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Intel Core i9 13900K and Core i5 13600K review: an effective redoubt against AMD’s Ryzen 7000 advances


With AMD’s Ryzen 7000 chips firmly on retailer cabinets, it is now time for Intel to shoot their shot. Crew Blue’s Thirteenth-gen chips arrive at present, and on paper they symbolize an enormous improve over Twelfth-gen regardless of compatibility with present Z690 (and new Z790) boards. You get greater clock speeds (as much as 5.8GHz!), extra effectivity cores, extra L3 cache and better energy targets – all of which you’d charitably count on to contribute to a major uptick in gaming and content material creation efficiency.

To find if these processors dwell as much as the hype, we have been testing the $589 Core i9 13900K and $319 Core i5 13600K in gaming and content material creation benchmarks since final week. Our plan stepping into was easy: to seek out out precisely how significantly better these Thirteenth-gen fashions are than their Twelfth-gen predecessors, in addition to how they measure as much as AMD’s new Ryzen 7000 and in style Ryzen 5000 alternate options – together with the wonderful Ryzen 7 5800X3D.

As with our Ryzen 7000 testing, we have opted to verify two RAM configurations for every new processor: DDR5-5200, representing ‘funds’ DDR5, and DDR5-6000, the AMD-identified candy spot for worth versus efficiency. We have additionally achieved some extra in-depth RAM testing on web page 5, exhibiting the utmost beneficial properties you possibly can count on to see from choosing specialist high-speed RAM over extra pedestrian fashions.

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The 13900K and 13600K symbolize the higher and decrease bounds of the preliminary Raptor Lake vary – in any other case, there is a $409 Core i7 13700K within the center and ‘F’ variants that price $25 much less however do not embody built-in graphics. As standard, we count on to see cheaper Core i5 and Core i3 fashions afterward, the place we might see even higher worth propositions if Twelfth-gen is any indication.

Wanting on the specs supplied by Intel for the brand new Thirteenth-gen lineup, two issues bounce out at me. First, although Intel warned we would see greater costs, we solely see two fashions which might be costlier than their counterparts – the Core i5 fashions are $30 costlier, whereas the Core i7 and Core i9 elements are the identical worth. (Actual world costs might fluctuate, after all.) Secondly, the bounce in turbo frequencies is unbelievable – 200MHz greater for the Core i5, 400MHz for the Core i7 and 600MHz for the Core i9. That is a large enchancment provided that these chips are made utilizing the identical ‘Intel 7’ course of node.

Processor Cores (P/E) Threads P Max Turbo E Max Turbo Good Cache Value
i9-13900K 24 (8P/16E) 32 5.8GHz 4.3GHz 36MB $589
i9-13900KF 24 (8P/16E) 32 5.8GHz 4.3GHz 36MB $564
i7-13700K 16 (8P/8E) 24 5.4GHz 4.2GHz 30MB $409
i7-13700KF 16 (8P/8E) 24 5.4GHz 4.2GHz 30MB $384
i5-13600K 14 (6P/8E) 20 5.1GHz 3.9GHz 24MB $319
i5-13600KF 14 (6P/8E) 20 5.1GHz 3.9GHz 24MB $294
i9-12900K 16 (8P/8E) 24 5.2GHz 3.9GHz 30MB $589
i9-12900KF 16 (8P/8E) 24 5.2GHz 3.9GHz 30MB $564
i7-12700K 12 (8P/4E) 20 5.0GHz 3.8GHz 25MB $409
i7-12700KF 12 (8P/4E) 20 5.0GHz 3.8GHz 25MB $384
i5-12600K 10 (6P/4E) 16 4.9GHz 3.6GHz 20MB $289
i5-12600KF 10 (6P/4E) 16 4.9GHz 3.6GHz 20MB $264

At this stage, earlier than we dive into the content material creation benchmark outcomes, it is in all probability price briefly outlining what {hardware} we’re utilizing in our check sytem. Whereas we initially deliberate to check on the identical Z690 board we used for our Twelfth-gen testing, we had boot and XMP points with the Asus Z690 Maximus Hero board, even with the newest BIOS put in, and swapped as an alternative to a Gigabyte Z790 Aorus Grasp. This motherboard affords the entire options we search for – an influence button and boot code indicator on the motherboard itself, a quick-release PCIe slot, strong energy supply, 5 (!) NVMe slots, and naturally help for PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 RAM. (We have additionally acquired an Asus Z790-I Gaming WiFi board that can little doubt characteristic in subsequent testing, and an MSI board can be reportedly on the best way.) We’ll go into extra element concerning the motherboards we have been capable of check on web page six.

This new Aorus motherboard is mixed with high-spec G.Ability’s Trident Z5 Neo DDR5-6000 CL30 RAM, Corsair’s Dominator Platinum DDR5-5200 CL40 for supplementary testing and naturally Asus’ RTX 3090 ROG Strix OC for the all-important GPU facet of issues. For storage, we’re utilizing three PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSDs to carry all of our video games – a 4TB Kingston KC3000, a 1TB PNY XLR8 CS3140 and a 1TB Essential P5 Plus. Our rig was accomplished with a 1000W Corsair RM1000x energy provide.

Elsewhere, we used an Asus ROG Crosshair 8 Hero for Ryzen 5000 testing, an Asus ROG Maximus Z590 Hero for Eleventh-gen Intel testing and an Asus ROG Z690 Maximus Hero for Twelfth-gen testing; all of those are high-end boards for his or her respective platforms. DDR4 motherboards used G.Ability 3600MT/s CL16 reminiscence, the sweetspot for DDR4.

Earlier than we get into the gaming benchmarks that make up pages two to 5, let’s whet our urge for food with some fast and soiled content material creation benchmarks: a Cinebench R20 3D render and a Handbrake video transcode.

The 13900K is massively spectacular right here, finishing our H.265 (HEVR) transcode in three minutes and eight seconds – a brand new report – that works out to a median of 41.2fps, making the 13900K the primary to succeed in the 40s whereas the next-fastest CPU we have examined hasn’t even cracked 30fps. It does, nonetheless, draw an additional 100W in comparison with our Z690 system with the 12900K.

Nonetheless, in my ebook, I might say the uptick in energy consumption is price it, provided that your CPU will use a lot much less energy in non-AVX workloads like H.264 encoding or gaming; after all in gaming we might count on thread utilisation to even be considerably decrease. Intel’s claims of a extra environment friendly processor, efficiency per watt, is unquestionably borne out. Bear in mind that almost all motherboards default to working flat-out although, so you will notice greater energy draw from the 13900K and 13600K in comparison with 12900K and 12600K – one thing price altering within the BIOS in the event you’d favor a cooler, quieter system.

CB R20 1T CB R20 MT HB h.264 HB HEVC HEVC Energy Use
Core i9 13900K 873 15570 104.67fps 41.20fps 473W
Core i5 13600K 767 9267 62.37fps 26.44fps 254W
Core i9 12900K 760 10416 70.82fps 29.26fps 373W
Core i7 12700K 729 8683 57.64fps 25.67fps 318W
Core i5 12600K 716 6598 44.27fps 19.99fps 223W
Core i5 12400F 652 4736 31.77fps 14.70fps 190W
Core i9 11900K 588 5902 41.01fps 18.46fps 321W
Core i5 11600K 541 4086 29.00fps 13.12fps 250W
Ryzen 9 7900X 791 11324 79.38fps 33.77fps 288W
Ryzen 5 7600X 750 6063 44.35fps 20.28fps 236W
Ryzen 9 5950X 637 10165 70.28fps 30.14fps 237W
Ryzen 7 5800X3D 546 5746 42.71fps 19.10fps 221W
Ryzen 7 5800X 596 6118 44.18fps 19.50fps 229W
Ryzen 5 5600X 601 4502 31.75fps 14.43fps 160W

The 13600K additionally acquits itself properly, exhibiting higher single-core speeds than the 12900K and higher multi-core outcomes than the 12700K. The truth is, it is pretty near the 5950X whereas consuming across the similar quantity of energy, which is absurd for a Core i5. All-told, it is a 40 % benefit for the 13600K over its last-gen counterpart when it comes to each Cinebench and Handbrake – good.

Now, let’s get into the enjoyable stuff – the video games. We have examined a spread of titles, so pick your favourites from the hyperlinks under or simply hit that subsequent web page button to proceed the journey. Bear in mind, you get a particular prize for studying each web page of the evaluation..!

Intel Core i9 13900K and Core i5 13600K evaluation


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