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Meteor Lake could be gaming laptop CPU champ - if Intel gets it out quick enough

Meteor Lake laptop CPUs could hit 5.4GHz and rule the roost for gaming laptops, unless Intel is too slow off the mark with these mobile processors.

Meteor Lake could be gaming laptop CPU champ - if Intel gets it out quick enough
2 minutes & 14 seconds read time

Intel's Meteor Lake processors might hit 5.4GHz in their mobile configuration, which could make these CPUs top-notch for gaming laptops - providing Intel isn't too slow off the mark with getting them out of the door.

This is the latest spillage from well-known YouTube leaker Moore's Law is Dead (MLID), who chews over fresh chatter on the subject of Meteor Lake in his latest video (among other topics).

MLID's source assures us that Meteor Lake will not fall short on clock speeds, even if it won't reach the same levels as Raptor Lake. We're told that currently, the top-end Meteor Lake laptop CPU is running at 4.7GHz, and it's expected to hit 5GHz - but the hope is it'll end up as high as 5.4GHz. The latter isn't something the source is confident about, but it's certainly what Intel is aiming for right now.

That'd still be slightly slower than Raptor Lake mobile achieves (5.6GHz boost), but of course, Meteor Lake will bring architectural improvements that ramp performance considerably outside of clock speeds.

Meteor Lake is estimated to offer a 12% to 20% generational uplift in IPC according to MLID, which coupled with the rumored boost levels would make for seriously powerful mobile silicon.

Timing is key

The leaker further theorizes that as long as Intel can hit a Q3 release - meaning in a few months ideally - then Team Blue could dominate with seriously nippy CPUs for the thin-and-light market. If this timeline pans out, MLID likens the situation to Tiger Lake outgunning Comet Lake on laptops, but the caveat is that Intel needs to have the Meteor Lake chips ready in time.

If things slide towards an early 2024 release, then Intel will run into stiff competition from AMD's 'Strix Point' APUs (which purportedly combine Zen 5 cores with an RDNA 3 refresh on the graphics side, a powerful combo indeed).

What about Meteor Lake desktop? MLID maintains that Intel is shooting for a strategy of a Raptor Lake refresh on desktop, possibly pushing clocks for the flagship to 6.1GHz or 6.2GHz. This route makes more sense than a slower-clocked Meteor Lake, which won't be any better even with IPC gains.

Hence the long-running theory that Meteor Lake will be pretty much focused on mobile, and certainly we won't see new Core i9 desktop offerings - but we may still get middling desktop chips. MLID theorizes a 6+8 (performance/efficiency cores) processor could still be made for desktop, but sounds a bit doubtful even on that score.

We may have to wait until 2024 and Arrow Lake before we get a true next-gen desktop flagship, with just the Raptor Lake refresh to tide us over this year - with Arrow Lake possibly not hitting until mid-2024, or maybe later. And that could, of course, be a problem for Intel given the rumors of how strong AMD's Zen 5 desktop is currently looking, with a potential release in Q1 of next year.


Darren has written for numerous magazines and websites in the technology world for almost 30 years, including TechRadar, PC Gamer, Eurogamer, Computeractive, and many more. He worked on his first magazine (PC Home) long before Google and most of the rest of the web existed. In his spare time, he can be found gaming, going to the gym, and writing books (his debut novel – ‘I Know What You Did Last Supper’ – was published by Hachette UK in 2013).

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