Intel 'Core Ultra 7' Meteor Lake CPU spotted - not this again

Another sighting of an 'Ultra' branded processor suggests Intel might be forging ahead with a rebranding along these lines - but we hope not.

Intel 'Core Ultra 7' Meteor Lake CPU spotted - not this again
2 minutes & 20 seconds read time

Once again, a Meteor Lake mobile chip has been spotted with a new name that contains 'Ultra,' backing up a previous leak and chatter from the grapevine that Intel is ditching its traditional Core naming format.

The CPU in question is the Intel Core Ultra 7 1003H, so the theoretical switch is to call the processor Core Ultra 7 rather than Core i7. Benchleaks spotted this on Twitter, and it's from a PugetBench result.

Previously, we saw a Core Ultra 5 (rather than i5) in a leaked Ashes of the Singularity benchmark, so this is the second time we've seen this potential 'Ultra' branding as mentioned.

Intel has already let us know that it's making brand changes as part of the release of Meteor Lake chips, so the rumor mill is betting that these benchmark sightings are related to Team Blue's plans in this respect.

As we've pointed out in the past, though, something like Core Ultra 5 seems rather at odds with itself as a name, because the i5 silicon is mid-range, so not really 'Ultra' in any way.

What could be happening is that maybe there'll be different subcategories as well as Ultra, and these will differentiate lower and higher-end CPUs within the (old) i3, i5, i7 and i9 groups.

So, for example, we might have Core Ultra 5, Core Max 5, Core Plus 5, and perhaps just a vanilla Core 5.

Meaningless marketing spiel?

That still seems to sow confusion for us, though. Okay, so we get that it might be useful to indicate a faster, or slower, Core i5 model, as opposed to having a string of numbers and a letter or two, which means nothing to the uninitiated.

However, let's face it, Intel isn't going to call the lowest-end chip Core Slowcoach 5, or Core Cheapo 5. So the danger is we'll end up with the usual collection of Pluses, Maxes, Supers, and Ultimates, all of which will be rather a meaningless blur of marketing spiel. And we still don't think there's anything 'Ultra' about a Core i5, anyhow...

Admittedly, we're jumping the gun in getting irate here. These leaks may be pre-release codenames and mean nothing, or even be completely made up - who knows (the latter seems less likely now there are two of them).

We're certainly interested to see where Intel is going with its rebranding, but as we've said before, we really don't see what's wrong with Core i3 and so forth, seeing as at this point, we're all very familiar with what we're getting with these brands.

If Team Blue does want to shake things up from the usual i5, i7 and so on chips, then we think it should switch entirely to something different from those numbers - make a real change. We're not sure it's needed, but hey, if you're going to mix things up, do it thoroughly.

Or alternatively, just chuck a plus sign on the end of the existing names to denote a top-end CPU in the respective brands: Core i5 and Core i5+ for the fastest such models. There you go, job done.

Actually, maybe that's what we could get - or rather, Core 5, and Core Ultra 5 for the fastest models in that bracket? Time will tell.

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Darren has written for numerous magazines and websites in the technology world for almost 30 years, including TechRadar, PC Gamer, Eurogamer, Computeractive, and many more. He worked on his first magazine (PC Home) long before Google and most of the rest of the web existed. In his spare time, he can be found gaming, going to the gym, and writing books (his debut novel – ‘I Know What You Did Last Supper’ – was published by Hachette UK in 2013).

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