Intel will give its upcoming Arrow Lake an L2 cache boost

Sample of a wafer produced on Intel 20A process node
(Image credit: Intel)

What you need to know

  • Intel's Arrow Lake CPUs are going to get an L2 cache upgrade, according to a recent leak.
  • It's rumored that there will be up to a 50% increase.
  • This would up the L2 cache available for each P-core to 3MB.

Intel's 14th Gen Raptor Lake refresh is on the way later this year but the big evolution for chips is coming with the launch of the 15th Gen in 2024 dubbed "Arrow Lake". Significant increases in performance are expected. This is due in part to the large increase in L2 Cache for each performance core; or P-core, rumored to be up to a 50% increase up to 3MB from the 14th Gen Raptor Lake Refresh of 2MB per P-Core.

The new information comes courtesy of a post on Bilibili by leaker Golden Pig Upgrade. Tom's Hardware covered the report and added context to the situation.

This is very similar to how AMD has coupled their Ryzen CPUs with methods like Infinity Cache and their X3D range. Adding this to higher CPU clock speeds and a new process node for the manufacturing we should see big performance increases for gaming in particular. 

Intel roadmap for arrow lake

(Image credit: Intel)

How does increased L2 cache help?

  • Level 2 (L2) cache is located outside of the CPU core but on the same processor chip.
  • It allows for more instructions to not need to go to the slower L3 cache, which reduces latency.
  • More instructions being sent to faster cache will increase gaming performance.

This increase would mean a total of 24MB of L2 cache for the rumored Core i9 15900K and we've seen already other rumors regarding a performance increase of 21%. That was part of an internal Intel memo that was leaked, and it didn't show performance metrics for games, which means it could far surpass this 21% number in that leak.

With the increase in L2 cache it stands to reason that L3 cache will also see a significant increase and so far we haven't seen what will be brought to the table in regard to the Efficiency Cores; often referred to as E-cores. All of this is pointing towards some promising products coming from Intel in the near future; products that AMD will no doubt be keeping an eye on.

Dan Rice

Dan is a tech contributor on Windows Central. A long time Xbox gamer and former partner on Microsoft's retired streaming platform Mixer, he can often be found crying into a cup of tea whilst thinking about Windows Phone. You can follow Dan on Twitter where you will find him talking about tech, Formula 1 and his latest victories in Battle Royale games.