Intel Raptor Lake Refresh reportedly launching in Q3/Q4 2023 with enough performance to "tread water against Ryzen 7000"
By consensus, the AMD Ryzen 7000X3D processors have managed to dethrone the Intel Raptor Lake CPUs from the gaming leaderboard. For instance, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D is on average 3.8% faster than the Core i9-13900K in gaming while proving to be almost two times as energy efficient. So far it seems that due to the alleged cancellation of MTL-S, Intel’s 14th gen desktop processors, Team Blue will have no real competitor to the Ryzen 7000X3D until the arrival of Arrow Lake (ARL-S) next year. Now, MLID suggests that Intel may be able to compete with the Ryzen 7000X3D parts in gaming thanks to a possible Raptor Lake Refresh (RPL-R).
Per one of MLID’s sources, the RPL-R will launch sometime in Q3/Q4 2023, a slot that was previously reserved for MTL-S. In terms of improvements, the source suggests that the RPL-R “is just like Skylake-Kabylake”. For the uninitiated, Intel’s 6th gen Skylake CPUs and the 7th gen Kabylake chips shared the same 14 nm architecture but the latter packed in optimizations that resulted in a measurable performance uplift.
Another source mentioned to Tom that RPL-R may be able to go head-to-head with the Ryzen 7000 CPUs. However, the source suggested the situation could play out similarly to 10th gen Comet Lake vs AMD Zen 2 where the former was competitive with AMD’s offerings only to be trounced by the Zen 3 CPUs shortly after. The same source also shared that AMD Zen 5 will release before Arrow Lake (ARL-S) which is scheduled for H2 2024.
In other words, if ARL-S is indeed H2 2024 and RPL-R is scheduled for Q3/Q4 2023, Intel may only be competitive with AMD for a few months before the launch of Zen 5. As a refresher, the AMD Zen 5 is rumored to enjoy up to a 30% IPC uplift in addition to other architectural improvements.
Finally, MLID also reports that RPL-R may feature “notably better MT performance” if Intel can take advantage of better binning, DLVR, etc. Digital Linear Voltage Regulator (DLVR) is an Intel technology that reportedly has the potential to reduce power consumption by up to 25%. Although the technology was present on pre-release Raptor Lake CPUs, Intel disabled it on retail hardware. Per MLID, if DLVR makes its way into RPL-R, it could give Intel some much-needed power headroom to push performance even further.
As with all leaks of this nature, take MLID’s report with a grain of salt, as we have no idea if and when Intel will unveil the refreshed Raptor Lake processors.