Intel’s last-gen CPUs are being discontinued, with some boxed Raptor Lake models now on borrowed time

Intel has begun the process of discontinuing some Raptor Lake processors – last-gen CPUs, now superseded by Raptor Lake Refresh – namely the boxed products.

At this point you might be thinking: what products don’t come in a box? CPUs are also sold in trays, typically to PC makers (OEMs) who are buying a large quantity of chips to build their devices with, and then there are boxed processors that sit on the shelves and are sold to consumers.

It’s the latter which Intel is halting the production of, as made clear in a PCN or Product Change Notification [PDF], with the 13th-gen boxed CPUs having entered a discontinuation phase on March 21, so that’s a few weeks back now.

That means the mentioned CPUs – which include various models of the Core i5-13600K, Core i7-13700K, and Core i9-13900K (and KF plus KS variants) – are now being wound down, and the final shipments will happen leading up to June 28. After that date, Intel won’t produce any more of these processors.

You can check out the specific models which are affected in this move in the screenshot below.

Intel Product Change Notification for 13th-gen CPUs

(Image credit: Intel)

Analysis: Don’t panic yet

VideoCardz picked up on this notice from Intel, by the way, and we should make it clear that this is a fully expected turn of events. As time moves on, older generations are dropped from production – in this case, just the boxed products, as mentioned (although these are the ones consumers most often buy – though it’s possible to get an unboxed OEM chip).

Even so, this doesn’t mean you won’t be able to purchase one of these boxed 13th-gen processors as soon as the production lines are halted in June. After that, the existing stock of CPUs will remain available on shelves for quite some time – and then behind the scenes, there’s the inventory of chips that’ll still be in warehouses, or distribution channels.

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All of which means that these boxed Raptor Lake processors will be available to buy for quite a lengthy time after that June deadline – although you never quite know how long stocks will last post-discontinuance.

Meanwhile, Raptor Lake Refresh will carry the Intel flag – this current generation holds two key spots in our roundup of the best CPUs, including pole position for the top overall chip – with Team Blue also looking to next-gen Arrow Lake desktop processors that will hopefully arrive towards the end of 2024.

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