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Intel is ditching ‘F’ CPUs with no GPU for Core Ultra 9, says new leak

The latest Intel Arrow Lake rumor claims that the company's new top-end CPUs, such as the Core Ultra 9 285K, will have their GPU intact.

Intel reportedly won’t be making any Core Ultra 9 F CPUs, with all the new top-end Intel Arrow Lake CPUs apparently coming with an intact GPU. If this rumor is true, it would mark a significant change in Intel’s product stack, which has previously enabled gamers to save some money on their CPU, as they don’t have to pay for a weedy integrated GPU they won’t use.

Intel has been making F-series CPUs for over five years, when the Core i9 9900KF came out without an integrated GPU, and there are several Intel F-series processors on our guide to the best gaming CPU. If you plan to use one of the best graphics cards in your PC, then there’s little need to pay the extra money for a non-F CPU, unless you want to use it as a backup in case your GPU fails.

This latest rumor comes from Arrow Lake leaker extraordinaire Jaykinh on X, formerly known as Twitter, who has contributed a lot of information to the Intel rumor mill over the last few weeks. In this latest post, Jaykihn states that “all Core Ultra 9 SKUs will ship with integrated graphics,” specifically stating afterward that there will be “no Core Ultra 9 F SKUs.”

That doesn’t mean there won’t be any F-series Arrow Lake CPUs at all, of course. A lack of F-series Core 9 Ultra CPUs might mean there isn’t as much choice for gamers looking for a high-end CPU, but if they’ve got over $500 to spend on a processor, then a $20-$30 saving isn’t going to make a massive difference.

Intel’s new Core 9 Ultra gaming CPUs won’t have F versions, says leak: Screenshot of tweet from Jaykihn

There could possibly also be some technical reasons for the decision, as the GPU isn’t just about graphics anymore. The recently announced Intel Lunar Lake mobile SoC features an Intel Battlemage GPU with its own dedicated XMX engines for AI processing. With AI being the big buzzword right now, it may be that Intel wants to keep all its AI hardware intact in its new top-end CPUs, so it can make big claims about AI processing power.

We hope we’ll still be able to buy F-series CPUs without integrated graphics at the cheaper end of the scale, though, as these chips have historically been great options if you want to build a budget gaming PC. Indeed, the Core i5 12400F costs only a little over $100 right now, and is a great entry-level option, as is the newer Core i5 13400F.

In addition, Jaykinh also reiterated that the “285K, 265K, and 245K monikers are official,” backing up previous rumors about the names of Intel’s forthcoming Arrow Lake desktop CPUs. Based on previous rumors about Intel Arrow Lake specs, we’re expecting the Intel Core Ultra 9 285K to have 24 cores, with the Core Ultra 7 265K having 20 cores, and the Core 5 Ultra having 14 cores, much like the current Intel 14th-gen lineup.

Of course, none of this has been confirmed by Intel yet, so take it with a pinch of salt right now; we’ll just have to wait until the official Intel Arrow Lake launch before we know all the full details. In the meantime, check out our Ryzen 7 7800X3D review if you’re looking for a new gaming CPU, as this is our favorite option right now.