Intel brought some of its fastest laptop chips yet to CES 2024 — here's what you should know

Intel Core logo
(Image credit: Intel)

Intel launched nearly 20 new laptop CPUs at CES 2024, and the higher-end models look beefy enough to power some of the best gaming laptops of the year. 

These new CPUs are part of Intel's 14th Gen Raptor Lake Refresh, which is what the company is calling this family of chips because they're effectively improved refreshes of the same CPUs from the Intel Raptor Lake 13th Gen lineup. That also means they don't have the same AI focus as the new 14th Gen Intel Meteor Lake laptop chips, which are the first Intel CPUs fabricated in a stacked "chiplet" design with an onboard NPU (Neural Processing Unit) optimized for "AI" workloads.

This can get confusing quick, because Intel has now launched multiple lines of "14th Gen" CPUs spanning laptops and desktops. Put simply, Intel split its 14th Gen laptop CPU lines into two families of chips — the new Meteor Lake chips with onboard NPUs and the even newer Raptor Lake Refresh CPUs, which have the same architecture as the old 13th Gen chips (i.e. no NPU) and offer improved performance.

That's really the big takeaway from Intel at CES 2024: What these new 14th Gen Raptor Lake Refresh laptop CPUs lack in AI tech, they make up for in raw power. While not every chip Intel brought to CES 2024 is a beast, the high end of the refreshed Raptor Lake lineup sports promising upgrades like faster clock speeds, more memory and increased core counts.

If laptops bore you and you're more interested in the 14th Gen Raptor Lake Refresh CPUs for desktops, good news: Intel debuted those new Raptor Lake Refresh CPUs in October without raising prices, so they're available now and shouldn't cost much (if anything) more than the old 13th Gen Intel chips they replace.

While those desktop Raptor Lake CPUs are likely to start showing up in the best computers and the best gaming PCs of the year pretty soon, we may have to wait a bit longer to see CES 2024's Raptor Lake Refresh mobile CPUs start showing up in the best laptops.

With all the hype around AI these days, you're in for a blizzard of "AI laptop" advertisements featuring Intel's Meteor Lake chips in 2024. But if you just need a powerful, speedy portable PC these new Raptor Lake Refresh CPUs could be just the thing to look for when buying your next laptop.

Intel Raptor Lake 14th gen Refresh: Price and availability

It's not a great idea to try and buy the new Raptor Lake Refresh laptop CPUs Intel brought to CES 2024, because without a laptop to drive them they're just little wafers of silicon. If you are interested in pricing one out, we expect to see them showing up in laptops costing $500 and up starting in Q2 2024.

However, you can buy the desktop CPUs in the lineup if you want to slot one into your own PC at home. In October 2023 Intel launched six Raptor Lake Refresh desktop CPUs at prices ranging from $294-$589, which is mostly in line with its last-gen processors. As the chart below shows, there are three main chips to choose from, but that number doubles when you factor in their respective -KF and -F designations.

If you're unfamiliar, the "K" means the CPU is unlocked and can be overclocked while "KF" means that's true and also it has no integrated graphics chipset on board, so you'll want to use a discrete graphics card like those in the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4000 series instead.

Intel Raptor Lake 14th gen Refresh: Laptop chip specs

Intel introduced us to five new Raptor Lake Refresh laptop chips at CES 2024, and they span the mid-grade to high-end markets. You won't find any low-end Core i3 chips in this lineup yet — so far it's all upgraded CPUs aimed at delivering better performance from the same designs as the original Raptor Lake chips. 

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Row 0 - Cell 0 Cores (Perf + Efficiency)Max Frequency (Ghz)Processor Threads
Core i5-14450HX10 (6+4)Up to 4.8Ghz10
Core i5-14500HX14 (6+8)Up to 4.9Ghz14
Core i7-14650HX16 (8+8)Up to 5.2Ghz24
Core i7-14700HX20 (8+12)Up to 5.5Ghz28
Core i9-14900HX24 (8+16)Up to 5.8Ghz32

While there's not a lot of exciting differences to dissect here, we should point out that there are some minor improvements to some of these chips compared to their predecessors. 

The high-end Core i9-14900HX chip, for example, can achieve clock speeds of up to 5.8Ghz on its performance cores when they're operating at max turbo. That's a bit better than its predecessor the Core i9-13900HX, which only topped out at 5.4Ghz.

The new mid-range Core i7-14700HX and Core i7-14650HX have also gotten a bit of a boost in the form of increased core counts. While its predecessor the Core i7-13650HX had 14 cores (6 performance and 8 efficiency) the newer Core i7-14650HX gets an additional 2 performance cores, for a total of 16. And its more powerful sibling the Core i7-14700HX has 20 cores (8 performance and 12 efficiency), which is 4 more cores than the 16 (8 + 8) its predecessor offered.

So on those chips especially, we expect to see improved performance over previous generations when new laptops sporting these CPUs start hitting store shelves in early 2024.

Intel Raptor Lake 14th gen Refresh: Desktop chip specs

The desktop chips in the Raptor Lake Refresh family are led by the $589 Core i9-14900K, which is capable of hitting speeds over 6GHz when overclocked using Intel's Thermal Velocity Boost tech. 

This is the successor to the Intel Core i9-13900KS, which was once the company's fastest CPU and the first Raptor Lake CPU to hit 6Ghz when it launched in 2022. It's the same price as its predecessor, too, so you're not paying anything extra to get the latest and greatest.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Row 0 - Cell 0 Cores (Perf + Efficiency)Max Frequency (Ghz)Price
Core i3-141004 (4+0)Up to 4.7Ghz$134
Core i3-14100F4 (4+0)Up to 4.7Ghz$109
Core i3-14100T4 (4+0)Up to 4.7Ghz$134
Core i5-14400T10 (6+4)Up to 4.5Ghz$221
Core i5-14500T14 (6+8)Up to 4.8Ghz$232
Core i5-14600T14 (6+8)Up to 5.1Ghz$225
Core i5-14400F10 (6+4)Up to 4.7Ghz$196
Core i5-1440010 (6+4)Up to 4.7Ghz$221
Core i5-1450014 (6+8)Up to 5.0Ghz$232
Core i5-1460014 (6+8)Up to 5.2Ghz$225
Core i5-14600KF14 (6+8)Up to 5.3Ghz$294
Core i5-14600K14 (6+8)Up to 5.3Ghz$319
Core i7-14700F20 (8+12)Up to 5.4Ghz$359
Core i7-1470020 (8+12)Up to 5.4Ghz$384
Core i7-14700KF20 (8+12)Up to 5.6Ghz $384
Core i7-14700K20 (8+12)Up to 5.6Ghz $409
Core i9-14900T24 (8+16)Up to 5.5Ghz $549
Core i9-14900F24 (8+16)Up to 5.8Ghz $524
Core i9-1490024 (8+16)Up to 5.6Ghz $549
Core i9-14900KF24 (8+16)Up to 6Ghz (Intel Thermal Velocity Boost)$564
Core i9-14900K24 (8+16)Up to 6Ghz (Intel Thermal Velocity Boost)$589

In fact, that's the prevailing story with the Raptor Lake Refresh chips: Upgrades are incremental and pricing has mostly remained the same, though some chips in the lineup have minor improvements over the old models. 

The new Core i5-14600K and Core i7-14700K are around $10 cheaper than their predecessors, for example. Plus, that new Core i7-14700K now sports 20 cores (8 performance and 12 efficiency cores), which is 4 more efficiency cores than you get on the older Intel Core i7-13700K.

These new Intel chips are compatible with existing Intel 600- and 700-series motherboards, so you won't need to upgrade your motherboard if you're upgrading from an older chipset.

Intel provided this chart to showcase how its chips have improved year-over-year. (Image credit: Intel)

While these new desktop CPUs don't have the AI-focused NPU built into Intel's upcoming Meteor Lake CPUs for laptops, some of these new 14th Gen refreshed chips do have a bit of extra "AI" help in terms of performance.

That's because in 2023 Intel's Extreme Tuning Utility (or XTU) was updated with a new "AI Assist" feature which attempts to automatically recommend tweaks to make your PC as performant as possible. This new AI Assist feature launched in a limited preview form and initially only worked with the top-of-the-line Core i9-14900K and -KF chips, though Intel claims it will add more support for more systems in the future.

The "AI" bit appears to be based on this utility tapping into what it's learned from scanning thousands of PCs to offer you more tailored recommendations for how to overclock your own rig. The data is collected from scanning hundreds of configs of different CPUs, motherboards and other components. Presumably, this should be better than the basic overclocking recommendations already made by the XTU.

Intel Raptor Lake Refresh: Outlook

Now that Intel has brought the first volley of its refreshed laptop chips to CES 2024, we have a pretty good picture of what to expect from the Raptor Lake Refresh chips. And so far the picture is rosy enough, if not exactly breathtaking. 

These refreshed Raptor Lake CPUs should deliver a mild but measurable performance improvement, and while it's a bit boring to keep improving on the same chip designs, the benefit is that you know what to expect and you don't have to upgrade your PC or pay more than you did for last year's chips. So if you're building a PC in 2024 and you want to buy Intel, these are likely the chips you'll want to consider.

However, the new Raptor Lake Refresh chips Intel brought to CES could be a bit more polarizing. These chips sort of feel like Intel's safety net if the whole "AI laptop" craze implodes around us. While the company's new Meteor Lake chips are currently eating up the limelight and getting featured in all sorts of new new "AI" product launches and announcements, we haven't really seen a lot of concrete implementations of the Meteor Lake NPU making day-to-day computing significantly better. The unique things these AI laptops can do tap the Meteor Lake chip NPU to help out with work like blurring your background on video calls or running on-device AI chatbots, which is neat but not exactly necessary for day-to-day computing.

But if you love to crunch video or play games on the go, you can immediately see why you might want a 14th Gen Raptor Lake Refresh CPU over a Meteor Lake chip. While the Meteor Lake CPUs are no slouch, these new 14th Gen Raptor Lake Refresh chips get more powerful at the high end, with more cores and faster clock speeds than the best Meteor Lake chips.

So if you just care about power and speed, Intel's new Raptor Lake Refresh CPUs might be just what you need.

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Alex Wawro
Senior Editor Computing

Alex Wawro is a lifelong tech and games enthusiast with more than a decade of experience covering both for outlets like Game Developer, Black Hat, and PC World magazine. A lifelong PC builder, he currently serves as a senior editor at Tom's Guide covering all things computing, from laptops and desktops to keyboards and mice. 

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