Chances are if you’re here you are currently looking to purchase an Intel processor and have come across many K, KF, and F CPUs, but you don’t know what they mean. If that’s the case then you’ve come to the right place.
Picking a CPU can be very tricky especially if you intend on using an Intel CPU because there are so many different suffixes on similar CPUs it can be hard to know which one is best for you.
In this guide, we will be explaining the difference between Intel’s K, KF, and F processors.
So, what really is the difference between Intel K, F, and KF CPUs?
Intel’s K CPUs come with Integrated graphics (IGPU) and are able to be overclocked. This also makes them the most expensive. KF CPUs are overclockable but don’t have integrated graphics, having similar performance to K CPUs. F CPUs don’t have integrated graphics and can’t be overclocked, but are the most affordable.
There are both advantages and disadvantages to all three of these different processor types, so make sure you go through everything in this article so that you can make a better choice when deciding which CPU is best for you.
K, KF, and F CPU Differences
|F CPU||KF CPU||K CPU|
|No Integrated Graphics||No Integrated Graphics||Has Integrated Graphics|
|Not Overclockable||Is Overclockable||Is Overclockable|
|Most Affordable||Best Value||Most Expensive|
As you can see the differences between K, KF, and F processors are shown in the chart above.
Going into a little bit more detail. K chips are the most powerful as they have the most overclocking potential this is really good for people who want to squeeze the most performance out of their CPU. However, you need to keep in mind that you need a compatible motherboard that will allow for powerful overclocking.
Next, KF chips have similar performance to K chips, with the only difference being it doesn’t support integrated graphics. However, this allows for a cheaper CPU that still provides overclocking support.
Then, you have F chips which are the most affordable out of there but lack overclocking potential and don’t support integrated graphics, which means that you will need a dedicated graphics card.
Intel K Processor Meaning
The K processor comes as an unlocked CPU. What this means is that the CPU is able to be overclocked which will increase clock speeds and performance.
This type of CPU targets computer enthusiasts as well as competitive gamers because they are able to increase the CPUs performance even after they buy it.
Keep in mind that you will need to pair this CPU with a compatible motherboard. Most modern motherboards come with overclocking support, however many budget motherboards do not.
It is important to check the specifications of your motherboard just to make just that it is compatible with overclocking.
Another reason why you might opt for a processor that ends with a K is that it comes with integrated graphics.
Integrated graphics allow you to play games and run your computer without a dedicated graphics card. Although a CPU with integrated graphics is never as powerful as a dedicated graphics card, it’s good to have if you aren’t able to purchase a GPU at the moment.
You should also read: “Do All CPUs Have Integrated Graphics?”
Intel KF Processor Meaning
Processors that end with a KF are overclockable but don’t have integrated graphics. When these CPUs are being made the (IGPU) part of the CPU is usually insufficient or doesn’t even work, so the manufacturers disable it.
This isn’t really a big deal anyways because most people who purchase this CPU will already have a dedicated graphics card because that’s the audience it’s targetted towards.
Most people who are looking to overclock their computer parts will most likely have a high-end graphics card and will match that with a high-end overclockable CPU.
For the most part, there really is no difference between K, and KF, processors overclocking potential, so if you are looking for an overclockable CPU with the best value you should opt for a CPU ending with a KF.
Intel F Processor Meaning
F Processors, are a lot more affordable, and if you aren’t really into overclocking or the rest of your system doesn’t support overclocking, then Intel processors with an F suffix are probably what you are looking for.
These processors are locked by Intel to prevent overclocking. The reason for this is that either these CPUs are unable to overclock properly, which might cause problems for you, or their overclocking potential isn’t very good, so Intel decides to prevent it together.
The base clock speeds of these processors are the same as their K and KF counterparts, so there is no point in purchasing the other two if you aren’t looking to overclock.
Intel’s Non-K Processors
Another category of processors by Intel is the non-K CPUs are the CPUs with no suffixes on them. These processors do not have any overclocking capabilities. However, unlike the F processors these ones were made with integrated graphics.
The non-K CPUs’ target audience is those looking to use their computer for work, school, or just some daily web surfing.
The IGPU allows your computer to function, but you won’t have great performance when gaming.
Which Ones are The Best For Gaming?
If you are a gamer and looking to build a PC with the best performance, then there are two different Intel CPU types to consider, which are K, and KF CPUs.
The reason for this is that both types are able to overclock and increase their clock speeds when gaming.
CPUs ending with KF would be the better choice because they are more affordable. The only downside to this is that they don’t have an IGPU, but most gamers will already have a dedicated graphics card installed on their computer, so there would be no reason to purchase a CPU with integrated graphics.
When picking out a CPU for your computer you really need to be sure what you intend to use your computer for short term and long term. This can make a big influence on what type of CPU you should buy.
The first decision you already made was AMD or Intel, and obviously, you chose an Intel CPU.
However, there are many different nuances in each Intel CPU that can determine which CPU is right for you.
If you are just looking to use your computer at stock settings and aren’t looking to enhance your performance through overclocking, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t buy an Intel CPU ending in an F.
On the other hand, if you are looking to do some minor overclocking then you should consider a CPU ending with a KF.
My recommendation is that if you currently don’t have a dedicated graphics card and are looking to do overclocking in the future, then that is the only time you should purchase a CPU ending with a K.