One of the most exciting features in the 14th-generation “Raptor Lake Refresh” line is Application Performance Optimization, or APO. This thread-optimization tech allows for dramatic boosts in gaming performance, with some seeing as much as a 15 performance speed improvement with this feature enabled. Unfortunately, it looks like it’s not going to be coming to any older processors. A recent statement from Intel says that, despite prior-gen processors sporting a similar architecture, APO won’t come to 12th- or 13th-gen CPUs.
The news comes from Hardware Unboxed, which did a deep dive on the APO feature in a recent YouTube video. They reached out to Intel to see if there was a technical reason that this feature — which appears to be entirely software-based — isn’t coming to older hardware. The response was typically terse, “Intel has no plans to support prior generation products with Application Optimization.”
APO’s secret sauce is more efficiently distributing processing load between cores, letting the performance or “P” cores focus on running an active game while letting the efficiency or “E” cores handle everything in the background. Gains are impressive thus far, with an average 15 percent increase in framerate, shooting up to 20 percent at times. But don’t get too excited. So far APO is only supported on the top-of-the-line Core i9 14900K, and even then, only on some high-end motherboards — it might come to others with a firmware update. And to date, only two major games are compatible with the tool, Metro Exodus and Rainbow Six Siege.
While it wouldn’t be standard operating procedure for Intel to add new features to old hardware, even if they could (and we’re only guessing that it’s possible), it would have been a nice gesture. Especially considering how much ground AMD is gaining in the high-end PC gaming world thanks to the generous performance boosts seen in its Ryzen X3D line.
Michael is a former graphic designer who’s been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.