Intel’s new Core CPU branding is official: “i” is out, Ultra is in

So Intel has finally done it. After over a decade, the company is retiring the “i3/i5/i7” CPU branding you’ve come to know and replacing it with a new “Intel Core” scheme. The shakeup ditches the “i”-based naming in favor of a simplified trio: Intel Core, Intel Core Ultra, and Intel Core Extreme. The new names match up pretty directly to the old i3, i5 and i7 lines, with Ultra and Extreme signaling more powerful chips.

The rebrand has been rumored for a while, but Intel made it official today with a splashy launch for its latest 11th-gen Intel Core desktop processors, codenamed “Rocket Lake.” The new CPUs will still come in familiar flavors for mainstream and gaming PCs. But the company hopes the simplified Core, Core Ultra and Core Extreme tags will be easier for you and me to understand at a glance. Fair enough, Intel. After more than 10 years, we were due for a refresh. The new names will take some getting used to, but simpler is usually better. Out with the old “i,” in with the new Ultra.

Intel Bids Farewell to the “I” Branding

Intel has officially ditched the “i” branding for their Core CPUs. After more than 10 years, the company is moving on to “Intel Core” followed by the model number. The first processors launched under the new naming scheme are 11th Gen Intel Core mobile processors, formerly known as Tiger Lake.

This means no more i3, i5 or i7 to signify Intel’s processor tiers. Instead, you’ll see Intel Core i5-1135G7 or Intel Core i7-1185G7 for example. While longtime Intel customers may miss the simplicity of the old i3/i5/i7 brands, the new naming convention provides more details upfront about each specific chip.

The rebranding also coincides with Intel’s push into more specialized product lines. In addition to the standard Intel Core chips for everyday computing, Intel now offers Intel Core vPro for business PCs, Intel Core H for high-powered laptops and Intel Core Ultra for ultraportable laptops. The Core Ultra line is designed for super-slim laptops and promises a perfect combo of performance and battery life.

Some may find the new product names a bit of a mouthful, but they do give customers a better sense of exactly what type of processor they’re getting for their needs. The transition to the simplified two-digit model numbers will also help avoid confusion as Intel continues advancing to higher generations of Core chips over time. While it’s the end of an era, the new Intel Core branding looks to provide a logical step forward.

Meet the New Intel Core Processors With “Ultra” Branding

new Core

Intel just announced their new 12th Gen Core processors, and with it comes a refreshed branding. Gone are the days of “i3,” “i5,” and “i7.” Now we have the Intel Core i3 replaced by the Intel Core i5, the i5 becomes the i7, and the i7 is now the i9. Confused yet? Don’t worry, here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know:

•Intel Core i5 (formerly i3): For basic computing like web browsing, streaming media, and productivity. Great for students or as an affordable family PC.

•Intel Core i7 (formerly i5): Intel’s most popular processor, ideal for most people. Fast enough for more intensive tasks like photo and video editing, PC gaming, and professional work.

•Intel Core i9 (formerly i7): For high-performance needs like hardcore PC gaming, video editing, 3D modeling, and other computing-intensive workloads.

With the new 12th Gen Intel Core processors also comes a shift to a new Intel 7 manufacturing process and hybrid architecture with a mix of high-performance cores and high-efficiency cores. What does this mean for you? Faster speeds, better battery life, and more power in thinner and lighter laptops.

The new Ultra branding is meant to simplify Intel’s processor lineup and make choosing a CPU less confusing. So when you’re on the hunt for a new laptop or desktop PC, just look for an Intel Core i5, i7 or i9 and you’ll know exactly how much power you’re getting. The higher the number, the more advanced and faster the processor. Easy peasy!

Intel Core I9 vs. Intel Core Ultra: What’s the Difference?

More Powerful Processors

The new Intel Core Ultra processors will replace the previous Intel Core i9 chips. The Ultra series is designed to be more powerful, with higher core counts and clock speeds than the i9. The flagship Intel Core i9-12900K has 16 cores, while the Intel Core i9-13900K Ultra will have up to 24 cores. Higher core counts mean the Ultra can handle more tasks at once without slowing down.

Advanced Microarchitecture

Intel redesigned the microarchitecture for the Ultra series to improve performance and efficiency. The new microarchitecture includes larger cache sizes, support for faster memory, and improved single-core and multi-core performance. The revamped microarchitecture will provide up to 15% better single-core performance and up to 28% better multi-core performance compared to the previous generation according to Intel.

Enhanced Graphics

The new Intel Ultra processors will feature upgraded integrated graphics based on Intel’s Xe GPU architecture. The integrated graphics on the Ultra chips will be up to twice as powerful as the graphics on the i9 chips. The improved graphics will provide better performance for gaming and content creation on systems without a dedicated graphics card.

Higher Power Consumption

The increased performance and core counts of the Ultra processors come at the cost of higher power consumption. The top-end i9-13900K Ultra has a base power draw of 125W, compared to 125W for the i9-12900K. Under heavy workloads, the i9-13900K Ultra can draw up to 253W of power compared to 241W for the i9-12900K. The additional power draw means Ultra-based systems may run hotter and require more robust cooling solutions.

In summary, the new Intel Core Ultra processors will provide meaningful upgrades over the previous i9 chips, with more cores, faster clock speeds, revamped microarchitecture, and enhanced graphics. But those performance benefits do come with higher power consumption and additional heat that needs to be dissipated. For the ultimate in desktop performance, the Ultra looks to be Intel’s most advanced consumer CPU yet.

Intel’s 11th Gen Core Ultra Processors: A Deeper Dive Into the Specs

Intel’s 11th Gen Core Ultra Processors: A Deeper Dive Into the Specs

Power and Performance

Intel’s 11th Gen Core Ultra mobile processors pack a punch when it comes to power and performance. The top of the line i7-1185G7 quad-core processor has a max turbo frequency of 4.8 GHz, so you’ll experience fast load times and seamless multitasking. The integrated Iris Xe graphics provide up to 96 EUs for casual gaming and graphics-intensive tasks.


The 11th Gen Intel Core Ultra processors support Wi-Fi 6, the latest wireless standard. This means faster download speeds, less buffering when streaming 4K video or doing video calls, and the ability to connect more devices at once without compromising performance. Thunderbolt 4 ports provide the fastest, most versatile connection to any dock, display or data device.

Artificial Intelligence

Intel’s dedicated AI engines are built right into the 11th Gen Core Ultra processors. The Gaussian & Neural Accelerator (GNA) provides real-time inference for voice assistants and other AI-based features. This means your laptop will be able to understand and respond to your voice commands with minimal delay.

Battery Life

Despite the increase in power and performance, the 11th Gen Intel Core Ultra processors are more energy efficient than previous generations. With Intel’s new SuperFin transistor design and power-efficient cores, you can expect up to 2 times faster graphics and up to 20% better CPU performance with no reduction in battery life. The exact battery life will depend on factors like your laptop’s specs and settings, but in general you’ll get all-day battery life for basic tasks like web browsing and document editing.

The 11th Gen Intel Core Ultra processors represent a solid upgrade with meaningful improvements in connectivity, graphics, AI and battery life. Whether you need a laptop for productivity, creativity or entertainment, the latest chips from Intel will provide an exceptional experience.

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When Can We Expect the New Intel Core Ultra Laptops?

The Release Schedule

Intel hasn’t announced an official release date for the first laptops featuring the new Core Ultra processors, but based on their typical product cycles, we can make an educated guess. New Intel chips are usually announced in January at CES, the big tech trade show. The first laptops featuring the new CPUs typically ship 3 to 6 months later, between April and July.

This means you can expect the first Intel Core Ultra laptops to hit stores around mid-2022. The initial models will likely be higher-end systems from manufacturers like Dell, HP, Lenovo, and others. Mainstream and budget laptops with the new chips will probably start arriving in late 2022 and early 2023.

What to Expect

When the new laptops do arrive, you’ll be greeted by:

  • Faster overall performance for productivity, content creation, gaming, and more. The Core Ultra chips will provide big gains in areas like video editing, 3D modeling, and gaming.
  • Longer battery life. Intel is promising “all-day battery life” with the new platform, so you may see runtimes of 12 to 16 hours or more on laptops with large batteries.
  • More premium designs. Early Core Ultra laptops will likely feature high-quality displays, keyboards, touchpads, and chassis to match the advanced components inside. Some may have features like touchscreens, stylus support, and biometric logins.
  • Higher price tags. Unfortunately, the latest and greatest tech usually commands a premium. Expect Core Ultra laptops, especially early models, to start at $1,000 or more. If you’re on a budget, you may want to consider current 10th or 11th Gen Intel options or Ryzen 4000 and 5000 series laptops from AMD.

The new 12th Gen Intel Core Ultra processors promise to significantly raise the bar for laptop performance and battery life. If you’re due for an upgrade, mid-2022 looks to be an exciting time to buy, but be prepared to pay up for the cutting edge. For many users, current-gen laptops will work great for years to come and at lower prices. The choice comes down to how badly you need the latest and greatest.


So there you have it, Intel has officially simplified its CPU branding. No more confusing “i3”, “i5” and “i7” monikers to decipher. The new 12th Gen Intel Core desktop processors with the integrated graphics will now come with an easy to understand “Intel Core” badge followed by the performance level, starting with Intel Core i3, i5 and i7. The higher-performance processors with Intel Iris Xe graphics will be designated as Intel Core i9. Simple, straightforward and ultra-clear.

The new 12th Gen Intel Core mobile processors will also get an easy-to-understand naming structure. “U” Series will be for mainstream laptops, “P” Series for more powerful laptops, and “H” Series for high performance gaming and creator laptops. No more mystery in choosing an Intel processor for your next PC. The new naming scheme is ultra-transparent so you know exactly the level of performance you’re getting. Kudos to Intel for simplifying and streamlining their CPU brands to make it ultra-simple for all of us.

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