Posted on: July 28, 2020 Posted by: Ankur Garg Comments: 0
intel nomenclature

Intel has successfully made its name in the desktop/laptop processors market and is the leading manufacturer of desktop and laptop processors. At some point of time, you might have heard about this tech giant and the latest generation processors that Intel has rolled out.

The experience of Intel has rarely been the same. It has seen stiff competition from other major chipmakers including AMD, Qualcomm, and MediaTek and it aims to fight to remain ahead of the game.

Intel nomenclature pattern for its processors seems to be confusing if you have never gone through it and many people find it difficult while buying a new laptop or desktop as Intel releases lots of new processors at a time. Even sometimes a 9th Gen processor can perform better than a 10th Gen processor.

Intel Mobile Phone Processors

Intel does have processors for smartphones with the initials Intel Atom but these processors have no market left. These processors were used in the Asus Zenfone 2 series. But soon after Qualcomm came with the Snapdragon chipsets which are highly optimized for mobile phones, Intel lost its market with only a few phones left that too is very old to consider.

Are Intel mobile phone processors really this bad that it didn’t survive the market? Intel Atom processors are optimized for high performance and can-do multitasking without a glitch. Asus Zenfone 2 that comes with a 64-bit 2.3GHz Super Quad-Core Intel® Atom™ Z3580 handles multitasking very well and ram management is quite decent in this processor.


However, Qualcomm’s extensive marketing strategy combined with the research and innovation in the field of mobile phone processors to develop low cost and high-performance multi-tasking processor makes it one of the top manufacturers of mobile phone processors. Snapdragon 775G is the latest gaming processor from Qualcomm.

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Intel Nomenclature: How does Intel name its latest upcoming processors?

Intel follows a pattern for naming its new upcoming processors, the manufacturer , series, generation, and the performance criteria with the suitability of the processor can be easily identified just by the names of those processors.

But first, you must know that Intel makes separate processors for desktop and laptops, and for laptops, it called it mobile processors. So, laptop processors aka mobile processors are for laptop systems.

10th Generation Intel® Core™ Processor Family

10th generation processors naming begins with the brand name as ‘Intel® Core™’ , the brand modifier like i9, i7, i5, i3, and so on comes next.

Brand modifier represents a particular group or series of processors and each brand modifier can have several generations of processors. For instance, the i9-10th gen is the most recent processor with the brand modifier i9. A higher brand modifier offers a high level of performance and may have a greater number of cores. Performance and core count also increase with the generation in each series of modifiers.

intel 10th gen

Consider the 10th gen i5-10600K, i7-10700K, and i9-10900K processors, their performance advances with the brand modifier with i9-10900K being the most powerful among them, it is a deca-core processor with 10 cores and 20 threads @3.7GHz. I7-10700K is an octa-core processor with 8 cores and 16 threads @3.8GHz while i5-10600K is hexacore with 6 cores and 12 threads @4.1GHz.

The next four or five digits in the 10th generation processors combine the generation and SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) number. The first two digits here represent the generation of the processor that is 10th generation in this case and the next 2 or 3 digits represent the SKU number.

SKU number is usually of 3 digits but can also be of 2 digits as above. It actually keeps the track of the processor in a hierarchy. In simple terms, SKU number is the one that helps to distinguish between two processors in the same category.

Intel® Core™ i7-10750H, Intel® Core™ i7-10850H, and Intel® Core™ i7-10875H are almost identical and belong to the same family and category. The SKU number of these processors helps to differentiate among the three with 10750H being less powerful than 10875H.

The next alphabet represents the product line suffix of the processors. This single alphabet is enough to explain a lot about the processor like performance rating, locked or unlocked processor, Ultra-low power, or High graphics support processor. Product Line Suffix or Alpha Suffix is explained in the below context.

9th Generation Intel® Core™ Processor Family

9th gen processors follow the same pattern of nomenclature as above. It always starts with the brand name (company name) followed by the brand modifier and the four-digit numeric code.

The first digit represents the generation that is 9th Gen here and the remaining 3 digits are the SKU numbers of the processors. It is then followed by the product line suffix that is explained below.

intel 9th gen

Other remaining processors follow the same pattern as the 9th generation processor and have four digits in the numeric code between the brand modifier and product line suffix.

SKU number and Product Line Suffix

If the name of two or more processors are the same except the SKU number then it becomes easy to identify a better performing processor among them.

A higher SKU number identifies that the processor is more optimized or may have more number of cores than a lower SKU number. In simple terms, a higher SKU number means better performance but often the gap is so slight that buying a processor with a lower SKU number proves more beneficial.

This table contains a short description of the Alpha Suffix (Product Line Suffix) with the appropriate examples for each Suffix.

Alpha SuffixDescriptionExample
KUnlocked10th Gen Intel® Core™ i9-10900K
9th Gen Intel® Core™ i9-9900K
8th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-8700K
FRequires discrete
10th Gen Intel® Core™ i9-10900F
9th Gen Intel® Core™ i9-9900F
KFRequires discrete
graphics, unlocked
10th Gen Intel® Core™ i9-10900KF
9th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-9700KF
10th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-10600KF
9th Gen Intel® Core™ i9-9900T
10th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-10700T
10th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-10500T
8th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-8700T
SSpecial Edition9th Gen Intel® Core™ i9-9900KS
HHigh performance
10th Gen Intel® Core™ i9-10885H
9th Gen Intel® Core™ i9-9880H
9th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-9850H
HKHigh performance
graphics, unlocked
10th Gen Intel® Core™ i9-10980HK
8th Gen Intel® Core™ i9-8950HK
6th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-6820HK
HQHigh performance
graphics, quadcore
7th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-7920HQ
6th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-6920HQ
6th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-6700HQ
GIncludes discrete
graphics on
8th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-8705G
8th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-8809G
Graphics level
(processors with new
integrated graphics
technology only)
10th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-1035G1
10th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-1065G7
UUltra-low power,
Mobile power efficient
8th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-8650U
10th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-10710U
6th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-6600U
6th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-6300U
6th Gen Intel® Core™ i3-6100U
YMobile Extremely
low power
7th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-7Y75
8th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-8500Y

Intel has a separate list of Alpha Suffix for desktop and laptop processors. In the above table, Alpha Suffix is given in Descending order based on performance and other important factors like cores, functionality, etc.

If the generation and the alpha suffix are the same for two processors then they must differ in SKU number and in turn differs in the brand modifier.

Intel’s i9-10600K, i9-10700K, and Intel’s 10900K shares the same generation as 10th, and the alpha suffix ‘K’ but differs in the SKU number where SKU number 600 is used with i5, 700 with i7, and 900 represents i9 series of processor.

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Desktop Processors

Intel uses the suffix K, F, T, and S for desktop processors and among them, K and T are the most widely used desktop processors.

“K” chips are unlocked means they have the possibility to be overclocked by the user for extra performance at the cost of additional power consumption and heat generation. They also come with a fully functional integrated GPU.

“F” suffix processors lack an integrated GPU but that doesn’t mean they are worthless. If you have a separate discrete GPU in your system than this processor can be used. But it may consume more power as for every task your discrete GPU has to power on.

“KF” – requires discrete graphics unlocked, ‘K’ series processors are unlocked and come with an integrated GPU and this is the only difference between ‘K’ and ‘KF’ as ‘KF’ are unlocked too but does not come with an integrated GPU and requires discrete GPU.

“T” series processors are optimized for power consumption and are similar to ‘U’ in this regard. Still ‘T’ series consumes more power than “U” processors as they provide more power than ‘U’ series laptop processors.

“S” processors – ‘performance-optimized lifestyle’ – it provides lower performance and as a result, it consumes less power. They are good for everyday work and do magic if combined with proper GPU.

Other than these there is also X and XE series of desktop processors. These processors are similar to K means are unlocked and provide high performance.

X is an abbreviation for Extreme while XE stands for Extreme Edition. They are designed for extreme high-end systems and for advanced creator workflows that can vary in need.

Mobile/Laptop Processors

“H” stands for high-performance graphics. ‘H’, ‘HK’, and ‘HQ’ are all similar in terms of performance, they all come with a high-performance integrated GPU and can be combined with high-end external graphics for ultimate performance. These can be used for heavy gaming.

“H” series is the most common and can have 4 or more cores in it while “HQ” – an acronym for ‘high-performance graphics quad-core’ have fixed 4 cores.

“HK” – high-performance graphics unlocked. These processors are available for very high-end gaming laptops and can be overclocked for additional performance boost and in result will draw more power from the battery.

“G” series processors as the letter suggest comes with better-integrated graphics and are suitable for photo editing and light gaming.

“U” stands for ultra-low power means they consume very less battery power but also offers less performance than the “H” series. They are suitable for everyday usage with long-lasting battery but can also be used for light gaming.

“Y” series processors are fan-less design processors and end up consuming more powers and provide worse battery life than “U” series as they usually come with a low-capacity battery. They too are not less expensive than U processors.

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