Pentium and Celeron: Intel abandons its historical brands

Goodbye Pentium and Celeron, hello Intel Processor! To modernize its family of entry-level CPUs, the computer processor giant is abandoning its historical brands in favor of a more generic name.

The news went almost unnoticed. And for good reason: Intel just splitA press release laconic published on September 16, 2022 to announce the abandonment of two historical names: Pentium and Celeron. Two iconic processor brands that have powered hundreds of millions of PCs since their debut. But if they made an impression in their time, these CPUs have lost their luster in recent years in the face of much more modern successors, the famous Cores (i3, i5, i7 and i9, in multiple versions). And Intel had relegated these venerable designations to its entry-level chips (like the Pentium Gold 8505 where the Celeron 7300). It would seem however that, even thus “lowered”, these names are no longer as attractive as before since the computer chip giant has decided to completely remove them from its catalog in favor of a single name: Intel Processor. A simple name, but particularly vague. And, from 2023, it will be this surname alone which will indicate, in the form of a sticker flanked by the famous Intel Inside, the presence of an Intel processor in an entry-level laptop PC.

© Intel Corporation

Intel Processor: a questionable simplification

Intel’s official speech to justify this change is quite hazy: “Whether for work or play, the importance of the PC has only become more apparent as the breakneck pace of technological development continues to shape the world. Intel is committed to driving innovation for the benefit of users, and our entry-level processor families have been crucial in raising the PC standard at all price points.Intel’s new processor branding will simplify our offerings so users can focus on choosing the processor adapted to their needs”, says Josh Newman, vice president of Intel in the press release. The idea would therefore be to simplify the lives of users by opting for a name devoid of any technical reference. Not sure that this simplification actually facilitates their choice. Especially since at the same time, Intel is currently pushing its new name Intel EVO, to designate “compliant” PCs – a certification label supposed to indicate that all the components chosen by a manufacturer work perfectly together. A marketing strategy that will remind the oldest of the famous and mysterious appellation Intel Centrinoused in the 2000s to qualify portable PCs equipped with Wi-Fi…

Pentium and Celeron: old technologies for entry-level

What is clear, however, is that Intel is seeking to shed the “low-end” image now associated with Pentiums and Celerons, while pushing its flagships in the Core family. An understandable choice, but which will not result in real transparency for the most curious consumers, forced to explore the data sheets to find out the characteristics of a PC. This is all the more regrettable since the latest generations of Pentium and Celeron have nothing to do with their valiant ancestors. Because if the first Pentium, which dates from 1993, was engraved in 800 nm technology and turned at the crazy frequency of 60 MHz, it was not the same for the latest references of this family. Thus, for example, the Pentium Silver N6000 released in early 2021, is engraved in 10 nm like many recent chips from Intel, and has four cores and 4 MB of cache memory reaching 3.3 GHz in turbo mode. And the same goes for the Celerons released in recent years – until early 2022! In fact, contrary to what their “shabby” name suggests, these entry-level chips are not bad: they are even sufficient for most daily uses, as we have already had the opportunity to verify at many multiple times (see our test of the MiniAir 11 Geekom). The recent Pentiums and Celerons easily compete with the “old” Intel Cores, which are much slower, as evidenced by the most popular benchmarks such as PassMark. Simply, they use old and proven technologies and architectures, which made economic sense. Be that as it may, we will still find Pentiums and Celerons in PCs for several months, while manufacturers and retailers empty their stock. The opportunity, no doubt, to make good deals for those who are not absolutely looking for high performance and the latest fashion.

Pentium and Celeron: Intel abandons its historical brands