Intel's Flagship Core Ultra 9 Meteor Lake CPU Launch Allegedly Slips Into Next Year

Intel Core Ultra news
While Intel has confirmed its next-generation Meteor Lake chips will arrive just before the end of the year, a recent rumor suggests that the Core Ultra 9 flagships will only be available in 2024. This is according to respected Chinese leaker Golden Pig, who has a good track record when it comes to leaking upcoming Intel CPUs. Obviously, any kind of product delay is bad (especially for Intel, which has a bit of a reputation for delays), but in this case there are actually pretty good reasons for it.

Core Ultra 9 Meteor Lake CPUs, the only known model being the Core Ultra 9 185H, are expected to deliver both the full 14 cores that Meteor Lake has to offer as well as the highest clock speeds possible on Meteor Lake, perhaps as high as 5.1GHz according to Golden Pig. For Intel, the flagship models of Meteor Lake should help the company even the score with AMD. The Ryzen 7045 series, which are AMD's desktop Ryzen 7000 chips ported to laptops, are far more efficient than 13th Gen Raptor Lake CPUs and offer similar or better performance overall.

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Translated from Simplified Chinese by Google.

While a delay sounds bad for Intel given the stakes, it's neither a disaster nor unexpected. The launch of a new CPU product stack very frequently happens in waves for both Intel and AMD; it's rare for every single SKU in a brand-new generation to come out all at once. Although it is strange that the flagship Meteor Lake CPU isn't going first since flagships usually lead the charge, it's not without precedent. For example, the launch of AMD's Ryzen 3000 series CPUs in 2019 went well despite that its top-end Ryzen 9 3950X was delayed a few months.

Plus, with a scheduled launch day of December 14th, there's very little leeway for Intel to launch in 2023. Even a three-week delay would mean launching in 2024, so focusing on the year might make the situation appear to be worse than it actually is. Granted, we don't know for how long the Core Ultra 9 chips will be delayed for, but it can't be for very long since the lower-end and midrange Meteor Lake chips (which use the same or similar silicon) are still coming.

But maybe there isn't even an unexpected delay at play here. Assuming Google's translation of Golden Pig's post is totally accurate, the part about "no matter how many units there are, we cannot test them" sounds more like Core Ultra 9 chips are out there, but are being held back for later. Videocardz speculates that Core Ultra 9 might be unveiled alongside high-end gaming laptops at CES in January, which sounds plausible. Whether this is an unforeseen delay or Intel's planned launch schedule, Core Ultra 9 coming out next year rather than this year doesn't seem like a red flag.