Blog # 16: Why Intel doesn’t just scrap i3 & i5 and make i7 exclusively?
This question bugs me right after I woke up. By the way, Thanks for sending me your questions here @ say hi to me 🙂 page! Keep it coming!
My poor morning cognition was like “Wait.. yeah.. why not Intel just make an i7 and reduce its price?”
“You know Kevin, that’s not gonna work.” Wait why not? Here comes my manufacturing mindset comes in:
Not all CPUs are created equal. Manufacturing companies like Intel has a specific market target like servers, processors, SSDs, chipsets and network & I/Os with specific consumers. So technically, i3s and i5s are manufactured to give optional choice for wide-range demanding consumers and to make profit as well.
Why there are bunch of different speed and Letters(suffixes) with my CPU?
Basically, it’s like Cherry picking. How many of the manufactured cache are working? It can only be sold as an i7 (without suffix) if enough of the cache works (reached the i7 target) but if higher and less than the required speed and power then it may still be sellable as an i7 but in a higher or lower tier. Here comes suffixes comes in, or in manufacturing (Higher to lower bins). Some are perfect and some are just right. Some are stable and some are unstable and if it’s not passed in the required specs then it’s a yield off.
What Does CPU Suffixes Mean?
- H – High performance graphics
- K – Unlocked
- M – Mobile
- Q – Quad-core
- R – Desktop processor based on BGA1364 (mobile) package with high performance graphics
- S – Performance-optimized lifestyle
- T – Power-optimized lifestyle
- U – Ultra-low power
- X – Extreme edition
- Y – Extremely low power
Some processors can run faster and some are just stable with specific speed that’s why there’s Unlocked (with-K) and non-K processors. If it stays under consumer TDP standards, it may be sold as desktop CPUs. It all depends on what’s stable and unstable upon speed and power requirements.
Fabrication cannot scrap all rejected units just because it doesn’t hit the required target (efficiency, speed, power output, cache, memory etc.) that’s why they’ve created mid and low tier units or bins so they can sell and still make profits from it because the cost of start-up and running a production line isn’t that cheap.
At the end, it still a win-win situation, budget-mindset consumer has an option to buy for low – mid product based on their preferences and for feeling-worthy usage high-end-mindset consumer can go directly on the top tier product.
View and compare gaming pc parts here.