Intel Core i9-13900K CPU Review

Brent_Justice

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Introduction Intel’s next generation 13th Gen Intel Core processors are launching, and we have a full review of the Intel Core i9-13900K CPU. What has been dubbed as “Raptor Lake” Intel’s 13th Gen Core processors are the next evolution of Intel’s unique hybrid architecture consisting of performance cores and efficiency cores. The 13th Gen processors […]

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Space_Ranger

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Brent, very well done with the review! This thing is a power monger (both in terms of performance and consumption!).

I'm torn though and not liking the current "Trend" from AMD and Intel with their strategy on becoming the performance king. Throwing more power a the device shouldn't be the way to achieve this.

I'm inclined to make my next CPU decision based on Performance per watt. I can deal with slower performance if it means I'm not going to be spending an arm and a leg with the Electric Company.
 

Grimlakin

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Nice review enjoyed reading it. Would have loved to have seen some 5900x and 5950x cpu comparisons since you had the previous gen intel ones. But chart space is a thing. :) Gotta make it so eyeballs can read it!
 

Denpepe

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Looks like I'm keeping the 12700k a while longer, this thing runs hot enough as it is, don't need a bigger heater.

If the AMD GPU's don't make for a good upgrade I might just upgrade my AMD machine with a 5800X3D and leave it at that.
 

LazyGamer

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I might just upgrade my AMD machine with a 5800X3D and leave it at that.
That's the most cost effective upgrade you can do strictly for gaming. Obviously not a slow CPU in any desktop task of course. But that's if you have a need for it; the 12700K ain't slow by any means!
 

Stoly

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Brent, very well done with the review! This thing is a power monger (both in terms of performance and consumption!).

I'm torn though and not liking the current "Trend" from AMD and Intel with their strategy on becoming the performance king. Throwing more power a the device shouldn't be the way to achieve this.

I'm inclined to make my next CPU decision based on Performance per watt. I can deal with slower performance if it means I'm not going to be spending an arm and a leg with the Electric Company.

I think both AMD and intel dropped the towel on power efficiency (and nvidia too for that matter). To think that all of them at some point touted power efficiency for their next gen products. At least nvidia delivered with Maxwell and Pascal.
 
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LazyGamer

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I think both AMD and intel dropped the towel on power efficiency (and nvidia too for that matter). To think that all of them at some point touter power efficiency for their next gen products. At least nvidia delivered with Maxwell and Pascal.
Think of it another way - compare a modern V8 that's more powerful (more torque and horsepower) across its RPM range than a similarly displacing V8 from thirty years ago, and then note that said modern V8 is not only more efficient when putting power down, but has cylinder deactivation and is more efficient at idle. Or, can be made significantly more powerful than the older V8 peak to peak tuned, but again peak to peak, the newer V8 uses more fuel. Because it can, not because it needs to.

We're seeing massive leaps in efficiency, and we're also seeing companies be able to push their parts closer to the limit stock.
 

Peter_Brosdahl

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Alas, my poor Haswell-E...
Hey, I'm right there with you with my Ivy Bridge E. I was thinking of saving up for one of these this summer but now after seeing the gaming performance I'm rethinking it.

I do need to upgrade but I think I'll wait for the Ryzen 7000 3D versions. The only thing I know for sure is I'd like something that can last around 7-10 years as this has and since I've already got a rig with a 5800X3D it doesn't make sense to build another with the same, especially seeing it within a couple of frames of this processor at 4K gaming. Those 3930/4930/5930 K processors are still amazing after all this time but definitely getting long in the tooth.
 

Brian_B

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Think of it another way - compare a modern V8 that's more powerful (more torque and horsepower) across its RPM range than a similarly displacing V8 from thirty years ago, and then note that said modern V8 is not only more efficient when putting power down, but has cylinder deactivation and is more efficient at idle. Or, can be made significantly more powerful than the older V8 peak to peak tuned, but again peak to peak, the newer V8 uses more fuel. Because it can, not because it needs to.

We're seeing massive leaps in efficiency, and we're also seeing companies be able to push their parts closer to the limit stock.
I think this is closer to the truth.

The flip side of that coin is that stock power goes up when companies hit walls on other means to generate performance increases.

If you can't engineer it in more performance as part of the architecture, or throw more cores at it, then you hope like hell you can just push more power through it and boost the clocks.

It will continue to go up until people stop buying them. For the mass market - you aren't going to see 280W 13900K's in the average desktop computer in a cubicle for a call center, or in a POS cash register, or a laptop. All the chips in that market will continue to get more efficient -- because the cost of cooling is an overhead item they can cut out as the technology does get more efficient - the performance boosts just aren't as pronounced when the technology to run it has been fast enough for more than a decade now.

That part the V8 analogy still carries through - you don't see big Hellcat-driven minivans mass produced at the car lot, you see smaller displacement and more fuel efficiency and more gears in the transmission, while staying around a hp/torque level that seems "good enough" for the size of the car. The speed limit on the highways haven't changed in a long time, after all (but Americans have gotten fatter - hence turbochargers becoming more common ---- that's a bad joke, but only because part of that is at least true).

Those big, power hungry chips really only have two markets: big workstations that do serious work (pro content creation, engineering CAD, simulations, etc) - and gamers/enthusiasts. And in those markets - they won't really care about power until they start tripping breakers. And even then, good odds on them just saying "Oh well, I'll call the electrician" and still not caring.
 
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Niner51

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Great review. This just drives home the point, if you use your rig for gaming primarily, and that's done in 4K, jumping up to the 13th Gen isn't really worth it since you are more GPU bound.
 

Stoly

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Great review. This just drives home the point, if you use your rig for gaming primarily, and that's done in 4K, jumping up to the 13th Gen isn't really worth it since you are more GPU bound.
IMO the current price/performance cpu for 4k would be a 5800X3D. Might go as low as a 5600X if in a budget.
 

LazyGamer

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Great review. This just drives home the point, if you use your rig for gaming primarily, and that's done in 4K, jumping up to the 13th Gen isn't really worth it since you are more GPU bound.
If you're on Intel... 7th-gen maybe, or have an AMD board that cannot take a 5800X3D, then it's a good upgrade if you also have a higher-end GPU. Especially keeping in mind that GPUs drive higher average framerates, while CPUs drive minimum framerates.
 

Niner51

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Great review. This just drives home the point, if you use your rig for gaming primarily, and that's done in 4K, jumping up to the 13th Gen isn't really worth it since you are more GPU bound.
Well I went against my thoughts and got a 13900K as my buddy wanted my 12900K and offered me a fair deal. I thought about just going with a 13700K or 13600K, but I wanted to stick with an i9. Honestly when gaming this chip only gets about 5 degrees Celsius hotter than the 12900K using a NH-U12A cooler which isn't bad at all to me. Goes to show you what a good air cooler and a high airflow case can do to even a hot running chip.
 

LazyGamer

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Honestly when gaming this chip only gets about 5 degrees Celsius hotter than the 12900K using a NH-U12A cooler which isn't bad at all to me.
This... is entirely relative to the load. Granted, that only matters if you do something that would benefit from more cooling - gaming and general desktop usage aren't going to really tax these CPUs.
 

Niner51

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This... is entirely relative to the load. Granted, that only matters if you do something that would benefit from more cooling - gaming and general desktop usage aren't going to really tax these CPUs.
Agreed, but I was just comparing it to my 12900K and what temps I had with that chip doing the same games/work loads. I'll probably never push this chip to its limits, but I never really did that with the 12900K either, just on occasion. I'm just impressed with the NH-U12A on how it has been effectively cooling this chip so far. I had some doubts, but it shows that air cooling isn't dead.
 

Brian_B

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Honestly when gaming this chip only gets about 5 degrees Celsius hotter than the 12900K using a NH-U12A cooler which isn't bad at all to me.
So long as it's staying cool enough at that top temp, then yeah, that's fine.

But wow, generation over generation - the clock speeds are higher, and you have those extra e-Cores... but on paper the power draws all look similar - same baseline 125W, similar peaks 240-250W. I guess part of that could be the lottery if you are overclocking at all, or the 13900 is just able to boost for longer than the 12900, but I can't help but think if that 5C change is at stock, then that is actually a pretty big number.
 
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