Intel has officially unveiled its rumored processor rebrand, announcing the new Intel Core and Intel Core Ultra brands, phasing out the “i” in the company’s Core line of processors that have been around for more than a decade.
“Our customer roadmap demonstrates how Intel is prioritizing innovation and technology leadership with products like Meteor Lake, focusing on power efficiency and artificial intelligence at scale,” Caitlin Anderson, Intel vice president and general manager of client computing group sales, said in a statement. stated in the report. statement“To better align with our product strategy, we are introducing a branding structure to help PC buyers better differentiate the strengths of our latest technology from our mainstream offerings.”
According to Intel, the new branding will apply to new Core processors starting with Meteor Lake, initially with Intel Core 3, Intel Core 5, and Intel Core 7 processors, but it’s unclear if there will be an option for Intel’s Core 9.
We do know that this top tier will at least belong to the new Intel Core Ultra brand, which will debut in the second half of 2023, according to the company. The new branding differentiates between its mainstream and “premium” processor lines, with the Ultra series appearing to be aimed at the high-end enthusiast market and enterprise users, and the vanilla Intel Core processors being more mainstream-oriented chips.
The rebranding is a big leap for Team Blue, which has spent 15 years building a reputation for its Core i-series processors, whose latest Raptor Lake processors easily land on our list of the best processors.
Another big change is that Intel will no longer refer to a specific generation in its marketing or product markings, so no “14th generation” or something like that, although the generation number will still be identifiable within a specific processor model, so presumably Intel Core Ultra 9-14XX, or similar, although Intel hasn’t settled on a new numbering convention for the rebranded chips yet.
15 years of hard work building a star brand is gone forever
With the rebranding of the Core line of processors, Intel is putting behind it more than a decade of hard work building a reputation as a flagship processor, and that’s not something Intel can do lightly.
However, I still don’t see why this is necessary, and the differences between Core and Core Ultra are a bit of a headache, especially when it comes to mid-tiers, where there is at least some overlap between the two brands. There will be Intel Core 5 and Intel Core 7 processors, as well as Intel Core Ultra 5 and Intel Core Ultra 7, which doesn’t alleviate customers’ confusion about which processor to buy to meet their specific needs.
This will likely become clearer over time, but for most mainstream buyers (and even for many professional customers), the distinction between Core and Core Ultra processors will become opaque, so at first glance , the rebranding doesn’t look like it’s making anything clearer.
The mainstream customers that Intel seems most concerned about here are likely to ask the clerk at Best Buy or Currys which is better (or Google), as they do with the old numbering convention. Additionally, the enthusiast community that builds their own PCs is already very familiar with Intel’s existing branding. In short, this doesn’t clear things up for anyone thinking of buying a single Intel processor from Newegg.
Also, for enterprise users who want extra security features and such, Intel already has the vPro branding (although it will further differentiate vPro Enterprise and vPro Essential), so just specifying the chips as Core Ultra 9 vPro Enterprise or Core Ultra 9 vPro Essential seems to give the already Very complex systems add complexity and now everyone has to relearn everything from scratch.
Obviously, in time, we’ll learn about this new system as Intel did when it introduced its Core processors in 2006, but there’s no getting around the fact that Intel Core i3, Intel Core i5, Intel Core i7, and Intel Core i9 processors have always been a very Simple product tiering system that is easy to identify and explain. That’s why AMD more or less copied the convention when it launched its Ryzen processors in 2016.
Intel says the rebranding reflects a major shift in chip architecture, so on that level, the rebranding may be appropriate, but there’s no way to shake the feeling that Intel is leaving something important with this move. Let’s just hope Intel I won’t regret it.