What is the meaning of Intel® Processor Names, Numbers, and Generation in a CPU

While buying a computer it’s much more professional to know the meaning of all those numbers and letters in an Intel chip.


Intel can make it pretty easy to express performance models against the lower end models.

Usually the numbers 3, 5, or 7, after the letter “i” in “Core iX” can give you a clue. But the other numbers and letters that usually come after the “Core iX” part, numbers have the job to tell you much more about the performance of the chip, and in addition to that the performance of the computer you planned to buy.

Let’s find out what those numbers and letters mean in Intel chips:



processor details

There are many Intel Core lines of processors, such as Intel Core i3 8130 U, or some others like Pentium and many more but we will discuss the most common Core line.

The number that is written next to the letter “i” after the core is to represent the type of overarching performance of the chip.

If you are looking for a more suitable computer, the core “i3” is the best option, since it is on the lower end of the performance the price is much lower.

The Core “i5” is considered as a mid-range performance chip that is suitable for casual and power users on a budget.

The Core “i7” on the other hand is on the higher end of the performance that is more likely to be used by power users and professionals, and for power-hungry apps such as Adobe Photoshop, video editing, and etc…

The generation of the Core chip is represented by the first four numbers mentioned on Intel’s Core chip.

Eight generations which is the latest of all will always have the number “8” as the first number in the group of four-numbers after the “iX” part.

This will be the same for other generations, for example for the seven generations the group of four-numbers will start with the number  “7”

As the generation goes lower the numbers will also go lower, so when you plan to buy a new computer you should consider the generation that is the highest or at least two generations lower than that.

Three following numbers that come after the chip’s generation will tell you about the performance of the chip, the more powerful of them have higher numbers.

For example, an Intel Core i5 “8400” will be less powerful than a Core i5 “8600.

“clock speed” and “boost clock speed” are the major differences, a chip with a higher clock speed is can process your work faster

Power users on a budget could go for computers with the slightly more expensive Core i5 8600 for an extra boost of power while a casual user could go for a more suitable computer with the Core i5 8400.

These numbers make a smaller difference in comparison to the number in the “iX” part, but they’re important as well.

Now let’s have a look at the meaning of the letters,

Letters like “K” and “U” in an Intel chip after the numbers are to give an idea about the kind of purpose and the performance the computer is designed for.

The basic models come of an Intel chip in some computers that come without any letters.

The fastest kinds of chips are those with the letter “K” that have higher clock speeds than the standard ones that are without a letter in Intel’s mainstream chips. That can also mean that the chip is “unlocked,” where it’s clock speeds can be tweaked or “overlocked by a user to squeeze out a little more extra performance than what you get out ot the box. Usually, it’s mostly enthusiasts who tend to overclock their chips, and they’re mostly designed for desktops or high-performance laptops.

Chips the built-in graphic processors come with the letter “G”. Most of Intel’s chips come with basic built-in graphics processors that can make it possible to display something on your monitor without an entirely separate graphic card. These Intel’s “G” processors come with a much powerful graphics processor for more power-hungry apps and games. The amazing fact is that the graphics processors in Intel’s “G” chips come from “AMD” which is the company’s main rival.

The chips that are designed to use less power come with the letter “T”, and in addition to that, they have lower performance in comparison to those standard ones without any letter.

The “ultra- low power” models that come with letter “U” are designed for laptops and mobile devices. They’re “low power”, since they use even less power than the “T” models and have slower clock speeds than their full-size, none “U” equivalents. Having slower clock speeds, prevents them from getting very hot than lowers the risk of heat-related damages. This is also good for those thin laptops with a limited cooling component in comparison to those larger desktops and laptops.

 For more details, you can refer to Intel’s chip letters on Intel’s site,

How can cores improve performance speed?

But with eight generations of the chip, the core count does not make lots of deference in comparison to the majority of the lower-end Core chips that have four cores. That should suffice for most casual users and even power users on a budget.

Chips with two cores are much slower. And, as you’d expect, chips with more cores will be significantly faster. 

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