Unlimited Core i9-13900K tested
Already KnownHere’s a comprehensive review of the retail version of the Core i9-13900K processor, the Raptor Lake desktop CPU, which is expected to be released next month.
Officially, Intel will announce a new series of desktop processors on September 27 at the Innovation event. The timing of the reviews is still unconfirmed, but we’re probably still a few weeks away from official 13th Gen Core/Z790 tests. Therefore, this assessment is probably the closest thing to something that should be considered at this stage.
The reviewers actually got access to the Intel Z790 motherboard and the tests were done. However, these are embargoed and have not yet been shared (their review will be updated once the NDA is over). As crazy as it sounds, their i9-13900K tests aren’t embargoed, probably because the CPU was obtained without Intel’s help and uses an older Z690 motherboard.
The CPU was compared to a Core i9-12900KF Alder Lake CPU running either DDR5-6000 CL30 or DDR4-3600 CL17 memory. The system is also equipped with an NZXT Kraken X73 AIO cooler, while the ASRock Z690 motherboard Taichi Razer Edition has been updated to the latest BIOS version 12.01.
The Intel i9-13900K has more Efficient cores compared to the 12900K and higher clocks. The CPU increases up to 2 cores (Thermal Velocity Boost) up to 5.8 GHz and from 3 to 8 cores up to 5.5 GHz. For comparison, the i9-12900K has maximum frequencies of 5.2 GHz and 4.9 GHz for the same number of active cores.
The Raptor Lake CPU supports faster JEDEC DDR5 memory specs by default (5600 MT/s), while the Alder Lake was “limited” to 4800 MT/s. Naturally, both CPUs support the DDR4 standard and both can use overclocked memory.
We’ll jump right into the performance evaluation and leave the memory, core-to-core latency, and throughput testing for your review. ECMS plans two tests with the i9-13900K: with unlimited power and PL2 mode locked to 253W. The “official” PL2 part will be shared later.
In the Cinebench R23 tests, the Core i9-13900K is 13% faster with Performance (Raptor Cove) cores than the 12900K (Golden Cove). Interestingly, even though the same architecture (Gracemont) is used, the performance of even the Efficient cores has increased by 14%. It is worth noting that not only the frequency has been increased for the Raptor Lake CPUs, but also the size of the L3 cache. ECSM confirms that with the uncapped i9-13900K it can break 40K points in Cinebench R23, which is 47% higher than the 12900K with uncapped power.
In another popular test, CPU-Z, the i9-13900K scores 945 and 16877 in the single and multi-threaded tests. That’s 14.5% and 49% better performance than the Alder Lake CPU, respectively.
On average, the uncapped i9-13900K is 41.78% faster than the 12900K. The increase varies from 0.33% to 76.72% over Alder Lake, depending on the test, which may or may not benefit from higher multi-threaded performance.
The reviewer concluded that the i9-13900K delivers 10% higher framerates than the 12900K in CPU-intensive games (CSGO, Singularity Ashes), while also improving frame times for the slowest 0.1% frames. Below is CSGO performance with unlimited i9-13900K and i912900K running DDR5 and DDR4 memory:
ECSM should provide more test results later: with the default PL2 limit and later on the Z790 motherboard. The result is that the i9-13900K offers 12% better single-threaded performance and multi-threaded “heavily improved to compete with AMD Zen4”.
Big thanks to Alienxzy for the tip!