Just a few days ago, Intel announced a major change in its naming scheme starting from Meteor Lake. Apparently, the 14th generation will be the last lineup from Intel to feature the iconic ‘i’ branding. From now on, processors shall be named Core / Core Ultra Processor 3,5,7,9 and so on.
Difference Between Core & Core Ultra
Over at bilibili, Intel Gaming shared a slide that cleared a lot of misconceptions regarding Intel’s new lineup. To be completely honest, we were also taken aback by these changes and had to go back and forth many times to reconfirm things. The actual slide is in Chinese, though it is officially from Intel.
Due to the nature of the image’s orientation, we have cut a few portions for clarity. Those interested can find the full image at bilibili.
So Alder Lake and Raptor Lake will not be the last to follow Intel’s good old ‘i’ naming scheme. Raptor Lake refresh, which is set to arrive later this year will be presented to consumers as the 14th generation of Intel Core CPUs. The same goes for the high-end ‘HX‘ series of mobile CPUs featuring the same architecture.
However, Raptor Lake U series processors, which as the name suggests should utilize Raptor Lake’s microarchitecture will be the first generation of Intel Core CPUs. Intel plans to launch the high-end HX refresh as the 14th generation. On the flip side, the low-end U series SKUs will fall under the category of 1st generation Intel Core CPUs.
Making matters worse (for consumers), the Core Ultra branding has been saved for actual 14th Gen or Meteor Lake CPUs. To put things shortly;
- Alder Lake-S/Raptor Lake-S = 12th Generation / 13th Generation of Intel Core CPUs (With the ‘i’)
- RPLR-S/RPLR-HX = 14th Generation of Intel Core CPUs (With the ‘i’)
- RPLR-U = First Generation of Intel Core Processors (Without the ‘i’)
- Meteor Lake = First Generation of Intel Core Ultra Processors (Without the ‘i’)
(Here RPLR=Raptor Lake Refresh) (To make things even more simplified, the names on the right highlight the architecture)
How Intel’s Naming Scheme Will Affect You
Before we summarize things, here are a few examples given by Intel itself. Basically, if you’re looking for a Meteor Lake CPU based on Foveros, Intel 4 and the Redwood Cove P-Core architecture, look no further than the Intel Core Ultra Processors set to launch later this year.
From what we can see, Intel will find itself in a tight space with this naming scheme. On one hand, we thought that all CPUs under the umbrella of Core Processors will be based on Meteor Lake, however, that’s not the case. All in all, users should remain aware of which processor they purchase as a small ‘Ultra’ can have a huge performance/efficiency penalty.