Intel Meteor Lake-S Desktop CPU Rumored Scrapped In Favor Of Raptor Lake-S Refresh

Intel's desktop Raptor Lake processors are insanely fast, to be sure. A significant portion of that speed originates with their sky-high clock rates, and to hit those numbers, it needs quite a bit of power. Rumors have been swirling for a bit that Meteor Lake, fabricated primarily on Intel's next-gen "Intel 4" process, wouldn't be able to hit those kinds of clock rates. That's fine for mobile, but it doesn't look great if the company's next desktop generation is slower than the previous. See: AMD Bulldozer.

Given that, the latest rumors probably shouldn't be surprising: Intel may have canned plans to bring Meteor Lake to the desktop. This rumor comes by way of Raichu (@OneRaichu on Twitter), whose tweet you can see below. MTL-S refers to desktop Meteor Lake processors. The rumored configuration for these chips was 6 performance cores and 16 efficiency cores, which would be pretty unlikely to unseat the 6GHz Raptor Lake Core i9-13900KS in any case.

raichu mtl s canceled tweet

If you're lost, let us explain. Meteor Lake is the code name for Intel's next generation of client processors. It is to be the first generation of Intel processors to use chiplets—or, to stick to Intel's own nomenclature, "tiles"—making it a "disaggregated" processor. The idea is that it would have separate tiles for the Intel Architecture (x86-64) processor cores, for an Alchemist-derived GPU, and for the "uncore" elements of the processor, not totally unlike AMD's Ryzen processors.

According to leaked roadmaps, Meteor Lake was originally intended to come after Alder Lake, but seemingly, difficulties with the manufacturing process led to it being delayed. That resulted in the creation of Raptor Lake, which is more than just a refresh of Alder Lake, but still very closely-related.

intel desktop roadmap

Now, the latest leaks on the subject seem to indicate that we're going to see a refresh of Raptor Lake, possibly on the same socket and platform. That'll slot into the product stack where Meteor Lake desktop processors would have gone. In that sense, it looks like the next generation of Intel processors will be somewhat like the relationship between the 11th-generation Tiger Lake and Rocket Lake processors, where the mobile models were significantly different from the desktop processors from the "same generation" (in marketing terms).

If Raichu's latest rumor is true, then it means that we're likely to see Raptor Lake mobile and a Raptor Lake refresh in 2023, with a possible launch of Meteor Lake for just mobile late in the year, or early in 2024. It will be interesting to see if Intel can bring any major changes to Raptor Lake with the refresh. Team Blue could face major competition from Team Red if rumors about AMD's Zen 4 "X3D" processors are accurate.