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Motherboards already are supporting unreleased, unannounced 13th-gen Intel CPUs

raptor lake tests the fences

The initial “Raptor Lake” processors are anticipated sometime this fall.

A Core i5-12400 CPU based on the Alder Lake architecture. Intel's next-gen desktop CPUs will be compatible with almost all of the same motherboards as Alder Lake.

Enlarge / A Core i5-12400 CPU in line with the Alder Lake architecture. Intel’s next-gen desktop CPUs will undoubtedly be compatible with the vast majority of exactly the same motherboards as Alder Lake.

Andrew Cunningham

Intel’s next-generation desktop CPUs haven’t been released as well as announced yet. Codenamed “Raptor Lake” and apt to be branded as 13th-generation Core chips, rumors suggest we’ll see them sometime in September or October, but Intel hasn’t officially said anything yet.

That’s not stopping motherboard makers from updating their existing motherboards to aid the brand new chips, though. Within the last month, Asus, ASRock, MSI, and (lately) Gigabyte have all either released BIOS updates supporting the next-gen CPUs within their current-gen Z690, H670, B660, and H610-series motherboards or announced plans to accomplish it soon.

This does a couple of things for PC builders. For people who have already built PCs predicated on 12th-generation Alder Lake CPUs, this means a guaranteed upgrade way to 13th-gen CPUs for those who want or have to run the most recent, fastest chips. Moreover, it means that folks can skip new Z790 motherboards and choose cheaper, sometimes clearance-priced 600-series motherboards should they want to create a brand-new system when Raptor Lake CPUs turn out.

Once Raptor Lake chips are officially released, these initial BIOS updates is going to be accompanied by others that add more features, fix bugs, and improve performance. Asus, because of its part, says that the original BIOS update “is for power-on purposes only and isn’t ideal for performance testing.”

Intel’s chipsets and motherboards support two generations of CPUs apiece before being replaced, often coinciding with a physical change to the CPU socket. But this is not always the case; motherboards in line with the budget-focused H410 and B460 chipsets couldn’t generally be upgraded to utilize 11th-generation desktop CPUs, despite the fact that the sockets were physically compatible and the higher-end H470 and Z470 chipsets could support both 10th- and 11th-gen chips. Motherboard makers are releasing BIOS updates for all their 600-series boards and not simply the expensive ones, which means this segmentation problem shouldn’t exist this time around.

Intel’s Raptor Lake architecture is likely to be considered a relatively minor refresh to Alder Lake, and technical documentation shows that both E-cores and P-cores in Raptor Lake chips utilize the same architecture as their Alder Lake counterparts. This won’t imply that Raptor Lake will not be fasterthere are a lot of things you are able to do to improve a chip’s speed beyond updating its architecture, including increasing the core counts and clock speeds. Intel used these procedures to boost the performance of its Skylake architecture for a long time.

Intel also will not be the only real processor maker releasing upgrades this fall. AMD’s Ryzen 7000 series and Zen 4 architecture will undoubtedly be here prior to the end of the entire year, and rumors claim that Apple can be likely to release new M2 Pro and M2 Max processorsin once frame.

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