Intel is the king of gaming CPUs, with two thirds of gamers using a team blue processor according to Steam’s latest Hardware & Software Survey. It’s always worth paying attention when a major player looks to change things up, and Intel is planning a major CPU rebrand, confirming rumors from earlier this month.
Firstly, Intel is dropping the ‘i’ from its processors. Introduced in 2008, it’s been a mainstay of the Intel CPU naming convention for years. But no more. Intel also says it’ll no longer state the processor generation (i.e. 14th Gen, 12th Gen, etc.) at the beginning of new CPU names.
Intel is also splitting the upcoming Meteor Lake Core 5, Core 7, and Core 9 processors into two variants: mainstream and premium. The latter will be branded Ultra to highlight their superior performance. Current naming conventions would suggest a name like 14th Gen Intel Core i9 14900H for an upcoming Meteor Lake processor. According to Intel, that’d now be Intel Core Ultra 9 1900H.
These changes will arrive with the upcoming Meteor Lake processor series. Although Intel’s new CPUs are widely expected to improve performance, it’s rumored that Intel Meteor Lake CPUs may feature fewer cores than 13th Gen.
The rebrand is an intriguing move from Intel, and it remains to be seen whether it’s trying to obscure an underwhelming generational upgrade or just simplify the branding for non-enthusiasts. At the end of the day, slapping ‘Ultra’ on a processor ain’t gonna make it any faster.
Time will tell whether the Meteor Lake processors are good enough to warrant a place in our guide to the best gaming CPU. Intel currently dominates the list, with the Intel Core i5 13600K awarded best processor for gaming and Intel Core i3 13100 named best budget chip for gamers, although a few AMD processors get a mention too.