Intel Core i7-14700K may be the only next-gen CPU worth buying if this leak’s right

An Intel Core i7-13700K in a man's hand
(Image credit: Future/John Loeffler)

Intel’s Raptor Lake Refresh line-up could have a standout CPU in the squad, and a bunch of very run-of-the-mill teammates, if a new leak pans out.

VideoCardz noticed that MSI accidentally shared what’s apparently a product training video (on YouTube) for its Intel motherboards, which imparts an overview of Team Blue’s 14th-gen chips, covering performance levels too.

Firstly, that’s a major faux pas to say the least. And secondly, it doesn’t make for comfortable viewing, at least not for anyone who has hopes that Raptor Lake Refresh will pull out some solid gains over current-gen Intel processors.

We’re told that Raptor Lake Refresh processors will be on average about 3% faster than Raptor Lake. In other words, most next-gen CPUs will only be slightly quicker than what we have now.

The exception is the Core i7-14700K, which will be 17% faster in multi-threading, according to MSI’s leaked briefing for staff. That’s in line with rumored 15% gains for the 14700K, and MSI also observes that the reason is Intel has upgraded the 14700K with four more efficiency cores than its predecessor – again, something that has been heavily rumored at this point.

Analysis: Take a beat

This is rather disappointing in all honesty, although we shouldn’t jump the gun as we can’t put too much weight on a single leak. 

Is it genuine? It looks that way, though we can’t see the video now to check (it’s been made private, as the clip should have been in the first place). Has MSI got some of this info wrong, perhaps? Maybe. We don’t know, and we won’t know until we get some Raptor Lake Refresh processors in for testing ourselves to compare to current Raptor Lake chips.

Of course, Raptor Lake Refresh has had somewhat reined-in expectations from the off, seeing as it’s always been billed as just a simple refresh. But some rumors have indicated that, as well as a strong 14700K that’s a candidate for the best processors list, some other 14th-gen chips might offer impressive gains too. For example, the 14600K has been suggested to be a pacey offering as well in the past. Maybe that leak is wrong, though.

We’d certainly expect more than a 3% average improvement for Intel’s next-gen CPUs. Although MSI doesn’t actually frame this as single-core or multi-core, so perhaps it’s the former (the 17% uptick for the 14700K clearly mentions multi-core). And from that perspective, 3% may not be terrible (some CPUs will still offer a bit more than that, of course – and maybe a fair bit more for multi-core, we can hope).

All this is even more reason to not be leaping to conclusions yet, but as it stands, this leak does not get us excited for Intel’s Raptor Lake Refresh processors.

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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).