CPUs - Overview of CPU Types, Generations

This page serves as an overview and summary of CPU brands.

Hardware product lineups change, and it’s hard to keep up with them. The product names can be very confusing and difficult to compare. This should help.


APU - CPU with integrated graphics (no dedicated graphics card necessary)

x86 vs x64/AMD64 - 32-bit vs 64-bit

Nowadays all CPUs use a 64-bit architecture. It is called AMD64, x64 or x86-64. It is an extension of the 32-bit x86 instruction set.

The x86 32-bit instruction set was the very common predecessor.

ARM CPUs (often used in embedded devices like smartphones) uses a different architecture.

Performance Tier

Both AMD and Intel use a performance tier in their product names.

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X
Intel Core i7
Tier Description
3 budget performance
5 mid-range, solid middle-ground
7 high-performance - workstations, content creation rigs, high-end gaming systems
9 highest performance



Generally, only Ryzen is of interest to the end-consumer.

All Current AMD Brands
Brand Description
Ryzen Consumer offerings
Ryzen Threadripper Very expensive, higher performance than highest Ryzen tier
Athlon budget APUs
Pro enterprise market, security focus/features (AMD Memory Guard for real-time encryption of system memory and AMD Shadow Stack hardware-level protection against control-flow attacks)
Epyc server CPUs in OEM server systems - scales Threadripper capabilities up for server market
embedded versions Epyc and Ryzen platforms both have embedded versions


<brand name> <tier> <SKU number>[<suffix>]
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X
    ^ brand name
          ^ performance tier
            ^ series
             ^ performance identifier (higher is better)
                ^ suffix; X - higher clocked


SKU number

The SKU number helps identify the features of its processors.

^ series
 ^ performance identifier (higher is better)


Series Architecture Notes
1000 Zen
2000 Zen, Zen+
3000 Zen+, Zen 2
4000 Zen 2 only APUs
5000 Zen 2, Zen 3
Architecture Release
Zen 2017
Zen+ 2018
Zen 2 2019
Zen 3 2020


Suffix Description
G integrated AMD Radeon Vega Graphics
GE integrated AMD Radeon Vega Graphics, but lower TDP
X desktop processor, higher clocked
XT desktop processor, higher clocked, higher performance than X
S Low TDP desktop processor, integrated AMD Radeon Vega Graphics
H High-performance mobile processors, integrated AMD Radeon Vega Graphics
HS High-performance laptop processors, integrated AMD Radeon Vega Graphics and lower TDP
U Lower TDP, lower clocked mobile processors
AF First-gen Zen SKUs with 12nm process upgrade


Intel Core i9
Intel Core i7
Intel Core i5
Intel Core i3
Intel Pentium
Intel Celeron