Intel Shows New Logos, Star Rating System

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.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • 08nwsula
    this scale will be obsolete as soon as new cpus come out
  • Marcus Yam
    08nwsulathis scale will be obsolete as soon as new cpus come outWhich is exactly why this scale is only good until September 2009. Intel will release a new chart to reflect the advancements in product.
  • 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...).
  • Greatwalrus
    Ooo, I guess I can mark the 30th of September down on my calendar for release dates :P
  • IzzyCraft
    Everyone loves scales oh wait vista... just gives ppl another reason to complain when they don't get the unbelievable performance they want.
  • B-Unit
    Why do we have such a small picture? Would be nice if we could actually see the chart before we bash it...
  • scryer_360
    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.
  • sailfish
    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.
  • apache_lives
    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
  • rbarone69
    "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)