Intel Raptor Lake CPUs glimpsed again – but will these 13th-gen chips disappoint?

Intel Core i9-10900K
(Image credit: Future)

Intel’s Raptor Lake, which is purportedly the 13th-generation of processors to follow Alder Lake, has been glimpsed again, reinforcing the idea that this will be the following step after the next-gen chips.

Alder Lake is planned to debut later in 2021, possibly in September according to the rumor mill, and we’ve seen a number of Raptor Lake leaks pop up in the last couple of months.

The latest one comes courtesy of VideoCardz, which spotted that HWiNFO (a popular system monitoring and diagnostics utility) has added support for Raptor Lake PCH (Platform Controller Hub) to its list of changes coming in future versions of the tool.

This may be based on embargoed information that the developer of HWiNFO has been provided with by Intel, and VideoCardz theorizes that blueprints of the PCH chipset might just already be available.

At any rate, this is just another hint that Raptor Lake does indeed exist, and we’ve had a few of them now, including a recent major leak which seems to indicate that the 13th-gen CPUs will be compatible with next-gen Alder Lake motherboards (and the new LGA 1700 socket that 12th-gen chips will usher in).

The rumor that details like hardware blueprints could be doing the rounds imminently seemingly backs up the idea that Raptor Lake isn’t too far out, and could indeed be Alder Lake’s successor.

Refreshed range

Speculation has it that Raptor Lake will just be a simple refresh of Alder Lake, keeping things pretty much the same but eking out more performance. That means Raptor Lake should stay on 10nm, which Alder Lake will finally make the move to, and shifting to 7nm won’t happen until the following 14th-gen processor range (Meteor Lake, which is expected to arrive in 2023).

Treat all this with major helpings of condiments, naturally, as it’s still far from clear that Raptor Lake is definitely happening, and will be a simple refresh as mentioned – but certainly more and more evidence is emerging to reinforce that theory.

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).