Intel Core i9-13900K review: Raptor Lake-S challenges AMD Zen4

The debut of Intel’s Raptor Lake-S processors today, the response from Santa Clara company AMD, and the last 7,000 years of Ryzen have undoubtedly taken the competition to another level from the previous generation. Less than a month after the official announcement, the first 13th generation Core desktop models hit the market, and like the “Alder Lake-S” products, it’s the Core K-series processors that lead the way. dance; in detail we are talking about: Core i9-13900K, Core i7-13700K, Core i5-13600K and related variants without integrated GPU series, KF. In today’s review, we will test the new flagship. Intel Core i9-13900K not to mention that Intel has already introduced the Core i9-13900KS, a chip that, according to the manufacturer, will be the first consumer processor to reach a frequency of 6 GHz.

With the Raptor Lake architecture, Intel continues the hybrid approach that involves the coexistence of high-performance cores (P-Core) and high-performance cores (E-Core), all in Intel 7 production nodes optimized (also “stretched”) and almost removed to upgrade to the long-awaited Intel 4 (see Meteor Lake).

The Raptor Lake news has already been covered in the previous article, which we recommend you read; however, we will provide a brief “review” and some technical considerations for the analysis and the results of the analysis. In the next few days the tests of cheaper models will also arrive, just as strong and probably among those expected, both in the consumer/gaming segment and in the product area (and now we will see why).

  • test platform
  • Consider


As has been widely said, Intel Raptor Lake-S It takes a lot from its predecessor Alder Lake, which was already solid but is now more iterative. We can say without a doubt that, as in the past, Intel manages to express its production process to the best of its ability and in this case – with Intel 7 “Ultra” o 10nm SuperFin increased in 3 gen – does not change the course of the competition with AMD Ryzen 7000, manufactured on the memory of 5nm TSMC technologies. According to Intel, improvements in 13th generation Core processors ensure up to 15% improvement in single core performance You get what will go up 41% when converted to multithreaded .

Multi-core performance is probably the strong point of this line of processors and, combined with very high clock speeds, it can deliver great results in both gaming and productivity. Among the novelties of Intel Raptor Lake-S, in addition to the use of the Raptor Cove P-Core, there are essentially two elements: the network. increases in the second cache level through the heart (now 2 MB) and per cluster (from E-Core); Dual Efficiency Cores up to 16 on top-end Core i9-13900K model (12900K stopped at 8 cores).

Working on the cache isn’t just about increasing size, it’s about stretching out to the best, smartest, most dynamic resources: Intel calls this cache strategy “INI”, meaning inclusive/non-inclusive, which maximizes performance and with individual loads. . a multilayer yarn. Always stay one step ahead of optimizations, even a . we find Enhanced Intel Thread Manager it is fully exploited especially in the latest version of Windows 11 22H2.

There is also a new slot on the board for 13th generation Core processors. memory controller supports DDR5 5600 memory (compared to previous generation DDR5 4800); while supporting DDR4 as a 12th generation kernel. This property can be an advantage for Lake Intel Raptor which, we repeat, is perfect backward compatible with Alder Lake not only for memories, but also for LGA 1700 sockets and therefore the Intel 600 series of sections and distribution systems.

It lags behind, not even the integrated GPU changes – there is one on the board Intel UHD 770 with 32 execution units, 1.65 GHz frequency and Intel Quick Sync support, Clear Video HD plus HDMI 2.1/DP 1.4b output. Despite what has just been said regarding backward compatibility, the latest Intel platform uses the new 700 series chips, which, although not inferior to their predecessors, now guarantee better connectivity on the PCI-E 4.0 lines. and an increase in USB 3.2 ports. . generation 2×2 20 Gbps.

But let’s see each of the main features of the extension Core i9-13900K, a processor that now has 24 cores and 32 threads respectively with the sinking 8 P cores with Hyper-Threading (8C/16T) and 16 electronic core (16C/16T). In addition to the L2 cell, which goes from 14 to 32 MB, the frequencies are also significantly increased compared to Alder Lake and Core i9-12900K (Review), respectively. Dual core boost up to 5.8 GHz for P cores (5.5GHz all core) and up to 4.3 GHz for E-Core. As already mentioned, we see a slight increase in the MTB, or rather, the Max Turbo Power, going from 241 watts at Alder Lake to 253 watts at Raptor Lake ; The nominal TDP is still 125 watts, while the standard support is clearly confirmed PCI-E 5.0 with 16 slots (+ 4 Gen 4.0 slots for up to twenty PCI-E slots).


Although compatible with current Intel Z690 motherboards, we may have opted for a test of the new Intel Core i9-13900K WIFI FOR GAMING ASUS ROG STRIX Z790-E a twin version of the Alder-S that we tested some time ago. Apart from the Z790, the two models do not differ much, firstly because of the purpose, which we can define as identical without problem; however, when we notice that at first glance the ROG STRIX Z790-E has a larger deluxe bill especially in the central area, where the M.2 slots reside, they have been increased from three to five in the new model.

So the M.2 support changes for the better (with PCI-E 5.0) – there are also 4 SATA 3 ports still with STORAGE in addition to Lightning – but this also increases the capacity of the burly Z790 which sees PCI-E 3.0 lanes reduced from 16 to 8, further increase these PCI-E 4.0 from 12 to a maximum of 20 ; Another jewel to announce in this model is the USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 port -on the front panel- that now supports up to 30 watts.

ASUS Z790-E 18+1 Easter VRM (90A for the CPU) and a huge heat input both in the control area and in the main M.2 SSD; and the other four are also well dissipated, helping and supplying them. PCB is here LED Q adds to debugging and button control, very nice during dyno sessions.

Other things to note about RAMO, which can be installed in 4 DDR5 DIMM slots for a maximum of 128GB; ASUS memory card supports DDR5 with speeds up to 7800 MT/s, obviously we are talking about speeds that are overclocking or with the next high-end memory kit with 3rd generation Intel Xtreme Memory Profile technology (Intel. XMP 3.0). ) .

For the rest of the technical aspects, to say the least of all ROG motherboards, there are not many changes between the Z690-E Gaming and the Z790-E Gaming, and the newcomer confirms all the best options now available. . final. products in which, in addition to the above, we show;

  • 1 PCI-E x16 slot (Gen 5), 2 PCI-E x16 slots (Gen 4), 1 PCI-E x1 slot (Gen 3)
  • 1x M.2 Gen 5.0, 4x M.2 Gen 4.0
  • WiFi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, Intel 2.5G LAN
  • 19 USB ports with 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 20Gbps
  • ASUS SupremeFX Audio (ALC4080), 7.1, AMP Savitech.
  • HDMI video output (4K @ 60Hz) and display port (8K @ 60Hz)
  • BIOS FlashBack and Clear CMOS button
  • M.2 Q slot, Block, Plus Q-Release
  • ASUS AURA Sync with ARGB header support
  • OptiMem III, ASUS AI Cooling with Xpert 4.0, ASUS AI Overclocking, Two-way AI Sound Reception

test platform

In addition to the ASUS ROG STRIX Z790-E GAMING WIFI, our Core platform. i9-13900K features 32GB of Corsair DDR5 6200 RAM and GeForce RTX 3080 FE; In the coming weeks, we will update the entire database as soon as we get our hands on the GeForce RTX 40 series and the new DDR5 6800/7200 kits coming to market soon. The high-end Intel will also be compared to the Ryzen 9 7950X that we are currently testing at the factory and will soon be the first dedicated test. Here are the various numbers in particular;

processors :

  • Intel Core i9-13900K
  • AMD Ryzen 5 7600X, Ryzen 9 7900X
  • AMD Ryzen 5 5600X, Ryzen 7 5800X and 5800X3D, Ryzen 9 5900X, Ryzen 9 5950X.
  • Intel Core i5-12600K, Core i7-12700K, Core i9-12900K
  • Core i5-11600K Core i7-11700K Core i9 11900K

heat sinks :

  • ASUS ROG RYUJIN II 360 for AMD AM5 LGA 1718, Intel LGA 1700 and Ryzen 7 5800X3D
  • NZXT Kraken X63 for Intel LGA MCC and AMD AM4

motherboards :

  • ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming WiFi for Core i9-13900K
  • ASUS ROG Crosshair X670E Hero for Ryzen 9 7950X
  • Gigabyte X670E AORUS Master with Ryzen 7900X and 7600X
  • ASUS ProArt X570 WiFi Creator for Ryzen 7 5800X3D
  • ASUS ROG Strix Z690-E Gaming WiFi for 12th Gen Intel Core
  • ASUS ROG MAXIMUM XIII HERO for 11th Gen Intel
  • ASUS Prime X570 PRO for AMD Ryzen 5000 series

Regards :

  • G.Skill Trident Z5 32GB 6000@6200 MT/s C30 (For Ryzen 7000)
  • Corsair Vindicta RGB PRO 32GB 3600MT/s CL16 (Ryzen 5000 & 11th Gen Intel)
  • Kingston FURY Beast 32GB 5200MT/s CL40 (12600K, 12900K)
  • Corsair Vengeance DDR5 32GB 6200MHz CL36 (Core i7-12700K and Core i9-13900K)

Graphic card : NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 FE

SSD storage : Corsair MP600 PRO LPX 2TB

Power supply : Corsair RM1000x 1000W

Operating system : Windows 11 Pro to latest version

After the software package:

  • R15 film bank
  • Cinema bench R23
  • corona test
  • indian essay
  • Blender – BMW Scene
  • Try 7-Zip 32MB
  • WinRAR multithreaded test
  • Brand PC 10
  • 3DMark Time SPy processor test
  • AIDA64 Ultimate AES and SH3 encryption
  • Mozilla Kraken (web browser)
  • Embedded CPU-Z Benchmark
  • Far from crying 6
  • watchdogs: legion
  • 5 years
  • “Red Dead Redemption II”
  • horizon without dawn
  • Shadow of the Tomb Rider


The field test starts with the most tested, that is, temperatures and consumption, the Achilles heel of Intel Core K flagship models. But, for the first time in ASUS MultiCore Enhancement, let’s start from the premise of the cards function ASUS, but not only, that we want to completely “unlock” the CPU so that the chip exploits its full frequency/performance potential (even beyond the MTP declared by the manufacturer); Of course, everything must take into account the operating temperature, which in extreme cases is usually considered a bottleneck.

So far we have tried with the ASUS MCE to configure the active, which we will not do with connected data even with the Core i9-13900K; however, after several test sessions, we have been able to notice that the active MCE of this model tends to increase consumption and temperatures incomparably (as useless).

Reiterating all the benchmarks carried out with ASUS MCE ready, it should be noted that this parameter leads ASUS to couple a superior V-Core with completely negative impacts on consumption and temperatures. Leaving this entry in the Auto position, the motherboard does not disable ASUS MCE, while the V-Core is much more consistent and almost unresponsive in performance (it would have been different to disable ASUS MCE and try CPU locked before 125W). This behavior is probably due to the ASUS BIOS and we are sure that these settings will be adjusted in the next firmware version.

What he said in the graphic below, you can see for yourself what we are talking about; it’s clear that on CPUs already pushed to the VCORE limit – by mistake or poor optimization – this leads to no longer being able to monitor and control consumption, or even distort what the product decision is.

In ASUS MCE “Managed”, the Core i9-13900K scores more than 41,000 points in Cinebench with temperatures also reaching 97°C and 293W consumption; Still with ASUS MCE active, but set to “Auto”, almost nothing is lost in performance (0.5% of the bank’s margin of error), while temperatures and consumption are in line with official Intel data. 87°C and 252 watts of consumption is the best place for a business card especially if we look at the Ryzen 9 7950X, which on the one hand ends at 233 Watts, but in Cinebench it loses 5% over the Core i9. The 7-core Ryzen is on the contrary more efficient, since in the game we can say that we have a precious beauty, since Intel risks consuming less in 10nm.

We conclude with overclocking, another strong point of this CPU, which although available for a short time, has given us excellent satisfaction, allowing us, among other things. would break the 6 GHz barrier for the first time with a liquid AiO system here is the excellent ASUS ROG RYUJIN II 360.

The Intel Core i9-13900K processor steps up to 5.7GHz multicore and good 6.2 GHz on a single core an amazing result that brings the Raptor Lake processor closer to 2500 points in the Cinebench R23 single-core test (there are many).


After the results that we have just seen, it is not difficult to predict how the various test sessions went: head to head with the flagship AMD Ryzen 9 7950X, a solution that integrates 16 Zen 4 cores for a total of 32 threads.

Illustrating a clear departure from all other reviewed models, the scenario outlined in our report does not need much comment and sees Intel and AMD alternatives in target use. The Core i9-13900K is clearly ahead in Cinebench R23, Blender, and CPU-Z, with the Ryzen 9 7950X leading in WinRar, AIDA, and Mozilla Kraken; in the middle there are also some draws – Crown and Indian – while in the 7-Zip and Cinebench R15 tests, AMD is only slightly ahead (however, Intel’s later software is superior in compression compared to Alder Lake).

What decided the victory of the new Raptor Lake-S, at least in our case, is without a doubt a clear deduction in PCMark 10: 3DMark Tme Spy is too far out of scale, and the average activity of the game in 1080P, which; and the available data is not far from the most powerful Ryzen 7000 (around +5%). As anticipated above, we reserve the right to return to the performance topic soon, though there are older BIOSes available in addition to the higher-end GeForce RTX 40 graphics cards (primarily the RTX 4080 16GB).

We close out the performance chapter with a quick bandwidth test of the new Raptor Lake-S controller, definitely doing a lot more than the Intel-part machine at least now, as well as the previous generation of Intel.


There are at least two considerations that we can make about the Intel Core i9-13900K There are two things that we think should be analyzed be able to draw meaningful conclusions and better understand the work proposed by Intel; first of all based on this process and more generally from the Raptor Lake series, in second place performance/completion of the offer compared to the competition . Let’s start with a certain point: in recent years, Intel’s flagship K-series has always established itself as a state-of-the-art chip, both fully unlocked and aimed at a specific range of users and target usage. It looks like The Core i9-13900K is no different from its predecessors however, in this case it cannot be overstated that the automatic management of the VCORE marriage, at least with these first BIOSes, could significantly penalize the final decision on the CPU.

Remembering that we are dealing with a CPU recorded in 10nm, although optimized -even as we have seen- it cannot be expected to surpass the excellent Zen4 5nm from AMD at the top of the range; if you add to that some reference or slightly balanced VCORE values, you will not the results of almost 300 watts and 97°C may surprise you. As far as we are concerned, although ASUS has prepared MCE, we are convinced that it is an “out of the box” matrix management. because this process must be the one we found in the second scenario with ASUS MCE set to AUTO (we don’t even rule out a bug at this point); doing so retains the benefits of multi-core development, but with power consumption that is above Intel’s specifications (ie MTP 253 watts) and a performance loss that can be described as negligible.

The 252 watts of the Core i9-13900K compared to the 233 watts of the Ryzen 9 7950X is not an exaggeration at this point. especially considering that The Intel processor consumes a little less in 1080p games but it is still followed by the Ryzen VII 5800X3D, with a few more FPS. Also, in terms of performance, the choice between the two processors, a separate cost, should be used according to usage, especially overclocking. The Core i9-13900K in the latter case guarantees a wide margin of improvement in one core (at least 6 GHz without problems) and also in a multi-core increase to 5.7 GHz that should not be underestimated.

If we talk about the prices / costs of the platform, in addition to what has been said, Intel can have another ace up its sleeve that is represented by DDR4 support and the possibility of using less expensive equipment, the ram in the first place; maybe the absolute performance could be affected, but the deviation should not be noticed and we will try to make special content to check the impact of DDR4/DDR5 memory on Raptor Lake-S (as in the case of ‘Alder Lake—S) . . I can’t wait to try other models in the series; The Intel Core i9-13900K proves to be very fast simple and multiform solids, as in the most recent cycles; We believe that consumption in line with the previous generation Core 12th Generation, but with superior performance, is beginning to announce what the company of Lake Meteor (Core 14th Generation), the first series of processes exploiting the production node Intel 4 . .

In conclusion, the Core i9-13900K convinced us because it also allows to go beyond the limit declared by Intel compared to its predecessor Core i9-12900K: just think of Cinebench R23 where the new Raptor Lake-S shows a 47% increase in multicore approaching 13% with a single core. This clear multiplier difference, given substantially by the doubling of the E-Cores, will have a positive effect also and above all on the “low” range models. Core i5-13600K that we try to offer you in a separate article. AMD’s comparison is limited, especially in the mid-range essentially where AMD offers a hexa-core Ryzen 5 7600 – very good at gaming but less so at productivity – and Intel responds with a 14-core, 20-thread chip. In addition to performance leaders, we have convinced soon the challenge between the two competitors will also move to the price side . With the performance of the Raptor Lake-S, AMD should reduce the price list of the Ryzen 7000; The Ryzen 9 7950X costs $699 while the Core Intel i9-13900K at $589, you also understand the result of “winning” in the benchmarks, the balance leans on the side of Santa Clara that we repeat. the possibility of using the comb of mothers and memories of the previous generation.


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