How to Understand Intel Skylake CPU Names & Model Numbers

Not sure what the difference is between Core i7 and Core i7 Pro? This should help.
Intel Skylake

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
There is a more convertible, mobile-focused series of processors, noted below. These come with slightly different Core varieties, including Core m3, Core m5, Core m5 Pro, Core m7, and Core m7 Pro:
  • 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.

Elizabeth Harper
Contributing Writer

Originally working in IT, Elizabeth now writes on tech, gaming, and general consumer issues. Her articles have appeared in USA Today, Time, AOL, PriceGrabber, and more. She has been one of DealNews' most regular contributors since 2013, researching everything from vacuums to renters insurance to help consumers.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).


Leave a comment!

or Register
1 comment
Thanks for the info, this really helps clarify the options. Currently using an original YOGA Ideapad which is still holding its own. Waiting to see what Lenovo or MS will do with these chips.