After years of assigning processor model numbers based on speed, Intel has announced that it is changing the naming structure of its processor range to reflect features.
The new system will divide chips into three groups. Celeron processors will become the 3 Series, Pentium 4 processors will be called the 5 Series and Centrino or Pentium 4M chipsets will become the 7 Series.
But there are fears that the new naming system will cause confusion among retailers and customers.
"In the short term the name change will makes things less clear to consumers," said Sarah Kidner, senior researcher for Computing Which?.
"The whole analogy of a BMW Series is fine in principle. But the reality is that, when you're comparing adverts for computers, is the average consumer going to be clearer on what they're buying?
"If manufacturers work to make their model names more explanatory this could improve the situation for consumers."
With the name change based on functionality, Centrino chipsets that are optimised for wireless networking are rated more highly than Pentium 4s, despite having lower clocked GHz.
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