Intel Meteor Lake desktop CPUs may be canceled, but don't worry about Arrow Lake

Meteor Lake Core i5 CPUs aren't coming for the desktop, a new rumor suggests, while casting doubt on high-end Arrow Lake - but don't panic about that.

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Intel's Meteor Lake processors are definitely coming to laptops, but as for desktop chips, that's been a controversial point for the rumor mill - and now it seems that desktop CPUs won't be made after all.

One of the regular hardware leakers on Twitter, @OneRaichu, tells us that Intel has finally decided to cancel Meteor Lake desktop processors.

You may recall that the rumors around Meteor Lake being laptop-only are fairly old now, but more recently, there was a resurgence of hope that Intel might again be considering desktop models - just mid-range Core i5 chips, though (and maybe lower-end, too).

The point is that there remained hope that we might get something from Meteor Lake for the desktop, if not any high-end processors.

That hope appears to have been squashed for good, although we do have to add our own skepticism with any rumors (and in fairness, that includes the speculation about the renewed hope of getting Core i5 Meteor Lake for the desktop).

The second part of the tweet, regarding what we'll get instead, is a bit more unclear - @OneRaichu tells us that Intel will produce 'ARL-S 6+8 die' meaning Arrow Lake desktop with 6+8 cores, rather than Meteor Lake.

Arrow Lake panic

Some are now panicking that this might mean Arrow Lake desktop tops out at a chip with six performance cores and eight efficiency cores, or in other words, a Core i5 model - with no top-end Core i7 or i9.

We don't read it that way, though. Our interpretation is that instead of Core i5 Meteor Lake coming this year - alongside Raptor Lake refresh, which would be the high-end chips - we'll get Core i5 Arrow Lake at a later date as the next 6+8 configuration.

That doesn't necessarily mean there won't be Core i7 and Core i9 with Arrow Lake, just that the leaker is pointing out where the supposed Core i5 Meteor Lake desktop has gone, as it were.

However, @OneRaichu doesn't clarify their statement either way, despite some prompting in the above Twitter thread, so we could be wrong in our thinking, and we're left wondering about the exact meaning here.

But we'd argue that Arrow Lake must come with higher-end processors in its range, realistically. If not, then we're going to get slightly peppier Core i7 and i9 CPUs with Raptor Lake refresh later this year (likely Q3) - and then nothing in that department when Arrow Lake purportedly lands later in 2024?

That's a scenario Intel surely can't be contemplating.

Besides, all recent rumors have insisted Arrow Lake will have an 8+16 (performance/efficiency) flagship processor. And recalling the latest Arrow Lake rumor, YouTuber Moore's Law is Dead claims that an Arrow Lake 6+8 chip was 30% faster than a Meteor Lake 6+8 (in single-threaded performance). Indeed, that could explain why Meteor Lake desktop has apparently been canned - rumors around its resurgence were pretty hesitant sounding anyway, in all honesty.

For desktop, then, this year we might only see Raptor Lake refresh CPUs, and next year, at least by our reckoning based on these latest rumors, a full range of Arrow Lake silicon - supposedly with a significant performance uplift that could worry AMD (especially if Zen 5 isn't out as early as expected, as per the latest gossip).

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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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