Forward-looking: Intel still hasn't formally announced its upcoming 14th-generation processors, but many leaks and rumors, if true, already provide us with a clear picture of what they will offer. Regardless of their veracity, recent BIOS updates from major motherboard vendors – now joined by MSI – all but confirm a new Intel CPU series is coming soon.

Users with MSI motherboards planning to upgrade to the upcoming 14th-generation Intel processors should start checking for BIOS updates now. Various Z790 and B760 models recently received new versions supporting upcoming Intel CPUs without specifically naming them.

Most of the patches for the models the company listed have already arrived, and others should release soon. The only 600 series motherboards currently receiving updates are the Pro H610M-E and H610M-E DDR4, but new BIOS versions for other 600 series products are imminent. In any case, MSI 700 and 600 series owners should start regularly checking their specific models in the download section on the company's website.

Asus, Gigabyte, and Asrock started rolling out BIOS updates for as-of-yet-unnamed next-generation processors in June, and so far these patches remain the closest thing to official confirmation of an impending Intel CPU launch. However, leakers have teased much information about their specs and release date.

The latest information suggests that the 14th-generation processors, likely coming in late October, will mostly feature the same core counts as Raptor Lake, which fits prior reports that it will be a simple refresh. The exception is the Core-i7, which will jump to 20 cores (eight performance cores and 12 efficiency cores). The spec sheet from known leaker chi11eddog (@g01d3nm4ng0) dashes hopes that the i3 might receive a substantial upgrade. Significant boosts to it and the i5 models could have turned them into excellent-value gaming CPUs.

The BIOS updates confirm that the new processors will continue support for the LGA 1700 socket, allowing users to upgrade from 12th or 13th-gen CPUs without buying new motherboards. However, other leaks indicate the 14th gen is the end of the road for LGA 1700, as the 15th gen Arrow Lake will move to the new LGA 1851.

Set to release in late 2024, Arrow Lake is rumored to offer a more significant performance boost. The top-end Core-i9 gains a 20 percent uplift over its Raptor Lake counterpart. More shocking is the improvement in integrated graphics – up to 250 percent. Those who can budget toward a new system late next year may want to consider skipping this year's refresh.