Intel’s New Brand Structure Explained

Over the last year or so, Intel has been quietly working behind the scenes taking a hard look at our brand structure and exploring ways to make it more rational and easier to understand. The fact of the matter is, we have a complex structure with too many platform brands, product names, and product brands, and we’ve made things confusing for consumers and IT buyers in the process.

All that is about to change. Or at least, we begin a process of change that will evolve over time. Here’s what to expect:

1) First and foremost we’ve created a structure that leads with Intel. It seems simple, but we’ve lost some of this connection and we need to remind people who we are and what we make possible. This is the backdrop for our latest ad campaign, Sponsors of Tommorrow. As Silicon Valley historian and author Michael Malone  recently wrote, “…what happens upstream in the world of chips sets the pace for everything that happens downstream in computers, smart phones, videogames, servers and, ultimately, in social networks, Google, Twitter, Facebook, etc.”

2) Secondly, we are focusing our strategy around a primary ‘hero’ client brand which is Intel® Core™. Today the Intel Core brand has a mind boggling array of derivatives (such as Core™2 Duo and Core 2 Quad, etc). Over time those will go away and in its place will be a simplified family of Core processors spanning multiple levels: Intel® Core™ i3 processor, Intel® Core™ i5 processor, and Intel® Core™ i7 processors. Core i3 and Core i5 are new modifiers and join the previously announced Intel Core i7 to round out the family structure. It is important to note that these are not brands but modifiers to the Intel Core brand that signal different features and benefits. For example, upcoming processors such as Lynnfield (desktop) will carry the Intel Core brand, but will be available as either Intel Core i5 or Intel Core i7 depending upon the feature set and capability. Clarksfield (mobile) will have the Intel Core i7 name.

So the key here is there will be a range of features and capabilities within the Intel Core family - our flagship brand representing the highest performance and the latest technology  -  but simplified into entry-level (Intel Core i3), mid-level (Intel Core i5), and high-level (Intel Core i7).  We will still have Celeron for entry-level computing at affordable price points, Pentium for basic computing, and of course the Intel® Atom™ processor for all these new devices ranging from netbooks to smartphones. For PC purchasing, think in terms of good-better-best with Celeron being good, Pentium better, and the Intel Core family representing the best we have to offer. 

3) Lastly, we are changing and transitioning some of the platform brands. Intel vPro technology continues to stand for best in class security and manageability and will henceforth be paired with Intel Core in either Core i5 or Core i7 iterations. Again this wont happen overnight, but beginning next year Intel business client systems will carry either the Intel Core i7 vPro processor or the Intel Core i5 vPro processor name. With this focus on Intel Core, the Centrino processor technology brand will be retired for PCs beginning next year. However, Centrino has tremendous equity as a wireless technology, so we will transition the name to our Wi-Fi and WiMAX products beginning in 2010.

This will be an evolutionary process taking place over time, and we acknowledge that multiple brands will be in the market next year inclduing older ones, as we make the transition. But overall this is a good thing, designed to make it easier and more rational over the long run. Interested in hearing any feedback or comments from readers here. For more information, including a brief interview on all this with Intel vice president an director Corporate Marketing Deborah Conrad see here.

 

 

94 Responses to Intel’s New Brand Structure Explained

  1. Ternest says:

    Intel is making a very large mistake, by allowing it’s marketing people to take the name of a processor family, series, or sequence, and recast it as a marketing term.
    The phrase “primary ‘hero’ client brand” itself just reeks of insider, Business School, group-speak…
    If “the the Intel Core brand has a mind boggling array of derivatives”, does Intel really think it’s bringing clarity to
    the confused public by the dual use of the term: “Core i(n)” ?
    Intel will instead be dilluting whatever “mind-share” the “Core i(n)” branding has achived until now; not only with the public, but with OEMs, reviewers, and other technical “opinion drivers”.
    The economy is difficult for everyone right now. Does Intel really want to start morphing the terminology relating to its products, a few months before a major product launch?
    Do I really need to remind the above marketing folks about the late Microsoft Vista/Intel requirements fiasco?

  2. Riley says:

    I completely agree with you Ternest.
    I don’t think they could possibly cram any more marketing doublespeak into this press release disguised as a blog post. All that these ‘brands’, ‘modifiers’ and ‘feature sets’ do is confuse and distance customers from Intel’s products.
    You’d really be better off using your codenames. At least customers would have some idea of what they are getting. A Lynnfield processor is a Lynnfield processor. Who knows what on earth a Intel(R) Core(TM) i7(TM) vPro(TM)-950 processor really is. Every time I see one of these stupid marketing names, I have to go wade through Wikipedia or Intel’s site to figure out what on earth I’m getting.
    Stop going to marketing retreats looking for new ways to increase your marketing synergy and instead go out and talk to some of your real world customers.

  3. Deborah Conrad says:

    As I have read today’s posts, I thought it time to clarify a few things, since I am responsible for marketing and branding at Intel.
    First, an important clarification. We are not going to have a line up of names for each derivative, for example a Core i(n) for every flavor of processor. Instead, there will be just three – Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7. And in each, there will be a few versions, but a consumer won’t need to see that level of detail (unless they elect to, of course).
    The fact is that the new approach is about putting it all back on “Core” as the processor family name, just as suggested. That’s really the most important part of this effort. Right now we have so many variants, with names that are confusing (Duo, Quad, etc), that moving to a simple “good, better, best” approach makes the most sense.
    There is no “easy” way out. We have a lot of products in the market today, with a whole new line up coming out. We can’t change the names of products that are out there, but we can change the pattern of naming moving forward, and make it intuitive, which is what we did.

  4. Peter says:

    Uhh… a product name is a marketing term. Would you rather they use internal architecture names like westmere, clarkdale, allendale, etc etc? That would be even more confusing to most people.
    To me, the ‘mistake’ is selectively enabling/disabling non-performance features (like AES, Vpro, TXT…) within the same product line. ie, I would expect ALL i5 products to either have or not have each of these features. OR, differentiate with a LETTER like Core i5 750 vs 750B. Maybe include ‘business’ features like Vpro in the “B” version.
    I’m sure this is how they will do the graphics vs no-graphcs differentiation, should extend it to other ‘features’ I hate how some of the Core 2 parts randomly don’t have VT enabled, for example the E6850 does, the E7200 doesn’t. And worse, with the E7400 you get VT on SOME SKUs and not others…

  5. steven says:

    So basically the structure is:
    Celeron = good
    Pentium = better
    Core = best
    Core i3 = best, good
    Core i5 = best, better
    Core i7 = best, best
    Because that’s really clear! Good job marketing. Bring back the people who gave us Pentium, Pentium 2, Pentium 3, etc…at least then we new which one was newer.

  6. UserOfComputers says:

    Speaking of naming conventions, what exactly IS a vPro? (Yes, I’ve read the Intel web page on it – that doesn’t really tell me anything.) Is it a set of instructions on the processor? Is it something in the chipset? Is it software (thus requiring a specific OS or application)? You tell me what it does – sort of. But you don’t tell me anything about how it does it! So to me, it’s nothing more than a marketing term.
    Note: On p.6 of the vPro white paper, you list a set of technologies that are apparently required for the vPro label to be applied to a PC. One requirement is Integrated support for 64 bit graphics. Does that mean that a PC no longer provides the benefits you list if it has a discrete graphics card? You list a specific Intel network interface. Does that mean that a PC lacks that functionality if it uses, say, a Netgear ethernet card (even one that can perform Wake-on-LAN)? Some of the requirements imply Windows only support. Does your technology not work if the system runs Linux? But other requirements imply support even with no OS running!
    Also, why not call the assortment of technologies you’ve lumped in here Intel Security and Management Technology, or something else like that that actually indicates what it does. The word vPro is seriously bland, non-descriptive, and has about as much excitement to it as a beige box…

  7. John says:

    “Right now we have so many variants, with names that are confusing (Duo, Quad, etc), that moving to a simple“good, better, best” approach makes the most sense.”
    That’s nonsense. I buy a Core 2 Duo, I’m getting a 2 core processor made out of Core 2. Usually the clock speed is advertised as well. I buy a Core i5 who knows what the hell I’m getting except maybe Intel marketing.
    And why 3-5-7 ? Why not 1-2-3 ? What’s “good” in the “good-better-best” triarch ? what’re the features “good” has as opposed to “better” ?
    This is an idiotic marketing move that just confuses things and you know it.

  8. Andrew says:

    Hi Deborah,
    Core 2 duo, Core 2 Quad, Dual Core
    The part which confuse consumer is
    “Core 2″, “Dual Core”
    with duo and quad, we know if the processor has n core
    so what is 3,5,7 means ?
    why 3 is good, why 5 is better, why 7 is best
    btw,
    celeron is cheap
    pentium is standard
    and core ? huh, pentium=core aka standard

  9. UserOfComputers says:

    On the Core i(n) branding – Please bring back clock speeds. I realize that the clock speed often decreases when you make an architectural change. But using the current scheme, I have to figure out which model I’m looking at, then go to wikipedia and try to map that model to a clock speed and bus speed. It’s hard enough on Apple’s site, where they tell you you will get a Xeon 5500 series processor (for example). But try going to Dell’s site, where you may have 15 processor options, with each workstation option listed by some variant of an Intel model number. Or try to figure out what a Core 960 really is. I have to go look it up and compare it to other Core x’s and AMD y’s.
    How about Core i7/2.6 or Corei7 2666 or something to indicate a 2.6 GHz Core i7?
    Also, the Pentium and Celeron brands really should die at this point. When I think Pentium, I think outdated technology from many processor generations ago. I think of the hot and power hungry P4s I still have, or the original Pentium I was using in 1996. When I think of Celeron, I think of crippled Pentiums (or sometimes celery – I don’t think of celerity, which was the source of the original derivation of the name.) I don’t pay enough attention to it to know if you are using a crippled Core architecture core in your Pentiums, or if the really are old Netburst architecture chips, but I don’t feel like it is something I would want to buy. If you gave it a new name, at least I might know that I was buying something (hopefully) distinct from those old and hot machines.

  10. matthews says:

    Its got x cores it’s clocked at y gigahertz and has z on-chip memory but what is it’s real performance. could we tack on some numbers with some meaning like flops/watts

  11. WorknMan says:

    @Deborah
    I have to agree with others – why 3-5-7? Why not 9-10-11? Or peanutbutter-jelly-mayo? Want to know what 3/5/7 means to me? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!!!
    I mean, how do you come up with those seemingly random letters/numbers? Do a bunch of you marketing folk sit in a boardroom somewhere, spark up a huge joint, and *pffffffffft* “yeah man…. i7…. that’s the sh*t!!!”
    Even if i3/i5/i7 were somehow comprehendable as good/better/best, it still doesn’t make a lot of sense because you STILL HAVE AT LEAST TWO OTHER BRANDS!!! So I assume that Pentium = average and Celeron = piss poor? And that’s not even including the Atom processor and your mobile stuff.
    At least you guys aren’t as bad at this as nVidia, but that’s not really saying much.
    Listen, if any of the big wigs at Intel are reading this, send me an email. If you hire me, I bet I could do this better than the clowns you’re currently employing, and at half the pay.

  12. numair says:

    I don’t agree with deborah that re-branding this way would make things easier as initially intel always brings out new ‘strategy to make it simple’, yet a year or two down the road they add so many words and numbers back to it which makes things even more confusing as people have to adapt to new ‘branding’. for example, pentium changed older 286 386 486 (sx, dx etc) series then came pentium then pentium then pro pro2 pentium mmx mmx pro then pentium 1,2,3 and 4, followed by core series then more words and numbers got added to it as duo core 2 duo, quad, centrino and centrino 2.
    core i3, i5 and i7 will have the same fate with each year i3 would have i3i or v pro or 750i or 890 v-max or something.
    when people go to buy in a shop the simple would mean coming out with a1 or b1 or c1 as the start for a new line-up to make things simpler. they do not care if i3 or i5 and i7 are the cores or architectural names for a product as they would still ask what is i5.
    1. give a simple name like thompson1 or a1 for a basic model with newer models coming out with a newer number just like cars accord stays accord only model no. changes.
    2. do not compromise with features with in the series.
    for example, it’s ok to have series A different from series B or whatever you want to name it but don’t have a model a2 having some extra features over a1 and a3 having some features of a1 and some of a2 on the basis that a3 is business oriented a1 home users and a2 is for professionals. each should be represented by a different name or initial for example series-A1 for home users and series-P for professionals and series-B for business and have progressive models denoted by numbers 2, 3 and 4 and so on for added features and updates. that way you can bring out more series to target more segments like series-C for camera meand Photographers and series-D for designers and series-S for security industry and series-M for medical and so on and so forth to make them understand that what computer comes with what for each segment rather than making people to ask salesmen to what it means and most of the still not knowing salesmen sell them what they have more in supply or what category they have more in stock.
    intel should think it from consumer’s perspective for buying a particular machine as well as from business perspective rather than just the latter.
    I think that is what means ‘keeping it simple’.

  13. Tom says:

    is Intel trying to copy BMW? with their i3, i5, i7 corresponding to 3-series, 5-series, 7-series. So Atom=Mini Cooper, Celeron=1-series, Pentium=Z-series, Extreme Editions=M-series, Xeon=X-series?

  14. Joshua says:

    Those of us that actually shop for a processor (rather not just a prebuilt PC) want to know something about its vital specs at a glance.
    Up until Core 2 that was mostly possible. This proposed change would seem to make the problem worse.
    How about instead of a 4 digit number, give each unit a 5 letter/number suffix that tells me
    hardware revision/generation, number of processor cores, memory bus speed, and cache size.(or something similar)
    If I can tell at a glance what it is, and you do this consistently across product lines, you can call it whatever you want, and we’ll be happy

  15. Colin says:

    I can see how replacing the confusing mess of “Core 2 Duo T6400″ with “Core i7″ could make things easier for the typical consumer when browsing the laptops at bestbuy.
    However, what’s probably going to happen is the listings will feature something like “Core i7 T6400″ and the customer will again face a confusing array of overlapping product lines and need to dig into the details to determine what the processor actually entails.
    Please try to make the product numbers actually comparable and useful even for people that don’t have the Intel product charts memorized. I mean, today on a given Best Buy laptop page there’s T3400, SU2700, T5550, T6400, SU9400, P8600, SP9400… and of course the number has absolutely no bearing on performance. Please sort all that out. You should never, ever have the situation where a processor with a 9400 number is slower than one with a 6400 number. Make the number a combination of power efficiency and performance if you must, but make the two parts distinguishable.

  16. David says:

    Ridiculous.
    You’ve renamed Core 2 Duo to Core i3
    And renamed Core 2 Quad to Core i5
    THAT IS ALL YOU HAVE DONE!
    You haven’t rationalized any names at all !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    What spin.
    So now it is Atom, Celeron, Pentium, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7 PLUS a model number. All of us are tech heads and we find this confusing enough. How do you expect Aunt Susan to work this out?

  17. Tiburon says:

    Guy’s, we all know that Intel is responsible for making really good chips, and that all their money goes into R&D and manufacturing. There’s simply no real budget left over for good marketing. Why do you think they just rounded up a bunch of employees to do their recent commercials and sing their “bim bam bom bum” jingle?
    Wasn’t it also Moore’s law that said that the confusion surrounding Intel’s branding doubles approximately every two years?
    Yes, this is Intel being true to itself, and that is what more companies should be doing these days.
    I think that the Core hero Idea is excellent. Core i3/5/7 is as easy as 1/2/3 but it’s 2(n)+1 times better and it tells me exactly what I need to know when I go shopping for processors, that 5 is two better than 3 but two less than 7, and that 7 is four better than 3, but could be the same as 5 if they both have discrete graphics running vPro and have a stamp of Paul Otellini’s face on their tops. If Paul’s face is frowning however, that means you got a celeron, and you can put some peanut butter on it for a tasty snack, because it certainly wont power a modern day computer.

  18. FrustratED says:

    Agree with the meaningless of all of the above. I would rather know:
    * how many cores?
    * how fast?
    * how much cache?
    Why not something like 4-28-1-4
    meaning 4 core, 2.8GHz, 1M cache / core, 4M cache / chip.
    I was annoyed by HyperThreading when it sorta meant two cores or was that CPU’s?
    i3/5/7 etc is fine for consumers, but prosumers lead the charge into each new generation of product.
    Please don’t off-side us.

  19. Mick Russom says:

    This new marketing stinks. I miss the old days where things were CPU-level and Frequency.
    Then came the stupid DX2/DX4, then came even stupider crap like Pentium Pro, one of my favorite processors, but holy moly the naming stinks.
    Think about how Mercedes or BMW does models, seems far more straightforward to me.
    Anyways, this has to be some of the worst marketing ever. VIIV- stupid. (haha, its 64 bit in roman numerals – lame).
    Names of processors, lame. Xeon, lame.
    I have to search on spec.org to find the fastest CPUs since nothing in Intel marketing branding land will give a clue.
    Also, NO ECC on processors, like the i7, is a criminal. Not putting ECC should make intel liable for all damages that are caused by computersystems faulting on single bit errors. I cant believe ECC isnt everywhere now, and Intel is being rude to not put it in there, especially in the core i7 extreme.
    If your PC isnt ECC, it doesnt work. Sorry, no, it doesnt work. You cant PROVE otherwise.

  20. Numair says:

    To my Earlier Comments–
    I don’t agree with deborah that re-branding with i3 i5 and i7 would make things easier as intel always comes out with ‘a new strategy to make it simple’, yet a year or two down the road they add so many words and numbers to it and makes things more confusing and people have to adapt to new ‘branding’AGAIN. For example, pentium was great when it changed older 286 386 486 (sx, dx etc) series to pentium, then came pentium pro, pro2, pentium-mmx, mmx-pro then pentium 1,2,3 and 4,
    Now we have the core series and additional words and numbers got added to it as core duo, core 2 duo, quad, centrino and centrino 2 (which i understand are different to each other).
    Core i3, i5 and i7 will have the same fate with each year i3 would have i3i or v pro or 750i or 890 v-max or something.
    Thinking from the customer’s viewpoint, when people go to buy in a shop the simple would mean ‘keeping it simple’. For example, A, B or C. Start the lineup with an Alphabet or a Word. Most of them do not care if i3 or i5 and i7 are the cores or architectural names for a product as they would still ask what is i5 in terms of Clock Speed, Hard drive and Graphic Cards.
    Some foolish tips:
    1. give a simple name like Alpha-1, Beta-1, or thompson-1 or an Initial letter denoted by number 1 (A-1, B-1) for the 1st and 2,3,4 for subsequent updates to the series-A but keep the same specification in one-series.
    2. Do not compromise with features with in the series. for example, it’s ok to have series A different from series B for specification differences or whatever you want to name it but don’t have a model A-2 having some extra features over A-1 and A-3 having best of both.
    3. You can have
    H- Home users
    P- Professionals
    B- Business
    A- Architects and so on…
    Intel would ship out i7 for example, i7 then it becomes i7i then i7i-2 and i7i-plus comes out with 1 extra feature and each extra feature comes out with a different word such as pro, ultra and Xtreme (all those models in one series and i5 and i3 would have same line-ups) until it’s time to ‘re-brand again’.
    Think what the consumer’s want or is simpler to understand and add business perspective to it rather than just business and keep changing the ‘branding’.
    I think that is what means ‘keeping it simple’.

  21. Andy says:

    “…we have a complex structure with too many platform brands, product names, and product brands, and we’ve made things confusing for consumers and IT buyers in the process.”
    How is that a ‘marketing’ problem? Isn’t that a strategic and executive management problem, a lack of clear vision, and and an unbelievably poor understanding of your customers?
    What we always want to know, so that when we purchase, or recommend what to purchase to our friends and family is exactly this:
    1. how much does it cost?
    2. how fast is it?
    3. how much power does it use?
    4. how much heat does it generate?
    We truly don’t care nor understand Viiv nor Vpro or other bizarre ilk that cannot be written in one sentence.
    We came to understand, for example, that a Pentium had certain capabilities for a certain price. Celeron lacks capabilities for a certain price. Centrino meant low power CPU and a platform with built-in 802.11 support.
    “Extreme” means fastest, most expensive, and most power hungry. Xeon means “server features” that cost a premium but you can have more than one socket on a board. Atom means inexpensive laptop.
    Core, Core 2, Core 2 Duo, none of that means anything to us because it takes Wikipedia articles and datasheets to figure out actual performance and power characteristics. And that information is *exactly* what we need to know to recommend which product to buy to our friends and families and IT guys and VP’s.
    It continues to amaze me how little Intel marketing has actually learned since it took the helm at the company…

  22. Nicholas Voorsanger says:

    For all of Intel’s improvements on the engineering side of the microprocessor business (particularly some spectacular performance gains with the Nehalem microarchitecture), the marketing division really needs some work. As a worker at a local computer repair shop, I meet people every day that run the gamut of computer hardware/software literacy. Most of the people will have no idea what to make of this move. Most of Intel’s marketing success is due to the fact that they have completely saturated the market, and people are familiar with the brand. In all honesty, however, AMD has better branding with its latest series of CPU’s based on the Deneb microarchitecture.
    There are two brands: Phenom II, and Athlon II. People won’t mind the fact that they have the same name as earlier products – they are used to the days of numeric suffixes, with Pentiums 1 thru 4. Phenom II branded parts have L3 Cache, and Athlon II parts do not; this is similar to the differences between the old Pentiums and Celerons, which denoted the consumer differences in performance that would not otherwise be intuitive based on specifications such as frequencies.
    With modern processors, multiple cores are now present, which is an added complication that the consumer will live with in the same way they lived with MHz and GHz, and MB and GB, units which, beyond computers, are meaningless to them. The number of core, along with the frequencies at which those cores operate, are determining factors in performance, and thus have to be represented in a product line’s model numbering system. AMD addresses this by adding redundant terminology, with Phenom/Athlon II X2, X3, and X4 implemented as a suffixes to the product generation, and model numbers that go more in detail. The Phenom II series (with L3 Cache), has the 9xx for X4s with all four cores and all L3 Cache enabled, 8xx for X4s with all four cores active and a segment of its L3 Cache disabled, 7xx for X3s with one core disabled and all L3 Cache enabled, and 5xx for X2s with 2 cores disabled and all L3 Cache enabled. The Athlon II series has the 6xx for the X4s with all four cores enabled, 4xx with one core disabled, and the 2xx with a native dual core design and a larger L2 Cache made practical by die space saved by removing two cores from the design. Two digits are saved at the end of the model number to denote frequencies, and an -e suffix denotes low-TDP models. Black Edition is added to models with unlocked multipliers, and while this does imply a certain exclusivity it does not have the same connotation of better performance as “Extreme Edition” branding, which may be deceptive, like in the case of the Core i7 960 as compared to the Core i7 965 Extreme edition.
    I know that this winds up being a bit of a mouthful (Phenom/Athlon II X2/3/4 Nxx (-e) (Black Edition)), but after the explanation of the brand is over, there is very little chance about the consumer being unclear. This brings us to THE IMPORTANT PART OF BRANDING: consumer confidence [need I note sales numbers for Q1 2009] (*sorry about the all caps, I had to get your attention after a long rant of model names*). The vast majority of consumers (at least the hundreds I have dealt with over the years) would prefer clear branding conventions with frustratingly long product names to short, easy product names with unclear, confusing branding conventions. And I have to tell you, you’ve got the worst of both worlds.
    Having three different brands of varying ages (Core/Pentium/Celeron; Atom doesn’t really count, it is aimed at a completely different market), three subsets of one brand (i7/5/3), two markets for those brands (Desktop & Laptop), and three sockets (LGA 1366, LGA 1156, and mPGA-989), followed by a model number that denotes frequency, number of cores, and microarchitecture is not clear branding, and Core i7/5/3 does not roll off the tongue nicely (try saying it out loud). More than anything else, disorientation and confusion shake consumer confidence, and confusion is exactly what you get when I have to explain to a customer why they should upgrade their existing Pentium 4/D machine to a new Pentium [blank] for the best bang-for-their-buck, or when I explain why a Core iNmay be a better solution than “that other Core iN they’ve been seeing all those ads about.”
    I don’t think Intel will lose any significant (if any at all) market share to AMD over branding issues like this, but it stands to win sales with the sizable segment of consumers who are still running Netburst era solutions simply because they have no idea what to replace their machines with. The performance numbers I have seen so far from these products are quite impressive. This marketing strategy, however, is an abject failure. It is really a shame to see engineering like this dragged down by a marketing strategy that can’t do it justice. I can’t see re-branding being a major issue, as the Core i7 had a 1% market share as of mid-May, and the current branding leaves a lot to be desired. I don’t think poor marketing will overshadow the accomplishments of these new products, but it will keep them from living up to their full potential.

  23. UserOfComputers says:

    Ok, how about this: Break it into several names, one for each level of performance:
    Xeon, Extreme, Core, Pentium, Celeron (although Pentium and Celeron should probably be replaced with Snail and Amoeba…)
    Include the number of cores, and the clock speed. Example:
    Xeon 8 core 2.6 GHz
    Extreme 4 core 3.2 GHz
    etc.
    Easy, right? I know where it fits in the lineup, and what its speed is.
    But how do I distinguish cache levels? Or revisions? English works wonders:
    Xeon 8 Core 2.6 GHz 4 MB Cache 32 nm 150 Watt 2009 model
    That tells me everything I need to know without having to look anything up or decode model numbers. You can refer to it as a Xeon 8 2.6 GHz for short. Got 32 cores? It becomes a Xeon 32 3.6 GHz. Easy. I know what I’m getting.
    I think that an n digit code indicating the specs, as other readers have suggested, is a bad idea. You then have to know how to read the code.
    Core i(n) doesn’t tell me anything. What architecture does it have? How many cores? What clock speed? How much cache?

  24. Martin says:

    “Jun 17 | John said:
    And why 3-5-7 ? Why not 1-2-3 ? What’s “good” ”
    I think the Marketing guy that coined 3 series 5 series and 7 series BMW then moved to IBM and penned the 3000 series 5000 series and 7000 series Server Range has stopped at intel!

  25. Vijay says:

    Even if at these complains ever filter through to get into the brains behind the naming schemes, one thing is WAY overdue – killing off Celeron and Pentium brands. Come on, the names don’t refer to technologies and are only associated with old and unwanted hardware. What good is performance rating of “good” do for them? Be realistic and do the right thing. You are only fooling around with your consumers (customers and end-users alike). It’s not making life any better for anyone.

  26. Jonas B. says:

    It is a sure sign Intel is doing well when they have this much money to spend on incompetent marketing. Just hire one or two guys but make it good ones.

  27. Henry Royce says:

    Fiasco of marketing team is continuing for last 20 years and it won’t stop.
    Primary objective: confuse customers and try to sell everything (even obsoleted technologies) as new products with premium prices
    Secondary objective: hide all cpu features to non technical users, possible remove of intel spec finder for technical advanced users
    Celeron = obsoleted, handicapped, not usable by today standards
    Pentium = obsoleted, not usable by today standards
    Core = obsoleted, overpriced
    Core i3 = obsoleted, overpriced, missing features
    Core i5 = overpriced, low performer
    Core i7 = overpriced, sells as premium as it should be standard performer

  28. Jamie says:

    Deborah: I’m glad you’re reading these comments, and I hope you find them useful.
    Above all I’d like to see a range of names which allow me to easily compare between them, and see at a glance how many cores and what features they have (or have not).
    And don’t allow companies like Apple and Dell to make even them more confusing by hiding key information. Good luck trying to figure out how much L1/L2 cache their processors have without access to Wikipedia.

  29. Malcolm says:

    Sorry to pile on, but as an Intel customer (and shareholder) this makes me uneasy.
    I would hope the ultimate goal is to prevent a repeat of the embarassing fiasco where nobody knows if their chip can run Win7 XP Mode without a diagnostic tool. That is, the buyer will have realistic expectations of a chip at the time of purchase.
    Firstly, this is not a good-better-best (three level) strategy: it has five levels. My Dad can’t remember that many. If he can’t remember, he’s likely to walk away with the wrong chip (and be burned later: see XP Mode.) As simplifications go, it is inadequate.
    As others are pointing out, this appears to decouple factual information from branding even more than has been done so far (eg, how many cores does an i5 have?) We don’t really know this yet (until concrete models arrive.) Superficially, it appears to make shopping harder not easier, since most shoppers will want to know at least that much information.
    Adding a suffix for “vPro” etc adds more potential for confusion. Intel’s current lineup does not require any additional “differentiation.” It is currently so differentiated that one needs a Wikipedia printout to go shopping. This requires consolidation.
    With that in mind, get back to the spirit of this announcement:
    1. Good-better-best means three levels, not five. Levels need to be easily comparible by non-experts. It is far from obvious that i3 is better than Pentium. (Note that the differentation in the five level scheme is clearest for the most knowledgeable customers, and murkiest for the least knowledgeable.)
    2. Each level needs differentiated featureset (as others have pointed out.) Features need not be differentiated within each level (this would only repeat the XP Mode effect.)
    3. We need some basis to assess the difference in speed at each level which is easily comparable (ie., x>y implies x is faster than y.)
    4. Knowing the number of cores is probably essential information. This announcement is silent on how this can be handled. Since the number of cores available will shift in time, these cannot be aligned strongly with each level.
    From this, it seems like the best outcome would be:
    “Intel Core i5 4100″
    (where 4 is the number of cores and 100 is a speed rating.)
    There is a real need to simplify Intel’s branding. This announcement hasn’t really achieved that yet. Please, go back and ask your relatives about how they see Intel’s brands – see how many they can explain. I’m pretty sure most can’t explain five different layers with different featuresets, logical processors and speeds. There’s a _lot_ more consolidation needed here.

  30. Masood says:

    Intel Marketing Team:
    I understand your dilemma. Your processors’ speeds are not changing but their efficiency is…so how do you name it? But you must understand the consumer’s dilemma when having to pick between Intel processors with names that have no bearing on performance.
    Solution: Copy some other successful branding schemes.
    A bad example:
    Canon SD960 being faster than SD880.
    A good example:
    Kawasaki (make) Ninja (model) 650 (series) R (application i.e. R=road)
    Suggested Naming Scheme:
    Intel Celeron 1xx.*#/2xx.*#/3xx.*# (xx=GHz frequency) (*=cache) (#=Desktop or Mobile)
    Intel Pentium 415.1d/515.2m/615.3d — Same GHz, diff. cache
    Intel CorePro 725.5m/826.5m/928.6d — Diff. GHz, diff. cache
    Easy, yes?
    You need:
    Scalability
    Recognizability
    Desireability
    We want:
    Conciseness
    Descriptiveness
    Uniformity

  31. Taila says:

    Intel needs to help us help them sell processors by:
    1) Honour the range hirachy ie, a Core i3 should have less features that includes cache than a i5 or i7 irrespective of clock speed. This will ensure that the buyer chooses a range appropriate for his/her computing needs.
    2) As already mentioned put clock speeds with the name such as Core i3 2.8 or 28 or 2800 for 2.8 GHz. The number such as 940 does not seem to give the buyer any useful information about the product.
    3) Stop confusing people by naming business/home products as one either buys a range with more features that are relevant to businesses or doesn’t. After all not all businesses have the same needs when it comes to IT use.
    4) Keep producing the great products that you have given us but do not work with a particular software vendor only when you create a general product. This creates a wrong attitude from some of us.

  32. Randal says:

    I’d really like a processor name that reflected it’s performance. Not a wishy washy marketing label but something concrete like MFlops. Now that would be simple.

  33. ssj4Gogeta says:

    @UserOfComputers: Pentium and Celeron aren’t the same Netburst architectures anymore. Pentium Dual Core is simply a Core 2 Duo with less cache (because some cache on the die was not functional, etc.). Same with celeron, they have even lower cache. It has nothing to do with the embarrassing Netburst architecture anymore.
    I for one, welcome the new naming scheme. Normally users won’t have to bother about brands except Core. There you have nice and simple divisions, i7, i5 and i3, with decreasing performance. Inside a division, you have different processors, with higher number indicating higher performance parts. Eg, i7 920 is slower than i7 950, etc.
    And if you want a netbook/MID, you can have Atom. That’s it, 3 Core’s and Atom. You don’t need to bother about Pentium and Celerons unless you’re on a really tight budget.

  34. lemonadesoda says:

    “…kill off Celeron and Pentium brands”
    No way! Do you know how much “goodwill” is sitting on the balance sheet associated with those brand names? Unfortunately, marketing hands are tied by window dressing of the accountants.
    Or should they be?
    “…making SKU lines simpler to understand”
    I fully agree with that strategy. But to do that, you must follow a consistent feature set along each brand line. Dont turn on or off features depending on “which” model of Atom, i5 or i7 the customer buys. Any i5 should have a consistent i5 feature set.
    Someone do a corporate history review of Philips. They did the same as Intel back in the 90’s. Too many product lines. It took a powerful and respected professional to sweep their market stall clean and re-think how they communicated with their customers.
    Do the same.

  35. Charles Sullivan says:

    I am an Intel shareholder, a 30-year veteran of IT, and when I read about this at Anand Tech I could NOT believe it. This seems to be the most confusing re-branding ever (for most of the reasons already stated).

  36. anon says:

    I have to agree with the rest. This naming is more confusing than the old scheme.
    If you really want to simplify (with xx being the speed of the chip in hundreds of Mhz, rounded tot he nearest hundred):
    Intel i1 1xx should be current s775.
    Intel i1 2xx should be s775 quads.
    Intel i3 3xx should be s1156 dual cores.
    Intel i3 4xx should be s989 mobile duals.
    Intel i5 5xx should be s1156 quads.
    Intel i5 6xx should be s989 quads.
    Intel i7 7xx would be the current bloomfields.
    Intel i7 8xx could be for a mobile gulftown and
    Intel i9 9xx could be the desktop 2xs1566 beckton
    Simple, consistent, does the whole nehalem micro-arch up until sandy bridge hits.
    I have no idea how i7 9xx was decided upon. Leaves no room for gulftown unless you go i9, and even then it seems odd to have 2 9xx lines.
    On the other hand, I laugh at the reports of “i5 isn’t the final name” being refuted by this post.

  37. Tim Konos says:

    OK, so we have 4 architectures:
    Celeron
    Pentium
    core
    i7
    ..and we need to know the number of cores, speed, and possibly some other variable that may or may not be applicable. It seems very straight forward to use this nomenclature:
    Here are examples: (Dou = 2 cores, quad = 4 cores, quint = 5 cores, octo = 8 cores, deci = 10 cores, etc, etc)
    (1) celeron 1.8
    (2) celeron dou 1.2 k
    (1) pentium 2.2 b
    (2) pentium dou 2.4 s
    (1) core 3.2
    (2) core dou 2.5 e
    (3) core quad 2.32
    (1) i7 dou 1.86 m
    (2) i7 quad 2.66 e
    Do not come out with a new i7, because we allready have an i7 series. If there is a new architecture, then name it i8… or change it again and call it whatever you want. But stick to the same nomenclature.
    (sorry about the (1)’s and (2)’s used to seperate the examples. This website does not handle lists correctly)

  38. Ron says:

    How about creating names similar to some automobile manufactures. The Core i7-920 could be Core D4-266. Core=chip, D=Desktop, 4=four core, 266= 2.66GHz

  39. shehady says:

    why use the same name for differnt processors i7 and i5 for Lynnfield whille there are diiffernt socket for lynnfield and the current i7
    its will be verry confusing its better to used lynnfield as i5 and leave as i7 to current processors with the 1366 and make it for the higher end market 3.2 and up

  40. Robert Fluke says:

    Wow, talk about confusing. I think engineers and marketing people need to get together better and realize that most of the general public are not IT engineers

  41. Well, as a company that has to sell these products, I have to say that Intel seems to reset their naming convention every couple of years or so to “simplify” things – but never seems to do that.
    There is no doubt that the whole Atom (soon to also have a dual core), Celeron, Celeron Dual-Core, Pentium Dual-Core, Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, Core 2 Extreme, Core i7 thing needed to be reset, but this is not a solution (it confuses not only end users, but sales staff as well – I also need to constantly point out to them as well that Centrino is not a processor, it is a marketing gimmick).

  42. Chris says:

    To be honest I think the Celeron and Pentium names should be retired along with their products once the i3 and i5 are out. Anything else can be handled by the Atom.

  43. Service Tech says:

    I don’t think introducing another set of CPU names to an already unorganized structure would help things. @Best Buy :Yes I would like that laptop with 4GB of memory and hmmm lets see i7 FRBDD 9000F is not as good as the i5 FDHG 6700A. Faceplant fail all the way to the car.

  44. ssj4Gogeta says:

    uh, I just reread the entire post. I’ve changed my opinion. This is just plain silly. WHY the heck couldn’t you just name a processor according to its architecture???
    desktop:
    Bloomfield should be i7
    Lynnfield should be i5
    Clarkdale should be i3
    mobile:
    Clarksfield should be i7m
    Arrandale should be i5m
    And when you launch 32nm Lynnfield, Bloomfield and Clarksfield, just bump the model number up, like all 45nm Lynnfields could be i5 8xx and all 32nm Lynnfields could be i5 9xx, etc. Alternatively, you could bump the naming scheme up, like all 32nm Lynnfields could be i6’s instead of i5’s.
    With this new and “improved” naming scheme, there will be a lot of confusion. People already having i7’s will go out and buy another i7, hoping it will work on their current mobo. But what they might end up getting is a i7 Lynnfield instead of an i7 Bloomfield, which will require them to change their mobo. If you name processors according to their architectures, you can just say i7’s need 1366 mobo, i5’s need 1156 motherboard, etc.
    I’m eager to see if Intel actually listens to people.

  45. ssj4Gogeta says:

    Oh, and please do us a favor and retire the Celeron and Pentium brands. As you can see in the comments above, many people confuse them with the Netburst architecture Pentiums/Celerons. Why can’t you just make them lower numbered i3’s etc., when they’re the same architecture?

  46. Hi Bill/Deborah,
    In a way this freaks me out because I was planning on buying a DELL Studio 17 with Centrino2 technology once Windows 7 came out. But since Centrino will be retired for Lappys and Desktops i will have to go with the Core i5 or Core i7. I’m just glad i didn’t buy a new laptop recently now after hearing this.
    I think that everyone is afraid that the clock speed and caches numbers will not be displayed, But they will. So what if the numbers are not in the title of the processors. As long as they are displayed somewhere, where its easily found then who cares?
    Another thing is, people are acting like the speed and performance will not be there with the new Core family, but i am confident that they will perform and out perform the current line up.
    I think it’s a good idea and everyone should RELAX! Intel is the number 1 processor company, they know what they are doing.

  47. @ Chris
    -To be honest I think the Celeron and Pentium names should be retired..
    I think the only issue with this is (as someone else pointed out) there is a lot invested into these names already. If I remember correctly, at one point the Pentium name was going to be retired, but it was brought back for the half cache yields of Core 2 processor (thus, Pentium Dual-Core).
    As for using the Atom to pick up the slack, please remember that this is in essence a processor originally designed for MIDs and third-world computing needs before they took off in Netbooks. The reality is that while they do save power, their performance is only half of even a Celeron processor (new Atom products not withstanding).

  48. Zed says:

    I won’t bother to reiterate any of the above, but I mostly agree. I’ve been in the biz since the 8088. All I have to say is this: Intel, please recognize you have a concensus here. IT pros and ordinary folks alike think this is bad.
    This won’t stop us from using your product and I’m well aware pulling out of something like this would be a seriously difficult stunt for a company of your size.
    You have the option to not try over and look like the big old company that can’t change (like plowing ahead with Netburst). You also have the option to not make that kind of mistake again, to show agility. Can you make us all proud to be your customers?

  49. Greg Kovacs says:

    Agree with most people here, the proposed rebranding will confuse the hell out of most people as it will be less concise and less descriptive than prosumers need, and will still not help consumers to reach a decision without asking someone knowledgeable.
    Also the most sinister move in this entire campaign is the renaming of the existing Core 2 processors as i3 (just like nVidia did rename the 9800 as GTS 250 and try to spin themselves around it), as it essentially tries to give an old product a new lease of life through confusion: Intel hopes people will think of it as a new technological generation due to the “i” in the name.
    But the problems don’t just start now, they started earlier: if you buy a Core 2 Duo E8200 processor, you will have VT, but if you buy the more expensive (and quad core) Q8200 series, you will not have VT and be very disappointed when trying to run XP more in Windows 7.
    To tackle the many problems of the current naming scheme, I would take a more honest route:
    – Create / maintain different brand namess for platforms and feature sets and stay consistent with them (e.g. all Celerons and Cores would be desktop, but only the latter would have VT enabled).
    – Give a clear indication of technological generation
    (Core 2, Core 3)
    – Present core count and clock speed in the product number (425 is 4 core, 2.5 Ghz)
    – Maybe add a letter at the end to denote special features
    Results would be easy to comprehend, concise and descriptive:
    – Atom 116H (Entry mobile, 1 core, 1.6 Ghz HT Atom)
    – Centrino2 225 (Premium mobile, 2 core 2.5 GHz)
    – Celeron2 218 (Value desktop dual core 1.8GHz)
    – Core2 426 (Premium desktop, quad core 2.6 GHz)
    – Core3 430 (Premium desktop, new i7 generation, 4 core 3 GHz)
    – Xeon3 620 (6 core, 2 GHz i7 server processor)
    This way ordinary people could trust the brands as they would always provide the expected feature sets, and prosumers could easily decipher the performance from the product numbers when helping out daddy in the store.

  50. tombo says:

    This is really confusing because, I could have a four core cpu at 10mhz and think its faster than a single core at 4ghz, just because it has more cores. Also if you give a product a very high performance rating, in 1 year it will be slow rating.
    There should be a general family associated with names, like media power=M (4 core), video power=V(4 core), games=G(2 core), basic browser=B(2-1 core).
    Then in the name you can say like i7 920 2.66 (MVGB)
    Everyone knows the i7 as the Pentium 6. so you could add like i7 920 2.66(MVGB)P6. The
    core 2 is a P5.
    But you really need to make the sockets seperated, or people will buy a i7(i5 LGA1156) and try to put it in a i7 LGA1336 motherboard.not good
    LGA 775= i3 P5
    LGA 1156= i5 P6
    LGA 1336= i7 P6
    i7 QC-920H-8L3 2.66 P6 (MVGB)
    i5 QC-920-8L3 2.44 P6 (MVGB)
    i3 DC-8500-6L2 3.16 P5 (GB)
    i3 QC-8200-4L2 2.33 P5 (MVGB)
    H-hyperthreading
    QC-quadcore
    8L3- 8mb l3
    This would be helpful, not confusing

  51. Christian says:

    Dear Intel Marketing,
    I’m sure the customer is more savvy than you think. Experienced computer users pretty much know what they want to buy, and the wierd effect of this new branding exercise it will actually make it more difficult for them to do so by hiding what they’re actually getting behind some new brand name.
    We’re not stupid intel, and if the customer doens’t actually know what it is they want then thats why we have places like PC World, to get advise.
    Stop trying to dumb things down.

  52. tombo says:

    i3=775
    i5=1156
    i7=1366
    q=quad core
    d=dualcore
    h=hyperthreading
    L=l2/l3
    v=video encoding, M=media creation, G=gaming,
    b=basic user/browser
    p6=nahalem family
    p5=core duo/quad family
    i7 Q920H-8L 2.66 P6 (VMGB)
    i5 Q520-8L 2.22 P6 (VMGB)
    i3 D8400-6L 3.0 P5 (GB)
    i3 Q8200-4L 2.33 P5 (VMGB)
    If there is a i7 1156 cpu, someone will put it in a 1366 motherboard
    easy way to read performance and power

  53. Martin R says:

    Intel, you can switch its not to late:
    Now introducing the new Scheme!
    The iGood
    The iBetter
    The iBest

    And for the drivitives you have
    The iGooder (Needing better than good but more cost effective to the iBetter)
    The iBetterer (Better performance over the iBetter but still less expensive to the iBest)
    And the iBestest (Extreme line)
    Just tac on a few random numbers like your doing now and things will clear up in no time.

  54. Corey says:

    Intel’s marketing schemes are a real mess right now, though understandably so. There are so many processors coming out all the time that it’s hard to keep track of. This is not doing it:
    Atom
    Celeron
    Pentium
    Core
    Core i3
    Core 2
    Core i5
    Core i7
    Is that even correct? Is Core i3 slower end than Core 2? Or will some Core i3 chips be slower than Core 2 and some faster?
    There are two fundamental problems: overlap and an excessive number of categorizations. The good, better, best idea works fine but not when you pull that into subcategories of a product line.
    What you have to do is stop tacking numbers on to product lines that mean absolutely nothing. If you want to add a number to it then make it a number which represents the year it was launched.
    For example:
    Intel Core E8400 2009 vs Intel Core E8400 2010
    Same product name, different year. Don’t need to mess around with marketing at all. Simply tacking on the year to the product name means you can reduce, reuse and recycle your names. You can tell instantly which of the two is faster. Consumers don’t need to relearn entire product lines every year or two.
    Oops. We want to release an architecture update twice this year? No problem, the 2010 model is out early, though I don’t think that ever happens with your tick-tock model anyways. Why this is made out to be so complicated, I don’t know…
    So remember:
    Intel (name) (number) (year)
    Intel is your company
    Name is the product line name
    Number is the product number where bigger is always better
    Year is the year your architecture was released

  55. Crystal says:

    The fix is extremely simple. i7 for Bloomfield on LGA1366, i5 and i3 for Lynnfield and Clarkdale on LGA1156. That’s all you need to do. :)
    Nobody is confused and nobody might end in some situation with an X58 board and a Lynnfield CPU then.

  56. Chromozoom says:

    Please, use colors or fruits instead! Something like:
    I3= green – apple
    I5= yellow – lemone
    I7= red – cherry
    and number of fruits is same as num. cores.
    :)

  57. Igor Levicki says:

    I think that this scheme is bad.
    First, what’s with all that i’s in the names? Is Apple paying you to use them?!?
    i = meaningless letter (doesn’t add any value or disambiguation to the name).
    7 = ??? — AFAIK, Netburst was the 7th generation, not Nehalem. Nehalem should be 8th.
    Ok so 7 isn’t a generation. It means “best”, right?
    So if number is meaningless as well, then why use it at all?
    Why not just using:
    Intel M VWXYZ
    Intel D VWXYZ
    Intel S VWXYZ

    Where M, D, S are Mobile, Desktop, Server and VWXYZ is a number as follows:
    V = Number of cores (2 digits)
    W = Number of threads (2 digits)
    X = MB of L2/L3 whichever is bigger (2 digits)
    Y = Frequency (3 digits)
    Z = TDP (3 digits)
    An example:
    Core i7-920 would be:
    Intel D 04-08-08-266-130

  58. BEP says:

    “This is the backdrop for our latest ad campaign, Sponsors of Tommorrow.”
    Nice. Please, correct it.

  59. UserOfComputers says:

    I agree with lemonadesoda. Look at Apple before Steve Jobs came back. They had about 20 models, most of which were quite similar, with numbers designating model numbers and several product lines (Quadra, Performa, Centris, Powerbook). You couldn’t tell what was what even within a family. Jobs reduced it to four models: iMac, iBook, PowerBook (later changed to MacBook Pro), and PowerMac (later changed to Mac Pro). iMachines were aimed at consumers. PowerMachines were aimed at high end users and businesses. Very simple. Prices were also segmented. Powerbooks were virtually always more expensive than iBooks. Performance and quality was clearly segmented. Even within a model, Apple segmented to “good, better, best”. All confusion went away.
    You can make this really easy:
    Xeon (best): All features available. Fastest chips. Highest performance.
    Example: Xeon 2009 3.2 GHz 16 Core 12 MB Cache
    Core (better): Slower than Xeon. All features available, or at least a common set of features available across all Cores.
    ie. Core 2009 3.2 GHz 4 Core 4 MB Cache
    Mobile Core: It’s still a core. But with lower power consumption for laptops.
    ie. Mobile Core 2.6 GHz 4 Core 4 MB Cache
    Pentium (good): Slower than core. Basic processor. All Pentiums in a generation have the same features.
    ie. Pentium 2009 2 GHz 1 core 1 MB Cache
    Atom (slow, low power processor): For low power applications. No confusion here anyway:
    Atom 2009 1 GHz 1 core 1 MB cache
    Note: this scheme includes the generation (year), whether or not the chip is aimed at mobile devices, the number of cores, the clock speed and the cache.
    Or, you could also give a completely new name to new architectures to make them easy to distinguish:
    example:
    Xeon Antares: The current Nehalem Xeons
    Xeon Altair: The next generation architecture Xeons
    Core Antares: The current Core 2 models
    Code Altair: The next generation Core models
    It’s easy to keep track of Antares was the one current this year, and next year, Altair is the current one. If I want the best thing available this year, I get the Antares. If I want the best one next year, I get the Altair. So now we have processors segmented by performance, and architecture in an easy to understand method that gives you all information needed.

  60. Crystal says:

    i = Intel, 7 = lucky number. :)
    i7, i5, i3 are all nice modifiers. Just stick i7 to Bloomfield, i5 to Lynnfield, i3 to Clarkdale and the confusion is gone.

  61. RGseeker says:

    I don’t think any name you choose will tell it all nor should it. The marketing name is not the spec sheet. You certainly must market to your actual customer base but considering you make chips for a variety of markets with different needs and personalities, you will be hard pressed to please everyone. While new technology leaves old technology behind, sometimes the same must be done with names. But please dont stamp old technology with a new name and call it new. That is disengenious. Do let your old technologies go. Product names DO come to mean something for better or worse over time. You are Intel, any OS running one of you chips benefits from the name. Today, I’m running a 1.83 Ghz Intel Core Duo and I’m happy with it on this machine. That name has performance attached to it. Processing speed, Mfgr, and 2 cores on one chip (basically, 2 chips). If I want to know any thing more… I can check the spec sheet.

  62. Tony says:

    I have to say even with these changes I still have know idea what I am getting. I used to go to a store and see P2, P3, P4 and know it was a Pentium 2,3,or 4. Now I have know idea what I am getting. If you want to make the buyer confused you have done a great job.

  63. jonbly says:

    So, how can I compare this year’s i5 with last year’s i7?
    And why on earth aren’t we able to standardise the sockets yet? Work out how many pins you need and stick with it, for God’s sake… that’ll save everyone money / hassle.

  64. Stefan says:

    The marketing shouldn’t spend effort inventing new layers over new layers of names and terms over the real facts.
    Just create a name based on the number of cores, clock frequency and cache. That way you (1) eliminate all confusion and (2) educating the public that you are trying to protect by this current dizzying marketing, but are actually drowning even deeper in ignorance thanks to you.

  65. Brian says:

    My take on this – Intel marketing is just trying to sell off their inventory, by spinning the re-labeling and re-categorizing efforts as “innovation”. It’s quite clear that the corporate directive is just to push as many x86 processors out onto the market, in cadence with the tick-tock architecture/shrink advancements and manufacturing ramp in their fabs. But they don’t want to reveal all of the details to the consumer, specifically because they want to limit the decision-making ability of the consumer (not to your benefit, but to meet the Intel corporate directive). If they can control what processors are bundled into what products without consumer interference, then they can raise their margins and leverage their inventory. It’s just a way for sales and marketing to fight commoditization and to clear out inventory (and consumer market-space) of their latest products, so that they can support their manufacturing operations on the next technology cycle.
    The real question is – can this sales and marketing strategy sustain the Intel shell game, especially if cloud computing, ARM, and the global economic downturn form the perfect storm on the horizon?

  66. Eric says:

    I have a few simple suggestions to make things simpler or make more sense:
    1. Either ditch the Celeron, Pentium and Xeon names completely or embrace them completely. These are fairly well known as the ‘good, better, best’. Recently, Xeon have been customized more for servers, but originally if you had a desktop running a Xeon it was the best you could have for graphics/CAD.
    2. Core 2 Duo, Quad, (and i7=QuadHT, soon to have Octo or OctoHT) make sense to people as to how many cores are in a processor. In addition, if you add the HT suffix it will show that technology with something else well-known. If you want to show newer technology in the single-core, you can change it to Core 3 or core 7, etc. to signify the newer technology but with the same amount of cores: Core 7 QuadHT for example
    3. Try to stick to a simple way to differentiate the cache size, or FSB speed, and other differences. Here, keep all the normal cache sizes without suffix, smaller cache sizes with something like LC (little cache or low-cost depending what you want to convey). Larger cache processors can be denoted with M for more. The increases FSB speeds from the reference (again, keep all the un-denoted processors with the same FSB speed) as SC for the first increase, and SSC for the second increase.
    4. Low-power versions (with the equivalent FSB and cache sizes) can be denoted as EE or e for energy efficient or eco-friendly.
    To summarize, keep the important info in the same order and relative to each successive improvement in technology:
    ie.:
    Intel Pentium QuadHT ssc ee 3.9GHz
    OR
    Intel Core 7 Octo lc e 3.9GHz
    |Brand| Type | #Cores| cache | energy| speed |
    as these are the most important identifiers to people looking to compare processors, in order of relavency. If you want to add something like vPRO, Centrino, or any other software/hardware platform combination keep it separate as it really isn’t part of the processor.

  67. Gary says:

    Ok, I’m trying to decide if I want an i7 975 or a Xeon “whatever” but what’s the PERFORMANCE difference since they are BOTH Nehalem processors? Isn’t the 975 Faster?

  68. Chad says:

    “Instead, there will be just three – Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7. And in each, there will be a few versions, but a consumer won’t need to see that level of detail (unless they elect to, of course).” So in other words, this just lets OEM’s market the lowest level of chip in each series without easy clarification of which chip they’re actually selling in the box.
    Companies need to take note: Simply beacuse the technology exists to allow the “marketing” people to speak directly with consumers (particularly geeks) does not mean they should.

  69. Eric says:

    Quote:
    Jun 24 | Gary said:
    Ok, I’m trying to decide if I want an i7 975 or a Xeon “whatever” but what’s the PERFORMANCE difference since they are BOTH Nehalem processors? Isn’t the 975 Faster?
    Gary,
    Well, the 975 is going to be faster in a single-thread or a large data application. Xeon processors are typically optimized for multiple threads or multiple-threaded applications. So, if you’re doing something like gaming or will overclock the processor – go with the 975. However, if you’re not going to overclock or if you’re going to have a lot of things going at once (bitorrent, watching an encoded HD movie, sharing files over the network to a set-top box, while applying photoshop filters to HUGE pictures) then go with Xeon.

  70. bsjones says:

    One more thing.
    If I understand marketing and profit margin (and I think I do), isn’t it better if consumers can’t make comparisons between models and brands?
    Good job Marketing Department. You guys deserve a raise!

  71. bsjones says:

    Hey,
    Aren’t 3, 5, and 7 all prime numbers?
    Prime numbers have to be better. Right?
    Intel, I want a job.

  72. Harvey says:

    I don’t really see the point of using i3, i5, i7 naming conventions, since people who doesn’t know anything about computers will eventually come to tech people/prosumers like us and ask us about them! Like, “Hey, can u suggest a build for me? etc.” That is why that kind of marketing won’t work. Eventually the tech people who weren’t confused before are now confused as well. Now both consumer and prosumer are confused!
    Nice work Intel.
    If you wish to bring peace to the world then please explain where on earth did you guys get the 3, 5 and 7.

  73. Gary says:

    Eric, Thanks for the reply on whether to go with the i975 or Xeon chip. While I probably won’t be doing gaming, you never know! I will be doing Photoshop, Illustrator, etc from the Adobe CS4 Suite and I will be running Windows 7 64-bit. Doesn’t the i975 with Win 7/64 have multi-threading capability? I know the OSX Mac’s will have it with Snow Leopard but only the Windows version of Adobes CS4 handles it right now from what I understand.

  74. Josh P @ UCF says:

    Wow, all you people know how to do is complain. I have never found it remotely difficult to find the specifications of any i7 processor or their Core 2 predecessors. Almost always, the information I want is available on the retailer’s site (newegg for me), and if it’s not, why is it so troubling to look up more information online? If I’m spending 200+ dollars on a product, 2 minutes of web surfing should be trivial.
    Many of you are asking “Why 3, 5, and 7″? I’m sure Intel has good reasons for this, but does it really matter? You say that it will baffle the average consumer, but does the average consumer _really_ care? No.
    Many of you also cry out for the clock speed to be part of the naming scheme. This would be by far the most misleading thing the marketing department can do. Clock speed is not everything in a processor, and I would have hoped that those reading and commenting on this blog should know that. For example, an i7 920 at its 2.67GHz will smoke a Core 2 Q9650 at 3.0GHz in every benchmark you can throw at it. I’m sure that there will be more architectural advancements in the future that will render similar similar results from comparisons of processors that are as different as these two are.
    Oh, and I wanted to quote this. David said:
    “You’ve renamed Core 2 Duo to Core i3 And renamed Core 2 Quad to Core i5″
    –You are either a troll or a standard idiot. Go educate yourself about these products before making up slander like this.
    And then there are you who want strict naming schemes that are longer, but more ‘concise’. I saw one post who wanted a naming scheme that included the number of cores, cache, and clock speed. Not bad at first glance, but how does that account for the different forms of cache that the processor has (L1/2/3)?
    Another poster says how this new scheme will, and I quote: “lets OEM’s market the lowest level of chip in each series without easy clarification of which chip they’re actually selling in the box.” To you, my friend, I remind that OEMs have been doing this for many years and it’s not likely to change no matter what.
    So really, guys, stop complaining, the naming scheme is catchy and relatively simple.

  75. Ivan says:

    It’s the sign of the times that brands are being discussed almost with as much fervor and reverence as the products themselves. I think it’s refreshing that Intel is actually bothering to explain its branding rationale to the general public, and look forward to reading more about their initiatives on the branding front.

  76. Karen says:

    January 16, 2011
    Whew, after all the dust has settled, Intel had it right. It looks like a lot of he who has no name competitors werein the building trying to rain on Intel’s parade. Greatness wins. Love the i5 and the family of products. The noise was unnecessary – i3, i5, i7 RULE. Two years later…the change was on point! I am not a techy and I get it. You just have to read, just a little bit!

  77. Rick says:

    Get your act together, getting fed up with this socket and this socket and o ya this socket. Amd is starting to look good
    yours truly one pist off intel customer

  78. Lensgysy says:

    End of day, it’s about meeting consumer computing choices. Sure, calling it Core i3/i5/i7 simplifies it, but it is misleading. After all, the chips are either duo or quad cores at heart. Will Intel come up with more than quad cores? Intel, make whatever chips you think benefits yr diff customer segments and is progressive technology-wise. Marketing can play a part in developing/fine-tuning products specs that are sweet to the consumers. I suggest retiring old product names like Celeron and Pentium. Who would buy them given the new Core i(s)? Hide the techy stuff and give us Green, Gaming, Power, High Secure, Student and Server cobbled products. And grade it from there (like Power 1/2/3). I am sure different user types drive your specs development. Do take a leaf from the car manufacturers, but do it feature-wise. Who cares what goes under the hood. It’s when I’m in the driver seat that matters. And how much I am willing to fork out for what (including security features and accompanying chipsets). Company-wise, you have to manage your technology leaps. Right now, we are in the Duo-Quad era. What’s next? I think your engineers will work and focus better knowing their commitment to an era than running off and throwing up new stuff up every so often. You do not want yr consumers/developers to become “tech weary” or “tech apathetic”.

  79. RICH says:

    Breaking these up into different groups is foolish and will only frustrate the end user when they see the price tag that comes with the product purchased. Intel should reconsider how they market and not allow the marketing department create unrealistic expectations and performance of certain products.

  80. I totally agree with this strategy. But to do this, you must follow a consistent set of function along each line of the brand. Do not turn features on or off depending on “who” model of the atom, i5 and i7 the customer buys. All i5 should be a set of i5 features.
    Someone makes a historical review of the Philips company. Intel did the same thing in the 90’s. Too many product lines. It took a powerful and respected professional to clean your own market stall and rethink how they communicate with their customers.
    Totally great page you have in here. Thanks.

  81. iTechWhiz says:

    Nice to watch Intel VP Deborah Conrad explaining the organization strategy. With wide and deep product line Intel do have, let see how it cops with increasingly becoming touch and saturated technology market.

  82. allysa mago says:

    what are the internal structure if intel core i7?and the evolution of intel processors from 8080 upto intel core i7….

  83. Richard says:

    Well I would categorize users (simply) as follows:
    Atom = Very Low Power, Embedded Systems, Netbooks
    Business = MS Office, Databases
    Home = Internet surfing, multimedia, gaming
    Professional = Music Production, Photo & Video Editing, CAD, 3D rendering
    Server = Industrial applications & data centers.
    Business is for the average office. Great 2D performance – loads an excel sheet like lightning and can easily handle browsing a database with many thousands of records. Not much need for multimedia other than to play back the odd video clip or run video conferencing.
    Home is for the average user that needs a bit of everything with a focus on multimedia & games. Good for media centers and general purpose family PCs.
    Professional is for power users: designers & engineers etc… Those who need number crunching and optimized routines for specialist use such as recording, audio/video encoding, handling large files like photos and CAD drawings.
    Now maybe, this should be what i3, i5 and i7 represent. Different feature sets and optimization depending on the intended use. If you wanted to break it down even more, then you could have variants for professional and home – maybe some specifically aimed at hardcore gamers for example or an extreme edition that just has everything.
    Bigger, faster – easy concepts for users to understand, but as always – big numbers are pretty irrelevant if it doesn’t do what you want.
    You have to make it more obvious what each one is for.
    The mistake you make is using numbers to distinguish feature sets.
    Numbers are quantitative and imply the bigger/faster concept rather than the application.
    Maybe there should be some kind of weighted scoring system like the Windows Experience Index used to define the performance level?
    There could also me an “M” suffix for those processors within each family that include additional integrated technology such as graphics or networking; and lower power consumption for extended battery life and less heat.

  84. peatantics says:

    RE: NAMING CONVENTIONS, FEEDBACK LOOPS & HYPE.
    While I realise the importance Intel places upon maintaining it’s competitive advantage, I cannot for the life in me comprehend why Intel chooses to confuse Mr, Mrs & Miss General Public (Dr. G.P.) with jargonistic or jingoistic terminology that means something to Intel and nothing to Dr. G.P., well with one exception which is the buyer with the Dr G.Pi, the doctor in the public domain with an Intel degree. O.K.
    1. Clock speed is first and foremost to my eye, that is unless your system architecture department has uncovered the secrets of time and failed to consult with Dr. G.P. as your marketing department’s G.P. and Intel, perhaps is in the process of secretly filing a patent so it can claim ownership of time and thus risk offending or alienating Dr. G.P. even further, since the intent of the policy is not in the interest’s of the common good.
    2. If clock speed is not important then their is a process that exists between input and output, that distinguishes your product from the competition. I do not know what it is myself but members of the system architecture department do. Perhaps you could ask them what that feature is and let Dr. G.P. KNOW how it will make their life easier. They will be forever grateful that you were interested in their well being.
    3. i(n) i3 i5 i7 i9? i11? iphone i? eye? aye, sir, intel and Hype = That which causes CONFUSION to ones decision making faculties in that by building up expectations to the point that the customer decides to purchase then on use over time, fail to deliver that which was promised, only creates resistence to any improvements made that inform future purchasing decisions, will tip them toward the competitions products, not yours.
    Take good care of the customer and they will take good care of you.
    4.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hype_cycle#Five_phases
    3.”Trough of Disillusionment”

  85. Anonymous says:

    Well I would categorize users (simply) as follows:
    Atom = Very Low Power, Embedded Systems, Netbooks
    Business = MS Office, Databases
    Home = Internet surfing, multimedia, gaming
    Professional = Music Production, Photo & Video Editing, CAD, 3D rendering
    Server = Industrial applications & data centers.