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Intel 13th Gen Raptor Lake Desktop CPUs Specs and Performance Update .
On paper, Intel’s 13th Gen Raptor Lake CPUs look to be an optimized version of the 12th Gen Alder Lake CPUs. They will be based on the same 10nm ESF ‘Intel 7’ process node, utilize the same P-Core & E-Core design, & will be supported on existing motherboards. But there’s a lot that’s changing with Raptor Lake and we are going to detail everything, from official details to rumored information that we know about Alder Lake so far and what you could expect from Intel’s next desktop lineup which will be pitted right against AMD’s next Ryzen CPU lineup for desktops too.
Like Alder Lake, Raptor Lake would utilize a completely hybrid architectural design. (Image Credits: Intel)
Intel 13th Gen Raptor Lake Desktop CPUs Expected Features:
So starting with the specifications, Intel’s 13th Gen Raptor Lake CPUs will utilize the hybrid core design, featuring a mix of Performance-Optimized ‘P’ and Efficiency-Optimized ‘E’ cores. For the new chips, Intel will be using a brand new P-Core known as Raptor Cove which will replace the Golden Cove cores featured on the Alder Lake CPUs. For The E-Core, Intel will retain the existing Gracemont core architecture but it will come with minor improvements.
According to the rumors, the Intel 13th Gen Raptor Lake CPUs are going to offer up to a 15% single-thread and a massive 40% leap in multi-threaded performance. Intel themselves have mentioned up to ‘double-digit’ performance gains with Raptor Lake & it’s quite interesting how the blue team is going to hit these performance estimates.
Intel Raptor Lake – Expected Core Count & Configurations
For Raptor Lake, Intel will be bumping the core and thread count but it’s important to know what kind of cores are being increased. The Raptor Lake CPUs will retain 8 P-Cores (Raptor Cove) with 16 threads. The E-Cores on the other hand will be doubled to 16 (Gracemont) and since E-Cores don’t come with SMT, we get to a maximum core configuration of 24 cores (8 P-Core + 16 E-Core) and 32 threads (16 P-Core + 16 E-Core).
You can see how Intel is leveraging from both sides, the P-Cores offer an improved architecture for IPC gains while the E-Cores uplift the multi-threading performance with double the cores/threads from the previous generation. Combine both, & you are in for a decent generation over generation improvement.
Intel Raptor Lake – Expected Cache Count & Configurations
Another key area that is being touched upon by Intel is the cache configuration. Based on current rumors, the Intel 13th Gen Raptor Lake lineup is expected to feature huge pools of L2/L3 cache per chip segment which could be marketed as the blue team’s own ‘Game Cache’.
It is estimated that for 13th Gen Raptor Lake CPUs, Intel is going to feature 2 MB L2 / 3 MB L3 cache per Raptor Cove core while each Gracemont Cluster will feature 4 MB L2 and 3 MB L3 cache. That’s going to give us 36 MB L3 cache across all cores, 16 MB (2×8) for P-cores & 16 MB (4×4) for E-cores. Intel Raptor Lake & Alder Lake CPU Cache Configurations (Rumored):
If this ends up being true, we are looking at a 55% increase to the total cache count for Intel’s 13th Gen Raptor Lake CPUs. Now AMD will still retain the edge with its standard Non-V-Cache parts that are equipped with 64 MB of L3 cache and 96 MB on the V-Cache SKUs but this would mean that the blue team can recoup its lead quite significantly with the added cache and core count along with a higher clock speed that is expected from a mature 10ESF (Intel 7) node. The expected SKUs are detailed below:
The enthusiast 125W Intel Raptor Lake-S Desktop SKUs will feature Core i9 models featuring up to 8 Raptor Cove cores and 16 Gracemont cores for a total of 24 cores and 32 threads. Intel’s Core i7 lineup will consist of 16 core (8+8), Core i5 models will consist of 14 core (6+8) and 10 core (6+4) & finally, we have the Core i3 models which will feature 4 cores but without any efficiency cores. The lineup will also include Pentium SKUs which will feature just 2 Raptor Cove cores. All Core variants will feature a 32 EU (256 core) enhanced Xe integrated GPU. Certain Core i5 and Pentium variants will also come configured with 24 EU and 16 EU iGPUs.
Intel Raptor Lake – Expected Power Ratings & Configurations
Coming to the power requirements, the Intel Raptor Lake-S 125W variant will feature a PL1 rating of 125W (125W in performance mode), PL2 rating of 188W (253W in performance mode) & a PL4 rating of 238W (314W in performance mode). You can notice that the PL4 rating is lower due to the newly introduced reactive operation but the PL2 rating has gone slightly up compared to Intel Alder Lake (253W vs 241W).
The same is the case with the 65W Alder Lake chips which have a PL1 rating of 65W (65W in perf mode), PL2 rating of 133W (219W in perf mode), and a PL4 rating of 179W (277W in perf mode). In the end, we have the Intel Alder Lake-S 35W variants which have a PL1 rating of 35W (35W in perf mode), PL2 rating of 80W (106W in perf mode), and a PL4 rating of 118W (152W in perf mode).
Intel hasn’t shared any detailed performance numbers of the 13th Gen Raptor Lake CPU family yet but based on what we know, we can expect around a 10-15% uplift in gaming performance and 15-25% gains in multi-threading performance. These are just estimates and the final CPU performance could be much better. Intel’s main aim with Raptor Lake is to tackle the 3D V-Cache and the Zen 4 CPUs. AMD has already touted its Ryzen 7 5800X3D to tie or offer slightly better gaming performance in select titles against Alder Lake. With Zen 4, this lead would go further up.
A demo showcasing the benefits of the extra cores was shown by Intel during Investors Day ’22 which revealed how the E-Cores can offload the work in Blender and leave the 16 P-Core threads available for other tasks. The Raptor Lake chip used within the demo is an ES part running at lower clock speeds and at a base TDP of 125W and was able to outperform the Core i9-12900K (though we don’t know if the Alder Lake chip was also running at base TDP of its max TDP). Nevertheless, it looks like those extra cores are going to deliver some nice uplift in performance overall.
Intel is sticking with its LGA 1700 platform for at least one more CPU lineup and that’s Raptor Lake. Chipzilla confirmed that Raptor Lake CPUs will be compatible with the existing LGA 1700 motherboards based on the 600-series chipset. But like each generation, motherboard makers will be offering a brand new lineup of motherboards based on the 700-series chipset which will come with higher I/O lanes. In addition to that, Raptor Lake chips will be supporting DDR5-5600 speeds which is a nice bump over the native DDR5-5200 speeds that Alder Lake supports.
This offers a nice upgrade path to users who are currently running a mainstream Core i3 or Core i5 CPU and want to upgrade to a higher-end chip. They can simply replace their existing 12th Gen CPU with a higher-end Core i7 or Core i9 SKU which will increase the overall performance of their PC.
Intel PCH SKUs and revision datasheet. (Image Credits: Intel)
The 13th Gen CPU will also feature enhanced overclocking capabilities. Alder Lake currently goes up to 5.5 GHz with the upcoming Core i9-12900KS SKU which is rated at a maximum power rating of up to 260W, the highest ever on the mainstream platform.
There’s also a new AI M.2 module support that’s supported by Raptor Lake CPUs and could have something to do with PCIe Gen 5 SSD support. The AI module could automatically detect a PCIe Gen 5 SSD and set the protocol of the M.2 slot to the newer standard though we have to learn more details about it.
Intel’s pricing strategy starting its 12th Gen Alder Lake lineup has been very aggressive and that has definitely helped them sell enough units to start making a dent in AMD’s Ryzen market share. Segments such as the Core i5 and Core i7 are showing up in the ‘Top 10 Sellers’ on several NA & EU-based retailers.
Each segment has featured a disruptive price point and it is likely that Intel won’t be adjusting or moving their prices up considering that they have a formidable opponent on the horizon in the form of the Ryzen 7000 series. As such, we can expect the 13th Gen Raptor Lake Desktop CPUs to adopt the same prices as Alder Lake. Considering that there’s a $150-180 US gap between the top Core i9 and Core i7 SKUs, we can see Intel slot in two Core i9 SKUs, one with 16 cores & the other with 24 cores for its next-gen lineup.
As for launch and availability, the Intel 13th Gen Raptor Lake Desktop CPUs are expected to launch alongside the 700-series chipset family in the second half of 2022. The launch has been rumored for Q3 2022 which means that we could at the earliest see these chips in action by August or September which would also be just in time for the next-gen AMD Ryzen 7000 CPUs. Both AMD & Intel are known to push out their premium offerings first before moving into the mainstream/budget segment so expect Intel to introduced ‘K’ unlocked parts and Z790 boards before venturing into the non-K lineup.
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