What Is The Difference Between Intel Naming Of CPUs: K Vs. KF vs. F

What Is The Difference Between Intel Naming Of CPUs: K Vs. KF vs. F

19/10/2022

If you’re considering buying an Intel processor, you may have encountered suffixes such as K, KF, and F, which were missing in earlier generations. Although initially confusing, it is now an exhaustive guide to explain the difference Between Intel Naming Of CPU.

Differentialities Between the K Processors K, KF, and the F Intel Processors

The K indicates that this Intel processor is not locked and can be overclocked to achieve the highest performance. The F signifies that the Intel processor does not have integrated graphics or an iGPU. The main difference between K and the KF series processors is that there is no presence of an iGPU on these processors. The KF is designed. This allows them to give a less high price than K series processors. However, both K and KF processors offer the same number of processors with cores, clock speeds, and performance.

It is worth noting that the F Series Intel processors do not have integrated graphics, making them less expensive. Still, they are similar to the non-K series processors about performance, as both have an unlocked multiplier. There are also Intel KS processors, which are “Special Edition” higher binned K processors that have increased performance, resulting in more incredible base clock speeds, however, with a higher price.

Intel K Series CPUs – Unlocked and overclockable

Intel K Series CPUs - Unlocked and overclockable

Intel K Series processors are often referred to as ” unlocked” processors. This means they can be overclocked.

They are the most powerful CPUs available in all Intel CPU lines (SKUs) and can be among the costliest.

In other words, out of the Core i7-12700, 12700K, 12700KF, and 12700F models, the Intel Core i7 12700K would be the most potent and costly.

The table below lists all the K series processors that are part of the most recent Gen Intel CPUs:

  

ModelSpecificationsiGPUMSRP
Intel Core i5 12600K6 P Cores
4 E Cores
16 Threads
4.9 GHz Max Clock
Intel UHD 770$289
Intel Core i7 12700K8 P Cores
4 E Cores
20 Threads
5.0 GHz Max Clock
Intel UHD 770$409
Intel Core i9 12900K8 P Cores
8 E Cores
24 Threads
5.2 GHz Max Clock
Intel UHD 770$589

Intel K Series processors are made for enthusiasts who want to increase their processors’ processing capabilities by exceeding their speed.

One of the most significant caveats here is that to boost the speed of a “K” series CPU; you’ll need the correct motherboard!

Only the highest quality and frequently costly “Z” series motherboard support overclocking for Intel CPUs!

For the 12th Gen “K” series CPUs, you will require a motherboard with the Z690 chipset. For the eleventh-gen “K” series CPUs, you must have a motherboard with that Z590 chipset.

To top it off, the two other essential things to consider are:

  • “K” series processors “K” series processors include an integrated graphics card.

Also, there is no need to own a dedicated graphics card to connect your computer monitor to it. A graphics chip integrated into the motherboard can power the video ports on the back panel of I/O on the motherboard.

  • There is no cooling fan on the “K” series processors that DO not come with cooling fans!

Also, you will need to set up the cooling solution for the “K” series processors yourself.

Intel F Series CPUs – Without integrated Graphics Card

Intel F Series CPUs - Without integrated Graphics Card

Intel CPU SKUs bearing an F suffix don’t include a graphics card integrated. This has a significant impact on the overall design.

A processor without integrated graphics cards will undoubtedly be more affordable than all its competitors. However, it also means your motherboard’s video output port won’t perform.

For example, these video ports are located on the motherboards above. Every motherboard requires a graphics card integrated into your CPU.

Motherboards do not have onboard graphics processing chips that they own. So, if you own an “F” series processor like the Intel Core i7 12700F, then connecting your monitor via your motherboard’s HDM, DVI, and VGA port will result in no display.

That is to say; you must be equipped with a graphics card specifically designed for video processing.

“F” series CPUs are generally an excellent choice for people who play games or who want to invest in an individual graphics card to build them. This way, they will save money on the CPU since there’s no need to get a lower-end GPU if you are already planning to get a high-end dedicated GPU.

 

ModelSpecificationsiGPUMSRP
Intel Core i5 12400F6 P Cores
12 Threads
4.4 GHz Max Clock
NA$167
Intel Core i7 12700F8 P Cores
4 E Cores
20 Threads
4.9 GHz Max Clock
NA$314
Intel Core i9 12900F8 P Cores
8 E Cores
24 Threads
5.1 GHz Max Clock
NA$464

It is evident that Intel Core i7 12700F ($314 MSRP)) is just $95 less costly than its counterpart, the Intel Core i7 12700K ($409 MSRP)? However, as far as the standard performance of the CPU is concerned, it’s not much better “F” variant is only marginally slower compared to those of the “K” series CPUs, i.e., 34,513 points for i7-12700K as opposed to to to 31,655 points in the i7 12700F, according to the passing mark.

The money you’ve saved to purchase the best graphics card for your needs, for example.

Furthermore, you don’t have to purchase the high-priced Z motherboards of the Z series. You can opt for the less expensive H series or B series motherboards, as “F” series processors cannot be overclocked.

Additionally, unlike “K” series processors, the “F” series comes with a standard cooling fan and thermal paste.

Intel KF Series CPUs – Overclockable, but no integrated graphics

Intel KF Series CPUs - Overclockable, but no integrated graphics

Intel KF series processors combine elements from the “K” and the “F.”

“K,” in this case, signifies that the CPU is unlocked and overclockable. “K” here represents that the CPU is unlocked and is overclockable. “F” here represents that the CPU is not overclockable. “F” means the CPU is not equipped with integrated graphics cards.

It is usually a good bargain for gamers and fans. It is worth noting that the “KF” CPUs are slightly cheaper than their “K” series counterparts as they don’t have an iGPU. The money saved by the absence of an iGPU could be used instead to buy an upgraded dedicated GPU.

Therefore, they are great for enthusiasts and gamers planning to get a dedicated GPU for their builds and want to boost their CPUs.

Naturally, to overclock similar to the standard “K” series CPUs, you’ll require a top “Z” series motherboard such as the Z690 for 12th Gen CPUs.

In addition, it is essential to note that these “KF” CPUs do not come with an original cooler or thermal paste.

Here are a few of the most recent 12th Gen CPUs from the “KF” series.

  

ModelSpecificationsiGPUMSRP
Intel Core i5 12600KF6 P Cores
4 E Cores
16 Threads
4.9 GHz Max Clock
NA$264
Intel Core i7 12700KF8 P Cores
4 E Cores
20 Threads
5.0 GHz Max Clock
NA$384
Intel Core i9 12900KF8 P Cores
8 E Cores
24 Threads
5.2 GHz Max Clock
NA$569

 The cost difference between the “K” and a “KF” CPU isn’t that significant, i.e., the MSRP difference between the Core i9 12900K and the Core 12900KF is just $20. It still offers the possibility of playing around with the build of your PC.

As previously mentioned, because “KF” CPUs lack an iGPU, you’ll need to use an appropriate graphics card to connect your monitor to your computer and a motherboard with video output. Won’t be able to work.

Intel CPU without Suffix. It has an iGPU, but not Overclockable

The standard CPU for every SKU is the one that has no suffix, i.e., Intel Core i7 12700.

These are traditional CPUs with integrated graphics onboard; however, they aren’t overclockable.

They offer a little less speed in speed compared to “K” and the “KF” series CPUs; however, they are also considerably less expensive.

The table below lists some of the 12th Gen CPUs that do not have a suffix

  

ModelSpecificationsiGPUMSRP
Intel Core i5 124006 P Cores
12 Threads
4.4 GHz Max Clock
Intel UHD 730$192
Intel Core i5 126006 P Cores
12 Threads
4.8 GHz Max Clock
Intel UHD 770$223
Intel Core i7 127008 P Cores
4 E Cores
20 Threads
5.0 GHz Max Clock
Intel UHD 770$339
Intel Core i9 129008 P Cores
8 E Cores
24 Threads
5.1 GHz Max Clock
Intel UHD 770$489

INTEL K VS KF F-SERIES CPU SUMMARIZED

INTEL K VS KF F-SERIES CPU SUMMARIZED

The table below summarizes the main points that apply to these CPUs: Intel K vs. KF vs. F series.

   

OverclockableiGPUStock
Cooler
Preferable
Motherboard
Chipset
PricePerformance
No SuffixNoYesYesAnyMore AffordableLower Performance
KYesYesNoZ SeriesThe Most ExpensiveHighest Performing
FNoNoYesAnyThe cheapestLower Performance
KFYesNoNoZ SeriesMore ExpensiveHigh Performance

 Regarding price, the suffixes are based on the same pattern.

  • F – The cheapest
  • No Suffix – Less Expensive
  • KF More expensive
  • K – The Expenses

Final Thoughts

If you’re searching for an Intel processor, we first suggest ensuring you are confident of the intended usage scenarios. Suppose you are looking for a less expensive processor for the most basic work and computing and don’t anticipate doing lots of gaming or performing any other tasks that require a separate GPU. In that case, We recommend the f series due to their low cost and the inclusion of the integrated GPU. Choose the i5 version for the best price-performance ratio or the i3 model for those on a tight budget.

If you want to buy an upgrade for your desktop to handle heavier loads and gaming, we suggest the K or the F series, processors. Ideally, you should get the i7 variant; however, an i5 is sufficient with a high-end discrete GPU. Both the K or KF series processors could be ideal if overclocking is your preferred method to get more performance.

We also suggest the i9 variant from the K series if you want to improve your efficiency over an i7. It is worth noting that the K and the KF i9s cost similarly in price, with the added benefit of the iGPU worth considering in this case. Be sure to have a high-quality graphics card that can be paired with the highest performance.

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