With each passing day, we’re hurling closer and closer towards the launch of AMD, NVIDIA and Intel‘s next-generation desktop solutions. All three companies are set to launch a range of hardware later this year, everything from professors to GPUs to even new upscaling technologies, it’s packed.
While NVIDIA will only be releasing a couple of next-gen graphics cards in the following months, Intel and AMD are firing on both cylinders: GPUs and CPUs. Intel’s Arc is already here with the Arc A380 being the sole desktop GPU available from the Alchemist family, whereas AMD’s RDNA 3 is coming soon.
More importantly, however, Intel and AMD’s next-gen CPUs will also be going head-to-head in the near future with AMD’s Ryzen 7000 and Intel’s 13th Gen Core series. We already have a lot of information on both of these lineups, but new reports and leaks seem to surface everyday, reshaping our understanding of these next-gen chips.
Raptor Lake-S leaked overview slide
Such is the case today, where Intel held a presentation in China, from which a single leaked slide has revealed a lot of new information previously unheard of. And the status of a couple of tidbits we already knew was updated from unsure to confirmed. Let’s break it down.
Intel put together a ‘NAS Workshop” presentation for stakeholders and relevant parties in Shenzen, China. As the name suggests, this presentation was focuses on NAS products and solutions, however the company did go over its Raptor Lake platform during the meeting. Apparently, a slide containing the main features of Raptor Lake was shown at the event and, of course, it leaked online moments later, spotted originally by HXL.
This slide highlighted a few things we have known for quite some time, but there was one key takeaway and that’s memory support. According to the slide, Intel’s Raptor Lake will officially support DDR5-5600 memory out of the box, an upgrade from the DDR5-4600 default JEDEC spec Alder Lake shipped with.
Not only that, but Raptor Lake will also have support for DDR4-3200. This was a given since the new 600-series motherboard have support for DDR4 built-in. So, Raptor Lake was expected to support it, especially considering how similar it is to Alder Lake, but it’s nice to finally have official confirmation on the matter.
Speaking of Alder Lake similarities, the slide depicts Raptor Lake as essentially a fine-tuned version of Alder Lake. Both generations are manufactured on the same 10nm “Intel 7” process node. They also have the exact same big.LITTLE hyprid architecture under the hood featuring separate Performance and Efficiency cores. However, there are some notable changes between the two.
Firstly, Raptor Lake comes with an increases maximum core count of upto 24 cores, up from 20 cores in Alder Lake. Those 24 cores will be available in the flagship Core i9-13900K processor in a 16+8 configuration, which means eight P-Cores and sixteen E-Cores. Due to the lack of hyper-threading on the Efficiency cores, the thread count of this CPU would be 32 threads.
Moreover, the slide further reveals that Raptor Lake will have additional PCIe Gen4 lanes through the PCH (chipset) along with 4 Gen4 lanes connected directly to the CPU. There will be 16 PCIe Gen5 lanes coming from the CPU, as well. This is the same as last-gen, which means no additional PCIe Gen5 through the chipset. Therefore, the GPU and storage will have to share the same 16 PCIe Gen5 lanes at the same time.
Apart from that, Raptor Lake has higher cache counts across the board, better overclocking capabilites, more flexible I/O, and support for a new AI-accelerated M.2 module. Weirdly enough, no where does Intel mention PCIe Gen5 support for SSDs. This is really odd considering how Intel’s upcoming 700-series motherboards for Raptor Lake reportedly do have PCIe Gen5 storage support.
This isn’t a minor feature either than Intel would chose to not highlight on its slide. After all, AMD is going Gen5 all the way through with Zen4 which means Intel has to support PCIe Gen5 storage just for competition’s sake. That being said, the final product will most likely support PCIe Gen5 SSDs but, as mentioned before, the PCIe lanes will be split and, thus, shared between the GPU and the SSD.
Raptor Lake is rumored to debut around October 2022 with a similar release strategy to Alder Lake; higher-end variants first with mid to lower-end chips following after. Raptor Lake will use the same current-gen LGA1700 socket, thought it will reportedly be the last series to do so. With AMD’s Ryzen 7000 series expected to launch just a month before, eyes are on both camps to produce the best hardware money can buy.