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Intel Core i9 13900K


That is essentially the most spectacular CPU cash should purchase proper now, however you need to have an excellent motive to purchase this over the wonderful Core i5 13600K.


  • Quickest in video games
  • Mighty multithreaded efficiency
  • Tremendous fast and responsive
  • Cheaper 600-series platform obtainable


  • Do you actually need it?
  • The Core i5 13600K is hard to beat for performance-per-dollar
  • Energy hungry
  • Sizzling
  • Slower than Alder Lake in some video games

Intel’s Core i9 13900K is spectacularly good at what it does, and what it does is just about the whole lot. Gaming? After all, it could actually push excessive body charges alongside the newest GPUs. Multitasking? Yep, simple. With 24 cores it is completely suited to a number of stuff occurring . Excessive-demand artistic workloads? Completely, it barely breaks a sweat.

Intel’s hybrid structure has actually come into its personal with the Core i9 13900K. Throw it at any downside, and it is doubtless going to resolve it in file time.

Now for some PC builders, that is a straightforward purchase. You need the quickest chip round, right here it’s. However I might counsel that most PC players with a average finances will need to take a look at the Intel Core i5 13600K (opens in new tab) as an alternative. 

Positive, it is not as quick or as threaded, however it delivers practically as excessive body charges in video games and has loads of multicore chops for content material creation and streaming. All for practically half the value.

However to say the Core i9 13900K is simply too costly can be fallacious. It is truly, surprisingly priced roughly the identical as a Core i9 12900K, regardless of being a lot quicker, providing eight extra cores, and arriving on a now cheaper platform. They’re each pretty equal with regards to sport efficiency—neither holds again a contemporary GPU. 

Nevertheless, for the way well-provisioned the Core i9 13900K is throughout the board, it is a chip that may make some sense for an influence person or busybody in want of a major increase for his or her desktop PC.

Intel Core i9 13900K structure

Intel Core i9 13900K Raptor Lake chip on a promotional box

(Picture credit score: Future)

What’s Raptor Lake?

The twelfth Gen Alder Lake chips might have been Intel’s first hybrid structure, however the thirteenth Gen Raptor Lake processors are rather more proof of what a hybrid method is able to. I’ve to say I am a little bit shocked, in reality, as Raptor Lake is rather more than the generational stop-gap earlier than Meteor Lake that I used to be initially anticipating.

At a basic stage you will discover two varieties of cores in Raptor Lake: Efficiency-cores (P-cores) and Environment friendly-cores (E-cores). 

The P-cores are extra like the sort you’d count on to see in a gaming processor: massive, quick, and nice for pushing excessive body charges. These you may count on to see hitting excessive 5GHz clock speeds just about throughout the board with Intel’s thirteenth Gen Okay-series chips. You can even push these P-cores to a extra spectacular 6GHz beneath the fitting circumstances.

Intel Raptor Lake chip with die diagram edited beneath the heat spreader

In case you look carefully, you will see eight P-cores (green-tinted blocks with pink splodges within the center) and 4 clusters of E-cores (darkish blue blocks). (Picture credit score: Intel)

The Raptor Cove core powers the P-core in Intel’s thirteenth Gen, which replaces the Golden Cove core present in twelfth Gen processors. Essentially the most notable enchancment is the rise in L2 cache: from 1.25MB per P-core on Golden Cove to 2MB per core on Raptor Cove. That is a reasonably huge uplift by desktop CPU requirements, and can have a direct impression on efficiency because the P-cores need to name out to slower reminiscence additional away from the chip much less usually.

Intel has rolled out an improved course of node to be used with the thirteenth Gen. It is Intel 7 nonetheless, however it’s a newly-optimised Intel 7 that Intel cites as third gen Intel SuperFin. With this it claims “considerably higher channel mobility” and, in Raptor Lake’s case particularly, a deal with excessive speeds.

E-cores have a a lot smaller bodily footprint on the chip. It makes for fairly an fascinating sport of spot the distinction between a hybrid and non-hybrid chip, and even between the Alder Lake and Raptor Lake dies. E-cores are suited finest to the busywork your processor has to take care of whereas it is also stressing over frames in-game. Stuff like background duties and caring for these utilities and apps you need to go away on whilst you use your PC. E-cores run a lot slower than the P-cores, round 2–4GHz.

Intel Raptor Lake V-F curve adjustments graph

Intel’s shifted the voltage to frequency curve with Raptor Lake. (Picture credit score: Intel)

These E-cores are utilizing the identical Gracemont core design as Alder Lake, so that you’re largely counting on the upper counts of E-cores to push multithreaded efficiency up with Raptor Lake. Although additional optimisations to Raptor Lake’s Compute Cloth, caching coverage, reminiscence subsystem, and ring frequency to help the newly beefed up core counts can even make a distinction, as will the brand new and improved P-cores.

The duty of dividing up work between the P-cores and E-cores falls in your OS, however Intel has Thread Director to assist out with that. This block makes extra telemetry information obtainable to the OS to raised assist in sharing the workload over all obtainable cores, and alongside the newest main Home windows 11 replace, 22H2, helps share the load from background and foreground duties.

That stated, lots of Raptor Lake is recognisable from Intel’s twelfth Gen chips, however what’s nice with this primary wave of thirteenth Gen CPUs is that there is merely extra of the whole lot: extra E-cores, greater clocks, bigger caches, and higher efficiency. The Core i9 13900K is the chip set to profit essentially the most from this improve, so let’s get into the processor’s specs.

Intel Core i9 13900K specs

Intel Core i9 13900K Raptor Lake chip on a promotional box

(Picture credit score: Future)

What’s contained in the Core i9 13900K?

Core i9 13900K specs

Cores (P+E): 8+16

Threads: 32

L3 Cache (Sensible Cache): 36MB

L2 Cache: 32MB

Max P-core Turbo frequency (GHz): 5.8

Max E-core Turbo frequency (GHz): 4.3

P-core base frequency (GHz): 3

E-core base frequency (GHz): 2.2

Unlocked: Sure

Max PCIe lanes: 20

Graphics: UHD Graphics 770

Reminiscence help (as much as): DDR5 5600MT/s, DDR4 3200MT/s

Processor Base Energy (W): 125

Most Turbo Energy (W): 253

RRP: $589–$599

‘Extra is best’ seems to be the mantra for Raptor Lake and the Core i9 13900K. The Core i9 13900K has been generously provisioned with a ton of E-cores, 16 in reality. That is double what you will discover on the Core i9 12900K, and people cores are under no circumstances forgotten with regards to the efficiency this processor provides in multithreaded duties—these E-cores are as quick as they’re many.

The E-cores hit a max Turbo of 4.3GHz, which will not be breaking any data, nevertheless, it’s notably 400MHz faster than the E-cores on the Core i9 12900K. Intel additionally now holds that its E-cores are as proficient as its Skylake cores however rather more environment friendly. Comparable claims have been made with Alder Lake, however these E-cores are nearly executed soiled by Intel in sounding a lot much less vital than the almighty Efficiency-cores. They’re fairly darn fast and lots proficient for loads of duties.

The P-cores are the main target for us players, nevertheless. The Core i9 13900K’s P-core runs at 5.8GHz, which is so tantalisingly near the 6GHz mark that you just simply want it was doable out of the field. That is an accolade that the Core i9 13900KS will declare early subsequent yr, so in case you’re eager on that you then might need to attend a little bit longer for the particular version chip to reach.

That 5.8GHz determine is the Thermal Velocity Increase frequency, which does require critical cooling to hit. You are extra doubtless going to see 5.7GHz or under as you go about your gaming.

Nonetheless, these are extremely fast cores, and each the P-cores and E-cores are backed up by 14MB of L2 cache and 30MB of L3.

With regards to the platform for the thirteenth Gen, we’re in luck. These chips use the identical LGA 1700 socket dimension because the twelfth Gen, and are totally appropriate with 600-series motherboards. That ought to assist deliver the price of these chips down, as after we first regarded on the twelfth Gen solely the high-end Z690 motherboards have been obtainable and that made them a lot dearer as an improve. That is now not the case, and we’re truly testing the thirteenth Gen chips on an Asus Strix Z690 board and might affirm all runs effectively on the older, however practically equivalent, chipset.

The one variations to notice with the 700-series chipset is a rise of eight extra PCIe 4.0 lanes and as much as 5 USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports—although these specs will rely upon whichever motherboard you resolve to purchase. In whole, Intel’s Core i9 13900K is ready to ship 16 PCIe 5.0 ports 

What that additionally means is you are in a position to improve your Alder Lake chip to a Raptor Lake chip, although why you’ll after trying on the efficiency delta between these chips is one other factor completely.

Intel Core i9 13900K efficiency

Intel Core i9 13900K Raptor Lake chip on a promotional box

(Picture credit score: Future)

How does the Core i9 13900K carry out?

In case you wished extra multithreaded efficiency on desktop, you bought it. The Core i9 13900K truly makes ex-HEDT chips look gradual by comparability. The truth is, Intel’s Core i9 13900K is nearly 10,000 factors away from the Core i9 12900K in Cinebench R23. Within the Blender Junk Store benchmark, the Core i9 13900K is 60% quicker than the Alder Lake chip.

In order for you a number of speedy threads to throw at artistic apps, that is it.

Equally PCMark’s rating for basic productiveness is extraordinarily excessive for the Core i9 13900K, and it delivers the best reminiscence bandwidth in SiSoft Sandra we have ever recorded. It additionally breaks by means of the 100fps ceiling in encoding benchmark x264, managing 109 fps and much in extra of the competitors.

Intel Core i9 13900K and Intel Core i5 13600K benchmark comparison graphs

(Picture credit score: Future)

With these kinds of scores it is no surprise that high-end desktop (HEDT) CPUs are largely a factor of the previous—I am shocked there’s even a whiff of a HEDT Raptor Lake chip following the scores the Core i9 13900K is posting.

With regards to gaming efficiency, the Core i9 13900K is equally spectacular. This chip does little to carry again a contemporary high-end GPU, such because the RTX 3080 we’re testing with, and I’ve no doubts it will make the perfect pairing with Nvidia’s new RTX 4090, too. Minimal and 1%/0.1% lows have been additionally impressively excessive and constantly so, which is an efficient marker of CPU efficiency nowaday.

Nevertheless, these further cores do not imply a lot in gaming workloads. There have been occasions when the Core i9 13900K struggled to point out off what its clock pace and cache enhancements are good for versus the earlier era’s Core i9 12900K. Typically, I observed solely a average enchancment in frames per second between the 2 generations’ most interesting chips, and in two benchmarks efficiency truly dropped.

Intel Core i9 13900K and Intel Core i5 13600K benchmark comparison graphs

(Picture credit score: Future)

Check rigs


Motherboard: Asus ROG Strix Z690-F Gaming WiFi

Storage: 2TB Sabrent Rocket 4.0 Plus

Cooler: Asus ROG Ryujin II

PSU: Gigabyte Aorus P1200W


Motherboard: ASRock X670E Taichi

Storage: 1TB WD Black SN850

Cooler: Corsair H100i RGB



Reminiscence: G.Talent Trident Z5 Neo DDR5-6000 CL30 2x 16GB

Graphics card: Nvidia RTX 3080 10GB


Each Shadow of the Tomb Raider and F1 2021 ran slower on the Core i9 13900K versus the Core i9 12900K, and the identical may be stated for the Core i5 13600K versus the Core i5 12600K. So maybe there’s some further optimisation needing to be executed in these video games to extract extra out of them. Intel’s Marcus Kennedy instructed me that could be the required plan of action following the publication of the corporate’s personal benchmarks that confirmed a few video games working slower on Raptor Lake, however we’ll have to attend and see.

Within the video games that are extra CPU restricted, particularly Far Cry 6, and thus higher in a position to present the efficiency disparity between chips, there stays solely 4fps between the Core i9 13900K and Core i5 13600K. It is not an incredible lead for a chip that is practically double the value.

Typically, although, we’re seeing high gaming efficiency with the Core i9 13900K (and Core i5 13600K, for that matter), which places this chip on the high of the charts versus Intel’s true rival, AMD. 

Neither AMD’s new Ryzen 9 7950X (opens in new tab) or Ryzen 7 7700X (opens in new tab) can match the gauntlet that Intel’s Core i9 13900K is laying down in most video games, with the only exception of Shadow of the Tomb Raider. In Civ 6’s AI check, the Core i9 13900K is neck and neck with AMD’s Ryzen 9 7950X, however little over a second separates even the perfect CPUs from the worst in that benchmark these days.

In Whole Warfare: Three Kingdoms, the Core i9 13900K provides up 9fps greater than the Ryzen 9 7950X. In Metro Exodus, 6fps. In F1 2021 and Far Cry 6, Intel’s chip extends its lead by a bigger margin, 13fps and 23fps, respectively.

Intel holds the gaming efficiency crown this era. Although you actually should take into account that at 4K, these kinds of efficiency leads shrink to a a lot smaller margin, if any. Trendy video games have gotten far much less CPU restricted and much more GPU restricted, and meaning the GPU is barely going to play extra of an vital position in sport efficiency as time goes on. That is certain to be doubly true when DirectStorage rolls round, which can additional unlock the CPU whereas gaming.

In case you’re trying purely for a gaming chip, then, the Core i9 13900K is completely overkill. You have to take a look at its multithreaded efficiency and suppose ‘that is one thing I may do with extra of’ to essentially take into account spending this a lot on a chip. Or have loads of cash to spare and massive bragging ambitions.

Intel Core i9 13900K and Intel Core i5 13600K benchmark comparison graphs

(Picture credit score: Future)

Turning to extra artistic endeavours, the place as soon as Intel’s hybrid mixture of cores could not fairly reside as much as the would possibly of a 16-core/32-thread Ryzen 9 7950X, and the Core i9 13900K is now a way more spectacular match. In x264, the Core i9 13900K truly beats the Ryzen 9 7950X, which is slightly spectacular. Additionally it is solely six samples per minute slower in Blender’s Junk Store benchmark. The third-fastest chip within the Blender benchmark is the Ryzen 9 5950X, and that is down on the Core i9 13900K by 44.5 samples per minute. So it is shut between the highest two.

The one main loss for Intel right here is in effectivity. The Core i9 13900K calls for round 60W extra beneath load in x264 than the Ryzen 9 7950X. That stated, AMD’s chip runs barely hotter, and it tends to make use of up extra energy when idling. Equally, the Core i9 13900K comes out trying extra environment friendly by way of fps per watt in Far Cry 6, however it’s price remembering that is the sport that extra closely favoured Intel’s processors in testing.

Intel Core i9 13900K evaluation

Intel Core i9 13900K Raptor Lake chip on a promotional box

(Picture credit score: Future)

How does the Core i9 13900K stack up?

Cash is the actual clincher right here. As ever. At $589–599, the advisable buyer pricing of the Core i9 13900K, and really even when it is priced greater than that at launch, Intel’s newest and biggest ought to price lower than AMD’s $699 Ryzen 9 7950X. 

In case you run by means of the important thing battles for these two chips, you’ve got bought gaming efficiency, during which Intel’s chip largely wins out; productiveness, multitasking, & artistic efficiency, the place the 2 are a lot nearer and commerce blows; and worth, which Intel wins.

The few occasions that AMD’s Ryzen 9 7950X does come out on high, the Core i9 13900K is usually very shut behind. Is that the type of higher hand price paying further for? In my thoughts, no, it is not. Intel has executed itself an enormous favour by not massively rising the asking worth of its chips regardless of the rise in cores—a shot of adrenaline for its complete Okay-series lineup.

The Intel Core i9 13900K is greater than sufficient processor to fulfill all players, streamers, and inventive professionals.

I can see perhaps some notably demanding workloads for rendering or encoding during which 16 of Zen 4’s most interesting will work higher than Intel’s 24 mix-and-match cores, however I’ve solely seen that in Blender. Even then, the Ryzen hardly has a controlling lead. PCIe lanes might also be one other vital issue for some: AMD has the benefit on this division with 24 PCIe 5.0 lanes direct from the CPU.

However the causes for getting AMD’s high chip have gotten extra area of interest than ever with the discharge of the Intel Core i9 13900K. And each have gotten area of interest because the mid-range CPUs get pleasure from ever-growing core counts. I ponder if we’ll see the purple crew grow to be extra aggressive with its precise pricing on the shelf as soon as the mud settles from Intel’s launch, as a result of because it stands I worry its chips could also be a troublesome promote subsequent to Raptor Lake. Maybe the $549 Ryzen 9 7900X will fare higher, however then it is much less more likely to meet the necessities of the artistic skilled in want of all of the cores fairly just like the Ryzen 9 7950X can.

The harder promote for Intel is then to players that have already got a reasonably current processor of their machine. You may in all probability write off most customers with Alder Lake chips of their machines, there’s little or no motive to improve from a twelfth Gen chip, however even eleventh Gen and AMD’s 5000-series processors nonetheless maintain a candle to the thirteenth Gen for gaming.

Yeah, the Ryzen 7 5700X is slower at 1080p, however at 1440p, 4K? Is it quick sufficient to warrant ripping up my complete machine and beginning once more with a complete new construct? Relies upon how outdated your present CPU is, I suppose.

However that is the endless cycle of CPU upgrades, and finally there’ll at all times be somebody on the market with a four-, five-, six-year-old processor on the lookout for their subsequent improve. If that is you, and you’ve got the finances, otherwise you’re in actually determined want of multithreaded efficiency, then I imagine the Intel Core i9 13900K is greater than sufficient processor to fulfill all players, streamers, and inventive professionals.

Core i9 13900K verdict

Intel Core i9 13900K Raptor Lake chip on a promotional box

(Picture credit score: Future)

Must you purchase the Core i9 13900K?

The Intel Core i9 13900K is an outstanding processor, and very good firm for an enthusiast-grade graphics card. Its core depend is excessive, even by as we speak’s requirements, and its clock pace is pushing as much as new heights solely beforehand doable with a dousing of liquid nitrogen. It is extremely spectacular. Evaluate it to a Core i9 or Core i7 from only a few generations in the past and also you’d hardly imagine it was the identical firm behind the Core i9 13900K.

Admittedly overkill for many.

Although admittedly additionally overkill for many. The common gamer is not actually going to profit a complete lot from shopping for this Core i9 versus Intel’s equally superior, if not much more so, Core i5 13600K. I am additionally dreaming up what would possibly come later down the road within the Core i5 13400. That is no less than one rightfully succesful gaming chip at a fraction of the value of this multithreading leviathan.

However effective, I submit. I am not going to belabour the purpose. This can be a mighty processor at a surprisingly cheap worth, and lots of builders will need one just because it is the perfect of the perfect.

With Alder Lake and the twelfth Gen, Intel proved its hybrid structure was greater than a flash within the pan idea. With Raptor Lake, it refined it into the perfect processor we have seen in a very long time. I totally count on Raptor Lake and the Core i9 13900K to win again lots of favour with PC builders—we’re not at a loss for unbelievable processors proper now and Intel’s Core i9 13900K is high amongst them.

Intel Core i9 13900K

That is essentially the most spectacular CPU cash should purchase proper now, however you need to have an excellent motive to purchase this over the wonderful Core i5 13600K.

Jacob earned his first byline writing for his personal tech weblog from his hometown in Wales in 2017. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking issues as {hardware} author at PCGamesN, the place he would later win command of the equipment cabinet as {hardware} editor. These days, as senior {hardware} editor at PC Gamer, he spends his days reporting on the newest developments within the expertise and gaming business. When he isn’t writing about GPUs and CPUs, nevertheless, you will discover him attempting to get as distant from the trendy world as doable by wild tenting. blind fold fuck. queen of bath sheeba nude. sexvid block head.