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How to check Intel processor generation on Windows 10

Here's how to read Intel's processor name to know exactly what's on your Windows 10 PC.

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.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to check the Intel processor generation included on your Windows 10 device.

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.

About page processor information
About page processor information

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.

Control Panel processor information
Control Panel processor information

Alternatively, you can open Start, type msinfo32, and opening System Information, it’s also possible to find your system’s processor information.

System Information processor details
System Information processor details

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.

Intel processor information
Intel processor information
Alpha SuffixDescription
UUltra-low power
HHigh performance graphics
HKHigh performance graphics, unlocked
HQHigh performance graphics, quad core
High performance graphics (4th Generation)
YExtremely low power
MXMobile extreme edition
MQQuad-core mobile
QMQuad-core mobile (3rd & 2nd Generation)
TPower-optimized lifestyle
CUnlocked desktop Processor based on the LGA 1150 package with high performance graphics
RDesktop processor based on BGA1364 (mobile) package with high performance graphics
SPerformance-optimized lifestyle

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.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 15 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 21 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].