Last Updated on September 14, 2020 by Scott Krager
Intel is more or less the king when it comes to processors in the market. Sure, AMD has managed to take some of the sweet shares, but the battle is far from over.
Well, we would have loved to talk more about the situation at hand, but we are not here to talk about Intel vs AMD. We are here to talk about the rather confusing naming scheme that Intel loves to go with.
Do not get us wrong, we admire Intel for everything they are doing and have done to maintain their spot in the market but their naming scheme can leave even the veterans scratching their heads.
Today, we are discussing just what exactly the suffixes or letters mean in the Intel processors. This is something that we thought would be important for all the budding PC builders. Let’s have a look, shall we?
Note: In order to keep things simple, we are only going to talk about the suffixes that were mainstream in the Core i series of the processors. Intel’s decision of suffixes goes way, way back. However, they managed to somewhat streamline the trend with the launch of the Core series of processors.
This simply means that the processor comes with an unlocked multiplier, and you can actually overclock the processor by changing the multiplier. The K suffix is perhaps the most common ones, and it has processors ranging in nearly every single generation of Intel Core series of processors.
This is a newer suffix that Intel is launching and it comes without any built-in graphics cards. Which basically means that you are going to need a separate graphic card to power this chip.
The G suffix means that the processors that are in the market with this letter come with the discrete graphics already available onboard.
This is most common in laptops, and it means ultra-low power. These processors are best used in notebooks that focus on power efficiency rather than performance.
The H suffix relates to the CPU coming with internal graphics that offer higher performance than usual graphics. Although you won’t get the performance of proper graphic cards, it still manages to run pretty well.
The HK suffix not only offers high-performance graphics, but it also comes with an unlocked multiplier. Again, one of the more common suffixes used in gaming laptops rather than desktop CPUs.
This suffix is also limited to laptops, and it means that aside from having high graphics performance, it also comes with four cores in total.
The Y suffix is exclusive to laptops and means that the CPU is going to be ultra-low when it comes to power consumption. Something many people prefer.
A desktop CPU suffix means that the CPU is optimized for delivering the best power. Slightly slower and cheaper than the K suffix, and also not as common.
A suffix that is reserved for the unlocked CPUs that were based on the fifth generation of LGA 1150 CPUs. These processors were launched discretely and even came with high-performance graphics right out of the box.
Another part of the 5th generation of CPUs, the R suffix CPUs were based on the BGA1364 mobile package and offered high-performance graphics for a lower price.
Opposite to the T suffix, the S suffix was based on delivering a performance-optimized processor. The processors with the S suffix were not as common and were released mainly in the 4th generation of processors.
With the launch of the 4th generation of Core processors, Intel brought in some new suffixes, with M being one to join the ranks. The suffix simple means mobile, which basically means processors for laptops and other similar devices.
The MQ suffix is a lot like the M, but the biggest difference between both is that the MQ suffix comes with four cores instead of the traditional two-core setup. Most gaming laptops of that generation had MQ suffix processors.
Another one of the common suffixes was the MX suffice. The processors with the MX suffix offered extreme performance, and were obviously, mobile processors.
There is apparently no difference between the MQ suffix and the QM suffix. Both series of processors was strictly mobile and had four cores instead of two. With the only main difference being a difference in the generation as one was the third generation of processors, and the other was the fourth generation of processors.
In conclusion, the one absolute thing that we can say here is that the lettering that Intel has been using is confusing, to say the least. Even people who are experts that can get confused. This is nothing new as Intel has been following the same trend for decades now. However, we have to say that Intel’s attempt at streamlining things did not go the way Intel may have wanted.
Still, we managed to make sure that we cover nearly every mainstream suffix that we could find. If we missed any out, feel free to let us know and we will get back to you regarding that. Just know that most of these suffixes are even shared among different generations with the K being the most common suffix that has been around for a long, long time.