Forget Meteor Lake — Samsung just leaked Intel’s next-gen Lunar Lake CPU

Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Pro 360
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Intel Core Ultra chips are here and…well…they’re fine. Sure, the NPU with 10 TOPS of performance is helping take on the load of AI-intensive tasks. But performance-wise, we’re only seeing, and battery life is still nowhere near what Apple’s best MacBooks are capable of.

However, with the looming specter of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite chip, it looks as if Intel is moving quickly to the next generation — named Lunar Lake. Not only that, but we got our first look at the guts of the CPU and its Arc Battlemage iGPU, courtesy of the Samsung Galaxy Book 5 Pro leaking in a benchmark database.

Intel Lunar Lake: More oomph, less stamina?

Intel Core logo

(Image credit: Intel)

Before I look at the numbers and start speculating about what these mean, there is one key thing you need to know. Early samples go out to OEMs like this all the time, and they will be in an early prototype phase. That means key factors like clock speed will likely change over time, so while I could feign shock at the very low 2.8 GHz boost clock, this isn’t necessarily representative of the final version.

Instead, let’s take a look at the makeup of the “Intel Core Ultra 200,” as it's named on SiSoftware (shared by @Momomo_us on X), and see what green and red flags Intel is throwing up.

Green flags

  1. A more even mix of performance and efficiency: Just two performance cores and eight efficiency cores in Intel Core Ultra does mean this year’s laptops can be strained at times. I’m expecting an even balance of 4 and 4 cores respectively is going to help with this.
  2. Big RAM boost: Inside the Book 5 Pro, we’re seeing support for 16GB of LPDDR5X RAM running at 8,533 Megatransfers per second (MT/s). This is a huge step up from the currently supported 5,600 MT/s of the current crop of Core Ultras.
  3. Graphics takes more of a front seat: Yes, it’s a notebook chip, so don’t expect the world (specifically, you're getting 4 Xe cores, 64 execution units and 512 shaders). But this is the first iGPU in a U class chip that is based on Intel’s new Xe2 architecture. To translate that, Intel is simplifying its GPU tech with one standard across all its chips, and boosting the capabilities too — including continuing ray tracing support, and adaptive sharpening filter tech to make games (and your content) crispier.

Red flag

  1. A potential dip in battery life: It’s a bit of a double-edged sword, looking at core count. Dropping down the efficiency cores from 8 to 4 may mean stamina could take a hit in the U chips.

How does Lunar Lake compare to Meteor Lake?

Based on the specs on show here in this prototype, its closest equivalent is the Intel Core Ultra 5 135U (found in the Microsoft Surface Pro 10). Let’s take a look at where these two chips differ.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Spec"Intel Core Ultra 200"Intel Core Ultra 5 135U
Performance cores42
Efficiency cores48
Supported RAMLPDDR5X 8,533 MT/SLPDDR5 5,600 MT/S

Of course, the questions around what the NPU contains remain unanswered by the info we have here. But we have every finger crossed that Intel is breaking out of its 10 TOPS limit, which would be critical for running Copilot locally. As we learned recently you'll need an NPU with at least a 40 TOPS count.

More from Tom's Guide

Category
Arrow
Arrow
Back to MacBook Air
Brand
Arrow
Processor
Arrow
RAM
Arrow
Storage Size
Arrow
Screen Size
Arrow
Colour
Arrow
Condition
Arrow
Price
Arrow
Any Price
Showing 10 of 96 deals
Filters
Arrow
Load more deals
Jason England
Managing Editor — Computing

Jason brings a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a Managing Editor of Computing at Tom's Guide. He has previously written for Laptop Mag, Tom's Hardware, Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.