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Intel Confuses, Rebrands Some Core M Processors As Core I ( 61

Reader thegarbz writes: As already covered previously Intel has announced it's 7th generation Kaby Lake processors. Curiously absent from the announcement was any mention of Core m5 and Core m7 product lines. As it turns out, Intel quietly removed the m branding and rolled its budget processors up into the Core i5 and Core i7 brands.

When we met with representatives of Intel to talk about Kaby Lake, they said that consumers didn't understand the Core m branding and that this move would help alleviate customer confusion.But what's more confusing: having two different brand names for different types of CPU or having the same name for both? Intel will tell you that you have to pay attention to the SKU numbers at the end of the chip names. And if you do, you can sidestep the issue. The regular i-series will continue as usual: Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7, with all of the processor numbers ending in the letter "U" (the i3-7100U, i5-7200U and i7-7500U). The former m5 and m7 will have the letter "Y" in the name (i5-7Y54, i7-7Y75 and m3-7Y30).

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Intel Confuses, Rebrands Some Core M Processors As Core I

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  • by Kyogreex ( 2700775 ) on Friday September 02, 2016 @04:14PM (#52817359)
    Y Intel?
  • How in the world (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TFlan91 ( 2615727 ) on Friday September 02, 2016 @04:19PM (#52817413)

    How in the world is that less confusing?

    "Don't look at the product name to know what you are buying, look at that tiny ass number on the bottom of the box! Duh!"

    • by SeaFox ( 739806 ) on Friday September 02, 2016 @04:32PM (#52817531)

      How in the world is that less confusing?

      It's not. I suspect the real reason is to remove the less-desireable m-branding from the products and trick some unwitting people into buying lower-performing hardware.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Always check the passmark score on the CPU before buying a new laptop. Ignore any CPU that's not at least 50% faster than your previous laptop.

    • The Y SKUs are the sub-5 Watt SKUs, so you're never in a position to be comparing a Y to a U is you're at the level where you are looking at the 3,5,7 branding.

      If you are at the level where you are looking at the complete model number, then you were already looking at Y vs. U and ignoring the 3,5,7 so this is no additional effort.

    • How in the world is that less confusing?

      It's not, it's just another case of too many marketers spoiling the broth.

      A similar example is the revived Pentium brand. This was fine when it originally when it represented Intel's "mainstream" x86 line, with Celeron being the cut down models and Xeon the server versions. Simple. Then they ditched the name when the Core brand came out. Whatever; except that instead of sticking with the new hierarchy, they decided to bring the Pentium brand back.

      Only now its old place had been taken and there was no cl

      • You can argue whether or not they should have ditched the name in the first place, but having done so, it was an absolutely stupid idea to bring it back.

        This sort of flip-flopping makes no sense when viewed from the outside, but if you look at the internal politics, it does. Most likely the original decision was opposed by some VP or faction, but was pushed through anyway. Now the power has shifted, and the re-namers are out of power, so bringing back the "old-name" is a way for their opponents to emphasize their dominance, sort of the way that an alpha monkey will shake his pee-pee at the other monkeys.

        Anyone that expects a corporation to behave logicall

        • This sort of flip-flopping makes no sense when viewed from the outside, but if you look at the internal politics, it does. [..] Anyone that expects a corporation to behave logically and consistently over a period of years has never sat in a boardroom and seen the petty politics and childish score-setting that goes on.

          Oh, I agree entirely- I've no doubt that's a plausible explanation too.

          Point is that the decision smacked of internal positioning and politics- whether it was some mediocrity trying to increase their prominence or importance or (as you suggested) internal factionalising and displays of power, or whatever- rather than being about what was best from a marketing point of view. Because it wasn't!

          I posted a comment several years back [] explaining how the well-known contradiction of MS employing countless talen

    • How in the world is that less confusing?

      "Don't look at the product name to know what you are buying, look at that tiny ass number on the bottom of the box! Duh!"

      Well, to be fair. The core i5 and i7 processors ending in U, are not real mobile i7 or i5s either and should have been labelled at most mobile i3, since the i7U is 2 core 4 threads like a proper mobile i3H is

  • What? (Score:5, Funny)

    by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Friday September 02, 2016 @04:21PM (#52817421) Homepage Journal
    All I care about is if it is a Dell or not. I don't know what a core is.
  • Why bother? (Score:5, Funny)

    by ausekilis ( 1513635 ) on Friday September 02, 2016 @04:23PM (#52817439)
    Why even bother with that? They could have gone with a car-like naming convention.

    Why, they only need to say "Our top of the line is the 358DKL!, it's much higher powered than the 799PNS!"

    Bonus that they could be read much like a license plate. Who wouldn't snicker at the chance to say "three-fifty-eight dickel" or "seven-ninety-nine penis"?
  • by meerling ( 1487879 ) on Friday September 02, 2016 @04:23PM (#52817441)
    And push it completely into total apathy.
  • Benchmark (Score:3, Insightful)

    by chrpai ( 806494 ) on Friday September 02, 2016 @04:26PM (#52817471) Homepage
    To be honest, they are so many product lines and SKUs out there these days that the only thing I do is search for the passmark rating and make sure it isn't a total dog and that it's at least a little bit better then what I used to have. Is there a better approach? For my desktop / hyper-v server I'm still running a 5 year old i7-2600k (passmark 8504) and don't really see any need to replace it. My laptop is running an i7-2620m (passmark 3811) and it seems fine to.
  • It seems like stupid naming, but I can't see how the change has much real-world relevance. How many people pay attention to the processor at all, except Slashdot types?

  • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Friday September 02, 2016 @04:51PM (#52817647)
    This isn't like Atom, which used an entirely different core design. Core M (both Broadwell and Skylake) is just a regular Core i, with a lower TDP and clock speeds. Core M Broadwell limited Turbo Boost to a single core, but Skylake will Turbo on both cores. It seems to be using the i7 dual core design, since Core M has 4MB cache like the i7, instead of 3MB like the i5 and i3. Which is also why Skylake Core M beats out a similarly-clocked Skylake mobile i5 in certain short benchmarks - the benchmark isn't long enough for thermal throttling to kick in, and the 4MB cache beats out the 3MB cache.
    • I used to be a CPU whiz, and I never followed nor figured out what the Core M was. Thanks for explaining it. It does confuse things when Core M means different things in Broadwell vs Skylake vs Kaby Lake, so Intel has done well by rebranding it
    • They've had the same core for a while, that doesn't change the fact that they were setup and advertised as two different tiers of hardware with different performance and different price points. This made for easy advertising. You knew what to expect when a laptop was advertised with an i7 inside. Not anymore.

  • With the bullshit OS fiasco, the hardware bugs and silicon backdoors I would never buy anything newer than Broadwell.
  • by puddingebola ( 2036796 ) on Friday September 02, 2016 @05:18PM (#52817825) Journal
    Not sure about this line of processors to begin with. Do consumers really care about the thinness and lightness of their laptop that much? It may offer more possibilities to PC makers going forward in terms of the form of the devices they can imagine and create, but look at a new Macbook and a Macbook Air, Core M vs Core i5. You have a drop in performance for the Core M and the weight difference is shedding a mere 0.35 pounds. It seems to me once you hit 2.5 pounds and half an inch thick you are bumping up against a law of diminishing returns. Not sure how cost factors in however, and I have been wrong many times before.
    • As someone who holds my laptop, yes I care. Less closed thinking please. We're in a world of a hundred devices for a hundred purposes. Crossover devices are not think and light enough yet.

    • Oh gods yes. I have a woman at work that works with very large and complicated excel spreadsheets. She will only use an 11 inch MacAir, because ANYTHING ELSE is TOO HEAVY. Even though she admits its very challenging working on such a small screen, she's slower to work, and that it gives her headaches, she won't budge.

  • by rossdee ( 243626 ) on Friday September 02, 2016 @05:18PM (#52817831)

    is whether or not the CPU is one of these 'will only run Win 10' ones, or is it able to run other OS's

    • I would care more about people understanding the difference between a marketing announcement and actually breaking backwards compatibility. Your old windows will run on a new processor just fine. Just don't expect it to use all the fancy new features.

      MS made an announcement about something which has been standard in the computer would now for 20 years and people collectively lose their shit.

  • There's only 1 reason for this - and it is NOT to alleviate confusion of consumers. Instead, it's to help prevent them from ASKING in the first place. Why would the customer ask about something they can't see and thus, aren't made aware of? It's pretty close to a bait-and-switch in my opinion, in that the customer thinks they are getting one thing, and are really getting another. I'd wager there "y" series is a little more expensive than it ordinarily would be too. /end rant.
  • Having an easy and accurate choice for consumers is far less preferable than making them look at all your products, and potentially have to decide on buying the more expensive on the basis it must be better.

    I expect video card makers to change up their numbering systems any day now for just this reason.

  • Why make better value for our customers with more cores and/or lower prices when we can just barf alphanumeric soup all over the box?

    Seriously, all the naming obsfucation has taken the fun out of building a new PC, and Win10 has sucked the fun out of owning one. You have to do a lot of searching around to dig through all the marketing BS to figure out what components actually do and whether they are worth the change to buy them

  • and Y is for "Yuck!", got it.

  • I suspect this is how HP are planning on getting away with shipping i5 and i7 processors in its new form factor PCs. They sound fast, until you realise the i5 and i7 are really M/Ys.
  • By making the labelling more confusing, fewer buyers can make informed buying decisions, and are thus more subject to the ShinyThingEffect (whereby there is little intelligent thought capable of counting the feelings of 'Oooh! ShinyThing!') and then manufacturers get a level playing field of ShinyThing-ness.

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead