Core i3, i5, i7. A straightforward, if not insipid, branding scheme, right? Wrong. Those alphanumeric identifiers are fighting words.
Last week, Intel announced a new branding scheme for its upcoming processors. In a blog, spokesman Bill Calder wrote that the branding will be "simplified into entry-level (Intel Core i3), mid-level (Intel Core i5), and high-level (Intel Core i7)." Intel calls the "i" suffix an identifier.
The upcoming Lynnfield chip for desktop PCs, for example, will be available as either Intel Core i5 or Intel Core i7 depending upon the feature set and capability. The upshot of the new branding is to make it easier for less tech-savvy consumers to readily identify classes of Intel chips based three simple identifiers, according to Calder.
But judging by the tenor of many of the comments attached to Calder's brand structure blog, you would think the chipmaker had committed high treason.
In the minds of some, it did. The shortcomings of the current naming scheme notwithstanding, many tech-savvy consumers have gotten used to it. For example, Core 2 Quad means a chip built on the Core 2 architecture with 4 processing cores. Core 2 Duo indicates two cores.
One of the most common criticisms cited in the comments section is that i3, i5, and i7 are too vague. "Above all, I'd like to see...at a glance how many cores and what features they have (or have not)," one comment said. Another comment suggested that Intel add more identifiers. For example, Intel Core i5 4100, where 4 is the number of cores and 100 is a speed rating.
Yet another idea was this: Intel/name/number/year, where "name" is the product name, "number" is a bigger-is-better ranking, and "year" the year the architecture was released.
And another: "Either ditch the Celeron, Pentium and Xeon names completely or embrace them completely. These are fairly well known as the 'good, better, best'." … Read more