Intel’s chip naming conventions have been a bit confusing in recent years. You probably know that when it comes to performance a Core i7 chip is probably more powerful than a Core i5… which beats a Core i3.*
But the Celeron and Pentium families? Those are a bit of a mess since Intel uses those names for two completely different chip architectures.
For example, Intel’s current Pentium chips for laptops includes the 6 watt Pentium N4200 quad-core Apollo Lake chip, the 6 watt Pentium 4415Y dual-core Kaby Lake chip, and the 15 watt Pentium 4415U dual-core Kaby Lake processor. The Kaby Lake models features faster graphics, support more memory, and are generally more capable chips… but it’s hard to tell that from the name alone.
So maybe it’s not surprising that Intel is changing its Pentium branding. The company is now referring to some Pentium Kaby Lake chips as “Pentium Gold.”
Intel released a product change notification for its Pentium G4560, G4600, and G4620 desktop processors this week to indicate that those chips will now be labeled as Pentium Gold. But it looks like some laptop processors like the Pentium 4415Y are also getting the new branding.
Meanwhile, rumor has it that the Pentium chips that will replace the current Apollo Lake line of low-cost & low power processors will be branded as “Pentium Silver.”
So there you have it: Pentium Gold > Pentium Silver. That should make it a little easier to differentiate these chips at a glance. At least until Intel changes its name scheme again.
The company hasn’t introduced any new 8th-gen Kaby Lake-R or Coffee Lake Celeron or Pentium chips yet. So maybe they’ll be Pentium Titanium or something.
Meanwhile, the Celeron names are as confusing as ever.
*Yes, I know things get a lot murkier when you start looking at the numbers and letters that come after that (a Core i5-7y54 chip is way less powerful than a Core i3-7350K). And this year’s Core i5 may offer better performance than last year’s Core i7 in some circumstances… But I really just wanted to talk about Pentium and Celeron chips, OK?