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Intel should simplify its CPU naming policy

Posted on 29th Nov 2012 at 07:51 by Antony Leather with 55 comments

Antony Leather
Something happened the other day that made me realise just how complicated Intel’s naming regime is. It’s been a bone of contention for years now, and we regularly pass jokes in the office about whether the average consumer really knows the difference between Core i3, i5 and i7 and where Pentiums and Celerons fit in to all this as well.

Just a few days ago a friend of mine said she had around £350 to spend on a laptop but didn’t know whether to go for a Core i3, Pentium or Celeron, but thought the Pentium would be the best as she’d heard of it before and it was slightly more expensive than the other two. Needless to say I pointed her in the direction of the Core i3, which, on further investigation on CPU World turned out to be an Ivy Bridge-based CPU too.

Intel should simplify its CPU naming policy *Intel should change its CPU naming policy
Click to enlarge - It's a Core i3 but is it Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge?

Of course, it’s not just all these ranges of CPUs that consumers need to get their heads around, it’s the fact that multiple generations of Core CPUs are available at the same time as well. Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge (Intel Core second generation and third generation) are both available at the moment and many refurbished/second hand models are first generation too.

For tech-savvy desktop users and journalists who salivate over new releases, gossip and rumours, the difference between the two will be well-known. For prospective laptop buyers, though, it’s anything but clear cut. Most retail stores will list whether desktop CPUs are Ivy Bridge or Sandy Bridge-based, but many don’t, meaning plenty of people are probably buying generation-old stuff without knowing it.

However, with laptops, the situation is pretty dire. Not only are the CPUs often just listed as Core i3 and then the model number, but most retailers don’t even mention which generation the CPU is. The worst part is that at the budget end of the spectrum, there are at least four completely different CPU options, and that’s just before you even count AMDs various and equally confusing offerings.

Core i3 second generation, Core i3 third generation, Pentium and Celeron are all doing their best to utterly confuse the consumer. There’s very little difference in price too – the Pentium and Celeron options are often only a fraction cheaper than Core i3s, but those in the know would never pick a Celeron over a Core i3.

Intel should simplify its CPU naming policy *Intel should change its CPU naming policy
Click to enlarge - Different generations and multiple models can only be serving to confuse the consumer

I’d also place bets that as Pentium is a better-known name, they get picked up for just that reason. If you’re browsing on the Internet for cheap laptops without some kind PC World assistant maybe or maybe not doing the right thing and pointing you towards the similarly-priced Core i3 laptop, then there’s little else to guide you away from the cheap and nasty CPUs and towards something with a bit more grunt that will stand the test of time.

The point is, that there’s very little information out there that steers people in the right direction, especially if you're shopping alone on the Internet focusing on prices rather than digging a little deeper. For your average Joe who has never seen a CPU benchmark, never mind knows this ins and outs of the latest CPU architectures, it’s a confusing situation.

However, there’s an easy solution. Intel – change your product naming. It might work for those of us in the know or for retailers that list CPUs with all the proper info, but for the hordes of other outlets, particularly online, people are ending up with the wrong kit.

Have you had to explain Intel’s naming strategy to the less tech-savvy? Let us know in the forum.

55 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
iwod 29th November 2012, 08:35 Quote
And it is not even about naming either, they should simply shrink their product line. Not having the same core CPU but one with VT-D and one without.
ch424 29th November 2012, 08:43 Quote
Surely if a non-gamer friend wants a laptop, you tell them to buy the one with the nicest display, keyboard and battery life? CPU performance is moot as soon as you put an SSD in it!
blacko 29th November 2012, 08:44 Quote
i've always been fond of the Pentium name. It reminds of the P3 and P4 days and the speed war going on between AMD and Intel.

This speed war was picked up by mainstream media and the Pentium name was thrusted into average joes pc vocabulary and resulting in todays PC world mess. Intel should have binned Celeron and Pentium when they switched to the core i series. An i1 and i2 would have done the job and average joe responds well to numbers.....
Dave Lister 29th November 2012, 08:52 Quote
I can honestly say that Intel have me completely lost with there CPU's, my last intel chip was a q6600 and back then I could follow what was going on pretty easily. Now there are 3 different sockets (I think) and then you have core i3, i5 and i7 which from what i've seen all have similar performance depending on model numbers.

I may sound like I don't know what i'm talking about here - which is because I don't !
r3loaded 29th November 2012, 08:58 Quote
Forget ordinary consumers, it's a confusing scheme for CS students too! Obviously, being a bit-techer I know the ins and outs of each architecture, but even otherwise knowledgeable people are stumped by the naming scheme. Here's an example of a conversation I had with a friend:
Quote:
Friend: So, what I understand is that Core i3 doesn't have turbo boost?
Me: Yep, that's right.
F: And Core i7s are all quad cores?
M: Only on desktops - Core i5s and i7s are quad core for desktops, but on laptops only certain Core i7 chips are quad-core (the ones with the QM suffix).
F: Ok...so what's the difference between a Core i5 and i7? Faster clocks and more cache?
M: Yes, but some Core i7s have slower clocks than some Core i5s depending on the model.
F: Lol.
M: On desktops Core i7s are differentiated by having hyperthreading while Core i5s are non-hyperthreaded quad-cores.
F: Right, seems logica...
M: But on laptops all of the chips are hyperthreaded.
F: Now I'm just confused.
M: So am I now.
Griffter 29th November 2012, 09:02 Quote
i think change naming convention to 1234etc... and if they cant... just add the date to whatever name they have... 2011 edition and 2012 edition... maybe add month if there is more than one a year.. ppl can then just by that, the latest to older and see price difference.
Nexxo 29th November 2012, 09:07 Quote
"Fast Chip", "Faster Chip" and "Even Faster Chip" (or F, F+ and F++)?
steveo_mcg 29th November 2012, 09:13 Quote
You can imagine the hyperbole after a few years of that naming convention, especially if AMD got in on it...
Fingers66 29th November 2012, 09:17 Quote
Maybe I am a cynic but what motivation would Intel have for changing the naming convention if the confusion is causing joe public to buy all the old stock of crappy Pentium chips in desktops/laptops?
xaser04 29th November 2012, 09:17 Quote
TBH compared to Nvidia's mobile GPU line up, Intels CPU naming scheme is child's play.
[PUNK] crompers 29th November 2012, 09:23 Quote
The naming conventions clearly help them to shift old stock from the shelves. Its probably doing exactly what it was designed to do - confuse.
Griffter 29th November 2012, 09:24 Quote
intel buster, intel buster-buster, intel buster-buster-buster-2000 baby!
GuilleAcoustic 29th November 2012, 09:25 Quote
and we are not even talking about the chipsets. Right now Intel offers, for LGA1155 only :

- B75
- P67, P75
- H61, H67, H77
- Q77
- Z68, Z75, Z77, Z78

it's far too many chipsets ... how many, even among us, know the exact differences between all those ?
Gareth Halfacree 29th November 2012, 09:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
"Fast Chip", "Faster Chip" and "Even Faster Chip" (or F, F+ and F++)?
Wasn't that the idea behind the star rating system launched alongside the new logos back in 2009?
blacko 29th November 2012, 09:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuilleAcoustic
and we are not even talking about the chipsets. Right now Intel offers, for LGA1155 only :

- B75
- P67, P75
- H61, H67, H77
- Q77
- Z68, Z75, Z77, Z78

it's far too many chipsets ... how many, even among us, know the exact differences between all those ?

you evil man bringing this up....
r3loaded 29th November 2012, 09:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuilleAcoustic
and we are not even talking about the chipsets. Right now Intel offers, for LGA1155 only :

- B75
- P67, P75
- H61, H67, H77
- Q77
- Z68, Z75, Z77, Z78

it's far too many chipsets ... how many, even among us, know the exact differences between all those ?
Easy, first of all Z78 doesn't exist (at least, not yet). Ignore the others and go for Z77 :P
GuilleAcoustic 29th November 2012, 09:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by blacko
you evil man bringing this up....

Oh yeaaaaaaah xD .... just (re)mentioned it because I'm asked twice a day by friends who are lost with Intel chipsets. They are aware of celeron < pentium < i3 < i5 < i7 .... but when it comes to chipsets ....
Quote:
Originally Posted by r3loaded
Easy, first of all Z78 doesn't exist (at least, not yet). Ignore the others and go for Z77 :P

Oops, my bad .... missed copy / paste :D
dogknees 29th November 2012, 09:47 Quote
Is it more complex than understanding all the options of engines in a car? We have displacement, cylinder count and layout, turbo/supercharging, petrol/diesel/gas/hybrid/electric/..., number of gear ratios and their spread, manual/automatic,....

Seems just as complex to me and people seem to be able to make choices that suit them when buying a car. Why is this (cpu lines and models) any harder?

Or is it that we still seem to be treating PCs as somehow different, as something people shouldn't have to expend effort learning about? Maybe it's about time people invested some time and effort to understand something that's as big a part of their lives as their cars.
GuilleAcoustic 29th November 2012, 09:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogknees
Is it more complex than understanding all the options of engines in a car? We have displacement, cylinder count and layout, turbo/supercharging, petrol/diesel/gas/hybrid/electric/..., number of gear ratios and their spread, manual/automatic,....

Seems just as complex to me and people seem to be able to make choices that suit them when buying a car. Why is this (cpu lines and models) any harder?

Or is it that we still seem to be treating PCs as somehow different, as something people shouldn't have to expend effort learning about? Maybe it's about time people invested some time and effort to understand something that's as big a part of their lives as their cars.

I think that most people only looks at this when bying a car :

- overall look
- Price
- horse power
- consumption
- luggage compartment size

eventually the amount of seats when more than 2 childrens.
Hustler 29th November 2012, 10:00 Quote
Places like PC World thrive on confusing product ranges, it lets them sell unsuitable, more expensive products to the gullible and uniformed.
Blackshark 29th November 2012, 10:17 Quote
And you havent mentioned the Xeon range - which is like the desktop range in terms of naming only worse.... much much worse. The only thing that is positive is the first number representing the No. of CPUs per board.
greigaitken 29th November 2012, 10:49 Quote
I was looking at laptops in pcworld other week (need hands on) and just looked up the cpu on cpubenchmark on the actual laptop.
If only a store would have said benchmark next to each product....
blacko 29th November 2012, 13:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by greigaitken

If only a store would have said benchmark next to each product....

or just a sign saying "it can run crysis"
Petrol head 29th November 2012, 13:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogknees
Is it more complex than understanding all the options of engines in a car? We have displacement, cylinder count and layout, turbo/supercharging, petrol/diesel/gas/hybrid/electric/..., number of gear ratios and their spread, manual/automatic,....

Seems just as complex to me and people seem to be able to make choices that suit them when buying a car. Why is this (cpu lines and models) any harder?

Or is it that we still seem to be treating PCs as somehow different, as something people shouldn't have to expend effort learning about? Maybe it's about time people invested some time and effort to understand something that's as big a part of their lives as their cars.
I am sorry but take it from a person that works in a leasing company as a Technical customer service adviser. They most certainly do not know what they are buying. Many don't even check if a dealer is anywhere near them for gods sake. I agree with GuilleAcoustic but would add their mechanic mate down the pub said it was good!

As for the intel line up I now ask what they want it for and just point out what they should be looking to get. Too hard to explain and tired of watching people eye's roll back in their head when I try!
fdbh96 29th November 2012, 16:35 Quote
I think for once apple have done a good job with naming their product lines and Intel should follow suit.

Eg: Intel mini
Intel
Intel Pro

Thats purely an example but is there really any point in releasing 5 cpus with the same cores etc but with +0.1 GHz.
supermonkey 29th November 2012, 17:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
"Fast Chip", "Faster Chip" and "Even Faster Chip" (or F, F+ and F++)?
I'm holding out for the Double-Plus-Fastest chip. I heard some guy ranting about it the other day - apparently you get a red sash with every purchase!
faugusztin 29th November 2012, 17:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by r3loaded
Forget ordinary consumers, it's a confusing scheme for CS students too! Obviously, being a bit-techer I know the ins and outs of each architecture, but even otherwise knowledgeable people are stumped by the naming scheme. Here's an example of a conversation I had with a friend:

And you even missed ULV :D.
xxxsonic1971 29th November 2012, 17:30 Quote
Place names from around the world would be a great way to name cpu's,- you could have something like 'bronx' for cheap parts, and 'balmoral' for the expensive range lol!
theshadow2001 29th November 2012, 17:44 Quote
On Wikipedia there seems to be 26 individual ivy bridge skus. I'm sure sandy bridge has similar. What would be so wrong with two i7s one non k, the same for i5, one i3 and a Pentium which should be called an i1. Pre curse each one with the generation. So you have Gen3-i7 for example as the actual name.

Perhaps the large number of SKUs is a yield thing. Or perhaps they are pandering too much to OEM requests
Saivert 29th November 2012, 17:45 Quote
But what tiers do we want from CPU vendors?
I propose a streamlined system where the top tier has all CPU features enabled and models just differ in core count and stock clock frequency.
And second tier has features disabled.
Not sure about a third one.
I have not given this much thought yet.
Zener Diode 29th November 2012, 17:51 Quote
Last time I bought a CPU it was an i7 920. I remember I had to contact the (online) retailers to find out if it was the D0 or C0 stepping version; they had no idea what I was talking about.
Guinevere 29th November 2012, 19:42 Quote
For the life of me I can't remember the 'name' of the CPU in my laptop. It's i7, quad core + hyper threading with a base clock of 2.7. It'll turbo boost (or whatever) itself to something higher than 2.7 and it zooms along like sit off a shovel*

Most importantly it was the best I could get built into the hardware, that was all I really needed to know as the primary reason to upgrade was to get the fastest raw CPU performance I could.

I don't even think the CPU has a proper name, just a random collection of digits like a postal code or truncated software licence key.

*redacted
Eng_Toasty 29th November 2012, 19:44 Quote
I can see that part of the problem lies in the manufacturing process tolerances. If the end product is out of specification but still functional why throw it out when you can re-package and sell it as a new product variant, hence the tri-core athlons in their last generation.
theshadow2001 29th November 2012, 21:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Wasn't that the idea behind the star rating system launched alongside the new logos back in 2009?

All the star rating seems to do is basically rank celeron, pentium and i3 to i7 in order of performance. What a freaking joke. You wouldn't need a star rating system if the processors followed a naming convention which ranked them in order naturally. Plus if the wikipedia entry on all the ivy bridge SKUs is correct then for the i5 series you have 15 processors, all with different prices and all with the same star rating.

Surely this is the number one reason engineers shouldn't do marketing...or be allowed out of their dark room.

:(
jamsand 30th November 2012, 00:29 Quote
Less tech savvy, I had to explain it to myself when i decided to get a laptop lol
Sloth 30th November 2012, 01:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by r3loaded
Forget ordinary consumers, it's a confusing scheme for CS students too! Obviously, being a bit-techer I know the ins and outs of each architecture, but even otherwise knowledgeable people are stumped by the naming scheme. Here's an example of a conversation I had with a friend:
That's almost identical to a conversation I had with a friend. Software guy who's knowledgable about PCs, but not hardware specifics and current models. Big confusing mess trying to sort out i3, 5 and 7, then the chipsets, then the K models, then Ivy vs. Sandy... He ended up holding out on purchasing for the time being.

Kind of worrying as his purchasing process was "Go to Newegg.com, go to Intel, buy expensive CPU with the bigger number, find bundle deal with expensive motherboard"!
supermonkey 30th November 2012, 02:40 Quote
Ok, I'll be the one to say it. Could this be one of the contributing reasons that so many people buy a Mac? I understand that the blog post focused on processor selection, and that might be more limited to people who are looking to purchase individual components. However, I just took a look at the Dell website and selected the link for basic home computers. Dell presented four options: Intel Pentium Dual Core, 2nd Gen Core i3, 3rd Gen Core i5, and 3rd Gen Core i7. Based on what I've read here, those descriptions might not be entirely accurate. Further adding confusion, when I checked the 'Core i5' box I was presented with 18 different options (though some of them seemed to be duplicates - why lists them twice?). Selecting 'Core i7' gave me 25 options.

A quick look at the Apple website shows that the iMac comes in 4 options: 2 choices for 21.5 inch; 2 choices for 27 inch.

I'm fully aware of the standard arguments that will now commence. Sheep, morons, cost, et cetera. Yes, it's a walled-garden approach with limited selection. Based on profits, it seems to be working quite well. Perhaps the other PC manufacturers should take a lesson and start paring down their offerings.

/dons flame-proof suit
theshadow2001 30th November 2012, 03:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by supermonkey
Ok, I'll be the one to say it. Could this be one of the contributing reasons that so many people buy a Mac? I understand that the blog post focused on processor selection, and that might be more limited to people who are looking to purchase individual components. However, I just took a look at the Dell website and selected the link for basic home computers. Dell presented four options: Intel Pentium Dual Core, 2nd Gen Core i3, 3rd Gen Core i5, and 3rd Gen Core i7. Based on what I've read here, those descriptions might not be entirely accurate. Further adding confusion, when I checked the 'Core i5' box I was presented with 18 different options (though some of them seemed to be duplicates - why lists them twice?). Selecting 'Core i7' gave me 25 options.

A quick look at the Apple website shows that the iMac comes in 4 options: 2 choices for 21.5 inch; 2 choices for 27 inch.

I'm fully aware of the standard arguments that will now commence. Sheep, morons, cost, et cetera. Yes, it's a walled-garden approach with limited selection. Based on profits, it seems to be working quite well. Perhaps the other PC manufacturers should take a lesson and start paring down their offerings.

/dons flame-proof suit

I think thats more of a problem with dell, than a mac versus a windows thing. But simplicity is key to Macs and the like. However this time I do agree with Apple's approach. The only reason I see for that vast array of individual SKUs is that OEMs need to shave off tiny amounts of money here and there to make profit or to add other features. Use a slightly slower processor and put the money saved towards adding bluetooth for example. I don't think there is a need to give everyday consumers or enthusiasts that wide a range of processors.
AmEv 30th November 2012, 04:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by fdbh96
I think for once apple have done a good job with naming their product lines and Intel should follow suit.

Eg: Intel mini
Intel
Intel Pro

Thats purely an example but is there really any point in releasing 5 cpus with the same cores etc but with +0.1 GHz.

You missed PowerIntel :p
jamsand 30th November 2012, 04:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ch424
Surely if a non-gamer friend wants a laptop, you tell them to buy the one with the nicest display, keyboard and battery life? CPU performance is moot as soon as you put an SSD in it!

I run unity on my laptop along with so animation, rendering is a bitch as it is on an i7 nevermind a pentium
Gradius 30th November 2012, 15:50 Quote
Old days were much better!
Sloth 30th November 2012, 20:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by supermonkey
Ok, I'll be the one to say it. Could this be one of the contributing reasons that so many people buy a Mac? I understand that the blog post focused on processor selection, and that might be more limited to people who are looking to purchase individual components. However, I just took a look at the Dell website and selected the link for basic home computers. Dell presented four options: Intel Pentium Dual Core, 2nd Gen Core i3, 3rd Gen Core i5, and 3rd Gen Core i7. Based on what I've read here, those descriptions might not be entirely accurate. Further adding confusion, when I checked the 'Core i5' box I was presented with 18 different options (though some of them seemed to be duplicates - why lists them twice?). Selecting 'Core i7' gave me 25 options.

A quick look at the Apple website shows that the iMac comes in 4 options: 2 choices for 21.5 inch; 2 choices for 27 inch.

I'm fully aware of the standard arguments that will now commence. Sheep, morons, cost, et cetera. Yes, it's a walled-garden approach with limited selection. Based on profits, it seems to be working quite well. Perhaps the other PC manufacturers should take a lesson and start paring down their offerings.

/dons flame-proof suit
It'd make sense as a contributing factor at the very least. With no understanding of performance differences between PC components what's a buyer to do? You can compare models and figure out that the higher number ones are better and more expensive, but it's all relative. You know that the $100 model is slower than the $150 but not whether either will suit your needs. In such a situation a buyer defaults to the bottom line: how much do I want to spend? Figure that out, then buy something close to that price range on the assumption that it'll be the best you'll be able to get and hope what you can afford does what you need. In such a situation Apple would be an easy choice. It's a recognizable name, and it's a simple buying process.

Calling people sheep or morons for such a decision always bothers me. From the perspective of the buyer they've often done what appears to be the best choice given the information they've been provided. How many people, including PC enthusiasts who call Apple buyers "sheeple" and the like, are guilty of buying something like a flashlight, pocket knife, camera, you name it in store because it looked like a decent enough product given what you already knew (which could be nothing!) and what the available competition looked like? There's likely to be an enthusiast community for anything and they're likely to think you're a sheep or a moron for your purchase. People have different interests.
GingerFox 30th November 2012, 22:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hustler
Places like PC World thrive on confusing product ranges, it lets them sell unsuitable, more expensive products to the gullible and uniformed.

Yeah...no that's not what we do.

PCworld are not evil. Infact it makes no odds to me if i sell you a £250 laptop or a £1k laptop, it's the solution that's right for the customer that's important.
stuartwood89 30th November 2012, 23:05 Quote
^ It's true.

When I worked there, we didn't get any commission or anything, and the markup on the machines is actually quite small. Money is made on peripherals and service plans. This means that even if you sell the most expensive piece of kit to the customer, you're still only 'box-shifting' if you don't get the printer/mouse/keyboard/coverplan on top of it.
GingerFox 30th November 2012, 23:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by stuartwood89
^ It's true.

When I worked there, we didn't get any commission or anything, and the markup on the machines is actually quite small. Money is made on peripherals and service plans. This means that even if you sell the most expensive piece of kit to the customer, you're still only 'box-shifting' if you don't get the printer/mouse/keyboard/coverplan on top of it.

Right on the money.
LennyRhys 30th November 2012, 23:54 Quote
I agree that the naming scheme is ridiculous, but even more so with Ivy Bridge - no longer is it a straightforward choice between two mainstream/enthusiast CPUs whose differences were clear and logical and whose names reflected this (i5 2500K and i7 2600K)... it's now
  • 3770K
  • 3770
  • 3770S
  • 3770T
  • 3570K
  • 3570
  • 3570S
  • 3570T
  • 3550
  • 3550S
  • 3475S
  • 3470
  • 3470S
  • 3470T
...ad nauseum. I mean, that's just ridiculous, and that's just SOME of the desktop offerings.

And the desktop vs mobile hyperthreading categorization is likewise ridiculous. :(
faugusztin 1st December 2012, 00:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyRhys
I agree that the naming scheme is ridiculous, but even more so with Ivy Bridge - no longer is it a straightforward choice between two mainstream/enthusiast CPUs whose differences were clear and logical and whose names reflected this (i5 2500K and i7 2600K)

Because it is insanely complex to understand that desktop model numbering is (and it was the same for Sandy Bridge as well, they had the S/T/K models as well) :
1) Prefix (model)
Celeron - single or dualcore, lowend, no HT
Pentium - dualcore, lowend, no HT
Core i3 - dualcore, HT
Core i5 - quadcore, no HT
Core i7 - quadcore, HT
2) Number inside the category, higher = better
3) Suffix (if present) :
K = unlocked for overclocking
P = IGP disabled/removed
S = a bit lower TDP (lower voltage and clocks)
T = a lot lower TDP (lower voltage and clocks)

Mobile numbering
1) prefix giving "performance" categorization:
Celeron/Pentium = dualcore, no HT
i3/i5/i7 = dualcore, HT (with exceptions)
2) Number inside the category, higher = better
3) Suffix (if present) :
Q = quadcore
T = means lower TDP.
U = means ultra low core (even lower TDP)

Sandy Bridge had the same suffixes :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandy_Bridge_(microarchitecture)#Desktop_platform

I guess AMD numbering where all the number tells you is number of core (in case of Bulldozer AM3+ CPU) or nothing at all (FM1/FM2 CPU) is much, much better.
GuilleAcoustic 1st December 2012, 09:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyRhys
I agree that the naming scheme is ridiculous, but even more so with Ivy Bridge - no longer is it a straightforward choice between two mainstream/enthusiast CPUs whose differences were clear and logical and whose names reflected this (i5 2500K and i7 2600K)... it's now
  • 3770K
  • 3770
  • 3770S
  • 3770T
  • 3570K
  • 3570
  • 3570S
  • 3570T
  • 3550
  • 3550S
  • 3475S
  • 3470
  • 3470S
  • 3470T
...ad nauseum. I mean, that's just ridiculous, and that's just SOME of the desktop offerings.

And the desktop vs mobile hyperthreading categorization is likewise ridiculous. :(

You forgot the i5-3350P version that doesn't have an IGP, not to mention that the i5-3470T has 2 cores-4 thread while the i5-3570T has 4 cores- 4 thread :(
fluxtatic 2nd December 2012, 03:05 Quote
Some of it is binning - Intel can't get a chip to spin up to the full 3.1 GHz at stock, they can't sell it as a 3770, but it'll do 2.9 stable, so it becomes a 3570 (purely an example, cba to look up what the clocks really are.)

Would it be better if they flattened it out to where it won't do 3.1, so they throw it away? i3s already start at $130 - what do you think would happen to pricing if they started throwing 3/4 of their procs in the bin?

Not that I'm defending them (nor AMD, for that matter, who do the same), but it is more than a little ridiculous that even in the Pentium line, they have at least 4 SKUs that are separated by 100 MHz each.

I've got parts coming for a partial rebuild for a friend, and it only took about 5 minutes to find a processor, but that's the result of god knows how many hours reading about Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, Llano, Trinity...

What's even worse are the fliers I see for the local computer behemoth (Fry's) that now show AMD as only 'E2' or 'A8' - no clocks, no features, just an entirely meaningless number. Were it me, it would seem logical that the first character meant the most, and so the 'E' would be way better than the 'A'...no, not at all.

It is worse on the Intel side, though, with up to 4 variants of the same model with different TDPs, or in some cases the 'lower' model having better features than the 'higher', and that the way they're named/numbered is not consistent between mobile and desktop.
FreQ 2nd December 2012, 03:21 Quote
I'm about to build a new rig, and honestly, I have no idea on CPUs anymore.

I expect chips to go i3,i5 and i7, all with increasing model numbers to make it easy to understand, but I don't think it's so simple.

Not sure where I'm going to start...
faugusztin 2nd December 2012, 10:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreQ
Not sure where I'm going to start...
http://forums.bit-tech.net/showpost.php?p=3227419&postcount=48
ssj12 2nd December 2012, 19:57 Quote
This is why they had the star rating system for performance that was quite nice.

And naming isnt that bad. Could be a whole lot worse. With the amount of processors they make, it is expected that there would be some naming confusion.
RaptorLord 7th December 2012, 01:06 Quote
it's really a very simple thing for those with the desire to know...
http://ark.intel.com
enter part numbers, add to compare, and compare!
Yadda 10th December 2012, 16:24 Quote
I agree with the article completely, and the irony is that only a few years ago Intel PR officials were telling us how they were "simplifying their range" into just 4 streams: i7, i5, i3 and Pentium (effectively dumping the previous generation C2D & C2Q brands and shoving those processors into the new low-end "Pentium" stream). Haha, what went wrong and how long before we hear a similar line again?
Xir 11th December 2012, 12:09 Quote
Same goes for Motherboards though,
even if you manage to decide on a chipset and a brand...
Ausu for instance have 18 different Z77 MoBo's. :D

http://www.asus.de/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/Intel_Z77
Quote:
Originally Posted by theshadow2001
Surely this is the number one reason engineers shouldn't do marketing...or be allowed out of their dark room.

Nope, for this much confusion, you need a Marketing Expert. :D
Also, we riside in an ivory tower*...

*made of concrete
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