Intel to drive home chip-numbering system in May

In a move that will change how millions of consumers buy their PCs, Intel later this year will adopt a new system for differentiating its processors that de-emphasizes the widely used gigahertz, or clock speed. Sources familiar with Intel's plans said that the chipmaker in May will begin affixing each of its new processors with a number designed to help consumers decipher how the features stack up against other processors in the same family. Intel will use numbers in the ranges of 300, 500 and 700, similar to the model numbers BMW uses on its sedans.

As previously reported, Intel intends that the new system will help consumers better evaluate a processor's mains attributes, including clock speed, cache size and bus speed. The new system is a dramatic change in Intel's marketing approach because it takes emphasis away from using clock speed as a main measure of performance. Instead, the system will strive to create a scenario in which a person choosing between several 300 series chips, for example, equates the decision to an exercise in choosing a good, better or best processor, sources familiar with the plan said.

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