Intel Raptor Lake CPUs could be on shelves come October 17

Intel’s Raptor Lake processors could go on sale on October 17, according to the rumor mill, following a launch in late September.

This fresh speculation on the release timing of Intel’s next-gen CPUs comes from known leaker Enthusiastic Citizen (on Bilibili), as spotted by Tom’s Hardware. You may recall that Enthusiastic Citizen recently provided another Raptor Lake leak concerning the Core i5-13600K (which was an impressive showing for the mid-range chip).

Apply all the usual caveats regarding a suitable degree of skepticism to this (and the previous) leak, of course, but the claim is that Intel will launch Raptor Lake at its Innovation event on September 28 (the dev conference kicks off the day before).

That day will also be when the embargo on reviews is lifted, so would-be buyers should be able to see how the 13th-gen range performs, with the processors going on sale come October 17 as mentioned.

The first models to hit the shelves will apparently be the flagship Core i9-13900K, along with the Core i7-13700K and Core i5-13600K, which would be the expected CPUs to begin with. KF models will also be released – those are processors without integrated graphics for those who are happy to rely on a discrete GPU.

However, non-K CPUs, such as the vanilla Core i7-13700 for example, may not be shown off until CES 2023, on January 5, before going on sale in the latter half of January. Those models aren’t unlocked like K series chips, which means they can’t be overclocked, but that’s fine for many people who won’t ever tinker with their hardware anyway.

Finally, only the top-end Z790 motherboards will launch in October, the leaker claims, and more affordable H760 and B760 chipsets won’t get here until January (where they’ll be pushed out alongside those non-K Raptor Lake processors).

It’s worth remembering that Alder Lake motherboards (600 series) are compatible with Raptor Lake, so you won’t have to upgrade your mobo to a 700 series if you’re already running a 12th-gen chip. And indeed Intel supposedly won’t be releasing an H710 chipset for Raptor Lake, and will instead simply reuse the H610 chipset, which as mentioned is fully compatible.

Analysis: More of a wait to hit shelves than Alder Lake?

This fresh rumor must be treated with plenty of caution, but it does line up with what we were already thinking. When Intel announced its Innovation event for 2022, the chip giant dropped hints regarding “hearing about the latest launches” at the conference, and last year, this was the platform Team Blue used to unleashed Alder Lake processors.

So we were already believing there was a solid likelihood of seeing Raptor Lake at Innovation, around its long-rumored October launch timeframe, meaning it’s no surprise to hear this from the grapevine. However, what’s particularly interesting to us here is the purported gap between launch and the CPUs actually going on sale.

We were assuming this would be short gap, but that’s just guesswork on our part, based on what happened with Alder Lake – where there was just a week between the reveal and processors hitting the shelves. In this case, Intel will apparently be waiting three weeks before unleashing Raptor Lake so the public can buy it, and that’s a perfectly reasonable prediction.

The chips will only be ready when they’re ready, of course, but we’d been thinking that Intel might want to shoot for an early October launch to try and get the drop on AMD. Team Red’s Ryzen 7000 CPUs are expected to be launched in September and likely to then emerge in October, just the same as the theory holds with Raptor Lake – and whichever company gets their next-gen processors out first will obviously have something of a minor victory in terms of grabbing that limelight the quickest.

In Intel’s case, though, it would be a potentially bigger win because it’d be the third generation of chips to come out without an answer from AMD, which could be regarded as making Team Red look more than a tad sluggish – even if Ryzen 5000 has held its own remarkably well throughout its reign (with that 3D V-cache refresh helping as a kind of stopgap at the top-end for gamers, admittedly).

Maybe AMD will get past the post first, though, if this new rumor is right, but we’ll only know for sure in a couple of months when these next-gen launches should get underway.

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