Intel has released many products over the year and is quite well-known in the computer hardware market. Their product range consists mainly of processors, although they have also added some GPUs to their inventory; we will discuss them later.
Due to a big product line, Intel has named its processors similarly, and it can be overwhelming to know the difference.
Currently, 13 generations have been released of the Intel Core processors used in PCs.
Intel has followed naming conventions to label the products, which can be quite difficult to discern between them but fret not; I am here to dispel those difficulties.
Differences between the K, KF, and F Intel processors
When considering Intel K vs Kf CPUs, the differences are not many. The Intel CPUs with a K at the end of their name are unlocked processors supporting overclocking on a compatible motherboard.
These K processors have integrated graphics as well. Meanwhile, the KF CPUs are the same in every aspect as their K counterparts but lack integrated graphics.
When running a KF processor, you will need a dedicated graphics card for display.
Intel F. Meaning
Intel processors with the F suffix are usually the same as their non-F counterparts except for the lack of an integrated graphics chip onboard the processor.
The Intel product line contains a lot of F series processors every generation. They are the same as their non-F counterparts, and Intel releases them under the F product lineup.
They were originally non-F variants whose integrated graphics card became defective, so Intel disabled the internal GPU and released them to the market.
The core clock speeds remain the same, as well as the performance, just that you need a discrete graphics card to get the display on your PC.
The F models of the Intel core series processors tend to be cheaper as they lack integrated graphics. Most mid-range gamers prefer the F series processors since they don’t like to tinker around with the clock multiplier and the processor frequency.
Intel K. Meaning
Intel CPUs with the K suffix are unlocked processors that can be overclocked for more performance. They come with onboard integrated graphics as well.
An example of a K processor would be an Intel core i7 13700K, one of this generation’s best-performing CPUs. Typically a CPU has a base frequency that can be increased by increasing the frequency multiplier.
The base frequency is gauged in either Megahertz or Gigahertz, and the clock speed multiplier increases this clock speed for better performance.
The multiplied clock speeds are known as the boost clock speeds, and you need a CPU cooling solution, preferably liquid cooling, onboard to sustain these speeds without bricking the processor.
For instance, if the CPU Base clock frequency is 100MHz and the clock speed multiplier is 38, then the CPU’s overall speed becomes 3800 MHz or 3.8 GHz.
Since the k series processors come with an unlocked multiplier, you could raise the overall clock frequency to 4500 MHz if you increase the multiplier from 38 to 45.
Intel KF Meaning
The Intel KF processors are more or less the same as their K counterparts, core count, clock frequency, unlocked frequency multiplier, base frequencies, and boost frequencies.
The only difference is that they lack integrated graphics and need dedicated hardware for video output.
They are slightly cheaper than the k CPUs as well. The KF series processors are an attractive choice for gamers as they are a cheaper option with the same amount of performance as the K variants.
It makes more sense, as a KF CPU is unlocked and has the same processing power as a K variant processor. Gamers usually go with a discrete graphics card in their PC build for the best game performance.
They can also be used for video editing, just like the k series processors, but there is a trade-off. These powerful CPUs don’t have an integrated graphics card, so if your GPU fails, you will need another GPU as there will be no internal graphics chip to give the display.
More Suffixes and their meanings
Besides the K and KF CPUs, there are Intel Core and normal Intel processors, which come with other Suffixes.
Intel H Meaning
If you come across an Intel processor with the H suffix at the end of its name, then it’s a High-performance processor that has been designed for mobility, meaning that it will be used in laptops.
The Intel CPUs with the HK suffix at the end are unlocked processors identical to their H counterparts. Still, they are also unlocked CPUs and support overclocking despite being mobile processors.
The Intel processor, which contains the HQ suffix, is a high-performance quad-core processor designed for mobility to be used in laptops etc.
The Intel CPU, which has a U suffix at the end, is a mobile processor designed to be as power efficient as possible, typically used in laptops whose users move around a lot.
The S suffix at the end of a processor means it’s a special edition processor.
The processors containing the suffix X are unlocked and high-end CPUs which support overclocking and are used for the most resource-intensive tasks.
Which processor type is better for gaming?
It can be quite a difficult task to decide which processor to get for gaming as there is a vast product range that Intel has launched over the years that are capable of gaming. You could invest in the KF CPU or get an Intel K CPU.
These are the ones that are designed for consumer markets, especially gamers, whether they are budget gamers or the enthusiast class. If you decide to get a K CPU, you should be able to get the best performance in games, and if you end up going for an Intel CPU, you will be getting the same level of performance as well and save a few bucks as well.
If you have the budget, you should go for the Intel K processors, as it gives you some backup in case of GPU failure. If you have a backup GPU on hand, then you should go for the KF processors as they are the same as their K counterparts, but Intel disables their integrated graphics chip due to some malfunction or underperformance.
But the processor will still perform poorly in games. It will perform the same as the Intel K processors, and it’s cheaper as well, comparatively just that you will need to pair it with a dedicated GPU, but that’s what we gamers do anyway.
When comparing Intel CPUs such as Intel K vs KF, you need to know that there is only one key difference between the K CPU and Intel KF CPU.
The K series processors come with an onboard integrated graphics card, while the KF processors and intel f processors need a dedicated graphics card to give a video output.
This is why there is a price difference between the different processors. You need a compatible motherboard that supports overclocking for that extra performance.
If you have decided to go with an Intel CPU for your PC, you should know the difference between the Intel k series processors and other intel CPUs. I hope the article has made it clear to you. To conclude, The KF series processors are unlocked CPUs identical to their K counterparts except for the presence of integrated graphics. You can tinker with overclocking on the KF series CPUs the same as the K series processors.
You need a compatible motherboard that will help you achieve those high-boost clocks. But make sure you know what you are doing; otherwise, you might be bricking your motherboard and CPU and making your PC unusable. But you should still get an intel CPU for your build. Exercising reasonable caution will let you achieve that performance boost in games.