July 13, 2024


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Leaked Intel Roadmap Points to Raptor Lake Refresh, HEDT Chips in 2023

Leaked Intel Roadmap Points to Raptor Lake Refresh, HEDT Chips in 2023

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When Intel released its Alder Lake “hybrid” platform on the all-new LGA 1700 socket in 2021, it promised two generations of CPUs would be supported. But according to a new leak of Intel’s roadmap, Intel might be squeezing in a third generation as well. The leaked slides look quite legit; they note a new platform named Raptor Lake-S Refresh is due in Q3 2023. The slides also point to a return to the High-End Desktop (HEDT) market for Intel, which most assumed it abandoned forever many years ago. The architecture falls under “Entry Workstation” utilizing Raptor Lake CPUs.

The leaked slides come from noted tipster @9550Pro on Twitter via Videocardz. Though they appear real, these things can always be faked, so take it with a grain of salt. This is the first time we’ve heard of a Raptor Lake refresh. It was originally supposed to replace Alder Lake, and then Intel would launch Meteor Lake. The 14th-generation platform has already been delayed many times, though, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if it was delayed once again.

In fact, Raptor Lake only exists in the first place due to Meteor Lake being delayed, according to Intel. As far as the refresh goes, it’s unclear what it will entail. Intel notably added more efficiency cores to Raptor Lake, along with a tuned performance core and more cache. In general, though, it’s just more Alder Lake. That has worked out quite well for Intel, as it’s been able to challenge AMD’s Zen 4 without necessitating an overhaul of its architecture.

Intel’s updated CPU roadmap for 2023. Click to expand. (Image: @9550pro)

It’s unclear if the Raptor Lake-S Refresh will suddenly become the 14th-generation platform, or if that’s still Meteor Lake. Intel has done that before, most notably with its 8th and 9th Gen Coffee Lake platforms. The slide notes it will use the Intel Z790 chipset, at least for the 125W K SKUs, which is the same as the current platform. It does appear to be a top-to-bottom replacement, as it also mentions non-K consumer SKUs and commercial chips.

Intel’s updated chipset roadmap for 2023. Click to expand. (Image: @9550pro)

Just as notable as the desktop chips are the “Entry Workstation” chips for HEDT. Intel seemed to abandon its HEDT lineup in 2020 or so, with its Core X 10000 lineup being its last. AMD eventually ended up doing something similar with its Threadripper lineup. It had seemed that desktop chips had become so fast, with so many cores, those specialty CPUs were no longer necessary for the average gamer. However, AMD is expected to reintroduce Threadripper again with its Zen 4 architecture. Therefore, it’s reasonable to assume Intel wants to have a competitor for it ready to go.

Intel lists the W680 chipset as being compatible with the Raptor Lake-S Refresh workstation platform. This is the same chipset that was used for Alder Lake workstations as well. It’s very similar to Z690, but it adds support for overclocking and ECC memory.

Intel’s older roadmap shows no indication of any Raptor Lake refresh. (Image: Intel)

Intel also lists a new “mainstream workstation” category with 250W CPUs. One of those is named Sapphire Rapids-64L, which seems to be a cut-down version of its Sapphire Rapids data center platform. The 64L might refer to the number of PCIe Gen 5 lanes instead of CPU cores, as the full platform offers 112 lanes. It’s also unclear if it’ll be branded Core X like previous HEDT chips, or something else. According to TechSpot, it’ll likely have fewer DDR5 memory channels but still more than Raptor Lake-S Refresh offers.

Either way, this could be exciting news for folks with an Alder Lake CPU who might be able to stuff a “refresh” CPU into their socket in late 2023. The platform was seen as DOA at launch by some, as it would only support two generations of chips. That’s in the context of AMD offering multiple generations of chips for its previous AM4 platform, which lasted five years.

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