Intel and AMD rumors suggest underwhelming CPU plans for 2023

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Next year, the battle of the desktop processors will continue to be fought between Raptor Lake – with Intel planning a refreshed clutch of current 13th-gen chips – and AMD’s Zen 4, according to the latest rumors from a well-known Chinese leaker.

However, we will see at least some new silicon pretty early in 2023, when we can expect to be treated to a new Raptor Lake flagship, the 13900KS, a CPU that Intel has already been talking up as hitting 6GHz boost speeds out of the box – quite an eye-opening feat.

AMD’s reply to that, according to ECSM (on Bilibili, via VideoCardz), will be new 3D V-Cache versions of Ryzen 7000 processors – but these will not go above 8-core models, apparently. ECSM reckons that 6-core and 8-core X3D spins on Zen 4 chips are inbound, but nothing else is planned, and no beefier processor with 3D V-Cache (or at least that hasn’t been spotted yet).

We will supposedly see the 13900KS, and what’ll likely be the Ryzen 5 7600X3D and Ryzen 7 7700X3D, in the middle of, or later on in, H1 2023. So presumably we’re looking at April to June, or thereabouts, for the new chips to actually be on sale (a reveal could come considerably earlier, presumably).

Apparently later in the third quarter of 2023 (September or thereabouts), Intel is planning on a Raptor Lake refresh, taking the main processors from the current line-up and cranking clock speeds by 100MHz to 200MHz.

So, this will just be a matter of small incremental bumps, and the main specs, core counts and such, of these new processors will remain the same as the current 13th-gen models.

Apparently Intel’s next-gen CPUs – Meteor Lake and Arrow Lake – will not be debuting next year at all, and will instead be out in 2024. We were still expecting Meteor Lake would turn up in 2023, though not according to ECSM; but elsewhere in the rumor mill, this is still being held as a possibility. Add large amounts of seasoning with this, naturally, and the other info imparted by the leaker here.

Analysis: Nothing much doing for 2023, then?

Essentially, Intel isn’t going to do much next year – assuming ECSM is on the money with these fresh rumors, of course – and neither will AMD for that matter. We’ll get what sounds like a very minor refresh of Raptor Lake silicon, but Meteor Lake and Arrow Lake are still a long way off. As is Zen 5 for that matter, but we knew that was the case – it’s Intel’s apparently changed plans which are the bigger surprise here.

That said, many folks were expecting to see a beefy X3D variant from AMD, so it’s something of a surprise to learn that we may not get that. At least not to begin with anyway, though in fairness, an 8-core 3D V-Cache model (likely 7700X3D) is what’s going to be interesting from a mainstream gaming standpoint anyway. That’s the Ryzen chip a lot of folks are expecting to be the big-punching processor which causes Intel trouble in 2023.

Supposedly, Intel’s Meteor Lake will be configured with a top-end chip that has 6 performance cores and 16 efficiency cores, so with no high-end desktop CPU version in other words (with other speculation indicating the range may be more focused on mobile chips). The 8 performance cores for the top desktop models (Core i7, i9) are expected to be brought in with Arrow Lake, hence why both of these are now landing in 2024, covering different ends of the performance spectrum. Both Meteor and Arrow Lake will require a new socket and platform, and should be going up against Zen 5 in 2024.

Meantime, though, it’s sounding very much like a quiet year on the processor front for 2023…

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).