Intel has confirmed the Raptor Lake launch to include six CPUs

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Intel is about to launch its 13th generation Raptor Lake CPUs. These chips are an evolution of its Alder Lake architecture, with more efficient cores, higher clocks and other mild upgrades—a “sour” refinement of a technology we’ve seen in previous years. As the company prepares to launch, it has begun training its sales staff with new talking points for Raptor Lake. This obviously involves a lot of PowerPoint, including conference calls with the global sales team. The folks at Igor’s Labs have taken over Intel’s sales deck, giving us a look at its “go to market” strategy for Raptor Lake. Overall there’s nothing too surprising here, but it does show us what Intel considers the defining features of the new platform.

The company confirms that it’s launching with six CPUs: Core i9-13900, i7-13700, and i5-13600. All six CPUs will be offered in both K and KF variants, K unlocked and KF unlocked and without an integrated GPU. We also see significant differences here, as only the flagship CPU has a thermal velocity boost of up to 5.8GHz. This will allow a single core to reach those clocks if there is enough thermal and voltage headroom. Additionally, we can see that only the i9 and i7 SKUs offer Turbo Boost Max 3.0. This allows two cores to be boosted to certain clocks, if there is enough power and cooling.

This feature does not appear on Core i5 models, although they can be boosted to 5.1GHz for performance cores. That’s a 200MHz boost over the Alder Lake variant. The Core i9 gets a 500MHz boost clock, uh, boost, and the Core i7 gets a 400MHz maximum clock increase. The chart below confirms a maximum TDP of 253W for the Core i9 and i7 variants. This will go up against AMD’s 170W Ryzen 9 7950X and 7900X CPUs with a maximum of 230W. Intel is rumored to offer an “Extreme Performance” mode on some Z790 boards that will lift this limitation, allowing up to 350W of juice.

Intel’s Raptor Lake SKUs Launched; Click to expand. (Image: Intel via Igor’s Lab)

Overall Raptor Lake’s banner features, according to slides obtained by Igor Labs, include more efficient cores, faster memory support, better motherboard compatibility from AMD, more cache and faster performance cores. Start at the top, simplify the more core stuff; This adds eight more efficient cores to the i9 CPU, for a total of 16. This will allow Intel’s first 32-thread CPU in the Core i9-13900K as the performance cores are hyper-threaded. Finally, it will be able to compete thread-to-thread with AMD’s Zen 4.

(Image: Intel via Igor’s Lab)

As far as memory goes, Raptor Lake will support DDR5 5600 MT/s, compared to Alder Lake’s maximum of 4800 MT/s. It will also support DDR4 for budget-friendly builds, which is a big selling point over the DDR5-only Zen 4. It’s unclear what AMD’s goal is as far as memory speed goes but 6000 MT/s has already been discussed as sweet spot either way, “better compatibility” than AMD is a valid point here. The same goes for its motherboard support, as it will work with older 600 series motherboards. This is not the case with the Zen 4, which requires the purchase of an entirely new motherboard with new memory.

On the cache front, Intel is taking a page from AMD’s playbook. This increases both L2 and L3 cache for Raptor Lake. For L2, it used 1.25MB per performance core on Alder Lake. This is increased to 2MB per core, up to a total of 32MB. This doubles the efficiency of L2 cores from 2MB to 4MB per core, and is shared between four core clusters. L3 shared memory increased from 30MB to a total of 36MB

(Image: Intel via Igor’s Lab)

The new performance cores are called Raptor Cove, as opposed to Alder Lake’s Golden Cove core. They are built on a refined Intel 7 process, which allows for higher clocks. The skill cores known as Gracemont are unchanged, but there are more of them.

Intel’s only notable change is more PCIe 4.0 lanes than Alder Lake, going from 12 to 20. At the same time, it reduces the number of PCIe 3.0 lanes from 16 to eight. PCIe 4.0 and 5.0 lanes on the CPU are unchanged at four and 16 respectively. The Z790 chipset will offer an additional USB 3.2 lane, making it five versus four on the Z690.

All in all, a mild upgrade, as expected. However, this might be what Intel needed to do before going with its “discrete” architecture with Meteor Lake. Raptor Lake was always a stop-gap before Intel took a giant step forward with its first tile-based processors. Despite its evolutionary design, leaked benchmarks showed it made impressive gains over Alder Lake. How it will fare against an all-new AMD architecture remains to be seen.

AMD is launching Zen 4 on September 27. Intel is rumored to launch around the same time, as it looks to steal AMD’s thunder.

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iOS 15.7 beta 1 has been released as iOS 16 public release nears

Apple today released the first developer beta for iOS 15.7, an update that comes on the same day that Apple made the first release candidate for iOS 16 available to the same group of testers.

The release comes after today’s Far Out event where Apple confirmed that iOS 16 will ship to everyone around the globe on September 12.

It also announced four new iPhones, three new Apple Watches including an Apple Watch Ultra, and refreshed AirPods Pro during the same event.

As of iOS 15.7, little is known about the beta at the time of writing and no release notes have been given yet.

It’s unlikely that this is a major feature update for iOS 15, however, and it’s possible that this will be the last major release of iOS 15 before iOS 16 takes over next week. However, Apple will continue to make security updates available through iOS 15 as some older devices are not supported by the new iOS 16 release.

Alongside iOS 15.7 beta 1, Apple has also released macOS 12.6 beta 1 for download.

Apple has a raft of new software updates ready to go. Beyond iOS 16, Apple has tvOS 16 and watchOS 9 set to launch, while macOS 13 Ventura and iPadOS 16 will arrive next month.

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Nest Hub Max will quickly reach the phrase “OK, Google” not needed

After first showing Quick Phrases on the Nest Hub Max at Google I/O, Google appears to be rolling out the feature this week. New support pages and an accompanying video went live today to explain the feature again and how you can enable it on your device. Additionally, my Pixel 6 now gives me access to features on my Nest Hub Max unit.

To recap, Quick Phrases are a set of phrases you can say to your Nest Hub Max without needing to say “OK, Google” or “Hey, Google” first. You’ll be able to say things like turn lights off or on, set timers or alarms, ask what time it is, or find out the current weather.

To get started, after going to the Google Home app, tapping on your profile, and then choosing “Assistant Settings,” you’ll scroll down and find “Quick Phrases.” Assuming you have a Nest Hub Max in your home or office, you’ll tap the “Other Devices” panel and then start adding phrases you want to access from that unit.

Here’s a screenshot of what that page looks like on my phone:

Nest Hub Max Quick Phrases

Once added, they should work almost immediately. I tapped the “+” button next to several and then got feedback about the time, weather, and timer within seconds. And yes, I can already attest to how great it is to be across the room and have your Nest Hub Max tell you the time when there’s no clock nearby or set a timer without first yelling “Hey, Google!”

We’re not sure why Google is limiting this to the Nest Hub Max, but it could be a hardware thing. If they open it up to additional devices, we’ll let you know.

Here’s the new support page if you need help getting started.

Samsung Ad Talks Smack Ahead of iPhone 14 Launch

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Apple fanatics aren’t the only ones paying attention to the iPhone 14’s debut tomorrow. Samsung—the iPhone’s closest competitor—also found a reason to keep a close eye on Apple’s highly anticipated event. To Samsung, the release of the iPhone 14 represents something special: a marketing opportunity.

On Thursday, the US arm of the multinational technology firm posted on its YouTube channel “Buckle Up | Galaxy S22 Ultra & Z Flip4. At first glance, it’s not particularly attractive, at least to Apple fans; Samsung always posts videos about its products. But pressing play reveals the real purpose of the video. In a voice boasting enough to give Ford’s marketing team a run for its money, the ad spends 30 seconds extolling the features of its two new smartphones… and then tells the viewer that those features aren’t available on the iPhone. “What will they think of next?” The description of the video teases.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra and Z Flip4 have the Flip4’s foldable touch screen and the S22 Ultra’s 108-megapixel camera—two things iPhone buyers won’t find on any Apple smartphone. Samsung’s ad specifically points to the S22 Ultra’s ability to capture relatively detailed images of the moon. Meanwhile, Apple’s sharpest existing smartphone camera is the iPhone 13 Pro Max at just 12 megapixels. While the iPhone 14 is rumored to be a significant improvement over it with a 48-megapixel back camera, there’s no question that Samsung’s ad, while flashy, is true.

But does that even matter? Apple has officially overtaken Android phones to take over 50 percent of the US smartphone market in Q2 2022, reaching a level of success not seen since the iPhone was first launched in 2007. On the iPhone, there are plenty of people willing to sing the praises of their 12-megapixel camera. (Apple’s annual Shot on iPhone challenge, whose winners are featured on Apple’s site and on its 28.1 million-follower Instagram page, probably helps.) Samsung’s ad looks less like friendly banter and more like a desperate attempt to grab a bit of Apple’s spotlight. A.

Samsung isn’t the first to do this. The company previously released videos teasing Apple for ditching the iPhone’s headphone jack and not including charging it with the new phone—two things Samsung eventually did. In fact, Samsung was caught removing those ads from its YouTube page when it stopped supplying the Charging It. Whoops

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This Bose SoundLink Color II Bluetooth speaker is $50 off

Amazon is now selling the Bose SoundLink Color II for just $79 without the need to select an on-screen coupon or enter a discount code. At the time of writing, only the black color is part of this deal, however, so make sure you select one before adding anything to your cart.

Amazon also isn’t saying when this deal will close, something that means it could happen at any moment and you should keep that in mind when you’re planning your purchase. Delay too much and you have a good chance of missing out.

Buy: Bose SoundLink Color II: Portable Bluetooth, Wireless Speaker with Microphone from Amazon: $79 | Original price: $130

Innovative Bose technology packs bold sound into a small, water-resistant speaker
Built-in mic for speakerphone with a wireless range of about 30 feet for taking loud and clear conference or private calls.

At the time of writing, the Bose SoundLink Color II has over 57,100 reviews with a combined rating of 4.7 stars out of a possible five, and that’s a score that goes a long way in indicating how popular this thing is. The speaker can be connected using NFC and the built-in microphone is perfect for conference calls when needed. You can pair things together and get a stereo setup too.

The lithium-ion battery lets you enjoy up to 8 hours of playtime, rechargeable with USB power sources

Again, we don’t know how long Amazon will hold this deal and make sure to select the soft black color when placing your order. Otherwise, you may end up paying more than you should.

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$1,200 off Galaxy Z Fold 4, Flip 4 is Play

When we talk about the best Galaxy Z Fold 4 (or Flip 4) deals, we usually point you to Samsung stores for their instant trade-in offers. Turns out, Best Buy is running a very similar offer right now that will actually give you a much bigger discount than Samsung. Best Buy is offering $1,200 off Samsung’s new foldable. I mean…okay!

Best Buy’s big Fold 4 and Flip 4 deal is a combo offer where they’ll give you up to $900 off immediately (as Samsung does), plus another $300 off if you activate with them today. As an added bonus, they’re also giving away a $100 Best Buy gift card if you’re a Best Buy TotalTech member.

Best Buy’s $1,200 Galaxy Z Fold 4, Flip 4 offer

Instant $900 off trade-ins

How do you get $1,200 off? The most important part of this deal that you need to understand is that in order to get the higher trade-in value of up to $900, you must visit a Best Buy store. This is not an online offer. However, getting in is probably going to be worth your while, because again, this is an instant discount trade-in, not one of those that get you cash back later in the form of a prepaid card.

The phones you’ll get $900 off in-store are the Galaxy Z Fold 3, Galaxy S21 Ultra, iPhone 12 Pro Max, and iPhone 12 Pro. If you don’t have one of those, you can still get $800 off a Galaxy Z Flip 3, Fold 2, S21+ or S21, Note 20 Ultra or Note 20. There are also offers for $600 off an older S20 Ultra, Note 10, and more.

To check the value of your trade-in before you head to a store, you’ll want to hit this page on Best Buy’s site.

$300 off for activation today

The other part of this offer is a $300 discount for activating with a carrier Best Buy is known for this play, where you get extra savings if you activate a new phone purchase with the carrier.

For this Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4 deal, you can activate or upgrade with Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T and get $300 off on top of that $900 trade-in deal we just talked about. And in fact, if you add a new line or new account, T-Mobile and AT&T will give another $100 off.

This process is pretty simple and should be even easier since you’re going to a store to get that instant trade-in deal. A Best Buy representative can pull up your account, see your upgrade status, and activate this extra $300 discount.

So the deal is – $900 off trade-in + $300 off if you activate, all in-store.

Buy Best Buy’s Galaxy Z Fold 4, Flip 4 $1,200 deal

Totaltech Security $100 Bonus Gift Card

As I mentioned above, the added bonus on top of the $1,200 rebate is the $100 bonus gift card if you’re a Totaltech member. For those interested, let’s talk about the benefits of that program from Best Buy.

Not only do members get that extra $100 gift card, they also get free Geek Squad tech support, up to 24 months of product protection, VIP access to phone and chat teams, exclusive pricing, free 2-day shipping, extended 60-day returns and exchanges on Windows, and A lot more.

Totaltech membership costs $199.99/year.

Learn more about Best Buy TotalTech Protection

Our Galaxy Z Fold 4 review

Did you miss our Galaxy Z Fold 4 review? We posted it this morning and it’s worth a read. While many are reacting to this phone as one with minor improvements, Tim explains why these improvements have resulted in a nearly perfect foldable experience.

This post is sponsored by Best Buy.

An astronomer is privately funding the search for alien technology in the oceans

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Meteors have been showering Earth since time immemorial, but we’re only just beginning to understand that some of them have very exotic origins. In 2014, a small space rock hit the atmosphere and broke up like many others, but after investigating this phenomenon, astronomers realized that it came from outside our solar system. Now, Harvard astronomer Avi Loeb is launching a privately funded expedition to find fragments of the mysterious object under the sea. He even hopes that the object may show evidence of alien intelligence.

Loeb’s interest in this object traces back to a different interstellar interloper. In 2017, telescopes around the world began peering towards a pancake-shaped object known as ‘Omuamua’. It was the first interstellar visitor to be detected, and its peculiar characteristics made its brief transit through the solar system all the more fascinating. ‘Omuamua exhibited a small change in trajectory as it rolled past, possibly due to outgassing or some other natural force. We’re not even sure what it is – perhaps something more unusual, like an asteroid, a comet, or a fragment of an icy dwarf planet. Avi Loeb advances the hypothesis that ‘Omuamua was so difficult to classify because it was not at all natural. Perhaps, instead, it was a piece of alien technology like a solar sail, which would explain why it must have drifted.

The astronomical community regarded Loeb’s suggestions with skepticism, as you would expect from a profession that thrives on evidence. Confirmation that CNEOS 2014-01-08 came from another solar system gave Loeb something new to focus on. In 2019, Loeb and colleague Amir Siraj published a paper suggesting that the 2014 asteroid was interstellar, but they could not confirm that until earlier this year when the US government released classified data from a sensor network used to monitor for nuclear explosions. This information confirmed that CNEOS 2014-01-08 came from another star.

A fragment of another solar system could bring untold scientific discoveries, but this fragment lies at the bottom of the South Pacific Ocean. That’s why Loeb raised $1.5 million in funding to go find it. Loeb plans to focus on an area 40 square miles in size. The team will use a sled with a powerful magnet to scrape a thin layer of muck from the ocean floor. By examining the composition of what they find, it should be possible to detect anything that doesn’t match the small corner of our galaxy. He also thinks about the possibility of finding something made up of an artificial shaft, which implies extraterrestrial intelligence. “If it had any buttons, I’d love to press them,” Loeb joked to NPR.

Still, some astronomers are hesitant to even admit that CNEOS 2014-01-08 is extrasolar in origin. Before the object flew into the atmosphere, it was only a few feet across. Accurate data on something so small is difficult to obtain, and the classified nature of sensor systems means potentially important data may be missing. Others don’t believe it’s possible to find an eight-year-old impact fragment on the ocean floor. It may be a long shot, but Loeb sees it as an opportunity to make a world-changing discovery, and he’s not passing it up.

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Retailers ready for new iPad Pro models, report claims

Apple is getting ready to ship the newly updated iPad Pro models, with a new report suggesting that some retailers are already getting their ducks in a row ahead of the announcement.

Apple last updated the 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro in April last year, but a new refresh is believed to be around the corner.

MacRumors Believes the Australian career opus is already gearing up for a big release.

Australian carrier Optus has added the 2022 iPad Pro-model to its internal stock-keeping system, separate from the 2021 iPad Pro-model. For example, SKUs for the space gray fourth-generation 11-inch iPad Pro with 512GB and storage cellular connectivity have been added to Optus’ system. Currently, there is no fourth-generation 11-inch iPad Pro, with the latest 2021 model being the third-generation model. Current, third generation models are still listed as expected on Optus’ system.

The report also suggests that some Oppo customers have been able to mistakenly order the new 2022 iPad Pro models, only to be told they are not available.

Some representatives also hinted at the new tablets being available within two weeks, but it’s still unclear if that was based on anything other than how long carriers typically quote for out-of-stock devices.

The new iPad Pro is expected to use the M2 chip, with a release slated for October. Apple has already delayed the iPadOS 16 update until the same month.

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Introducing Twitter’s edit button

A Twitter edit button is really coming. The longest running, easiest complaint in tech bro social media history may finally be over.

Twitter announcement This morning they were internally testing the new edit button, which they previously confirmed is in the works, and it will begin rolling out to users this month. As Twitter’s “most requested feature,” this seems like a big deal.

To access Twitter’s edit button in the coming weeks, you’ll need to be a Twitter Blue subscriber (now $4.99!). My guess is that this will always be a Twitter Blue feature, but Twitter’s selection pages leave open the possibility that Blue users will test it first before it’s rolled out.

For Twitter Blue users, the initial group of test customers “will initially be localized to a single country and expand as we learn and observe how people edit and use Tweets,” Twitter said in its announcement. They didn’t say what the country was. They recommend subscribing to the @TwitterBlue account and turning on notifications.

So how does an edit button on Twitter work? Here’s how the bulleted list works:

  • An edit button actually allows you to change your tweet after it’s published
  • You have only 30 minutes to tap the edit button
  • You can edit a tweet “a few times” in that 30 minute window
  • Edited tweets will get a special icon, timestamp and label so everyone knows it’s been edited
  • If you tap that label, you’ll see a tweet history with the original

It makes a lot of sense if Twitter says we’re trying to “protect the integrity of the conversation.” Looking forward to testing it.