Late last year, Intel unveiled its first hybrid architecture client CPU platform, dubbed Alder Lake. The new platform delivered much-needed performance and x86 efficiency gains, particularly in the multi-threaded area. The Alder Lake lineup is now available in all segments on desktop and mobile platforms, although the 12th Gen family will be replaced by Raptor Lake, the 13th Gen successor.
The 13th Gen Raptor Lake CPUs appear to be an optimised version of Intel’s 12th Gen Alder Lake CPUs on paper. They’ll use the same 10nm ESF ‘Intel 7’ process node, have the same P-Core and E-Core designs and will work with existing motherboards. But a lot is changing with Raptor Lake, and we’ll go through everything we know about Alder Lake so far, from official data to leaked information, as well as what you can anticipate from Intel’s next desktop range, which will compete directly with AMD’s forthcoming Ryzen CPU series for desktops.
To begin with, Intel’s 13th Gen Raptor Lake CPUs will have a hybrid core design, with a mix of Performance-Optimized ‘P’ and Efficiency-Optimized ‘E’ cores. Intel will use a completely new P-Core called Raptor Cove in the next chips, which will replace the Golden Cove cores used in the Alder Lake CPUs. Intel will keep the existing Gracemont core architecture for the E-Core but make small modifications.
According to speculations, the Intel 13th Gen Raptor Lake CPUs would deliver up to a 15% single-thread performance boost and a huge 40% multi-threaded performance boost. Intel has stated that Raptor Lake will deliver ‘double-digit’ performance gains, and it will be intriguing to see how the blue team can meet these targets.
Intel will boost the number of cores and threads with Raptor Lake, but it’s vital to know which types of cores will be added. Raptor Lake CPUs will keep their eight P-cores (Raptor Cove) and 16 threads. The E-Cores, on the other hand, will be doubled to 16 (Gracemont), and as E-Cores does not have SMT, we’ll have a total of 24 cores (8 P-Core + 16 E-Core) and 32 threads (16 P-Core + 16 E-Core).
Intel is expected to include 2 MB L2 / 3 MB L3 cache per Raptor Cove core in 13th Gen Raptor Lake CPUs, while each Gracemont Cluster will have 4 MB L2 and 3 MB L3 cache. This gives us a total of 36 MB L3 cache for all cores, with 16 MB (2×8) for P-cores and 16 MB (4×4) for E-cores. CPU Cache Configurations for Intel Raptor Lake & Alder Lake (Assumed):
- Raptor Lake P-Core L3 – 3 MB (3 x 8 = 24MB)
- Alder Lake P-Core L3 – 3 MB (3 x 8 = 24 MB)
- Raptor Lake P-Core L2 – 2 MB (2 x 8 = 16 MB)
- Alder Lake P-Core L2 – 1.25 MB (1.25 x 8 = 10 MB)
- Raptor Lake E-Core L3 – 3 MB (3 x 4 = 12 MB)
- Alder Lake E-Core L3 – 2 MB (2 x 2 = 4 MB)
- Raptor Lake E-Core L2 – 4 MB (4 x 4 = 16 MB)
- Alder Lake E-Core L2 – 3 MB (3 x 2 = 6 MB)
- Raptor Lake Total Cache (L3+L2) = 68 MB
- Alder Lake Total Cache (L3 + L2) = 44 MB
Intel hasn’t released any specific performance numbers for the 13th Gen Raptor Lake CPU family, but based on what we know so far, we should expect a 10-15% increase in gaming performance and a 15-25% increase in multi-threading speed. These are only estimations; actual CPU performance may be far higher. The major goal of Raptor Lake for Intel is to combat 3D V-Cache and Zen 4 CPUs. AMD has already claimed that it is Ryzen 7 5800X3D will be able to match or outperform Alder Lake in several games. With Zen 4, this advantage would grow much further.
Intel will continue to use the LGA 1700 platform for at least one more CPU generation, Raptor Lake. Raptor Lake CPUs will be compatible with existing LGA 1700 motherboards based on the 600-series chipset, according to Chipzilla. However, like with each generation, motherboard manufacturers will release a new lineup of motherboards based on the 700-series chipset, which will include more I/O lanes. Raptor Lake chips will also support DDR5-5600 speeds, which is a significant improvement above Alder Lake’s native DDR5-5200 rates.
Intel’s aggressive pricing approach for its 12th Gen Alder Lake portfolio has helped them sell enough devices to start chipping away at AMD’s Ryzen market share. Core i5 and Core i7 processors are among the ‘Top 10 Sellers’ on various North American and European shops.
Each segment has had a disruptive price point, and Intel is unlikely to adopt or raise prices now that they have a real competitor in the form of the Ryzen 7000 series on the horizon. As a result, we may anticipate the 13th Gen Raptor Lake Desktop CPUs to be priced similarly to Alder Lake. Given the $150-180 US price difference between the top Core i9 and Core i7 SKUs, we expect Intel to provide two Core i9 SKUs for its next-gen range, one with 16 cores and the other with 24 cores.