Image source: Intel.
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The folks at website BenchLife.info recently leakedIntel product road map, showing the products that the company intends to release through the second quarter of 2017. According to that road map, the first desktop processors based on the company's next-generation Kaby Lake architecture will arrive sometime in the fourth quarter of 2016.
However, according to that same road map, the company's first gaming-centric Kaby Lake processor, referred to as Kaby Lake-X won't arrive until the second quarter of 2017.
Today, I'd like to offer up an explanation for why Intel is doing this.
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It's probably about keeping branding consistent
For gamers/desktop enthusiasts, Intel currently offers two product lines. The first are unlocked variants of the company's common (or mainstream) quad-core desktop processors. These chips can be pushed to speeds well north of what Intel rates them at, and for that privilege Intel charges a slight premium to their locked counterparts.
Beyond those chips, Intel offers what are referred to as high-end desktop (or HEDT) processors. The current lineup ranges from six to 10 cores, and such chips require different motherboards from the ones that the quad core chips use.
Despite the differences between the high-end desktop lineup and the mainstream unlocked desktop chips, the branding is now very consistent. Here is the current product stack:
Data source: Intel ARK.
Right now, from a naming perspective, the product stack makes a lot of sense. This previously wasn't the case. Before Intel launched the Broadwell-E high-end desktop chips at the end of May, the product stack actually looked like this: