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The biggest question about Intel’s Lunar Lake CPUs was just answered

Intel announcing its Lunar Lake CPUs.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Although we know all of the details about Intel’s Lunar Lake architecture, the processors themselves have been shrouded in mystery. Now, we have our first taste of what these processors could look like, including a critical spec that Intel has kept under wraps: power draw.

Specs for the full lineup of Lunar Lake CPUs were shared by VideoCardz citing its own sources. As usual, it’s important to handle these specs with a healthy dose of skepticism. According to the outlet, Intel is set to share more about the CPUs in the coming weeks, so it shouldn’t be long until we have confirmed specs.

There are nine models here, which vary mainly in clock speed and memory configuration. Lunar Lake uses two clusters of four cores, one of which uses the efficient Skymont architecture and the other the uses the performant Lion Cove architecture. According to the report, all of the models will use this configuration of eight cores.

A big question about Lunar Lake CPUs was just answered | Digital Trends

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The more interesting spec is power. According to the report, all of the processors will have a TDP of 17 watts while being capable of boosting up to 30W. The only exception is the Core Ultra 9 288V — reportedly the only Core Ultra 9 model in the lineup — that has a base and boost power of 30W.

Models (rumored)Base / Turbo Power (rumored)Memory (rumored)P-core / E-core boost clock (rumored)
Core Ultra 9 288V30W / 30W32GB5.1GHz / 3.7GHz
Core Ultra 7 268V17W / 30W32GB5GHz / 3.7GHz
Core Ultra 7 266V17W / 30W16GB5GHz / 3.7GHz
Core Ultra 7 258V17W / 30W32GB4.8GHz / 3.7GHz
Core Ultra 7 256V17W / 30W16GB4.8GHz / 3.7GHz
Core Ultra 5 238V17W / 30W32GB4.7GHz / 3.5GHz
Core Ultra 5 236V17W / 30W16GB4.7GHz / 3.5GHz
Core Ultra 5 228V17W / 30W32GB4.5GHz / 3.5GHz
Core Ultra 5 226V17W / 30W16GB4.5GHz / 3.5GHz

Compared to last-gen Meteor Lake CPUs, Intel is splitting the difference on power. Its Meteor Lake-U series came with a base power of 15W that boosted up to 57W, as well as models with a base power of 9W that could boost up to 30W. Lunar Lake is settling in between, offering more power at its default power draw and a lower ceiling for its boost.

By the numbers, Intel is coming in below the Snapdragon X Elite, which could have some implications for battery life. There’s more that goes into battery life than just a power draw spec, however. If Intel is able to compete with the battery life we’ve seen from Snapdragon X Elite notebooks, it’ll likely be from the “radical low-power architecture” that Intel says Lunar Lake is.

Outside of power, it looks like Intel is defining a narrow range for specs like clock speed. The lowest-end processor, the Core Ultra 5 226V, comes with a boost clock of 4.5GHz, while the highest-end Core Ultra 9 288V goes to 5.1GHz. It will be interesting to see how these different chips hold up in practice given the minor spec differences between them.

One of the bigger differentiating factors is memory. Lunar Lake is a system-on-a-chip (SoC) that includes memory. Intel is using 32GB of LPDDR5X-8533 for most models, though there are variants that come with less memory. For instance, the Core Ultra 7 266V, Core Ultra 7 256V, and Core Ultra 5 236V are all variants of other processors in the lineup that come with 16GB of memory.

Lunar Lake CPUs aren’t far away. Intel tells us that they’ll be available “in time for the holiday shopping season,” and the rumor mill seems to pin the release date some time in September. Intel is holding its Innovation event on September 24, which could be when we see these CPUs finally turn up.

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Jacob Roach

Jacob Roach is the lead reporter for PC hardware at Digital Trends. In addition to covering the latest PC components, from…

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