Intel chips get new logos, star treatment
Confusing the masses
Intel has introduced a new and flashier set of logos for their consumer-level processors and processor-cum-chipset combos, along with a star-rating system that may generate more trouble than guidance.
The new logos feature the familiar Intel logo above the marketing names of Core i7, Core 2, Centrino, Centrino 2, Atom, Celeron, and Pentium, with small print below listing qualifiers such as Extreme, Duo, Quad, and vPro.
The upper-right corner of the logos show a slice of a chip die in chip-like colors for the Core and Centrino families, but - oddly - in blue for the others.
One blue-chip logo has no family name, just the time-honored "Intel inside" slogan. All the other logos include the term "inside" in the lower-right corner.
While the busy-looking round-edged rectangles may win no awards for design simplicity, when slapped on the bodies of laptops and desktops on the crowded shelves of
Circuit City Best Buy they'll supply PC foragers with information about the processor powering a purchase they're pondering.
Intel's extended family, all in new clothes
The new star-rating system, however, may end up being more trouble than its worth.
These rankings divide the Intel desktop and notebook offerings into five groups in ascending order of potency, with the one-star Celerons clinging to the bottom rung and the top-flight Core i7s and Core 2s standing proud on the five-star top rung.
While the star-rating system is a noble goal, it has one fatal flaw. Processors will inevitably slip down the ladder. And when they do, their rankings may change in Intel's marketing department, but not necessarily on shop shelves or salesfolks' minds.
When this first round of rankings expires at the end of September 2009, the confusion will begin. In early October, expect even those highly trained, whip-smart Best Buy sales associates to be flummoxed when trying to explaining why yesterday's laptop with a three-star Core 2 Duo mobile processor is as capable as a laptop that arrived after the Core 2 Duo mobile was re-starred at two.
Atoms, by the way, aren't star-ranked, so don't expect to see netbooks with such stickers anytime soon. Xeons haven't yet been either new-logoed or star-rated.
Which is fine. Netbook buyers have little reason to compare performance, and Xeon buyers don't need the help. ®
Keeping up with processor comparisons and speeds is going on my Murtaugh list as of this rebrand.... and I'm not even 30 yet... fml
Is it more than 1.5ghz ?
If so, give it enough ram, turn off all the snarking window animations, shovel out all the startup-vampires with 'msconfig', uninstall norton (don't even MENTION vista) and then it will do for most workday tasks.
I must admit to being pretty baffled already about Intel CPU's, the 'Dual Core' vs 'Core 2 Duo' thing took me months to get a grip on. This new star rating wossit looks set to increase rather than decrease my bafflement.
Am just getting too old to give a shit ?, or too stupid ?, or did processors get good enough about 5 years ago to not be of interest any more ? Wouldn't it run better with an extra gig'o'ram instead ?
If you araldite a plastic handle to the die of a pentium pro 200 it makes an excellent dog-brush.
Buh buh buh Why not do this
Have a bar thing with three colours. Errr uhmmm ooooh Blue Green and Red, or maybe in a different order.
The Blue bit is for how much processing power is in there so a Two Core running at the same clock speed as a One Core would have a Blue bit twice as long. Then there would be a fiddle factor multiplier wotsit for different clock speeds and one for extra architecture doodads so you end up with the poper overall amount of blue.
The Green bit would be for the amount, type and speed of cache with similar fiddles and then the Red bit would be for the other thing like whatever else there is that makes processors fruity.
You could present the three colours as a bar chart for quick comparison depending on what the customer might think is important and then have a final bar where they sit on top of each other so the length is an overall figure of merit.
A bit of colour blending artistry type stuff to make things look prettier along with a hologram effect and the job's a good one.
Me too! The fountain of all knowledge has a handy table at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X86 which shows how x86 chips ahve evolved and been named.
Currently Pentiums are a core2 duo's and Celerons are a core2 solo (single core), in both cases at lower clock speeds and with less L2 cache than the Core2 branded version. You didn't miss any memo -- these things are, and have been for some years now, a moving target.