Intel starts processor rating

Intel starts processor rating

Intel has recently unleashed its advertising campaign that rates its processors from 5-star (at the top end) to 1-star (at the bottom). These ratings, however, exclude Intel’s cheapest processor Atom used in netbooks, a device mainly used for internet browsing.
The Intel processor ratings are designed to help customers decide which processor is best for his or her needs. The consumer need may vary from high-end graphics processing, heavy gaming capability or simple data processing with multi tasking ability. In the promotional communications on ‘processor ratings’ one has to just look for stars next to the processor badges to determine their different levels of processing power.

The matrix

In the rating matrix, broadly divided between desktop and laptop, each processor is assigned rating between one and five stars depending on a combination of features, including cores, GHz, cache and other technologies. More stars indicate greater features and increased capabilities compared to other Intel processors. Talking to Deccan Herald, Prakash Bagri, Director-Marketing, South Asia, Intel Technology India said “The primary objective is to help consumers with simple communication on processing power of various chips.”  Intel’s new move is expected to help individual computer buyers who, most of the time, get bogged down by the technical jargons. Traditionally, most chip makers, including Intel, used megahertz to describe their microprocessors’ relative performance and to show their different features. But for most consumers they did not mean much, beyond numbers.

Though Intel’s main rival AMD (Advanced Micro Devices) started marking its processors with performance ratings a few years ago, Intel till recently continued to use chip frequencies to describe its chips. But with the introduction of very powerful microprocessors based on different architectures in the recent years, clock-speeds only partially reflected the performance of processors or the computers based on them.
Hence, to make things simpler, Intel is now communicating processor rating in simple language. Right on top are seven 5-star rated Intel i7, Intel Core2 Extreme and Intel Quad Core processors for desktop and laptop with the performance statement “Ultimate intelligence and breakthrough technologies maximise your computing speed and possibilities.”

The 4-star category has 5 processors from Quad, Centrino and Cor2 Duo family that go with the attribute “advanced intelligence, premium technologies and speed help you do more.” At the bottom of the matrix is 1-star category with two Celeron processors that stand for “value and reliability.”

PC prices

The prices of computers, desktop or laptop, naturally will vary with the ratings and thereby performance. Since Intel is a manufacturer and supplier of processors it can not indicate prices of the final products sold by computer manufacturers. However, Intel India’s website that helps buyers locate nearby dealers, may soon include price quotes from different manufacturers with processors’ details, Bagri pointed out .

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