Intel Core i9 13900K
That is probably the most spectacular CPU cash should buy proper now, however it’s important to have an excellent motive to purchase this over the superb Core i5 13600K.
- Quickest in video games
- Mighty multithreaded efficiency
- Tremendous fast and responsive
- Cheaper 600-series platform accessible
In opposition to
- Do you actually need it?
- The Core i5 13600K is hard to beat for performance-per-dollar
- Energy hungry
- 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 all the pieces. Gaming? After all, it will probably push excessive body charges alongside the newest GPUs. Multitasking? Yep, straightforward. With 24 cores it is completely suited to numerous 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 seemingly going to unravel it in document time.
Now for some PC builders, that is a simple purchase. You need the quickest chip round, right here it’s. However I’d recommend that most PC avid gamers with a reasonable 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 almost as excessive body charges in video games and has loads of multicore chops for content material creation and streaming. All for almost half the worth.
However to say the Core i9 13900K is simply too costly could be flawed. 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 on the subject of recreation 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 consumer or busybody in want of a major enhance for his or her desktop PC.
Intel Core i9 13900K structure
What’s Raptor Lake?
The twelfth Gen Alder Lake chips could 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 slightly shocked, actually, as Raptor Lake is rather more than the generational stop-gap earlier than Meteor Lake that I used to be initially anticipating.
At a elementary degree you will discover two forms of cores in Raptor Lake: Efficiency-cores (P-cores) and Environment friendly-cores (E-cores).
The P-cores are extra like the type you’d count on to see in a gaming processor: huge, quick, and nice for pushing excessive body charges. These you’ll be able to count on to see hitting excessive 5GHz clock speeds just about throughout the board with Intel’s thirteenth Gen Ok-series chips. It’s also possible to push these P-cores to a extra spectacular 6GHz underneath the correct situations.
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 influence 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 give attention to excessive speeds.
E-cores have a a lot smaller bodily footprint on the chip. It makes for fairly an fascinating recreation 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 taking good care of these utilities and apps you need to go away on when you use your PC. E-cores run a lot slower than the P-cores, round 2–4GHz.
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 Material, caching coverage, reminiscence subsystem, and ring frequency to help the newly beefed up core counts may also 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 knowledge accessible to the OS to higher assist in sharing the workload over all accessible cores, and alongside the newest main Home windows 11 replace, 22H2, helps share the load from background and foreground duties.
That stated, a variety 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 all the pieces: extra E-cores, larger clocks, bigger caches, and higher efficiency. The Core i9 13900K is the chip set to profit probably the most from this improve, so let’s get into the processor’s specs.
Intel Core i9 13900K specs
What’s contained in the Core i9 13900K?
Core i9 13900K specs
Cores (P+E): 8+16
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
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
‘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 actually. That is double what you will discover on the Core i9 12900K, and people cores are in no way forgotten on the subject of the efficiency this processor gives 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, nonetheless, 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 finished soiled by Intel in sounding a lot much less necessary than the almighty Efficiency-cores. They’re fairly darn fast and lots proficient for loads of duties.
The P-cores are the main focus for us avid gamers, nonetheless. 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 attainable out of the field. That is an accolade that the Core i9 13900KS will declare early subsequent 12 months, so in case you’re eager on that then you definately might need to attend slightly longer for the particular version chip to reach.
That 5.8GHz determine is the Thermal Velocity Increase frequency, which does require severe cooling to hit. You are extra seemingly going to see 5.7GHz or beneath 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.
In terms of the platform for the thirteenth Gen, we’re in luck. These chips use the identical LGA 1700 socket measurement because the twelfth Gen, and are absolutely appropriate with 600-series motherboards. That ought to assist convey the price of these chips down, as after we first seemed on the twelfth Gen solely the high-end Z690 motherboards have been accessible and that made them a lot dearer as an improve. That is not the case, and we’re truly testing the thirteenth Gen chips on an Asus Strix Z690 board and might verify all runs nicely on the older, however almost an identical, 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 depend upon whichever motherboard you resolve to purchase. In complete, Intel’s Core i9 13900K is ready to ship 16 PCIe 5.0 ports
What that additionally means is you are capable of improve your Alder Lake chip to a Raptor Lake chip, although why you’d after wanting on the efficiency delta between these chips is one other factor totally.
Intel Core i9 13900K efficiency
How does the Core i9 13900K carry out?
If you happen to wished extra multithreaded efficiency on desktop, you bought it. The Core i9 13900K truly makes ex-HEDT chips look gradual by comparability. Actually, Intel’s Core i9 13900K is sort of 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.
If you would like numerous speedy threads to throw at artistic apps, that is it.
Equally PCMark’s rating for normal 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 via the 100fps ceiling in encoding benchmark x264, managing 109 fps and much in extra of the competitors.
With these types of scores it is no marvel 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.
In terms of 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 very best pairing with Nvidia’s new RTX 4090, too. Minimal and 1%/0.1% lows have been additionally impressively excessive and persistently so, which is an effective marker of CPU efficiency nowaday.
Nevertheless, these additional cores do not imply a lot in gaming workloads. There have been instances when the Core i9 13900K struggled to point out off what its clock velocity and cache enhancements are good for versus the earlier era’s Core i9 12900K. Usually, I observed solely a reasonable enchancment in frames per second between the 2 generations’ most interesting chips, and in two benchmarks efficiency truly dropped.
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
PSU: NZXT 850W
Reminiscence: G.Ability 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 might be stated for the Core i5 13600K versus the Core i5 12600K. So maybe there’s some additional optimisation needing to be finished in these video games to extract extra out of them. Intel’s Marcus Kennedy advised me which may be the required plan of action following the publication of the corporate’s personal benchmarks that confirmed a few video games operating slower on Raptor Lake, however we’ll have to attend and see.
Within the video games that are extra CPU restricted, specifically Far Cry 6, and thus higher capable of present the efficiency disparity between chips, there stays solely 4fps between the Core i9 13900K and Core i5 13600K. It isn’t an incredible lead for a chip that is almost double the worth.
Usually, 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 real exception of Shadow of the Tomb Raider. In Civ 6’s AI take a look at, the Core i9 13900K is neck and neck with AMD’s Ryzen 9 7950X, however little over a second separates even the very best CPUs from the worst in that benchmark these days.
In Whole Conflict: Three Kingdoms, the Core i9 13900K gives 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 think about that at 4K, these types of efficiency leads shrink to a a lot smaller margin, if any. Trendy video games have gotten far much less CPU restricted and way more GPU restricted, and which means the GPU is simply going to play extra of an necessary function in recreation efficiency as time goes on. That is certain to be doubly true when DirectStorage rolls round, which is able to additional release the CPU whereas gaming.
If you happen to’re wanting purely for a gaming chip, then, the Core i9 13900K is totally overkill. You have to take a look at its multithreaded efficiency and suppose ‘that is one thing I might do with extra of’ to essentially think about spending this a lot on a chip. Or have loads of cash to spare and massive bragging ambitions.
Turning to extra artistic endeavours, the place as soon as Intel’s hybrid mixture of cores could not fairly reside as much as the may 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 quite spectacular. It is usually 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 underneath 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 wanting extra environment friendly when it comes to 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
How does the Core i9 13900K stack up?
Cash is the true clincher right here. As ever. At $589–599, the beneficial buyer pricing of the Core i9 13900K, and truly even when it is priced larger than that at launch, Intel’s newest and biggest ought to value lower than AMD’s $699 Ryzen 9 7950X.
If you happen to run via 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 value, which Intel wins.
The few instances that AMD’s Ryzen 9 7950X does come out on high, the Core i9 13900K is commonly very shut behind. Is that the form of higher hand price paying additional for? In my thoughts, no, it is not. Intel has finished itself an enormous favour by not massively rising the asking value of its chips regardless of the rise in cores—a shot of adrenaline for its whole Ok-series lineup.
I can see perhaps some significantly 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 may be one other necessary issue for some: AMD has the benefit on this division with 24 PCIe 5.0 lanes direct from the CPU.
However the causes for purchasing 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 pink workforce change into 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 tricky 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 avid gamers that have already got a reasonably latest processor of their machine. You possibly can most likely 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 whole machine and beginning once more with an entire new construct? Relies upon how previous your present CPU is, I suppose.
However that is the endless cycle of CPU upgrades, and in the end there’ll at all times be somebody on the market with a four-, five-, six-year-old processor in search of their subsequent improve. If that is you, and you’ve got the finances, otherwise you’re in really determined want of multithreaded efficiency, then I imagine the Intel Core i9 13900K is greater than sufficient processor to fulfill all avid gamers, streamers, and inventive professionals.
Core i9 13900K verdict
Do you have to purchase the Core i9 13900K?
The Intel Core i9 13900K is an excellent processor, and intensely good firm for an enthusiast-grade graphics card. Its core depend is excessive, even by at present’s requirements, and its clock velocity is pushing as much as new heights solely beforehand attainable with a dousing of liquid nitrogen. It is extremely spectacular. Examine 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.
Although admittedly additionally overkill for many. The typical gamer is not actually going to profit an entire 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 may come later down the road within the Core i5 13400. That is at the very least one rightfully succesful gaming chip at a fraction of the worth of this multithreading leviathan.
However advantageous, I submit. I am not going to belabour the purpose. This can be a mighty processor at a surprisingly cheap value, and a variety of builders will need one just because it is the very best of the very best.
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 very best processor we have seen in a very long time. I absolutely count on Raptor Lake and the Core i9 13900K to win again a variety 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 probably the most spectacular CPU cash should buy proper now, however it’s important to have an excellent motive to purchase this over the superb Core i5 13600K.