Like many who watched the recent CCC conference presentation about Intel ME,
I was taken aback by the implications of having an insecure secondary service processor inside
the Intel CPU chip package that can access RAM and peripherals such as Wifi,
namely the possibility of a malicious rootkit that cannot be easily detected nor removed
that can for instance exfiltrate data regardless of what OS is running and how secure that OS may be.
Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6bJ5b8Dgoc Towards (reasonably) trustworthy x86 laptops [32c3] - YouTube
So I want to avoid Intel CPUs that have ME. I have noticed that the Core i3 5th Gen
lacks vPro and TXT, which is reassuring, but is there nevertheless a simplificed Intel ME
processor in the CPU package despite vPro being officially absent?
I work for Intel Customer Support and I would like to help you with your original question about processors lacking Intel(R) ME I would not discuss whether or not it represents a security risk but let me just comment that depending on the BIOS implementation (designed by your system manufacturer -not necessary by Intel) Intel ME can be easily enable/disable in BIOS, implementation also requires basic security e.g. a simple password set up but computing security implies multiple layers down from BIOS level all the way up to software/networking level.
No need to talk about that if you already made a decision about it, I respect that.
In order to help you with your question: Would you please tell me what Processor Generation are you interested in? I honestly don't know the answer to your question and I need to do some research, it would be better if you even tell me what CPU family you are looking for: Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, Mobile, embedded, Server?