Intel's Arrow Lake CPUs could be hugely faster than Meteor Lake

But Intel might need every bit of that major performance uplift if Arrow Lake isn't arriving until late in 2024, and Zen 5 is as peppy as promised.

2 minutes & 54 seconds read time

Intel's Arrow Lake processors, which in theory are set to follow Meteor Lake (and Raptor Lake refresh), could arrive late next year with a massive performance boost.

That's according to YouTube leaker Moore's Law is Dead (MLID), whose latest video concerns Intel's upcoming processor ranges, encompassing all the aforementioned Core families.

For us, the most significant piece of news here is that 15th-gen Arrow Lake's performance cores will be hugely faster than Meteor Lake. MLID asserts that Arrow Lake will offer an IPC (Instructions per Clock) boost of 22% to 34%.

Indeed, MLID says that Intel has compared an Arrow Lake 6+8 (performance/efficiency cores) CPU with a Meteor Lake 6+8 chip in testing, and that the former was 30% faster for single-threaded performance.

Moreover, multi-threaded testing (with mixed usage across multiple benchmarks, we're told) saw a win of around 40% for Arrow Lake - large pinches of seasoning there, of course (and remember, this is all sample silicon, so any gaps may yet change with the finished chips).

MLID expects that Intel will beat AMD in terms of Arrow Lake being a bigger uplift on Meteor Lake, compared to Zen 5's progress relative to Zen 4 (current Ryzen 7000). And AMD's Zen 5 is already rumored to be impressive, as we've seen in multiple leaks - it's just that Arrow Lake could be even more impressive.

As the leaker notes, though, with Zen 5 potentially turning up early in 2024, and Arrow Lake not expected until late next year, Intel will need to ensure that the latter offers a seriously hefty boost to catch up.

In case you were wondering, Arrow Lake is still set to stick to the same 8+16 (performance/efficiency) top-end core configuration as the current Raptor Lake flagship.

But before Arrow Lake comes...

So, what's happening next for Intel after Raptor Lake? Well, MLID again puts forward the theory that we'll get a Raptor Lake refresh soon enough - Q3 of this year - which will be the 14th-gen for Intel.

That'll bring forth some new desktop and laptop CPUs, with the desktop flagship capable of boosting to 6.2GHz. It's even possible that the top dog 14th-gen processor could boost faster still, with 6.5GHz being mentioned as a seriously outside ('pie in the sky') chance. So maybe we'll see 6.3GHz.

Meteor Lake will arrive, also under the banner of 14th-gen chips, but for laptops only, between August and October, so perhaps a touch later than Raptor Lake refresh. There's still a chance we might see Core i5 Meteor Lake models for the desktop, but that won't be until Q2 2024, we're told (if it happens at all).

In short, on the desktop, MLID believes it just made more sense for Intel to push Raptor Lake clock speeds with a refresh to get more performance that way, rather than the IPC increase from Meteor Lake. And crucially, the desktop Raptor Lake refresh can be brought onto shelves quicker, with pretty much the same performance levels, albeit lacking efficiency compared to Meteor Lake.

But any power-efficiency loss isn't nearly as important as getting something out there to compete with AMD. Let's face it, Team Blue can't really afford to wait until mid-2024 to come up with a desktop Meteor Lake high-end answer to AMD's new Ryzen 7000 X3D models - so Raptor Lake refresh it has to be, seemingly.

The idea is that this will just about tide things over until Arrow Lake, when Intel will - if MLID is correct - have a real performance ace up its sleeve. However, with the 15th-gen chips supposedly arriving late in 2024, Intel could well find itself still struggling to keep up, as don't forget - AMD will then be working on its next-gen Ryzen products.

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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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