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Intel Shows New Logos, Star Rating System

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 34 comments

Intel has revealed its new logos for the entire line of its CPUs, as well as a new star ranking system.

Remember back in the day when we could simply identify the capabilities of a CPU based on its generation or family name, coupled with its clock speed? Ah, those were the simple days. But with the divergence in thinking between efficiency and raw clock speed numbers, things soon got even more complicated through the use of model numbers.

Now there are other things to consider, such as cache, the number of cores and even special features such as Hyper-Threading. To help consumers, especially those who do not read Tom's Hardware, Intel is rolling out a five-star system that will rate each processor against various factors. Like with hotels and restaurants, the higher the star rating, the more expensive and better the product.

Predictably, the Core i7 processors all qualify as being five star rated, while the one stars are for the modest Celerons. Check out the chart below for the ratings good through September 2009.

Also of note from the chart above are the new Intel processor branding logos. Rather than being oriented in portrait view like what we're used to, as well as Microsoft's own logo stickers, the new ones are in landscape -- though do retain the same dimensions. Displayed most prominently on each logo are the specific branding of Core, Pentium, Celeron, Atom or Centrino with a die shot as a corner background.

"It's important for people to understand that we've got all these different brands, but we have a challenge when people come to retail," spokesman Bill Calder said to PC Magazine. "How do I distinguish between the Pentium and Celeron and Core and Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad?"

Will the new Intel logos and star ratings help consumers make more informed buying decisions? Will the new landscape-oriented stickers mess with your computer's mojo? Hopefully we'll soon have answers to these pressing questions.

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Top Comments
  • 25 Hide
    B-Unit , April 8, 2009 1:18 AM
    Why do we have such a small picture? Would be nice if we could actually see the chart before we bash it...
Other Comments
  • 0 Hide
    08nwsula , April 7, 2009 11:40 PM
    this scale will be obsolete as soon as new cpus come out
  • 5 Hide
    Marcus Yam , April 7, 2009 11:42 PM
    08nwsulathis scale will be obsolete as soon as new cpus come out

    Which is exactly why this scale is only good until September 2009. Intel will release a new chart to reflect the advancements in product.
  • Display all 34 comments.
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , April 7, 2009 11:58 PM
    This is a little deceptive, if only Core i7 is rated as 5 star, then what about the various applications where it shows little to no benefit over the previous generation? This is aimed at consumers who have lot's of money, but don't know much about computers(as if they weren't already all Mac users...).
  • 3 Hide
    Greatwalrus , April 8, 2009 12:07 AM
    Ooo, I guess I can mark the 30th of September down on my calendar for release dates :p 
  • 25 Hide
    B-Unit , April 8, 2009 1:18 AM
    Why do we have such a small picture? Would be nice if we could actually see the chart before we bash it...
  • 0 Hide
    scryer_360 , April 8, 2009 2:11 AM
    Hmmm... Wouldn't it be better to just consolidate the brands rather than to increase brand float? That would save on production and marketing costs, as well as increase customer appeal.

    If I headed Intel, I'd have nothing but Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad and i7 out there right now for desktops on the consumer market. The commercial and industrial world would still see Pentium and Celeron (after all, a desk representative doesn't need a quad core, someone in Accounting who doesn't need a Core 2 Duo even)(assuming you are running your databases directly from the server instead of on each computer, and if you are doing that I highly advise you to change your setup).

    Atom for netbooks of course.
  • 0 Hide
    sailfish , April 8, 2009 2:36 AM
    I like the star rating but to make it last more than one cpu release cycle, they should affix a date qualifier to it, e.g., nStar2Q09, nStar4q09. That way, one would be more able to keep the rating in perspective.
  • 6 Hide
    apache_lives , April 8, 2009 4:00 AM
    we need a universal platform performance score similar but better then PCMark's cpu score or something but more every day apps (not something like SuperPi) etc to give a rating and compare it to efficiency etc
  • 0 Hide
    rbarone69 , April 8, 2009 4:21 AM
    "Remember back in the day when we could simply identify the capabilities of a CPU based on its generation or family name"


    You know what really grinds my gears? I dont understand WHY they cant do this still! Why not set a standard of performance, say, millions of instructions per second or instructions per mHZ * thread count or SOMETHING. If they at least set a standard it will be easier on everyone.

    Same for the server market! I'm getting sick of over hundreds of model numbers all of which I shouldnt have to keep up on.

    You know what would be a VERY helpful tool, a list of all known processor model numbers and the metadata that goes along with it as a tool on the CPU chart page or something. It's hard to find one good spot where all this information resides. Hell even put future roadmap processors in there!

    (ranting again)
  • 0 Hide
    magicandy , April 8, 2009 4:37 AM
    Corey7inside is correct even if he included that irrelevant anti-Mac statement at the end. Intel is just dumbing things down the wrong way and people who don't follow hardware and know what it's about are just being deceived. This is almost as bad as Philips and RCA and their "good, better, best, ultimate, etc" branding of their video equipment. Tell us WHY it's at the level you say it's at. Don't just expect us to buy it based on how good YOU say it is, because you're the one who's trying to sell it.

    apache_lives is absolutely correct. It's about time we had a hard number to use as an industry standard. Instructions per second sounds fine, and I can't think of any reason they don't use something like this other than to intentionally confuse people into relying on how good they say it is. There IS an easy way to get the uninformed public to understand how good each part is, but the industry willingly fails to embrace it.
  • 0 Hide
    magicandy , April 8, 2009 4:39 AM
    My mistake, I meant rbarone69 instead of apache_lives.
  • 5 Hide
    avi85 , April 8, 2009 5:09 AM
    Full size version of the chart:
    http://www.intel.com/consumer/rating.htm
  • 1 Hide
    sonofliberty08 , April 8, 2009 9:00 AM
    i gave Celeron 0 star
  • -2 Hide
    eddieroolz , April 8, 2009 9:55 AM
    I think the new logos look really goofy. I liked it the way Core 2 was presented.
  • 2 Hide
    Tindytim , April 8, 2009 9:58 AM
    rbarone69millions of instructions per second or instructions per mHZ *

    Can't really do that. Certain processors are are better at different instructions. A cut and dry single number isn't going to tell me much about all processors fairly. Hell, just brining up multi-core processors ruins that number. They can output processing equal to a much more powerful single core, but the single core will win out 99.99% of the time because of the application.

    As great as it would be to just have a number, it isn't practical, nor would it be much use.
  • 0 Hide
    mystvearn , April 8, 2009 11:19 AM
    I think there is better solution than placing stars. People will ask, why 1 star, 2, 3 processors.

    Use the mobile phone way in naming chips. Like nokia 331, 5210, 8310, Pentium 3310 celeron. Pentium 5210 (dual core), Pentium 8310 (quad core), then its easier
  • 2 Hide
    tipoo , April 8, 2009 1:01 PM
    Now wait for AMD's 10 to 5 star rating system.
  • 1 Hide
    FlayerSlayer , April 8, 2009 1:12 PM
    08nwsulaThis scale will be obsolete as soon as new cpus come out.
    Maybe it will be a sliding scale and when the Core i7 8-core chips come out, or Core i8 or whatever, they'll drop the star ratings of all other chips by one? The hard logos don't seem to have stars on them, so it's just a packaging issue, not laptop stickers?
    Corey7insideThis is a little deceptive, if only Core i7 is rated as 5 star, then what about the various applications where it shows little to no benefit over the previous generation? This is aimed at consumers who have lot's of money, but don't know much about computers(as if they weren't already all Mac users...).
    Naturally, your mileage my vary. The i7 920 IS a better chip than a Core2Duo, even though that Core2Duo may out preform in some situations. Heck, in some uses an Atom is a better fit for someone's needs, doesn't mean it's a superior chip!
  • 2 Hide
    clist , April 8, 2009 1:13 PM
    Corey7insideThis is a little deceptive, if only Core i7 is rated as 5 star, then what about the various applications where it shows little to no benefit over the previous generation? This is aimed at consumers who have lot's of money, but don't know much about computers(as if they weren't already all Mac users...).


    Actually that's a problem with the applications not the processors. The i7 absolutely has more processing muscle than the previous chips - regardless of whether or not the software you're running can use it. Does that mean you need it? No. But if what you're running is running fine than why would you even look to buy something new? I'm a software developer who often needs to run multiple virtual machines to do my work. I got a core i7 back in Feb (the bottom-of the-line 920, which I *easily* overclocked by 30%). I can be running 4 VMs: Win2003 database server, Win2003 sharepoint server, an XP machine running CoD4 multi-player server /MySQL / Python, and play CoD4 in Vista64 on the host OS all with no performance issues on any of the VMs as compared with 4 Core-2 *physical* machines that I would have been running about a year ago.

    I would say anyone who currently keeps more than one PC turned on most of the time could benefit from the new crop of processors simply by consolidating their hardware and using virtual machines (VMWare Server rocks and it's free).

    The fact that the software for many desktop and gaming applications can't take advantage of the multiple cores is not really something Intel can concern themselves with. It's been widely accepted that we can only go so far down the clock-speed road; if we want performance gains in the future it has to come through parallel processing. The game developers simply have to catch up with the hardware.

    Oh yeah, and BTW, the i7 is not the only 5-star desktop CPU in the chart. Q9xxx processor is listed as 5-star, but the pictures so damn small and blurry that it's easy to miss!

    Cheers,
    CList
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