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Naming conventions for i-series cores.

I've been out of the loop for a while and I've been trying to find out what the numbers mean in the Intel i-series CPU. I went on Intel's website to learn about the differences between the i3/i5/i7. Does anyone know what the 3 numbers mean after the i3/i5/i7? For example, i7-870 or i5-655 K. The numbers in bold is what I'm referring to here.
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  1. Best answer
    JohnnyMaverick said:
    I've been out of the loop for a while and I've been trying to find out what the numbers mean in the Intel i-series CPU. I went on Intel's website to learn about the differences between the i3/i5/i7. Does anyone know what the 3 numbers mean after the i3/i5/i7? For example, i7-870 or i5-655 K. The numbers in bold is what I'm referring to here.


    The second two numbers in the sequence, e.g. "xx" in "yxx", are arbitrary as far as I know. For a given y, a relatively higher xx generally indicates better performance, but there's no reason for the specific value as far as I know. You won't really get any information from the xx.

    The y does usually indicate a particular difference between one series and another. For instance, i5s in the 7xx series are quad core, whereas other i5s, e.g. 5xx, are dual-core with hyper threading. (This is only for the current Nehalem processors. The new Sandy Bridge processors that are about to come out, indicated by a fourth "2" digit, have an entirely different naming scheme.) With the i7s, on the other hand, it's a matter of motherboard socket. The i7-8xx processors are for 1156, while the i7-9xx processors are for 1366. (Again, this is for Nehalem. The new Sandy Bridges, following the naming scheme Core i?-2yxx, are a whole different matter.)

    Trailing numbers on the end each mean something different. "K" means an unlocked multiplier, so that you can overclock using the multiplier.
  2. Also, in addition to the K suffix at the end of the numbers there are also T and S suffixes. Both of which refer to processors that have lowered clocks and voltages to reduce the TDP. They generally perform less than the equivalent processor without the suffix, eg a core i5-2xxxS will have less performance than a core i5-2xxx where xxx is the same in both names. From what I've heard the S and T models won't be seen in great volumes on sites like newegg, but will be more common in prebuilt machines.
  3. Kloreep said:
    The second two numbers in the sequence, e.g. "xx" in "yxx", are arbitrary as far as I know. For a given y, a relatively higher xx generally indicates better performance, but there's no reason for the specific value as far as I know. You won't really get any information from the xx.

    The y does usually indicate a particular difference between one series and another. For instance, i5s in the 7xx series are quad core, whereas other i5s, e.g. 5xx, are dual-core with hyper threading. (This is only for the current Nehalem processors. The new Sandy Bridge processors that are about to come out, indicated by a fourth "2" digit, have an entirely different naming scheme.) With the i7s, on the other hand, it's a matter of motherboard socket. The i7-8xx processors are for 1156, while the i7-9xx processors are for 1366. (Again, this is for Nehalem. The new Sandy Bridges, following the naming scheme Core i?-2yxx, are a whole different matter.)

    Trailing numbers on the end each mean something different. "K" means an unlocked multiplier, so that you can overclock using the multiplier.


    Thanks for that answer. While I was talking to a friend of acquaintance of mine, he said the new iCore CPUs no longer have a FSB (front side bus) to speak of compared to CPUs of previous generations. Is this true?
  4. Yes. Current Core i CPUs don't have a FSB. Instead, the LGA 1366 processors use a point to point chipset interconnect called QPI, and the LGA 1156 and LGA 1155 processors use a chipset interconnect called DMI. Also, since the memory controller is no longer on the chipset (it's been moved to the CPU) the interconnect is no longer responsible for memory transfer.
  5. Best answer selected by JohnnyMaverick.
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