Intel's Core i3-14100 CPU is already on sale over in China - well, in a manner of speaking, as we're told that this is prerelease silicon.
VideoCardz has the scoop on this one, with the site noticing that leaker Harukaze5719 posted a photo of the chip on X (formerly Twitter). Apparently it's on sale via Goofish, priced at an equivalent of around $120.
This Core i3-14100 is apparently an engineering sample, though it has the same specs as the finished version will - meaning it's a quad-core (8-thread) CPU with a base clock speed of 3.5GHz (as previously rumored).
This CPU will be the most affordable Raptor Lake Refresh product, sitting at the bottom of the pile. In theory, it'll be launched at CES 2024 alongside the other non-K versions of Intel's 14th-gen processors.
Thus far, only the most popular 'K' series processors have been introduced for Raptor Lake Refresh (and other variants on those, such as KF) - the 14900K, 14700K (which ups the core count) and 14600K. Those models were launched last month, and it's typical for Intel to push out its unlocked CPUs first, and then follow by launching the whole range of non-K chips.
For those thinking about an upgrade to Raptor Lake Refresh, while it may not be much of a step up generation-on-generation - though there are exceptions to a degree - it's going to be a good leap for those on earlier chips.
And there are extra bonuses to consider, such as Intel's APO tech, which is exclusively for 14th-gen processors (as far as we're aware at this point). This tech better optimizes the use of efficiency cores in gaming, with some pretty eye-opening frame rate boosts as a result.