Processor part number: Understanding Processor Names: CPU Naming Schema Guide

What the Numbers and Letters Mean in Intel CPU Processor Chips: EXPLAINED

US Markets Loading…


In the news

Chevron iconIt indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.HOMEPAGE

Save Article IconA bookmarkShare iconAn curved arrow pointing right.

Download the app

Intel/Amazon/Business Insider

Intel makes it pretty easy to tell performance models against lower-end models. 

You can usually tell straight away by the 3, 5, or 7 number after the «i» in «Core iX. » 

But then there are those extra numbers and letters that usually come after the «Core iX» part, numbers which actually tell you a little more about the chip’s performance, and ultimately the performance of the computer you’re thinking of buying. 

Here’s what those the numbers and letters mean in Intel’s chips:

You’re most likely to see Intel’s ‘Core’ line of processors, like ‘Intel Core i3 8130U.’ There are other lines of Intel processors, like ‘Pentium,’ but we’re going to stick to the most common ‘Core’ line


The number next to the ‘i’ after ‘Core’ represents the kind of overarching performance a chip has

Business Insider

A Core «i3» chip is on the lower end of performance that’s best suited for budget computers.

A Core «i5» chip is on the mid-range of performance that’s suited for casual users and power users on a budget. 

A Core «i7» chip is on the higher end of performance that’s suited for power users and professionals for power-hungry apps like Photoshop or video editing. 


The first of the four numbers on Intel’s Core chips represents the generation of the chip

Business Insider

Intel’s eighth and latest generation of chips will always have an «8» as the first number in the four-numbered grouping after the «iX» part. 

The seventh generation will have a «7,» and so on.

The lower the number, the older the generation. When you’re buying a new computer, you’re generally avoiding those with chips that are two or more generations behind the latest generation. 

The three following numbers after the generation number represent performance. The higher the numbers, the more powerful the chip

Business Insider

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

The major difference is «clock speed» and «boost clock speed.» The higher the clock speeds, the faster the chip can process what you want.

The Core i5 8400 has a clock speed of 2.80 GHz and a boost clock speed of 4. 0GHz

Meanwhile, the Core i5 8600 can process things faster with a higher clock speed of 3.1GHz and a boost clock speed of 4.30GHz.

A casual user could opt for a cheaper computer with the Core i5 8400, while a power user on a budget could opt for computers with the slightly more expensive Core i5 8600 for an extra boost of power. 

These numbers make a smaller difference than the number in the «iX» part, but they’re still important. 

What the letters mean after the numbers

Business Insider

Intel’s chips have letters like «K» and «U» after the numbers that give you an idea of what kind of purpose and performance the computer is designed for.  

Some computers have Intel chips without any letters. Those are the standard, base chip models.

The «K» chips are usually the fastest, with higher clock speeds than the standard chips without a letter in Intel’s mainstream chips. It also means the chip is «unlocked,» where its clock speeds can be tweaked — or «overclocked — by a user to squeeze out a little extra performance than what you get out of the box. Usually, it’s mostly enthusiasts who tend to overclock their chips, and they’re mostly designed for desktops or high-performance laptops.

The «G» means the chip has a built-in graphics processor. Most of Intel’s chips come with basic built-in graphics processors so you can display something on your monitor without an entirely separate graphics card. But Intel’s «G» processors come with a more powerful graphics processor for more power-hungry apps and games. Surprisingly, the graphics processors in Intel’s «G» chips come from the company’s main rival, AMD.  

The « means the chips is designed to use less power while also having less performance than the standard chips without any letters. 

The «U» means the chip is designed for laptops and mobile devices, as «U» chips are Intel’s «ultra-low power» models. They’re «low power» because they use even less power than the «T» models and have slower clock speeds than their full-size, non «U» equivalents. By having slower clock speeds, they don’t get as hot and have a lower risk of heat-related damage. That’s good for thin laptops that have limited cooling compared to larger desktops and laptops. 

You can find more information about Intel’s chip letters on Intel’s site, where it shows what other letters mean on previous generation chips. 


How the number of cores makes a difference

An interface board bearing CPU (silver) and semiconductors (black) is placed on a researcher’s desk at Tsinghua Unigroup research centre in Beijing

Thomson Reuters

Cores make a big difference. The more cores you have, the faster you can make your apps do whatever you want them to do. 

With Intel’s eighth generation of chips, core count doesn’t matter as much, as even the majority of the lower-end Core i3 chips have four cores. That should suffice for most casual users and even power users on a budget.

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

Read next

LoadingSomething is loading.

Thanks for signing up!

Access your favorite topics in a personalized feed while you’re on the go.



What Letters at End of Intel CPU Model Numbers Stand For

Like the curious type, some people may wonder what those random letters are at the end of Intel CPU model numbers and wonder why they are there? Intel is one of the leading CPU manufacturing companies. It is also the guiltiest for throwing seemingly random letters at the end of a product name, so it might be difficult to understand the difference between a Core i3 and a Core i5. As a general rule, bigger numbers are better! When looking at a product page or a specification sheet for a laptop, or even some desktops, anyone will notice letters attached at the end of the CPU Model numbers too (see Figure 1).

Intel processor names are composed of the following parts:

Brand Name: Intel naming scheme begins with the brand name; the most common Intel processor names begin with Intel Core, Intel Pentium, and Intel Celeron.

Brand Modifier: This piece is not included in all Intel processor family; for instance, Intel Pentium and Intel Celeron processors do not have a brand Modifier name, while the Intel Core™ processor series includes the following brand modifiers i3, i5, i7, and i9.

Generation Indicator: All Intel core processors have a generation number associated with them. In a four-digit processor number, the first digit typically represents the generation (e.g., a processor with the digits 4200 is a 4th gen processor). In the 10th Generation Intel Core processors, the first two digits in the product number will be 10 (see Figure 1).

SKU Numeric Digits: The majority of Intel processors will have a Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) number located at the final three digits of the product number. When the SKU number is high, this means the processor has more features. Of note, both processors should belong to the same brand and generation for this rule to be valid).

Product Line Suffix: This is a key indicator of Intel processor capabilities. In this article, we will differentiate between different Intel processors by checking each processor «Product Line Suffix» letter.

Start Learning Cybersecurity With The»Introduction to IT & Cybersecurity» Course Today >>

What do the letters in the Intel processor family stand for?

The Intel processor family’s power and features can be distinguished by looking at the «Product Line Suffix» letter in the processor name. However, before beginning this discussion, it is useful to know how to retrieve a used computer’s complete processor name. This can be achieved by using a free system information utility called CPU-Z (see Figure 2).

Now that we know how to retrieve our processor name and number let us see what each letter in the «Product Line Suffix» stands for.

  • CPUs with the letter K: this indicates that the chips multiplier is unlocked, meaning that it can be easily overclocked if you have a similarly enabled motherboard. Non-K chips have very limited overclocking functionality, so make sure you look for that K if you want to tweak your system.

  • CPUs with the letters HK: Intel doesn’t talk about it as much, but the K in HK CPUs that you occasionally see in high-end laptops also means the same thing as the letter K referenced above.

  • CPUs with the letter H: H stands for High-Performance Graphics and is used to designate Intel’s higher-end offerings in the mobile segment that consumes more power.

  • CPUs with the letters HQ: This designation is the same as that of the letter H in H CPUs. It is another mobile-specific letter denotation. Many of those higher power chips also have a Q on the end that stands for Quad-Core, which is why you’ll often see HQ on more expensive laptops.

  • CPUs with the letters U and Y: U stands for Ultra-Low Power, and Y represents Extremely Low Power.

  • CPUs with the letter T: These processors still fit in a standard LGA Desktop socket, but they are low-power, so you’ll often see them in small form factor or all-in-one computers that are designed with smaller power supplies or less aggressive cooling.

  • CPUs with the letter P: These have some interesting graphics options, so if you see a chip with a P on the end, this indicates a desktop processor without integrated graphics, which can save you a few bucks if you’re planning to use a discrete video card.

  • CPUs with the letter G: The newer G CPUs feature Radeon RX Vega graphics built from Intel’s biggest non-competitor: AMD (Advanced Micro Devices), specifically its division Radeon Technologies Group, which is a different company.

  • CPUs with the letters R and C: Now, of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t give a quick shout out to R and C, which we last saw on the now several generations old Broadway line to designate a soldered-on CPU and then an unlocked desktop CPU, respectively. R stands for High-end Mobile, similar to «H». C stands for unlocked, and is the same as «K» in other generations.

  • CPUs with the letter X: This indicates a very high-end unlocked consumer CPU with the most cores and the highest prices. It’s sitting atop the pile in the Core i9 7980XE for Extreme Edition (not to be confused with E for ECC memory, as I mentioned earlier).

Closing Remarks

So, in summary, maybe Intel could do a better job of making these letter denotations simpler and more consistent for consumers. However, at least to Intel’s credit, someone over there recognized the problem and spearheaded the creation of this lengthy website to help people decipher the denotations’ ever-shifting meanings.

How to find out the characteristics of your computer

March 9, 2021



Best ways to identify installed hardware on Windows, macOS, and Linux.

You usually need to check your computer’s specifications when installing demanding games or applications, updating video card drivers, or upgrading components or repairing. Depending on the operating system, this can be done in several ways. Here are the most popular ones. nine0003

How to find out the characteristics of a Windows computer

1. System Information utility

If you have enough basic information about your PC, then the easiest way to get it is through the standard System Information utility. To do this, right-click on the shortcut or in the «Computer» («My Computer») window in «Explorer» and select «Properties». Instead, you can simply press the Win + Pause / Break keyboard shortcut. The window that opens will show the type of processor, the amount of RAM and various system information. nine0003

2. Device Manager

For a complete and detailed picture, you can use the «Device Manager». It displays absolutely all the hardware of the computer, including internal and external components — from sound cards and disk drives to monitors and printers.

You can open the utility from the System Information window by clicking Device Manager in the sidebar. All components here are grouped into categories and are opened by clicking on them. Clicking on a specific element opens all the data about it. nine0003

3. Dxdiag

This diagnostic tool is also included with Windows. It will show in great detail all the information about the system and computer components: model, number of processor cores, amount of RAM, type of graphics adapter, and much more.

To view this data, simply press the Win + R key combination, type dxdiag and click OK or Enter.

4. Speccy

A free application specially designed for viewing PC configuration. Speccy will clearly and in detail show information about the processor, memory, video adapter and other computer components. The data here will be much more complete than in the built-in utilities. And they are displayed much more conveniently. nine0003

Install the program from the link and run it. The home screen will show a compact summary of the main features. Through the side menu, you can view more detailed information about each of the devices.

Download Speccy →

How to find out the characteristics of a computer with macOS

1. About this Mac then choose About This Mac. In the window that opens, key information will be displayed with the macOS version, model name, as well as the type of processor, amount of RAM and video card. nine0003

2. System Report

If the previous information is not enough, click the System Report button in the About This Mac window. You will see the most detailed report with all possible details about the components of the computer.

3. Mactracker

Another handy option is Mactracker. This is a whole encyclopedia, which contains detailed information about all Apple products in the history of the company. Computers, laptops, mobile devices, software — you can find everything here. nine0003

To view the specifications of your Mac, select This Mac from the sidebar. In the product window, information is categorized and displayed on the corresponding tabs.

The only downside is that Mactracker does not analyze equipment, but takes data from the catalog and shows only standard models. Therefore, if you upgraded, say, memory or storage, this will not be reflected in the summary.

How to find out the characteristics of a Linux computer

1. HardInfo utility

On computers running Linux, it is convenient to view hardware parameters through the HardInfo utility. It clearly displays information about all installed components — from the processor and video card to expansion cards and USB.

HardInfo is included with most distributions and is displayed under the name System Information and Testing (in the Administration menu). If the utility is not present, it can be installed using the terminal command sudo apt-get install hardinfo .

2. The lshw command

For those who are used to using the command line, we can recommend the lshw utility, which displays a huge amount of information about the installed hardware and allows you to find out the characteristics of the computer. As a rule, it is included in distributions, but if it is not there, then you can fix it with the command sudo apt-get install lshw .

To run the utility, just enter sudo lshw in the terminal and confirm the action by entering the administrator password. For a more concise and convenient presentation, it is better to add parameter -short , that is, use this command: sudo lshw -short .

Read also 🔧💻🖥

  • How to Overclock RAM: A Comprehensive Guide
  • How to Overclock Your CPU Without Harming Your Computer
  • How to safely overclock a video card
  • How to choose a laptop and not miscalculate
  • How to find out which motherboard is installed on your computer

why is this happening and what can be done?

A modern telephone is a complex technical device, sometimes in no way inferior to an ordinary computer. Under the plastic or metal case hides a powerful processor that performs the most complex tasks. During its operation, thermal energy is inevitably released, so the phone inevitably heats up. And the more complex tasks the user sets in front of the phone, the more the device heats up. nine0003

In most cases, a phone that heats up during operation should not bother the owner. Device manufacturers taught physics and made sure that the inevitably released thermal energy could not damage the technical stuffing of the gadget. It is constant overheating that is dangerous - when the phone heats up to a temperature of 50-70 degrees, this happens often and no longer has a direct relationship with the use of the phone.

The weakest link is the battery. Lithium - one of its constituent parts - is a very active metal with a low melting point. For such batteries, the upper operating temperature is 60 degrees. It is detrimental to him to constantly stay in conditions where the temperature around is elevated. At first it will discharge faster, then it may stop working altogether. When storing the battery at a temperature of 50 degrees, the degradation of capacity, according to researchers, increases six times. nine0003

In second place is the display matrix, it can also fail, or its individual sections can be damaged.

The very same details of the processor, the motherboard is most often able to operate at a temperature of 70-85 degrees. A slight overheating due to work, long conversations cannot harm them, but if the phone heats up to such a temperature, this is already a reason to run to a service center.

The phone heats up when talking

The smartphone has a transmitter that is responsible for communication. When talking, it works continuously, so the device heats up. He has to constantly exchange data, both for reception and for transmission. And the longer the conversation lasts, the hotter the phone gets. If the connection is not very good, for example, you are in a country house or in a forest, it will need more power to “reach out” to the tower, which means that the phone will turn into a burning brick even faster. nine0003

What to do?

There is nothing to worry about, however, it is worth remembering: an overheating phone increases the radiation. When talking, you keep it next to your head - this can negatively affect your health. It is recommended to use a headset or reduce the talk time. After a long conversation, the phone should be allowed to “cool down” without using it for some time.

The phone heats up when charging

The reason may be the use of the wrong charger: non-original, out of order. In this case, the phone may be supplied with more voltage than it needs, and some microcircuit will have to extinguish the excess, hence the heating occurs. nine0003

What to do?

Use the original adapter purchased in the salon to charge your smartphone. The cost savings is a possible battery replacement that may be required, and this is not too cheap. Try not to use the phone while charging, and even more so not to load heavy files at this moment, do not turn on games.

The phone is heating up due to background applications

The biggest worry among phone owners is when their gadget starts to heat up for no apparent reason. It seems that the phone is lying idle on the table, but nevertheless, the temperature of the device rises and after some time it is impossible to pick it up and not get burned. The thing is that a modern smartphone can live an active life without human intervention. For example, in a moving train, it will constantly check the network, and this is the continuous operation of the transmitter. At rest, the phone constantly connects to the network to check incoming messages in instant messengers, download weather widgets, updates. If you have a large number of applications running in the background, then the phone almost never rests. nine0003

What to do?

Use any program that allows you to clear the RAM of your smartphone. In most versions of Android, this can be done with the utilities available. However, third-party programs allow you to better find all running processes and stop unnecessary ones. And also get into the habit of “cleaning up” your smartphone more often: don’t leave 100 open tabs in your browser, close applications that you no longer use, and don’t just minimize them. nine0003

The phone heats up when playing games

Also a standard situation, especially when it comes to complex games with good graphics. To run such applications, you need all the power of the processor, which works in full, which means it heats up more than usual. Too much overheating indicates that your device "does not pull" this or that application.

What to do?

If the smartphone is not powerful enough, do not try to run too heavy games on it. Take breaks from heavy use by turning off all apps completely and allowing your smartphone to cool down. If you are uploading heavy files, pause the process. You should not play in stuffy public transport or, for example, in the heat on the beach. A combination of several reasons can lead to overheating. nine0003 In most cases, a phone that heats up during operation should not bother the owner. Photo:

Phone gets hot due to WI-FI, Bluetooth, 3G

If you have all the data transfer technologies running all the time, as well as the GPS sensor, don't be surprised if your phone is constantly overheating. Of course, these are not so big "degrees", but all simultaneously running modules can collectively lead to overheating.

What to do?

Turn off the constant search for WI-FI, do not leave the navigation module on all the time, especially if you are not driving and driving on the navigator right now. When you use wireless internet, turn off your mobile internet. Also turn it off in a train or plane - when there is no network, the transmitter does not calm down for almost a minute, trying to "reach out" to the transmitting tower. And not only makes the phone warm, but also drains the battery. nine0003

The phone is heating up due to program errors

Poorly designed applications do not use the resources of the operating system well enough. As a result, they send the wrong commands to the technical part of the smartphone, which reacts incorrectly to them, and, trying to figure out the confusing instructions, the processor starts to work unnecessarily hard.

What to do?

Find out which program is causing the overheating and remove it. Update the programs installed on the gadget, as developers constantly “fix” errors. In general, try not to keep extra and unused programs in stock. This will save space and prevent your phone from getting hot. nine0003

The smartphone heats up when watching a movie

This is especially inconvenient if you have to hold the phone while watching a movie. Most often, a movie cannot cause a phone to overheat, then the increase in temperature that occurs will not harm the gadget, so there is no reason to worry.

What to do?

It is normal for the device to become warm during active use. If you are going to watch an hour-long movie, for example, on a plane or train, think about how to fix the gadget. It is best to make a stand on which it will be in an upright position. Take breaks. Turn off running modules, including mobile Internet, stop downloading heavy files. nine0003

The phone is basking in the sun, in the pocket

A modern person is nowhere without a phone. True, it is worth remembering that in some conditions it is still not recommended to use the technique. The cause of overheating of the phone can be the banal effect of high temperatures. If you read a book on a smartphone on the beach, it will definitely heat up. If you put it in a cramped pocket and get stuck in a stuffy bus for an hour, get ready for dangerous heat. Especially if at this time, for example, the device is downloading a heavy movie, or actively checking instant messengers. nine0003

What to do?

Take a paper book with you to the beach. Do not leave your phone in direct sunlight. If you put your device in your bag at the beach or at a picnic, don't leave it upstairs, better bury it deeper. Set the screen to auto-lock so that the camera, call, and other applications do not accidentally start in your pocket. It is better to hold the phone in your hands if you put heavy files on download.

Phone gets hot due to case

Yes, the wrong case can cause your phone to overheat. If you actively use the phone: play, talk for a long time, watch a long movie, it is better to remove the cover so that the case cools down faster. In general, a case that is too tight can be the cause of problems. nine0003

What to do?

Change the "clothing" of the phone. A good option is silicone cases. They leave enough space for cooling the gadget. Remove the case if you use your smartphone to its fullest.

Overheating due to problems with the operating system

Often the phone starts to heat up due to garbage accumulated in the operating system. These are “hovsticks” of remote programs, a cache of running applications, copies of all the photos and videos that have ever been downloaded saved on the device. With such a background in the RAM, the device starts to boot longer, search for the necessary information longer, work more slowly and warm up more. nine0003

What to do?

First, look under "Settings - About" to see if your phone has been updated to the latest version of available software.