The next generation of CPUs is coming, and probably sooner than expected. The latest rumors point to AMD’s Zen 4 processors launching in September, while Intel’s 13th-gen Raptor Lake (opens in new tab) The model will be launched by the end of this year.
The first skirmish between AMD and Intel over gaming supremacy will be interesting, but the best SKUs will be delayed until after the first wave of releases. We already know that AMD plans to release 3D V-cache equipped versions of some of its models. These will definitely provide better gaming performance than the non-3D Zen 4 models. Can Intel fight back? There’s a new rumor suggesting that Intel’s best chips may be able to hit 6GHz thanks to mature process and architectural improvements.
Usually itchy Twitter finger leakers, including @Greymon55 (opens in new tab) Indicates that Raphael-X (7000 series V-cache chips) will arrive “very soon” after its initial release. Remember, 5800X3D (opens in new tab) The launch comes nearly 18 months after the 5800X, so it could be in early 2023. I’m guessing a 2022 launch is unlikely, as that would be just three months after the September launch. There’s a reason AMD might break emergency glass sooner, though. Intel’s 13th Gen CPUs could be very competitive.
This got me thinking about what Intel might bring. @OneRaichu (opens in new tab) Shows that Intel’s Raptor Lake CPUs clock very well. Intel is likely to release SKUs clocked at up to 6GHz. That would be incredible. Intel 7 process is now mature, we see 12900KS clocked up to 5.5GHz (opens in new tab)and it’s conceivable that some tweaks from Intel could stretch the hypothetical i9 13900KS to 6GHz.
This begs the question. Clock or cache? Cache or Clock? If we compare the Ryzen 7 5800X3D to a Core i9 12900K or KS, we can see what happens. The 5800X3D is generally considered a faster gaming CPU, although it is clocked lower than the regular 5800X. That alone is undeniable evidence that many (but not all) games benefit from massive L3 caches.
But the 12900K and KS are still great gaming processors. If Intel can add a few hundred megahertz to this to get 13900K/KS and its expected architectural improvements and cache increases, we could have a very interesting battle.
Of course, the “fastest gaming CPU” is largely a marketing practice by both companies. Performance is absolutely important, but so is price, power efficiency, features and performance in non-gaming applications. There is also a dependency on the GPU part of the equation. A system that runs games in 4K and displays all the details won’t tax the CPU like a gamer using an RTX 3090 chasing 360fps in CS:GO. The latter case is where the CPU can make a significant difference.
Can AMD clock its X3D CPUs as high as non-X3D CPUs? This will offset any losses in non-gaming applications compared to the 5800X3D. Can they be overclocked? Can stacked 5nm chiplets stay cool?
What about the Intel model? Will heat and power consumption issues hold them back? Will they see higher clocks across the range? we love the i5 12400 (opens in new tab) On PC Gamer. An affordable 6C/12T i5-13400 that can hit 5GHz without overclocking is a really, really good gaming CPU. Some e-cores on lower tier i5s or i3s wouldn’t be unwelcome either.
There are many questions to answer. We’ll be looking to answer all of these questions and more once we get our hands on samples eagerly. Added to Nvidia’s RTX 40 GPU (opens in new tab) and AMD’s RDNA 3 GPU (opens in new tab) The next few months will be a very exciting time for gamers. I can not wait anymore.