Intel 14th-gen Meteor Lake: architecture, specs, and performance

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Intel’s 14th-gen Meteor Lake processors are here, and they’re fresh to compete against immoderate of nan best processors for laptops. While they don’t presently — and whitethorn ne'er — person desktop counterparts, Meteor Lake chips bring improved graphics performance, AI capabilities, and precocious halfway counts to bladed and ray laptops.

What’s caller successful Meteor Lake, and what will these CPUs excel at? With Intel’s announcement, we now cognize nan answers to those questions.

Pricing and merchandise date

The Intel Meteor Lake chip.Intel

Intel Meteor Lake officially launched connected December 14, 2023, pinch respective chips being made disposable successful laptops made by Intel’s partners. Prior to that, Intel revealed much accusation astir nan lineup during nan Intel Innovation convention held earlier successful 2023.

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One important portion of news is that Meteor Lake is not coming to nan DIY desktop PC market. However, it will yet besides beryllium disposable successful all-in-one PCs, specified arsenic nan Intel NUC.

According to Intel, nan laptops equipped pinch Meteor Lake will beryllium disposable correct distant — but arsenic nan marketplace has antecedently taught us, that whitethorn not ever beryllium nan case. It whitethorn return immoderate clip for nan wide availability, and it still competes against Intel’s previous-gen CPUs from nan Raptor Lake range, not to mention AMD’s mobile CPUs and APUs. All successful all, Intel predicts that there’ll beryllium plentifulness of Meteor Lake laptops to spell around, pinch complete 230 unsocial designs available.

Intel has confirmed Meteor Lake CPUs will carry caller branding. The institution is ditching nan “i” it utilized for complete 15 years and replacing it pinch “Core Ultra” branding. To that end, we’re expecting 8 Intel Core Ultra CPUs astatine launch, and 3 much models will travel successful nan first 4th of 2024.

Intel Meteor Lake will beryllium divided into 2 chopped lineups — The Core Ultra-H and nan Core Ultra-U. The CPUs will scope from nan Core Ultra 5 to nan Core Ultra 7 for starters, but there’ll beryllium a Core Ultra 9 185H coming retired successful 2024.

As acold arsenic pricing, it’s reliable to say, arsenic laptop chips don’t precisely travel pinch a value tag of their own, and nan last value is ever affected by nan remainder of nan components and nan brand. Some early partners propose entry-level Meteor Lake laptops could get astatine $1,500, which is overmuch much costly than nan erstwhile generation.

Specs

Intel Meteor Lake chip.Wccftech

Intel has already shared nan specifications of 11 Core Ultra processors, including halfway counts and timepiece speeds. There mightiness beryllium much CPUs coming later on, though.

Launching connected December 14, nan Core Ultra-H lineup serves up 4 chips. The astir powerful processor of nan 4 (and successful general, retired of each nan ones launching successful 2023) is nan Core Ultra 7 165H, equipped pinch 16 cores (6 P-cores and 8 E-cores arsenic good arsenic 2 LP E-cores) and 22 threads, 24MB of cache, and a maximum Turbo P-core timepiece velocity of 5.0 GHz. The Intel Arc GPU recovered wrong claims 8 Xe-cores. Coming up adjacent is nan Core Ultra 7 155H, which has nan aforesaid halfway count and a somewhat little timepiece velocity (4.8GHz).

Next, we person nan Core Ultra 5 135H, pinch 14 cores (4 P-cores, 8 E-cores, and 2 LP E-cores) and 18 threads. This CPU sports a smaller cache (18MB), less GPU cores (seven), and a alteration successful maximum frequency, topping retired astatine 4.6GHz for nan P-cores. There’s besides nan Core Ultra 125H, which erstwhile again simply lowers nan timepiece velocity to 4.5GHz.

The Core Ultra-U lineup is designed to prioritize artillery life and portability, truthful it has less cores crossed nan board. All nan chips person nan nonstop aforesaid halfway count and distribution, meaning 12 cores (2 P-cores, 8 E-cores, 2 LP E-cores) and 14 threads. The GPU is besides consistently worse than successful nan H-series, pinch only 4 Xe cores. The Core Ultra 7 165U maxes retired astatine 4.9GHz, followed by 4.8GHz for nan Ultra 7 155U, while nan Core Ultra 5 135U and 125U person 4.4GHz and 4.3GHz, respectively.

The 3 CPUs that are still yet to travel retired see nan top-of-the-line chip, meaning nan Core Ultra 9 185H, pinch 16 cores and 22 threads, 24MB of cache, and a maximum timepiece velocity of 5.1 GHz. This CPU mightiness extremity up successful immoderate of nan best laptops for those who want a lightweight but tin notebook.

Lastly, nan Core Ultra 7 164U and nan Core Ultra 5 134U each athletics 12 cores and 14 threads but only 4 Xe-cores. The 164U serves up a max wave of 4.8GHz, but nan 134U knocks that down to 4.4GHz.

Regardless of nan nonstop model, each of nan processors are reasonably blimpish erstwhile it comes to powerfulness consumption, which should construe to amended artillery life, but astatine nan costs of performance. Most chips scope from 9 to 28 watts (base) and 30 to 115 (turbo). However, nan Core Ultra 9 starts astatine 45W and tin spell up to 115W.

Architecture

The Intel Meteor Lake tile architecture showcased astatine nan Intel Tech Tour successful Malaysia.Kunal Khullar / Digital Trends

Architecture is wherever we person nan astir news connected Meteor Lake processors. This is nan procreation wherever Intel plans to bring its roadworthy representation together, unifying respective dies from aggregate vendors while still taking advantage of a hybrid architecture.

The CPU itself is built connected nan Intel 4 process, and Meteor Lake will beryllium nan first to characteristic this node (following Intel 7 connected Alder Lake and Raptor Lake). What’s much absorbing is really Intel is changing nan creation to compete pinch Apple processors. In summation to nan main compute die, Meteor Lake besides has abstracted GPU, IO, and system-on-a-chip (SoC) dies. Intel refers to its attack arsenic nan “3D Performance Hybrid Architecture,” talking astir really Meteor Lake boasts nan compute tile, a low-power island, and disaggregated tiles, each of which are optimized pinch tech for illustration Intel Thread Director to make judge that tasks are being scheduled efficiently.

Intel Meteor Lake slide.Intel

Competing pinch Apple seems for illustration Intel’s goal, arsenic it wants to supply not conscionable a CPU, but an full machine connected a spot (similar to Apple’s M-series processors). This is enabled by Intel Foveros, which is simply a multi-die packaging exertion that Intel has been chipping distant astatine for years.

This attack could thief Intel push much businesslike CPUs pinch a larger group of features. It could besides make Meteor Lake reliable to execute, though. With truthful galore dies, Meteor Lake seems susceptible to delays and manufacturing mishaps, but we’ll person to hold and trial this ourselves.

Intel is utilizing caller Redwood Cove cores for capacity and Crestmont cores for efficiency. Just for illustration nan erstwhile 2 generations, Intel is combining 2 different halfway types successful nan compute dice to supply ample numbers of cores without nan accrued powerfulness tie associated pinch them. It besides introduces a caller halfway type, nan low-power Efficient-cores (LPE), designed to grip scalable multithreaded tasks and inheritance tasks without burdening nan full-blown E-cores. Intel promises to present noticeable instructions-per-cycle (IPC) gains for each halfway types.

Intel is utilizing its ain Arc GPU architecture for each nan chips, serving up Xe-cores that alteration gaming and AI workloads. However, pinch only 8 cores, these notebooks will not rank precocious among nan best gaming laptops, but they should beryllium capable for older titles and indies.

In summation to CPU and GPU tiles, each Meteor Lake processor will person a dedicated AI processor referred to arsenic nan neural processing portion (NPU). It will tackle AI workloads, enabling low-power AI acceleration without burdening nan CPU and nan GPU.

All Meteor Lake chips will support Wi-Fi 7 and 6E connectivity arsenic good arsenic LPDDR5 and 5X RAM, arsenic good arsenic PCIe Gen 5 and Gen 4.

Performance

A Core i9-12900KS processor sits connected its box.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

The biggest hints for Meteor Lake’s capacity correct now each subordinate to nan Intel 4 manufacturing process, which Intel teased delivers 21.5% higher frequencies than nan erstwhile node astatine nan aforesaid powerfulness aliases a 40% powerfulness simplification astatine nan aforesaid frequency.

Higher wave doesn’t inherently mean a better-performing processor. Frequency seems for illustration a push for Intel, though, truthful it could thief pinch 14th-gen chips. The most caller leaked benchmarks we’ve seen show nan Core Ultra 7 155H reaching single-core capacity of astir 2,200 and multi-core capacity of astir 12,000 successful Geekbench 6. That’s not rather arsenic powerful arsenic nan flagship Core i9-13980HX we spot successful laptops for illustration nan MSI GT77 Titan now, but it’s astir nan aforesaid level arsenic nan existent Core i7-13700H.

According to Intel, we tin expect improvements successful earthy capacity and capacity per watt. The Core Ultra 7 165H is said to beryllium 11% faster than nan Ryzen 7 7840U and 8% faster than nan last-gen Core i7-1370P erstwhile moving astatine akin powerfulness successful multithreaded tasks. The P-cores spot bigger gains, pinch Intel beating its last-gen counterpart by 21%.

Seeing arsenic these chips will mostly extremity up successful laptops made for work, Intel besides included immoderate benchmarks for UL Procyon, Premiere Pro, and Lightroom. Meteor Lake wins by 19% to 41% crossed these tests.

We besides cognize much astir Meteor Lake’s GPU performance. The institution promises graphics capacity that’s doubly arsenic accelerated erstwhile compared to an Intel Core i7 CPU and moving astatine 28 watts; this is successful a lucifer betwixt nan Core i7-1370P and nan Core Ultra 7 165H. Some games spot monolithic gains, specified arsenic Baldur’s Gate 3, which is reportedly 100% faster connected nan Meteor Lake than nan Raptor Lake chip. It’d beryllium absorbing to spot nan frames per 2nd (fps) count here, though.

Intel besides compared nan Core Ultra 7 165H to nan AMD Ryzen 7 7840U successful a trial suite made up of 18 games moving astatine autochthonal 1080p resolution. Depending connected nan laptop, nan Intel solution was either adjacent to AMD aliases anyplace betwixt 5 and 11 percent faster.

Lastly, Intel touts nan galore benefits of Intel XeSS, promising to present an mean of 82 fps connected nan Core Ultra 7 165H pinch XeSS enabled, compared to nan specified 26 fps nan Core i7-1370P achieved without XeSS.

Unfortunately, successful our own testing of Core Ultra CPUs, they didn’t present nan generational leap we were expecting. The CPU gains are small, sometimes moreover beaten by last-gen options for illustration nan Ryzen 7 7840U. Thankfully, GPU capacity is overmuch better, which seems to beryllium nan winning area of Meteor Lake.

Laptops only?

The keyboard of nan HP Spectre x360 13.5.Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

A slew of leaks person pointed to nan truth that Intel will merchandise a refreshed type of Raptor Lake connected desktops successful 2023 alternatively of utilizing its caller Meteor Lake architecture. Many suspected that meant users would person to hold for Intel’s 15th-gen Arrow Lake processors to debut a caller architecture connected desktop.

Intel has since confirmed that Meteor Lake will beryllium coming to desktops, but not successful a socketed form. This intends you won’t beryllium capable to bargain and instal this spot successful your PC build, but it’ll make its measurement to all-in-one PCs.

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