Intel Processor Letter Codes Meaning

Processors decide the performance of the CPU and the whole system. All the programs in the front end of the desktop run according to the processor that is used. With that said, Intel is the leading CPU manufacturers that have a great lineup of processors under its brand name. If you are not so techie person, you must wonder what the different letters and codes are used in the Intel processor naming. You may not even differentiate between Core i3 and Core i5 processors. Intel has launched tons of processors to date and it distinguishes each of the processors with different codes altogether. If you wish to know the Intel Letter Codes, dive into this article. In this article, we will see how Intel differentiates its processors with different numbers, codes, and letters.

As we all know, the bigger the number, the newer the version embedded with some major features. Intel follows the same rule and releases processors with numbers in ascending order. However, other than the numbers like i3 and i5, it also uses some codes in the suffix that have pre-defined meanings. If you are wondering what the numbers and codes designate, here is the list for you. We have talked about the product brand, generations, SKUs, brand modifiers, and product lines in the Intel naming schemes here. This will further help you find the right CPU for your requirements. Have a good read!

Intel Core CPU Naming Scheme

Before learning about Intel Letter Meanings, let us first look into the naming scheme and the segments that were present in it. The name of the Intel Core CPU is a combination of six segments namely:

  • Company Name
  • Brand Name
  • Brand Modifier
  • Generation Indicator 
  • Model Number
  • Letter Designation 

Now let us talk about each of the segments in detail below. 

Company Name 

As we all know, Intel is the name of the company which says that Intel is the manufacturer of the CPUs. This will remain the same for all the CPUs. 

Brand Name

There are different brand names under Intel CPUs, each designated to perform differently than others. The most popular brand names we all are aware of include: Intel Core, Xeon, Pentium, Celeron, etc. The core is however the well-known brand name among the other names. 

  • Core: This Core processor from Intel aims at desktop PCs, either gaming or workstations.
  • Xeon: Intel Xeon CPUs are the most powerful ones to date with outstanding thread counts. They are designed for servers and workstations.
  • Pentium: Pentium CPUs are budget-friendly and are apt for personal home users.
  • Celeron: Very low budget CPU ideal for entry-level programs.
  • Atom: Processors that go hand-in-hand with mobile phones.

Brand Modifier 

Now let us talk about the brand modifier that starts with “i”. There are four categories of Intel Core models that you can come across namely, i3, i5, i7, and i9. These modifiers have different meanings. 

  • i3 – Budget PCs with gaming is apt for i3 Intel Core processors.
  • i5 – Affordable CPUs that are best for gamers that play not into intense gaming.
  • i7 – Heavy-duty processors that can handle both high-end gaming and software.
  • i9 – These processors are specially designed for workstation purposes. 

Generation Indicator 

Generation indicator is another aspect that you need to know to find out Intel Processor Letter Meanings. Intel has so far launched many generations of processors and the 11th generation of it is soon going to make its debut. The Intel desktop CPUs are from the 10th generation. The 10 in the naming scheme indicates the generation of the CPU. The difference between generation to generation is features. The performance factor is enhanced in the ascending generations of CPUs.

Model/SKU Number 

The SKU Number of model number has nothing to do with the generation or the specifications. It just indicates the position in the hierarchy of the generation it belongs to. For instance, consider i3-10100, i5-10600, i7-10700, etc, the performance of the CPU is much higher than the formers. The features also vary from the older to newer versions. 


Coming to Intel Processor Letter Suffix, they are tagged at the end of the processors’ name and have pre-defined meanings. The designations of the letters are given below. 

  • K – If you are shopping for a desktop CPU, this is the suffix you will get to notice. K also represents they are unlocked. 
  • F – The letter indicates that the CPU requires a graphics card as it lacks one. 
  • U – This letter indicates a low power model with low TDP.
  • G1-G7 – Graphics level 
  • E – Embedded
  • H – High-performance CPU 
  • HK – High-performance CPU and unlocked
  • HQ – High-performance CPU optimized for mobile, quad-core
  • S – Special edition 
  • T – Power-optimized lifestyle


Now let us take an example of the latest Intel Core CPU i.e., Intel Core i7-1185G7, and name it accordingly. 

  • Intel Core – Brand
  • i7 – Brand Modifier
  • 11 – Generation Indicator
  • 85 – SKU Numeric Digits 
  • G7 – Product Line Suffix

Intel Pentium Processors 

Now it is time to talk about Intel Pentium Silver processors that have single-letter prefix followed by four-digit SKU number. Coming to the Gold processors, there is no letter prefix, but have SKU followed by a suffix. The main difference between the Silver and Gold processors is their performance. While Intel Pentium Gold processors are performance-oriented, Intel Pentium Silver processors are cost-optimized.

Intel Celeron Processors 

Unlike Core and Pentium processors, Celeron processors from Intel have two formats. There is no alphabetical prefix for Intel Celeron processors with a three-digit numerical SKU for some Intel Celeron processors. While on the other hand, others include a single-letter prefix followed by a four-digit SKU.


So yup! We are wrapping up the overview of the Intel Letter Codes naming scheme here. If you are set to shop for a new CPU and want to know the basics of the naming of your processor, check out this article and the example given above. If this article interests you in any way, do give us big thumbs up by bookmarking our website. 

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