Motherboards are Getting Updates for Unannounced Raptor Lake CPUs

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At this point in mid-summer, Intel still hasn’t officially said anything about Raptor Lake’s launch date. We don’t know when it’s coming or what pricing will be. All we know is that it will arrive this year, most likely in the fall. Despite this situation, motherboard manufacturers have already begun making their motherboards compatible with Intel’s 13th generation CPUs. Raptor Lake is an upgraded version of Alder Lake, so both platforms use the LGA 1700 socket.

You might not have noticed, but in the past month all the big motherboard manufactures issued BIOS updates adding Raptor Lake support. This includes MSI, Asus, Gigabyte, and ASRock, according to Ars Technica. These updates apply to all Intel-based chipsets, including Z690, B660, H610, and H670. However, since Raptor Lake isn’t released yet, these BIOS updates won’t let you use the CPU like you would normally if you somehow got your hands on one. Asus’ update has this footnote, “Note that the initial BIOS version is for power-up purposes only and is not suitable for performance testing. A full-function version will be made available when the new CPUs are launched.”

This is certainly good news for those who are looking to upgrade to Raptor Lake from an older platform. When Intel’s 12th generation chipset debuted, people were shocked by some of the prices, especially for Z690 motherboards. That was at the end of 2021, when we had a chip shortage. We also had a DDR5 memory shortage, so most people who made the leap likely bought DDR4 to save a few bucks. At the time, the cost of a Z690 board with DDR5 memory was ludicrous.

When Raptor Lake launches though, it’s quite possible those same Z690 boards will be a bit more affordable. As long as they support Raptor Lake, which all 12th generation boards will at some point, it could be a winning package. That’s provided you don’t mind missing out on whatever Z790 brings to the table. Intel has yet to discuss those features, but there was a recent leak showing what the platform would look like (image above).

The launch of Raptor Lake will complete LGA 1700’s lifecycle, as it was promised to support two generations of CPUs. That is a far cry from what AMD delivered with its AM4 platform, obviously. AMD launched AM4 in 2016, and it’s still supported even today for AMD’s latest processors. We will have to see if that continues with AM5, and the same goes for whatever socket follows Intel’s LGA 1700. This is long been a pain point for Intel users, and AMD has been wise to offer a better alternative.

Raptor Lake is rumored to be launching on October 7th, according to Videocardz. Like with Alder Lake, it’ll unveil its high-end CPUs first, with non-K (unlocked) SKUs debuting at CES in January. Launch models will allegedly be the Core i9-13900K/KF, 13700K/KF, and the i5 13600K/KF. One of the big changes with Raptor Lake is upgraded memory specs. DDR5 will go from JEDEC 4800 to JEDEC 5600. However, like Alder Lake it will support both DDR4 and DDR5 memories.

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