphics.
R High Performance Graphics Desktop processor based on BGA1364 (mobile/laptop) package with high performance graphics
G Discrete Graphics Included Used in 8th Gen, G indicates the processor have discrete graphics included in it and doesn’t require a Graphics processor for display output.
S Performance Optimized Performance Optimized Processor or Special Edition Processor
MX Mobile Extreme Mobile/Laptop Extreme Edition with BGA Socket with Higher clock speed, a greater number of cores
Y Extremely Low Power These processors consume about 80-90% less power than the regular ones, specially for mobiles and laptops. Comes with BGA Socket.
QM, MQ Quad Core Mobile These were used in older Generations to indicate 4 cores in a Laptop/Mobile Processor.
M Mobile Used in older Generations, Indicates a Mobile/Laptop Processor.
X Extreme Edition These are extreme edition of Desktop/Mobile Processor, with a very high performance as compared to regular ones. Higher Clock speed, a greater number of Cores, New Technologies.
E Power Saving Used in older Generations, Indicates desktop energy efficient dual-core processors with TDP greater than or equal to 55 W
Information Courtesy: Intel Corporation

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