Intel leaks suggest innovative battery boosting laptop chips and a new 14th-gen top dog CPU are on schedule

CPU concept art of a chip with blue electricity coursing through it
(Image credit: 3dartists / Shutterstock)

It’s been a busy old time for Intel leaks, and another couple have just popped up. One is for Team Blue’s incoming Lunar Lake laptop CPUs which are set to be great news for battery life, and another has arrived pertaining to the rumored refresh for the Raptor Lake Refresh flagship (try saying that quickly).

Let’s start with the notebook world, and the spillage from leaker HXL on X (formerly Twitter), as flagged by Tom’s Hardware. This shows a Lunar Lake sample processor running in Windows.

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Specifically, what we see in the above tweet is a screen grab of Task Manager with details of the Lunar Lake chip in the PC – though as ever with leaks, we must beware of the possibility it’s a fake.

At any rate, the leaker informs us that this is an ‘A1’ sample of Lunar Lake, meaning it’s an early version, and not representative of the final silicon we’ll see from these laptop chips.

It shows us a CPU with eight cores (and eight threads, so no hyper-threading) running at a boost speed of 2.8GHz. Apparently this is a configuration of four performance cores and four efficiency cores (though the latter don’t have hyper-threading anyway, the former normally would have).

The processor also has an NPU (as with Meteor Lake) for AI acceleration, and we get a glimpse of the cache loadouts, where there’s a bit of a wrinkle too. The L3 cache is smaller than the L2 cache, and normally, this would be the other way around. We’ll come back to discuss that, and the other spec details here, in a moment.

Before that, though, the second piece of leakage is that Intel’s rumored Core i9-14900KS, the special edition of the current Raptor Lake Refresh flagship, the 14900K, has been spotted at a French online retailer (via VideoCardz).

Another leaker on X, @momomo_us, highlighted the listing for the flagship variant that’ll hit 6.2GHz, with the CPU having a price of €750 attached (including sales tax).

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That converts to just over $800 in the US – or £640, AU$1,240 – but don’t go panicking about a possible 35% price hike above the MSRP of the existing flagship. For starters, the French retailer may have used a placeholder price (more than likely), and even then, this won’t translate directly to pricing in other regions (especially not the US).

If we look at US pricing, we can expect the 14900KS to be about 20% more expensive, if the 13900KS versus 13900K was anything to go by (and it should be). That said, Intel may add a little bit more of a premium – but not to the tune of 35%.


Analysis: It’s all about the timing

Regarding the Lunar Lake CPU sighting, the boost speed of 2.8GHz looks very low, but we can put that down to the chip being an early sample. As to the oddities with the cache, well, that could be a misreading of the amounts by Task Manager in Windows – which again wouldn’t be surprising with early working silicon. The original leaker (on Zhihu.com, a Chinese Q&A community forum) believes the stated cache levels are correct, mind you, but we’d heap on a whole load of seasoning with that.

Regarding the lack of hyper-threading, it’s possible that this sample processor has had the feature disabled here. Although alternatively, this could suggest that Lunar Lake will follow in the rumored footsteps of Arrow Lake, which is supposedly dropping hyper-threading. We shall see.

Lunar Lake is expected to debut later this year, perhaps alongside Arrow Lake, or very close to the latter – and the sighting of sample silicon suggests rumors about a 2024 launch may be on the money. Intel has hinted that these CPUs will turn up early in 2025 at the latest, with these power-efficient, battery life extending processors aiming to revolutionize premium thin-and-light laptops. Lunar Lake promises to have some interesting tricks up its sleeve, too.

The listing of the Core i9-14900KS doesn’t really mean anything pricing-wise, as we discussed before, but what it does represent is an indication that this CPU is close to launch. Typically, retailers only jump the gun like this when the release of a product is nearing.

We’ve heard several rumors about the 14900KS recently, including a photo, a spilled benchmark, and word from the grapevine that it launches in the middle of March. This latest nugget on the supercharged flagship is just a little more weight heaped on to the likelihood of us seeing this CPU arrive next month.

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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).