The rumor mill is in full swing right now. Whether it’s CPUs, GPUs, or motherboards, we’re sure the end of 2022 will definitely be mega for PC enthusiasts.
Intel is gearing up to launch its 13th-generation Raptor Lake CPU lineup and associated 700-series motherboards. Based on the LGA 1700 platform, with confirmed backing compatibility with 600 series boards (opens in new tab), we have a good idea of what to expect in terms of features. But what’s less clear is that despite the platform supporting PCI Express 5.0, confirmation of whether 700-series motherboards will support PCIe 5.0 M.2 drives is less certain.
According to a leaked photo of a presentation at an Intel NAS workshop in China (via @9550pro (opens in new tab)and video cardz (opens in new tab)), the 700 series motherboards will not have dedicated PCIe 5.0 lanes for an M.2 drive. The relevant overview states that there will be 16 PCIe 5.0 lanes (usually assigned to the primary x16 slot for use by a GPU) with an additional 4 PCIe 4.0 lanes for an M.2 drive. The x8 DMI lanes connect the CPU to the chipset. In general, the PCIe complement is the same as that of the Z690 platform.
That could conflict with another leak from Moore’s Law is Dead (opens in new tab)† Or does it? There’s no reason a motherboard manufacturer can’t split the 16 PCIe 5.0 lanes. 8 to the GPU and 2 x 4 for a pair of M.2 slots would be possible. That would give the impression of being sub-optimal for high-end boards, even though an x8 PCIe 5.0 slot is equivalent to a x16 PCIe 4.0 slot and shouldn’t have a noticeable impact on GPU performance, even with a flagship card. of the next generation.
The same slide also mentions that the 700 series platform will officially support DDR5-5600, additional USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 ports, and Thunderbolt 4. Interestingly, Intel’s Optane SSD storage technology is still supported, even if it’s dead at the consumer level (opens in new tab)†
There is also confirmation that some SKUs will have a higher number of cores and that L2 and L3 cache sizes have been increased (opens in new tab)† The latter will definitely help boost gaming performance, just like AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800X3D.
While Raptor Lake appears to be more of an evolutionary upgrade than a revolutionary one, it’ll be interesting to see what effect the extra cache and number of cores have, not to mention the rumored increase in frequency (opens in new tab)† 13th generation CPUs are expected to debut in a few months. It will compete with AMD’s Zen 4 CPUs and 600 series platform launching around the same time.