How to Understand Intel Skylake CPU Names & Model Numbers
Intel has released its latest line of computer processors, the sixth generation Intel Core, codenamed Skylake. There are a lot of upgrades to the processors that yield great improvements to your daily computing tasks.
Unfortunately for those of us who aren't interested in parsing tech jargon, there are many different types of Skylake processors, each with their own combination of model numbers. Here's a quick rundown of what this alphabet soup all means.
What Do the 'Core Numbers' Indicate?
These processors come in varieties called Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7. The higher numbers — i7 compared to i3 — are more powerful processors, though with that extra power typically comes lower battery life.
Skylake processors also come in Pro models. These feature Intel's Iris Pro Graphics, an improvement on Intel's regular Iris Graphics, which yield better video performance.
What Are the Different Series?
The following processor series are for full-on computers. They each come in Core i3, Core i5, Core i5 Pro, Core i7, Core i7 Pro, and Xeon varieties:
- U-Series: For ultralight laptops
- H-Series: For performance mobile laptops
- S-series: For desktops
- Y-Series: For 2-in-1 detachable laptops, tablets, and sticks
What Do the Model Numbers Mean?
Beyond these names, you may see processors referred to by their model number, like Core i7-6920HQ. The first digit typically represents the generation number. So if you want a Skylake chip, you're looking for model numbers that start with 6.
The Overall Computer Configuration Is More Important
For the average consumer, we'd recommend looking at the total system you're getting rather than obsessing over the specific chip. Our advice is to look for a computer with features you want, make sure it has a Skylake chip, pick a processor speed (or decide how much you're willing to spend for that speed), and decide if graphics performance is important enough to you to upgrade to a Pro model.
For more information about Skylake, check out our full writeup on the upgrades.