Although you may have bought a new desktop computer or laptop featuring an Intel Core i7 processor, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have the latest or the fastest processor.
In the old days, when Intel and other chip makers used to label their processors using their gigahertz speeds and higher the number used to mean better. However, because hertz are not a real indicators of the performance of a processor, Intel changed its chips name scheme with the Core series to shift their marketing away from frequency.
Aside from Pentium, today, we have four different groups of consumer processors, including the Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, and Core i9. However, while a higher number means more performance, more features and more money, a Core i7 on a laptop is not the same as a Core i7 on a desktop computer, and Core i5 that was released on 2017 is not the same as a Core i5 that was released on 2016.
How to find out what Intel processor is installed on your PC
There are at least three ways to see the processor information on your device.
On Windows 10, you can go to Settings > System > About.
On older versions of Windows, including the latest one, it’s also possible to see the processor information going to Control Panel > System and Security > System.
Alternatively, you can open Start, type msinfo32, and opening System Information, it’s also possible to find your system’s processor information.
What Intel processor do you have?
Using the processor information, you can identify the type and more importantly the generation of the processor you have.
In my case, I have a Dell laptop with an Intel Core i7-4712HQ. If you look at the information, we can break it down to know exactly the type of chip this is:
- Intel Core — This is the brand name.
- i7 — Indicates the processor category. Or how Intel defines it, the Brand Modifier.
- 4 — The first number after hyphen, in the four-number sequence, indicates the generation. In this case, this processor is from the fourth Core generation, which was released in 2014. Intel recently launched its eighth-generation (Coffee Lake) line of processors, which means that four-sequence on those chips will start with the number 8, for example, Core i5-8250U.
- 712 — The three numbers after the generation number, in the four-number sequence, identifier correspond is known as the SKU Numeric Digits.
- HQ — The alpha suffix at the end represents the processor line. In this case HQ means that it features high performance graphics
While you can quickly tell the type and generation of an Intel processor, the alpha suffix after the four-sequence number can be a bit more difficult to understand, because it can mean something different on each generation and on the type of processor.
In the table below, you’ll find the description for each suffix available until the eighth-generation of Intel processor all the way down until the second-generation, which is when the “i” series started.
|H||High performance graphics|
|HK||High performance graphics, unlocked|
|HQ||High performance graphics, quad core |
High performance graphics (4th Generation)
|Y||Extremely low power|
|MX||Mobile extreme edition|
|QM||Quad-core mobile (3rd & 2nd Generation)|
|C||Unlocked desktop Processor based on the LGA 1150 package with high performance graphics|
|R||Desktop processor based on BGA1364 (mobile) package with high performance graphics|
Remember that these steps are not only useful to know the type and processor generation you have from Intel, but they can also come in handy when looking into purchase a new device and stay away from deals that make you think you’re getting a good one, when in reality, you’re simply buying an older product.
You can also check Intel’s support website for more details on processor numbers for laptop, desktop, and mobile devices.