The Intel Core Processor Number Guide – What They Mean!

1st to 4th Gen Intel Core Processor Number Systems

4th Gen Intel Core Processor Number System

4th Gen Intel Core processor number example

Brand Modifier

This is what most people think of as the performance category.

  • i7 : enthusiast class, with the most processing cores
  • i5 : mainstream processors
  • i3 : entry-level processors
  • M : ultra-low power mobile processors

Gen Indicator

The first number – 4 – quickly tells us that this is a 4th Generation Intel Core processor.

4th Gen Intel Core CPUs

SKU Numeric Digits

This is what we consumers use as a rough indicator of the processor’s overall performance.

The higher the number, the better the processor’s performance in general. For example :

  • Core i7-4900 is faster than Core i7-4800
  • Core i5-4400 is faster than Core i5-4300

Product Line Suffix

This tells us more about the processor features, for a particular model :

  • K : Unlocked processor multiplier (desktop only)
  • R : BGA1364 processor with high-performance graphics (desktop only)
  • S : Performance-optimised model (desktop only)
  • T : Power-optimised (desktop only)
  • M : Mobile processor
  • MQ : Quad-core mobile processor
  • MX : Extreme Edition mobile processor
  • U : Ultra-low power (mobile only)
  • Y : Extremely low power (mobile only)

 

3rd Gen Intel Core Processor Number System

3rd Gen Intel Core processor number example

Brand Modifier

This is what most people think of as the performance category.

  • i7 : enthusiast class, with the most processing cores
  • i5 : mainstream processors
  • i3 : entry-level processors
  • M : ultra-low power mobile processors

Gen Indicator

The first number – 3 – quickly tells us that this is a 3rd Generation Intel Core processor.

3rd Gen Intel Core CPU die with label

SKU Numeric Digits

This is what we consumers use as a rough indicator of the processor’s overall performance.

The higher the number, the better the processor’s performance in general. For example :

  • Core i7-3770 is faster than Core i7-3720
  • Core i5-3470 is faster than Core i5-3450

Letter Suffix

This primarily tells us whether it is an Extreme Edition processor or not :

  • X : Extreme Edition processor

Product Line Suffix

This tells us more about the processor features, for a particular model :

  • K : Unlocked processor multiplier (desktop only)
  • S : Performance-optimised model (desktop only)
  • T : Power-optimised (desktop only)
  • M : Mobile processor
  • QM : Quad-core mobile processor
  • U : Ultra-low power (mobile only)
  • Y : Extremely low power (mobile only)

 

2nd Gen Intel Core Processor Number System

2nd Gen Intel Core processor number example

Brand Modifier

This is what most people think of as the performance category.

  • i7 : enthusiast class, with the most processing cores
  • i5 : mainstream processors
  • i3 : entry-level processors

Gen Indicator

The first number – 2 – quickly tells us that this is a 2nd Generation Intel Core processor.

2nd Gen Intel Core CPU

SKU Numeric Digits

This is what we consumers use as a rough indicator of the processor’s overall performance.

The higher the number, the better the processor’s performance in general. For example :

  • Core i7-2860 is faster than Core i7-2820
  • Core i5-2700 is faster than Core i5-2600

 

1st Gen Intel Core Processor Number System

1st Gen Intel Core processor number example

Brand Modifier

This is what most people think of as the performance category.

  • i7 : enthusiast class, with the most processing cores
  • i5 : mainstream processors
  • i3 : entry-level processors

Gen Indicator

The lack of a Gen Indicator of 1 tells us that this is a 1st Generation Intel Core processor.

1st Gen Intel Core CPU die

SKU Numeric Digits

This is what we consumers use as a rough indicator of the processor’s overall performance.

The higher the number, the better the processor’s performance in general. For example :

  • Core i7-990 is faster than Core i7-980
  • Core i5-660 is faster than Core i5-650

 

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