In brief: Intel's Raptor Lake processor lineup is still in the oven, but expectations around it are growing as we get closer to launch. According to an early preview, Team Blue's 13th-gen processors could offer AMD's Ryzen 7000 series some serious competition in terms of performance.
Details have been scarce around Raptor Lake --- Intel's last architecture built on the Intel 7 process node. Earlier this year, the company revealed that it would offer an "up to double-digit performance boost" with its 13th-gen processors compared to Alder Lake.
The Raptor Lake lineup will top out at 24 cores (eight performance cores and 16 efficiency cores) and 32 threads, and there's a slight possibility it'll be compatible with DDR4 memory in addition to DDR5. Recently, SiSoftware published a preview of what to expect from the upcoming Core i9-13900 Raptor Lake-S CPU, though it should be noted it's not a typical review of actual hardware but rather an analysis of public data from the SiSoftware database.
Just like Alder Lake-S, Raptor Lake-S won't support AVX-512 instructions, but it's unclear if support is just disabled or not present on the silicon. Intel went to great lengths to keep people from enabling the AVX-512 units on 12th-gen Core CPUs, so it's possible the company removed them entirely from Raptor Lake designs.
According to SiSoftware, the Core i9-13900 will have 36 megabytes of L3 cache (20 percent more than the Core i9-12900) and offer support for up to DDR5-5600 memory, PCIe 5.0, and Thunderbolt 4. Performance cores now have two megabytes of L2 cache per core, and the 16 efficiency cores have 16 megabytes of shared L2 cache, almost double when compared to the Alder Lake counterparts.
When it comes to the testing, the results collected suggest Raptor Lake may deliver between 33 to 50 percent higher performance in basic arithmetic tasks over Alder Lake. In vectorized and SIMD tests, the 13th-gen part was around five to eight percent faster. This was achieved with an engineering sample that has performance cores running at 3.7 GHz and efficiency cores running at 2.76 GHz. Both clock figures are rather low, and SiSoftware notes the overall performance from Alder Lake works out to just four to six percent.
Still, if these results are anything to go by, Intel may have found a way to match AMD's Zen 4 with Raptor Lake. The two architectures will likely trade blows in real-world performance tests, but we'll have to wait and see.