Intel 14th Gen Meteor Lake Desktop CPUs Spotted In Leaked Roadmap But There's A Caveat

hero intel meteor lake test package
If you're just joining us, the actual silicon that will comprise Intel's 14th-generation processors has been in question for a while now. Leaked roadmaps have indicated that Intel has both disaggregated Meteor Lake processors on the way, as well as a refresh of its extant Raptor Lake processors. It's been theorized that Meteor Lake may not actually come to desktops, but it's also been said that it will.

Well, the latest information seems to indicate that we will indeed see a release of Meteor Lake desktop processors on a new socket known as LGA1851. However, unlike current Raptor Lake chips, which scale up to 125W TDP (and can draw twice as much power as that), Meteor Lake processors will only hit 65W. Perhaps to manage buyers' expectations, the same information explains that Meteor Lake desktop processors will only be marketed as "Core i5" CPUs, rather than scaling all the way up to Core i9.

These details come from a chart leaked by SquashBionic on Twitter, a known leaker with a history of sharing good information. The chart also shows that Meteor Lake and Arrow Lake processors will share the same socket, and that they will also use the same platform: the Intel 800 series chipsets. That would seem to indicate that if there is in fact a Raptor Lake refresh, it won't come with a new platform or family of chipsets, and would instead ride with the current motherboards.

Arrow Lake, likely to comprise the 15th-generation processors, apparently will scale all the way up to 125W and accordingly will have processors ranging from the entry-level up to the Core i9 branding. While the two families will share a platform, that doesn't necessarily mean that they will be released together; however, it would be highly-unusual for Intel to release a new platform with new motherboards without a top-end CPU to defend benchmark supremacy.

arrow lake socket drawing

With that in mind, it's possible that we may not see Meteor Lake desktop processors until Arrow Lake is also ready to launch. We don't think this is particularly likely because Arrow Lake is listed as scaling down to the 35W and 65W market segments as well. Given that it is expected to have revised processor core designs over Meteor Lake, with a particularly large gain in IPC, it probably wouldn't make sense to release MTL and ARL together.

If Intel does launch the 800-series platform with just Meteor Lake, it wouldn't be totally unprecedented. Many people forget that AMD's Socket AM4 quietly launched with just the Excavator-based Bristol Ridge processors available from OEMs; Ryzen didn't come until later when the platform launched to the DIY market. Intel could do something similar, with Meteor Lake desktop processors primarily appearing in OEM systems this year before the 800-series platform arrives later to DIYers with Arrow Lake performance processors.

Top image: Meteor Lake test package, photo by Stephen Shankland for CNet