Computex is not only a place where a lot of new hardware is officially introduced, but it is also a meeting place for almost everyone who does something with computer components. In the lanes, we got a clear but unofficial picture of what CPUs we can expect this year.
Intel: Raptor Lake update, (none) Meteor Lake and Arrow Lake
Little by little, it has been leaked in recent months that Meteor Lake, the planned successor to the 13th generation of CPUs, Raptor Lake, has disappeared from Intel’s desktop plans. At the show, various sources confirmed that this generation, technically very interesting due to the switch to Intel 4 chip design, will be skipped entirely for the desktop. Instead, Intel has scheduled a Raptor Lake update in the third or fourth quarter.
Although this update uses nearly the same physical chips as Raptor Lake, Intel will still choose to market the Raptor Lake update as a 14th generation Core processor. This is to avoid confusion between CPUs based on old and new processes; Similar to when Intel sold 10nm and 14nm CPUs simultaneously, the company will adjust the naming of its processors. Details of this will be announced in the coming weeks. However, from a technical point of view, you can expect a little more from the refresh in question than slightly higher clock speeds and therefore higher power consumption. There are no new chipsets on the market either.
So the Z790 remains the top model, but motherboard manufacturers will use the “new generation” to release updated models. We’ve already seen this at Computex at ASRock, Gigabyte, and MSI. Anyway, strictly speaking, this is the first time in living memory that Intel has continued to use the same socket for three generations. Finally, Intel can start selecting new CPUs with a higher memory speed; In practice, nearly all Raptor Lake chips can already handle speeds much faster than the specified DDR5-5600.
While Meteor Lake will launch for laptops later this year, its desktop successor, Arrow Lake, will be ported in 2024 all at once. This generation, like Meteor Lake, consists of several generations tiles, some made on Intel’s own production processes and others at TSMC. Since desktop Meteor Lake has been passed over, the generation-to-generation performance increase may be in the direction of Alder Lake, when Intel finally moves away from 14nm.
Arrow Lake uses the new 1851 socket and is currently slated to be marketed as the 15th generation. The top model will reportedly still get 8 P cores, but the number of e-cores will double to 32 pieces. A welcome innovation for desktop users is that Intel will finally integrate Thunderbolt, or USB4, into desktop CPUs, as it has done with laptop variants for generations. Combined with the availability of cheaper USB4 controllers from third parties such as ASMedia, this is expected to accelerate USB4 adoption.
AMD: lukewarm in 2023, Zen 5 in 2024
AMD was conspicuously absent from Computex. Where a chip designer, with a Taiwan-born CEO, usually makes a big impact with his keynote at the show, AMD had nothing to report this year. Various sources have reported to Tweakers that there was an initial plan to announce Ryzen 7000G processors with much faster igpu’s than regular models at Computex, but that series has now been put on hold until later this year – possibly until the fourth quarter. Disappointing sales figures for the new generation of processors and the general decline in demand for the devices would have played a role in this decision.
AMD also won’t introduce an entirely new generation of desktop processors until next year. The Zen 5 processors will be marketed as the Ryzen 8000 series, the manufacturer confirmed in an online broadcast late last month. There won’t be anything yet engineering samples of these processors, so little information is released about them. From AMD itself, we know that Zen 5 should at least offer more significant IPc gains than Zen 4, and TSMC’s new 3nm and 4nm production processes will be deployed.
As with the current generation Zen 4, there will be two additional variants of Zen 5, a version with 3D V-Cache and a more compact variant known as Zen 5c. Its predecessor, Zen 4c, is currently only used in server chips, but CTO Mark Papermaster confirmed last month that “hybrid processors” with different types of cores will also be part of AMD’s consumer offering in the future.
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