Intel KF vs K: What are their differences. What does the k mean in intel processors

Sometimes you will see “vPro processors”. These are variants of existing Intel processors that support some useful management features designed for large companies. For the sake of mental health, we will not worry about them here.

Intel KF vs K: What are their differences?

Intel KF vs K What are their differences

The differences between Intel Core K and KF may not seem that significant when it comes to basic processing performance, nor do they have a notorious price difference. One of the main features that separates these two processor models is the addition of graphics processing capability. Why would Intel skip such an important feature in one of these modules and still get a tiny difference?

A little background information about Intel processors

We’re going to review Intel processors. In short, the company introduces new products to the processor market every year. These processor models are based on specific architecture, lithography, and features.

Intel Alder Lake-S is the 12th generation of Intel processors. Based on a completely new architecture, the main features of this model are its heterogeneous core design and 10 nanometer SuperFIN lithography process. In addition, they are the first to support PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 RAM.

Intel always clearly distinguishes the range of processors in this range, namely Core i3, Core i5, Core i7 and Core i9, the different levels of processors they usually brand on each release. These models differ in the number of cores and frequencies. In addition, there is a letter that is usually added as part of a model naming convention to denote specific characteristics or functions. A prime example is Intel Core-KF and Intel Core-K, but there are others, like Intel Core-T, which has a trimmed frequency.

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Intel Core CPU Naming Scheme

The name of the Intel Core processor consists of a total of six segments:

Company Name

There is not much to say about the company’s name – it’s Intel, and it indicates that the processor was made by Intel.

Brand Name

Now Intel has many brands in their CPU selection, all designed for different things. To list the most popular ones you will meet today:

  1. Core, aimed primarily at mainstream desktops, be it gaming PCs or workstations.
  2. Xeon, which includes some of the most powerful processors on the market today with an unmatched number of cores and threads, designed for heavy workstations and servers.
  3. Pentium, inexpensive processors that are suitable for the occasional computer user.
  4. Celeron, entry-level solutions ideal for those on a tight budget.
  5. Atom, energy-saving processors designed mainly for mobile devices.

In addition to these five, Intel also sells Movidius VPUs and Quark microcontrollers. In the past, they also had many other brands that have since been phased out.

Brand Modifier

Intel Core i3 i5 and i7

Intel processors are further distinguished by their overall performance and price. When it comes to Intel Core models, you’ll find that they are further divided into four categories:

  1. i3 – the most affordable Core models that are perfect for inexpensive gaming PCs.
  2. i5 – Mid-range processors that are usually best suited to the average gamer.
  3. i7 – High-class processors that are perfect for both games and professional, processor-intensive software.
  4. i9 – enthusiast-class processors that are usually really only worth buying for workstations.

Generation Indicator

Intel Core 11th generation

This is another fairly simple part of the processor name and indicates which generation the processor belongs to. The latest Intel desktop processors are in the 11th generation, and that’s what the “11” in “Intel Core i5-11600K” stands for.

Overall, each subsequent generation of the processor offers some kind of improvement. Usually this is just an overall performance boost, but newer generations may also incorporate some new features that their predecessors lacked. For example, Gen 11 Core processors support PCIe 4.0, while Gen 10 models do not.

Model/SKU Number

The model number / SKU usually consists of 3 digits, and while it’s a generic number that doesn’t really say anything about a CPU spec or its capabilities, it indicates its position in the hierarchy within the generation it belongs to.

For example you have i3-10100, i5-10600, i7-10700 and i9-10900, each CPU is more powerful than the previous one. Thus, models marked with higher numbers have more computing power and may have access to certain features that are lacking in cheaper alternatives.


So, this would be a quick overview of the Intel Core processor naming scheme and lettering designations you’ll encounter today when purchasing a new processor.

We should note that we have not included some lettering notations that only existed on some older, discontinued models, but we will update the article in case any of them return or if Intel adds new markings to mix in the future.

Also, if you’re buying a new CPU now, be sure to check out our pick of the best gaming processors of 2022. There you’ll find a more detailed guide and some CPUs that might be perfectly suited to your needs.

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Clock speed, measured in megahertz (MHz) and gigahertz (GHz), represents the speed at which the processor is moving. It is calculated based on the number of clock cycles per second managed.

Generations (9th Gen, 8th Gen, e.t.c.)

A typical Intel computer will have an alphanumeric string that will look like this: 8th Gen Intel® Core ™ i7-8650U. Let’s go back here for a moment. In 2008, Intel introduced a new naming scheme for its Core processors, ie Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, and now Core i9.

From the first generation processors that shipped with the Nehalem microarchitecture, Intel has gone through 9 iterations and counting over ten years to achieve the current ninth generation Cannon Lake microarchitecture.

Intel includes the generation of processors in the model name. It’s fairly easy to see, and once seen it can’t be invisible, trust me. Let’s use our example above, Intel® Core ™ i7-8650U, 8 in the model number means 8th generation.

The SKU 650 on the Intel® Core ™ i7-8650U processor indicates the position of that specific processor in the product lines. Often the higher the better. The end letter, on the other hand, is the product line suffix.

For example, the letter U in the Intel® Core ™ i7-8650U stands for Ultra Low Power.

Product line suffix

Intel processor brand names

The product line suffixes that you see on the processor names are code in themselves. They can be: K, U, T, H, M, C, R, S, G, Y, HQ, and some others. These suffixes can stand for anything from unlocked, ultra-low power, quad-core, high-performance graphics, etc. Here’s a tabular explanation of most of the product lines and what the final letters mean:

Intel processors are further distinguished by their overall performance and price. When it comes to Intel Core models, you’ll find that they are further divided into four categories:

The Y factor

I’d like to find a guy – it will definitely be a man – who has set out to make Intel CPUs EVEN MORE confusing by adding a Y in the middle. I mean, what’s wrong with you, Intel?

In any case, yes, sometimes you’ll see a CPU with the letter “Y” in the center. For example, the Core i7-7Y75 – and all Core M. Y chips indicate that the chip has extremely low power, so it is suitable for a fanless design.

I’ve also seen Core-X on Intel’s website…

Yes. Once again, we would like to thank the marketing people at Intel who believe that there is nothing wrong with manipulating our minds. Because the “Core X series” is not really a series of processors. Intel has simply added X to its most “extreme” (both in performance and price) chips and has now decided it will be the family.

There are currently 12 “X series” chips on Intel’s website, including the only Core i9 processor announced to date: the Core i9-7900X. It has ten cores and will bring you a nice piano back.

Most consumer and business laptops use chips in the 15 to 28 watt range. Until recently, both vendors placed the U suffix on 15-watt processors, although Intel has discontinued this practice. Starting with the 10th generation “Ice Lake” chips, Intel switched to the G suffix and a number indicating integrated graphics performance.

Which Gaming CPU Is Right for You?

High-End Gaming, Content Creation and Multitasking.

“K” Means Unlocked

What is overclocking? Increase processing power by tweaking your system to run with the CPU at higher settings than the default spec, helping speed up components – and your gameplay.

Overclock with Confidence

Intel® Performance Maximizer (Intel® PM) can automatically boost your CPU frequency and give you a competitive advantage by examining your PC’s performance DNA and programming personalized overclocking settings.

Get Into Your Games Faster

Intel ® Optane ™ memory is intelligent technology that speeds up the responsiveness of your computer. Quickly access and remember frequently used documents, videos, games and applications on your computers when you turn it off – allowing you to create, play and be more productive with less waiting time.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between 11th, 10th, and 9th Gen Intel® Core processors?

The Intel Core processor family includes several generations of processor upgrades. There are 3 basic generations of the family. Usually, the greater the number, the later the generation. For example, 11th gen is newer than 10th and 9th gen. They correspond to improvements in process technology and features that enable more sophisticated applications such as virtual reality, games, and office productivity.

What is the difference between Intel® Core ™ i3, Intel® Core ™ i5, Intel® Core ™ i7 and Intel® Core ™ i9 processors?

The Intel Core processor family includes the most feature-rich and efficient Intel processors for businesses and consumers. There are three tiers of Intel Core processors represented by i3, i5, i7 and i9. The difference between these levels is in the characteristics (or the amount of a specific function, such as the amount of cache) present in the processor. The Intel Core i9 processor is the most feature-rich, the Intel Core i3 processor the least.

What do the letters on Intel processors mean?

  • C – Desktop processor based on LGA 1150 package with high performance graphics
  • H – High performance graphics
  • K – Unlocked
  • M – Mobile
  • Q – quad core
  • R – Desktop processor based on the BGA1364 (mobile) package with high performance graphics
  • S – Lifestyle optimized for performance
  • T – Power optimized lifestyle
  • U – Very low power
  • X – Extreme Edition
  • Y – Extremely low power

What is the clock frequency (MHz, GHz)?

Clock speed, measured in megahertz (MHz) and gigahertz (GHz), represents the speed at which the processor is moving. It is calculated based on the number of clock cycles per second managed.

What is Optane memory?

Intel ® Optane ™ memory is intelligent technology that speeds up the responsiveness of your computer. Quickly access and remember frequently used documents, videos, games, and applications on your computers when you turn it off, allowing you to create, play and be productive with less waiting time.

What’s the difference between Intel® Optane ™ memory and Intel® Optane SSD?

Intel® Optane ™ memory is an add-on module based on smart memory technology that speeds up the loading of games and levels so you can jump into the action.

Intel® Optane ™ SSD is storage based on Intel® Optane ™ storage media, a breakthrough non-volatile memory technology, Intel® Optane ™ SSDs use PCIe * Gen3x4 to deliver amazing performance where it matters


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* Device comes with Windows 10 and Free Windows 11 Upgrade, or may come preloaded with Windows 11. Update time may vary by device. The availability of features and applications may vary by region. Certain features require specific hardware (see Windows 11 specifications)

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Celeron, Intel, the Intel logo, Intel Atom, Intel Core, Intel Inside, the Intel Inside logo, Intel vPro, Intel Evo, Intel Optane, Intel Xeon Phi, Iris, Itanium, MAX, Pentium and Xeon are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries.

Intel® Optane ™ memory is an add-on module based on smart memory technology that speeds up the loading of games and levels so you can jump into the action.

Will 12 th Gen Intel Core Desktop Processors have DDR5 support?

Yes. 12th Gen Intel Core processors support DDR5, the latest system memory standard. Systems with DDR5 RAM support faster frequencies as well as higher bandwidth and bandwidth – up to 4,800 mega transfers per second (MT / s). Systems with 12th Gen Intel Core processors will continue to support legacy DDR4 RAM with a maximum bandwidth of 3200 MT / s.

Yes. 12th Gen Intel Core processors support the x16 PCIe Gen 5 and x4 PCIe Gen 4 interface standards. This is important if you are using NVIDIA RTX 3000 series or AMD Radeon 6000 series graphics cards where you can achieve tangible performance gains. The x16 PCIe Gen 5 slot on the Alder Lake motherboard provides twice the bandwidth (128 GB / s) of the previous generation.

Intel internal benchmarks for CPU-intensive games.

Are 12th Gen Intel Core Desktop Processors good for gaming?

While they are versatile chips with great content creation and workflow capabilities, the 12th Generation Intel Core processors are designed with gamers in mind. As for the CPU, gaming usually requires one thread.

The powerful hybrid architecture and the latest iteration of Intel’s 10nm process (which is called Intel 7) on the 12th Generation Intel Core Desktop processors improve single-threaded performance over the previous generation processors.

Game developer tests were released by Intel in October and looks promising. The flagship Intel Core i9-12900K processor’s performance increases in successive generations in CPU-intensive games, including up to 25% more FPS in Troy: A Total War Saga, up to 28% more FPS in Hitman 3 and up to 23% more FPS in Far Cry 63.

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First Up: Some Basic CPU Concepts

The processor is responsible for basic logical operations in the computer. It has it all: mouse clicks, smooth video streaming, responsive in-game commands, encode family home video, and more. This is the most important piece of equipment.

Before we get into specific processor recommendations, let’s build an understanding of what makes them different from others by focusing on the main features common to all laptop processors.

Processor Architecture: The Silicon Underpinnings

Each processor is based on a basic structure called an instruction set architecture. This plan defines how the processor understands the computer code. Since software operating systems and applications are written to run most efficiently – or sometimes only – on a particular architecture, this is arguably the most important decision point for the next processor.

Generally speaking, today’s laptop processors use either the ARM or x86 architecture. The latter was created by Intel in 1978 and dominates the PC industry while Intel and AMD struggle for market dominance. In turn, ARM-based chips are produced by hundreds of different companies under the license of the British company ARM Limited, owned by Softbank. (Its planned sale to Nvidia is currently under review by the FTC and other regulators.)

Found in billions of devices, from smartphones to supercomputers, ARM chips were only seen in some Chromebooks and very few Windows laptops (based on Qualcomm processors) until Apple switched from Intel to its own ARM M1 processors in late 2020 is the main reason why ARM chips are widely accepted as an alternative to x86 for mainstream computers.

Your architecture choice is a foregone conclusion if you’re an Apple user, with a few Intel-based Macs still available but dominant M1 chips (with rumors of a more powerful M1X and a brand new M2 on the horizon). But Microsoft Windows, Chrome OS, and many Linux operating systems are compatible with both ARM and x86. Based on our reviews of today’s few Qualcomm-based Windows systems such as the Microsoft Surface Pro X tablet and the HP Elite Folio convertible, x86 remains our recommended architecture for Windows until more applications are written that will run natively on ARM.

Applications written for x86 can run on ARM chips through software emulation, but the translation layer slows performance compared to code written to run on ARM. Likewise, the occasional ARM processors (especially MediaTek) seen in budget Chromebooks have proven to be much less snappy than Intel and AMD processors in mid-range and premium Chromebooks.

Core and Thread Count: Firing on All (CPU) Cylinders

Modern laptop processors partly consist of two or more physical cores. The core is essentially the logical brain. Everything else is equal, more cores are better than fewer, although there is a ceiling that can be used in a given situation. A greatly simplified analogy is the number of cylinders in a car engine.

For basic tasks like surfing the web, word processing, social media, and video streaming, a dual-core processor is the bare minimum. (Indeed, you can’t buy a single-core laptop today.) Multitaskers will have much better results with a quad-core processor, which is now even found in many inexpensive notebooks. For games, video editing, and other CPU-intensive applications, look for a six-core or eight-core processor. They are typically found in larger notebooks as they require additional cooling. (They’re also at the higher processor level; more about this layering in a moment when we talk about the specifics of Intel and AMD chipsets.)

Which Way to Go: Intel or AMD?

Now that you’ve covered the basics, let’s start with specific processor brands. In this section, we’ll focus on the x86 processors available from AMD and Intel, as most Apple MacBooks have switched to their own ARM-based M1 chips. (The 16-inch and cheapest 13-inch MacBook Pro has Intel in this writing, but we expect the whole thing to be based on Apple silicon soon.)

AMD and Intel have been fierce competitors in terms of laptop processor market share since 2021. It was different in 2010, when Intel dominated the market with better and more energy-efficient processors, mainly relegating AMD to budget entry-level notebooks.

The last few generations of AMD Ryzen mobile processors have made the former weaker competitor a formidable competitor. (See our benchmarks for the first Ryzen 5000 series laptop processors.) That said, Intel continues to enjoy the favor of some vendors and IT managers in companies, which may force the choice of processor depending on the laptop.

The ABCs of the Archrivals: Pentium, Core, Ryzen and More

AMD and Intel differentiate their laptop processors according to all the basic concepts discussed earlier, but their brand at the highest level is most apparent to casual buyers. Here are their core product lines according to your target market.

The main brand of Intel for laptop processors is Core, while AMD is Ryzen. They collide on every level – AMD’s Ryzen 3 competes with Intel’s Core i3, Ryzen 5 with the Core i5, and Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 9 with Core i7 and Core i9.

Among laptops and Chromebooks retailing for just a few hundred dollars, AMD Athlon chips compete with Intel’s Celeron and Pentium lines. AMD doesn’t have a direct alternative to Intel’s Xeon for flagship mobile workstations, although the Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 9 may offer similar performance. Xeon are essentially Core i7 or Core i9 processors with additional features, designed to work with Exotic Error Correction Memory (ECC) and guaranteed to run smoothly in certain professional applications.

Most buyers will find the best combination of performance and value from the middle members of the Core and Ryzen families. The Ryzen 5 and Core i5 are particularly well rounded. Supporting full board multithreading in their latest generations, they are more efficient than the Ryzen 3 and Core i3, but cost less than the Ryzen 7 and Core i7. The latter will tempt power users and gamers alike, while those with cash to burn for whom wait times to render media or process numbers mean money can spill out on a Core i9 or Ryzen 9.

Generations and Codenames: You’ll Need a Decoder Ring

Just as car companies go through model years, AMD and Intel distinguish their chips according to the generation identified at the beginning of their part numbers. For example, Intel’s Core i7-1065G7 and Core i5-1135G7 belong to the family of 10th and 11th generation mobile processors with integrated graphics, respectively. (Yes, there are exceptions, see “Intel’s Special Naming Conventions” below.) AMD indicates a generation after specifying a family or performance level (3, 5, 7 or 9): Ryzen 7 5800H is the 5th Generation or Ryzen 5000 Series System.

Technology sites like PCMag also use codenames that AMD and Intel use when developing chips, such as “Tiger Lake” for Intel’s 11th Gen Core processors and “Cezanne” for AMD’s Ryzen 5000 series mobile chips. These internal baseball terms are more of an industry jargon than a marketing term for consumers, but are often used even after the chip is released. Confusingly, Intel sometimes uses multiple codenames within a single generation (such as “Comet Lake” and “Ice Lake” for different subsets of its 10th generation processors).

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