Intel quietly revealed Raptor Lake Refresh CPUs – but the way it went down doesn’t give us much hope

 An Intel Core i7-13700K inserted into a motherboard.
An Intel Core i7-13700K inserted into a motherboard.

Intel Raptor Lake Refresh processors were actually shown off at the recent Innovation event, but if you blinked, you most definitely missed it (we certainly did).

VideoCardz has the scoop on this one, although it is true that Raptor Lake Refresh – next-gen desktop processors expected to launch very soon, in October, in fact – didn’t play any part in Intel’s big keynote or other major announcements at Innovation.

However, Raptor Lake Refresh silicon was powering a demo session at Innovation as VideoCardz pointed out.

This took place on day two of the conference, with the presenter informing viewers that this was the first public showing of a PC powered by a Raptor Lake Refresh processor.

The demo itself showed the process of capturing a virtual avatar of a person in real-life, but sadly, no details of what actual chip was inside the PC were revealed. Indeed, we were told nothing spec-wise about Raptor Lake Refresh.


Analysis: A paper-thin reveal for sure

In short, this was about as paper-thin as a next-gen CPU reveal could be – we weren’t even told anything about the spec at all (though we can guess the processor used would be the top-of-the-line flagship).

That said, since the Innovation event, we’ve been commenting at how surprised we were that nothing was said about Raptor Lake Refresh – so that isn’t entirely true. Very, very little was said, mind, and that in itself tells a story of Intel focusing pretty much entirely on Meteor Lake, and shuffling Raptor Lake Refresh to one side.

The other major revelation we caught today is that Meteor Lake silicon will be on the desktop, and that’s a big development. As far as we were aware, Intel had plans to bring out Core i5 (or i3) Meteor Lake chips on desktop, but the most recent chatter on the grapevine was that this idea had been cast aside – and that isn’t true.

Again, this could be a reason why things have been so quiet around Raptor Lake Refresh – Intel would prefer to look to Meteor Lake on the desktop, and indeed Arrow Lake, next year. With all the rumors around Raptor Lake Refresh mostly pointing to it being a very minor refresh, none of this is a huge surprise.

In theory, Raptor Lake Refresh processors for desktop will be launched next month, around the middle of October (October 17 is the date that keeps popping up). Again, given how close that is, this makes it even stranger that Raptor Lake Refresh flew so very far under the radar at the Intel Innovation event.

In the end, we’ll just have to wait and see what kind of impact these chips can make on our list of the best processors when they hit the shelves, but right now, we’re not filled with optimism about how these desktop CPUs will shape up.

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