Intel processor generations explained

Intel have a lot of processors and they update them every year. They broadly fall into 3 categories:

These processors are the main ones most people buy – they have i3, i5, and i9 variations, and they are updated every year. Before they are produced Intel give them a code name like “Haswell”, “Skylake” or “Alder Lake” but after they are produced they call the “xth generation processors. At the end of 2021 the 12th Generation were produced.

This family of processors generally have a graphics card built-in which lets them have “Quick Sync” which is used by editing programs to help play back and encode H.264 and H.265 footage.

Enthusiast

These processor have similar code names to the most popular processors but generally have more cores and more processing power. However, their lack of Quick Sync sometimes means that most popular processors can be as fast at editing. These processors are more expensive and generally need 4 RAM chips.

Xeons

Xeons generally come in pairs – I.E. you have two processors in the same system. Although these are generally the most powerful machine’s available they are very expensive and it is hard to justify the extra cost, especially when they do not have Quick Sync.