Now that Intel’s Alder Lake CPU lineup is complete with the addition of the Core i9-12900KS, it’s time to look to the future. Its upcoming CPUs will be called Raptor Lake, and they’ll be a refinement of Alder Lake made on the same Intel 7 process. It’s similar to how Intel used to follow a Tick-Tock strategy, way back when. Although the 12900KS is the highest clocked CPU currently available at 5.5GHz for two cores, rumors indicate Intel will be going even further with Raptor Lake.
According to a tweet from CPU rumor monger OneRaichu flagged by Wccftech, Intel will push towards 6GHz with its next-gen. Though it already holds a large clock advantage over AMD, Intel may attempt to extend its lead and push Raptor Lake has high as 5.8GHz.
That would apply to the flagship CPU only though, the Core i9-13900K (or maybe even the KS version). For this chip Intel will replace Alder Lake’s performance cores (P-cores), dubbed Golden Cove, with updated cores named Raptor Cove. In a recent demo of Raptor Lake, it showed it running eight performance cores (hyper-threaded), and 16 efficiency cores. This makes it a 24-core, 32-thread CPU. It’s expected that the efficiency cores (E-Cores) will remain unchanged as far as clock speeds are concerned.
Intel is promising “up to double digit” performance gains for Raptor Lake over Alder Lake. We can translate that PR speak into about a ten percent IPC uplift. It’s unclear what the difference will be in single core versus multi-core gains though.
It’s mildly surprising that it’s choosing to continue to pump clock speeds to the moon though. Although Alder Lake is more efficient than its predecessors, at higher clocks it can suck down a lot of power. The high-end chips like the 12900K are also designed to run at 100C. Fortunately it only hits these temps running multi-core workloads that put a full load on the processor. Raptor Lake marks the end of Intel’s hybrid “big-little” architecture days as it transitions into a tile-based architecture in 2023.
For its part, AMD has been rumored to be raising clocks for Zen 4 too. Obviously we’ll need to wait for official numbers, but rumors have placed the 7000-series in the 5GHz on all cores territory. There’s also rumors the top-tier SKU will be a 16-core, 32-thread chip with a 170W TDP. That’s a lot of power for an AMD chip. However, it’s shown with the Ryzen 7 5800X3D that it can exceed Intel’s performance in games even with a clock speed deficit. That’s rather impressive, so we’re very curious to see if V-Cache makes it to Zen 4, or if the 5800X3D remains a one-off CPU experiment. Given the gains its realized with it, that seems rather unlikely. Maybe by that time AMD will have figured out how to allow overclocking on it as well.