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Motherboards are already supporting unreleased, unannounced 13th-gen Intel CPUs

A Core i5-12400 CPU based on the Alder Lake architecture. Intel's next-gen desktop CPUs will be compatible with almost all of the same motherboards as Alder Lake.

Enlarge / A Core i5-12400 CPU based on the Alder Lake architecture. Intel’s next-gen desktop CPUs will be compatible with almost all of the same motherboards as Alder Lake. (credit: Andrew Cunningham)

Intel’s next-generation desktop CPUs haven’t been released or even announced yet. Codenamed “Raptor Lake” and likely to be branded as 13th-generation Core chips, rumors suggest we’ll see them sometime in September or October, but Intel hasn’t officially said anything yet.

That isn’t stopping motherboard makers from updating their existing motherboards to support the new chips, though. In the last month, Asus, ASRock, MSI, and (most recently) Gigabyte have all either released BIOS updates supporting the next-gen CPUs in their current-gen Z690, H670, B660, and H610-series motherboards or announced plans to do it soon.

This does two things for PC builders. For those who have already built PCs based on 12th-generation Alder Lake CPUs, it means a guaranteed upgrade path to 13th-gen CPUs for people who want or need to run the newest, fastest chips. More importantly, it means that people can skip new Z790 motherboards and opt for cheaper, sometimes clearance-priced 600-series motherboards if they want to build a brand-new system when Raptor Lake CPUs come out.

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