Last week Intel announced it would begin rebranding its upcoming CPUs, starting with Meteor Lake. Since it’s moving to a tile-based design, it decided to remove the “i” from its CPUs’ names going forward, so it’ll be Intel Core or Intel Core Ultra, followed by a number like “7” and some numbers indicating its position in the stack as it does now. However, Meteor Lake is rumored to exclusively be a mobile or midrange desktop platform thanks to its lowered core counts compared to current chips. That leaves the question of what would replace the Core i9-13900K on the desktop.
A new rumor indicates there will indeed be a Raptor Lake refresh to fill that role, and the revamped flagship chip will be labeled a Core i9-14900K, despite being made with 13th Generation parts. It’ll likely exist alongside Meteor Lake chips with the company’s new branding, which will be kind of weird.
The new information about Intel’s plans comes from Chinese media, care of a Bilibili video from a group named Golden Pig Upgrade. According to Videocardz, this group has reliably reported on Intel’s plans previously. The video states Intel will keep its existing naming scheme for the Raptor Lake refresh, which will include chips aimed at both the desktop (K-series) and high-end mobile (HX), resulting in 14th Generation branding despite it being a refresh of its 13th Generation CPUs. These new chips will reportedly offer higher clocks and support for faster DDR5 memory than current chips, making them a stopgap until a true desktop replacement chip comes along next year with Arrow Lake.
Intel might reserve its Core Ultra branding for mobile chips only when it refreshes its product lineup in the near future. Credit: Bilibili
Meanwhile, Intel will roll out Meteor Lake CPUs with its new branding, using “1” as the generation marker since they’re the first of a new generation of tile-based CPUs. This will result in something like a Core Ultra 7 1005K, but we’re just making that up as Intel hasn’t officially announced any new chips yet. Some laptop chips have leaked, including a Core Ultra 5 1003H CPU. This creates an odd situation where you have two radically different Intel architectures in the marketplace with totally different branding.
According to the video, some refreshed Raptor Lake chips will use the new branding, but the top-tier Core Ultra branding will be reserved for Meteor Lake CPUs. There’s a possibility some midrange Raptor parts might receive the new branding too, aka Intel Core without the word “Ultra” attached. We’re not sure if this is correct, though, as Intel stated emphatically the new branding only applies to Meteor Lake.
Either way, seeing what Intel comes up with will be interesting. It’s long been rumored there wouldn’t be a top-tier desktop part for Meteor Lake, and all the rumors so far seem to confirm that. Intel will keep using Raptor Lake as a base for its high-performance desktop parts until 2024. We assumed when it announced its branding change that since it had a Core Ultra 9 in the offering, there would be a desktop part, possibly. But now it’s looking like that will refer to a mobile CPU instead. We’ll find out soon enough, as Intel is expected to launch Meteor Lake later this year.