back to article Intel tears up CPU branding scheme

Intel is to ditch its Core 2 and Core 4 brands, along with their Solo, Duo and Quad sub-brands in favour of, simply, Core. Well, sort of. Intel's plans aren't quite that clear cut. Rather than nuke and pave, Intel is rolling out the new brand pland as it rolls out new products, while clearing out the old brands through natural …


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  1. Tom 101

    A problem...

    I see a problem with the star rating idea. With CPU technology moving on so fast, will the star ratings not be out of date a few months after they have been stuck next to a CPU. There is going to be a lot of confusion around when there are still 5 star rated CPU's in stock at a shop over half a year old along side more expensive new machines also with 5 star rated CPU's.

    Crazy idea.

  2. Tony Barnes

    Expiry date of stars

    Though the "simplicity" of the stars is nice, it is useless given how quickly processors advance. A 5 star processor of today won't match up to a 3 star processor in a year or so.

    Why not, heaven forbid, just have a number that increases with every iteration? It worked well enough going from 186 through 686*, pentium I through to pentium IV. Etc This could split into a distinct ranges to cater for the different target market:

    Netchip 100; Lapchip 100; Homechip 100; Businesschip 100; Gamerchip 100; AVeditorchip 100; Serverchip 100

    Have the 100 increase, in combination with a GHz value, and jobs a good 'un.

    *I know, this is probably wrong, I don't really care, it was just an illustration point

  3. Alastair McFarlane
    Thumb Down

    Star rating systems - my two cents

    I saw a load of posters for the star rating schemes at work the other day. I think it's a silly idea. Have we not been conditioned to think that if a product has 1 star out of 5 it's bad? I understand what Intel is going for, but I only get it because of my existing knowledge about the chips. Someone with no prior knowledge is going to look at the 1/2 star processors and refuse to buy them, even if they're more than is necessary for their particular use.

  4. MaXimaN
    Paris Hilton

    Changing number of stars over time then?

    So an i7 will have 5 stars now, but will the number of stars in the i7 product logo change over time? Maybe they could produce packaging with inks that biodegrade at different rates, or embed an LCD screen into each box...

    Paris because she won't do less than 5 stars.

  5. Jack Harrer


    "Intel will still offer Pentium - which stands for the values "dependable and proven" - and Celeron processors - "value and reliability""

    Yeah. Everybody knows that Celeron means "cheap piece of sh*t that doesn't fly". I still feel sorry for some of my friends who bough that utter cr*p, even after being warned.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Intel branding? Confusing?


    I still don't quite get it. They try to tell us it will be simpler each time they launch a new brand, but then forget that the new branding still adds to the confusion.

    Anybody remember VIIV marketing disaster?

  7. The Original Ash

    Star rating?

    As long as I get to view the core stepping as well, this system will certainly help Jo Sixpack pick his next upgrade.

    Wait a minute... Why would Jo Sixpack want a CPU upgrade? WHY DO WE NEED THIS?! RUBBISH!

    I'm so confused right now...

  8. NATO
    IT Angle

    I think I see a flaw....

    Surely the star system will be a problem as new products are released. How do you show that a new CPU is better than an an existing CPU that's already got 5 stars? Will they go through their entire lineup and re-jig the star ratings each time they change their lineup? It would seem more logical to me to give each CPU a performance rating number which could be used to compare CPUs within the same generation, and new vs old CPUs. I'm just not sure Intel have quite thought that one through...

  9. Matthew 25
    Paris Hilton

    What About...???

    What about when they bring out stuff thats better than Core i7? Does that get 6 stars?

  10. James Thomas 1

    Hmm ratings

    Will have to buy the eventual 11 star one - because these like go to 11.

  11. Tom 64

    FAIL written all over it

    Do they honestly believe this will make things less confusing?

    0 starts from me!

  12. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    How about ...

    Distributors specify the manufacturer's part numbers of the chipset, CPU and the performance of the attached heat sink. Computer literate customers can check Intel/AMD/Via's web site for the chips' features, clock speeds, power dissipation and operating temperature. They can also check their favourate review site for benchmark comparisons.

    No-one else will have a clue what they are buying and can be confident that the sales assistant is not conning them because he is equally clueless and is just following the deceptive script provided by his employer.

    Are Intel's marketing team as clueless as a PCworld employee, or are they just trying to do what they can based on the ignorance and attention span of the average PCworld customer?

  13. Marvin the Martian

    Star rating = as stupid as energy-efficiency rating.

    This star system is just dead wrong; giving the stars a half-life would be trying to salvage a very stupid plan. Reminds me of fridges and washing machine ratings.

    At least the fridge manufacturers thought "almost all stuff fits in the D--C band, there's space for improvements to B and A bands" when coming up with their stupid scheme. If they'd started from Z=worst, V=best-at-the-time then there'd be no problem --- now it's A+ and A++ and other nondefined cathegories.

    Like our condenser-boiler, with an official efficiency rating of 114%. How can you type that in as a certifier, and not go for seppuku?

    Or will sixth and seventh stars appear soon in Intel's scheme?

    Why not rate your processors with 2 or 3 numbers, like energy consumption ["seconds to run on 1Watt-hour"] and performance [Log(maximal FLOPS*10 ^-6 )" or so... teach the kiddies logs]?

  14. uberdilligaff

    And they pay people....

    And they pay people to think this stuff up. Simple numbering would make life simpler, and independent benchmark testing would establish degrees of goodness. Must be too much to ask.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Star System is pure genius

    I really like the new 5 star system that Intel have introduced, 5 stars betta dan 1 star innit.

  16. Flybert

    AMD started all this nonsense

    Is much simpler to read the basic specs that make a difference than to sort out how a chip will perform based on these naming schemes

    what's so hard about BrandName and some standardized "ModelName 2x2.66-8s-1033-HT" and some education to purchacers about what those numbers might mean ?

    AMD started this obscurety of specs with their AMD ##00+ naming speed to obscure clock speeds .. instead it would have served the consumer better to add a few more characters to model description reflecting other CPU features that can greatly reflect performance ..

    stars are a bad idea .. who the heck is going to buy a one star item, or be able to sell it, even if it's the best choice for the application ?! ..

    1 or 2 stars = BAD

    3 stars = average at best .. really want to be looked at this way ?

  17. Steven Hunter

    Stupid people are still stupid

    Dear Intel;

    Stop trying to market to stupid people. Stupid don't understand any of this BS and just ask the sales person for "a fast one that's cheap". Anyone smarter than that will just ignore crap like this and figure it out like they've always done.

  18. Nexox Enigma


    I just can't see this going anywhere good. As many have pointed out, the stars are a crap idea. And you're still going to have to hunt for benchmarks around the Internet to see if a low-numbered i5 part is faster than a high-numbered i3 part.

    What I can't help but ask is: do we even need this many Intel CPUs? They all overlap at least 3 or 4 other chips in terms of price and performance, you'd have to think that Intel could do a lot better with a reduced lineup, since it'd have ot save them a ton on inventory and shipping and things to deal with 30-40 parts.

    Then again AMD is no better. They just make you look at their core code names instead of Intel's system of friendly nonsense titles.

    I guess this is just more proof that the marketing dept still runs Intel. And look how well they did with that Netburst thing a couple years back...

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Whither Pentium

    Whatever idiot that it was a good idea to dump the Pentium brand should have been drug out into the streets naked, lathered with honey and set loose in a forest filled with hungry, wild bears. Since the Pentium got the axe, I struggle to keep Intel's branding straight. So much so that I accidentally bought a Dual Core once instead of a Core Duo. Thanks marketing people, for making things unnecessarily confusing. Just find a branding and stick to it.

    And the stars? Stupid idea. What are you going to do when the 5 star CPU is bettered by a new one? Are you going to make it a 6 star CPU, or are you going to then rerate the old 5-star CPU to 4-star? If you do that, you're going to confuse people who go into a shop that stocks the old 4-star CPU and the new 4-star CPU.

    Real genius. mocking Intel jingle: Dumb, dumb, dumb, duuuuuumbbbbb!!!

  20. Filthysock
    Thumb Up

    New products are fine

    All these comments about what will happened when faster chips come out are missing the point.

    All Core i7s will get 5 stars. So when a faster Core i7 comes out the rating system continues to work.

    When Core i8, say, comes out, the Core i7 line will be retired and only computers with an i8 will have 5 stars, the i7 machines will no longer be on sale.

    For people going into best buy, this is fine, its not aimed at nerds like us that read about clock speeds and cache sizes.

  21. Ged Tonkin

    Xeon, Itanium etc...

    So how are these product lines going to be represented in the i(N) series being proposed, I wonder?

    Mine's the one with the quad-core pockets...

  22. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Phasing in, phasing out ...

    ... could be catered for easily?


  23. Herby


    These guys are the ones that trademarked the number 2010 in roman numerals (MMX).

    All the nice people who put things like "Copyright MMX" next year might have to say: "MMX is a trademark of the intel corporation.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Marketing Genius!

    If somebody buys a 3 star instead of a 1 star because they've been taught that 1 star is rubbish Intel Win

  25. TeeCee Gold badge

    Re: Celeron

    I'd like to add to that.

    It doesn't seem all that long ago that "Pentium" meant "rarer than rocking horse shit and can't add up".

  26. A B 3

    Oh look,

    Another full moon.

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