Intel’s 13th Gen Raptor Lake processors are slated to launch by the end of the year, tackling the next-gen Ryzen 7000 lineup in the process. Essentially a hard refresh of Alder Lake with more cores, these CPUs will retain support for DDR4 memory, unlike their Zen 4 rivals. However, the latest reports suggest that Intel would really like consumers to forget this little tidbit. The chipmaker is encouraging board partners to focus on DDR5-supported motherboards with the 700 series chipsets while giving minimal attention to cheaper DDR4 boards.
The 13th Gen Raptor Lake-S processors are expected to support DDR5-5600 RAM out of the box, a healthy jump over the 4800MT/s modules rated for Alder Lake-S. At the same time, this doesn’t mean that Intel is dumping DDR4 support from the Raptor Lake lineup. We’re certainly going to see bare-bones budget offerings supporting DDR4 memory. In addition to this, the 13th Gen CPUs should also be backward compatible with existing 600 series boards, keeping a short upgrade path open for enthusiasts.
Essentially, Intel is making sure that its next-gen flagship halo products perform optimally when they launch later this year. This is especially important as AMD is also set to launch its Ryzen 7000 chips around the same time. The Zen 4 microarchitecture powering these is slated to be a massive upgrade over Zen 4, not only bringing sizable IPC gains but also pushing the core clocks past 5GHz for the first time (courtesy of TSMC’s 5nm node). Considering that the Ryzen 5000 processors are still quite competitive against Alder Lake, AMD shouldn’t have much trouble retaking the performance and gaming crown by the year’s end.