Intel Arrow Lake ES CPUs Spotted Selling For $14 A Chip But Don't Buy One

Hand holding an Intel CPU marked as confidential.
We're as curious as the next person about how Intel's next-generation Arrow Lake processors will fare, both in comparison to the company's own Raptor Lake Refresh CPUs and AMD's competing Zen 4 (and eventually Zen 5) chips. But as curious as we are, we're not about to buy an early sample for $14 from a sketchy sale by a vendor in China, and neither should you.

The ultra-cheap processor was spotted on Xianyu, a used goods e-commerce platform in China that's somewhat akin to eBay, by X (formerly Twitter) user Yuuki_AnS.

X/Twitter post by @yuuki_ans calling attention to an Arrow Lake ES CPU in China.

"Does anyone want to buy the CPU of Arrow Lake-S LGA1851? (MechSample). About 100 CNY or $14 each...," Yuuki_AnS wrote on X/Twitter. In a follow-up post, Yuuki_AnS posted a screenshot of the listing, which shows a mostly unmarked processor in the palm of a person's hand (as seen at the top of the article), along with Chinese-language text describing the chip.

According to various translations (including Google's Gemini and Microsoft's Copilot AI tools), the description merely talks about Intel's LGA 1700 and LGA 1851 sockets being physically identical in dimensions, but have different notch designs so that users don't try to jam an next-gen processor into an unsupported current-generation motherboard.

Arrow Lake is being built on Intel's 20A node and are expected to launch in the second half of this year, perhaps during Computex (where Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger is scheduled to deliver a keynote). It's anticipated that Intel's next-gen chips will bring Meteor Lake's tiled design and an updated architecture to the desktop.

There are a myriad of reasons you should avoid tracking down a $14 engineering sample, if you were feeling inclined to do so. For one, ES processors are not meant for resale, and you're not supposed to buy or sell them—they're intended to help Intel's partners test and validate platforms, with late-stage samples sometimes being sent to news outlets for review.

Secondly, identifiers on the chip in the photo suggest it is a very early ES chip, which means it could be missing features or sport different specs than what might be found on a later-stage ES or qualification sample (QS), and/or finalized silicon.

This could also be a scam, especially in light of the ultra-low price. On top of it all, there's no indication of what SKU this chip is supposed to represent (or the specs), and even if you managed to get one, good luck finding a motherboard for it—Intel's LGA 1851 platform has not been released yet.

Our advice? Steer way clear and wait for Arrow Lake's formal launch later this year.