Intel Arrow Lake flagship CPU could be a 40-core monster to destroy AMD Zen 5

If the latest leak is right, the Arrow Lake 8+32 core top dog could be up to a staggering 75% faster than Raptor Lake flagship with multi-core performance.

2 minutes & 43 seconds read time

Intel's Arrow Lake processors are still on track and expected to make a massive impact in terms of performance uplift, headed up by a 40-core flagship, going by some fresh speculation.

Yes, Moore's Law is Dead (MLID), the well-known YouTube leaker who always has plenty to say about Intel and AMD (and NVIDIA), has released another video in which Arrow Lake is one of the topics discussed.

The latest from MLID's sources indicates that Arrow Lake is still on target for an expected launch in Q4 2024 (on both laptop and desktop), and that a previously rumored 40-core CPU is back in the cards.

Supposedly that chip - an 8+32, 8 performance plus 32 efficiency core configuration - was shelved, but now Intel is working on it again. Although there's no guarantee, MLID reminds us, that it might not be put aside once more in the future (and we could end up with an 8+16 flagship).

This move might have something to do with Meteor Lake desktop (Core i5) apparently being canceled, perhaps freeing up more resources to work on Arrow Lake.

As for the latest buzz on the performance front, the expectation is for a giant 30% to 40% increase on Raptor Lake for single-threaded tasks. There's no understating how massive that would be, and it echoes previous rumors.

MLID starts pushing the boundaries with the next theory, mind, which is that if a previous leak showing Arrow Lake 6+8 as 40% faster in multi-threaded than a Meteor Lake 6+8 chip (the Core i5 that was canceled), he guesses that an 8+32 Core i9 Arrow Lake processor could beat the Raptor Lake flagship (8+16) by anything from 55% up to 75%.

In other words, it may not be all that far off twice as fast as the Core i9-13900K for multi-core, which would be pretty astounding - but that's why we need to be extremely skeptical around this kind of theorizing. Still, there's no doubt it's an exciting hint of the kind of performance that could be in the pipeline.

Process split

We're apparently looking at that 8+32 for the Core i9 with Arrow Lake, with 8+16 being the Core i7, both on TSMC 3nm - but MLID believes Intel may use its own 20A process (2nm, though it was referred to as 5nm previously) for Desktop Core i3 and i5 chips. If nothing else, that would spread out the manufacturing workload - though clearly, TSMC's process will be better and more efficient if it's the pick for the higher-end silicon.

The one point of caution with this Arrow Lake rumor dump comes with the integrated graphics, which MLID is now hearing will be substantially cut down compared to previous chatter. It will be 192 EU rather than 320, apparently, but that's still 50% more than Meteor Lake (and it'll be the third-gen Celestial graphics solution, rather than Battlemage).

In short, that'll still be considerably more performant integrated graphics than Meteor Lake, just not as much as previously believed.

Overall, though, the rumors around Arrow Lake must have AMD worried, especially if Team Red doesn't manage to bring Zen 5 around for release until later in 2024, as the latest gossip suggests. Meaning Ryzen 8000 might end up going head-to-head (or close to that) with Team Blue's potential 40-core monster as detailed here.

AMD's Zen 5 does sound impressive in itself, with IPC gains of around 20% expected, but if Arrow Lake is doing the kind of numbers for performance uplift suggested by MLID, well, that's going to be very tough to compete with.

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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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