June 15 2023 Earlier we reported this as a leak, but Intel has now confirmed that it is indeed dropping the ‘i’ from its CPU brand names.
Intel has confirmed that it’s dropping the ‘i’ from future Core CPU names, in a big shakeup of its CPU branding. Rumors had already circulated that Intel was considering a move to replace Core i with Core Ultra, but the company has now officially revealed a two-tier branding structure, where some CPUs will have the Intel Core Ultra brand, while others don’t.
Caitlin Anderson, Intel vice president and general manager of Client Computing Group Sales, said that Intel was making the move ‘to better align with our product strategies. Adding that ‘we are introducing a branding structure that will help PC buyers better differentiate the best of our latest technology and our mainstream offerings.’
The first tier is for mainstream desktop CPUs. There are three brands here, called Core 3, Core 5, and Core 7. The naming structure for these CPUs will be ‘Core 5 processor ##xx’, where ‘##xx’ will be the model number.
The next range is the previously-rumored Intel Core Ultra brand lineup, which looks set to be Intel’s premium CPU range for enthusiasts. There’s no Core 3 option here, with this range spanning the Core 5 Ultra, Core 7 Ultra, and Core 9 Ultra brands. Again, the naming structure will be ‘Core Ultra 7 processor ##xx.’
It’s not clear what distinguishes the brands at the moment, but our prediction is that the Core Ultra CPUs will have unlocked multipliers for overclockers, and higher boost clocks than the equivalent Core CPUs. This would mirror Intel’s current approach, where unlocked CPUs have a ‘K’ in their model name – there are no current K-series Core i3 CPUs, but there are unlocked CPUs in the Core i5, i7 and i9 ranges.
In addition, Intel also says that it will no longer use ‘generational messaging’ such as ’14th-gen’ when marketing the new CPUs, but that the generation number will still be present in the model number. This makes sense, as at the moment Intel’s numbered generations often contain different CPU architectures. The Core i5-13400F, for example, is based on Alder Lake stepping, and Intel’s Tiger Lake mobile CPUs had the same 11th-gen umbrella as the company’s vastly different Rocket Lake desktop CPUs.
It looks as though we’ll see the first Core Ultra-branded chips in the second half of 2023. Intel’s press deck doesn’t explicitly state which CPU architecture they will use, but rumors currently point to Intel releasing a Raptor Lake refresh later this year, which will use the LGA1700 socket, and support both DDR4 and DDR5 memory, with the forthcoming Meteor Lake architecture delayed until next year.
However, Intel has specified that the non-Ultra Core range is due to launch with Meteor Lake, meaning they’re unlikely to launch until next year. If you’re looking to buy a new CPU in the meantime, make sure you read our guide to the best gaming CPU, where we run you through the best options, whatever your needs and budget. One of our favorites from Intel’s current Raptor Lake lineup is the Core i5-13600K, which is fast and affordable, plus you can overclock the Core i5-13600K as well.
If you’re looking to buy a new CPU in the meantime, make sure you read our guide to the best gaming CPU, where we run you through the best options, whatever your needs and budget. One of our favorites from Intel’s current Raptor Lake lineup is the Core i5-13600K, which is fast and, plus you can overclock the Core i5-13600K as well.
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