Intel Core Ultra CPUs are coming this year after all

Intel's big CPU name change is upon us, with i5/i7/i9 being ditched and a new Ultra brand arriving, debuting with Intel Meteor Lake.

Intel Core Ultra

Next time you go to buy an Intel CPU, you might see a different naming scheme on the box. That’s because Intel is ditching the ‘ix’ branding and switching to a new Intel Core Ultra naming scheme, and the first chips to use the scheme will be unveiled this December. The new Ultra 5, Ultra 7, and Ultra 9 chips will be revealed at the company’s big AI Everywhere event, taking place on Thursday, December 14 at 10 am EST / 7 am PST.

Long rumored and more recently confirmed as happening in the ‘second half’ of this year, the big Intel name change will see the maker of many of the best gaming CPUs remove the ‘i’ from its chip names, ditching the model range indicator that has existed on its chips since the launch of its “1st-gen” Core chips back in 2008. The current range of Intel CPUs, such as the Intel Core i5-14600K is the 14th generation of the line.

However, while a seemingly significant and exciting development, the new Intel Core Ultra processors might not be all that exciting for many PC gamers. That’s because the new chips, which will use the Intel Meteor Lake architecture, are destined to be mobile-only models, not desktop PC processors. We can, however, expect some exciting gaming laptops to feature the new chips.

Intel is cutting it fine with the December 14 reveal date of these new Core Ultra CPUs, given that H2 2023 suggested release date. However, there was an air of doubt cast over this schedule once the 14th gen CPU lineup was released in October and communications then went dark.

Notably, the manufacturing process for the the Meteor Lake Core Ultra range isn’t being handled solely by Intel, as TSMC will also play a role, manufacturing some parts of the multi-chip CPU design. Intel has previously collaborated with external manufacturers on its Arc graphics cards but not on its CPUs.

The company also claims that the iGPU on the chips is set to compete with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050, something that may impact how the gaming laptop market thinks about its standalone mobile GPUs moving forward.

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Keen to know what we thought about the latest Intel CPUs, check out our Intel Core i9 14900K review, or for something a little less power-hungry, our Intel Core i5 14600K review should do the trick.