In the recent past, if there is one thing that Intel has been proficient at, it is the process of perfecting a CPU design. Manufacturing difficulties forced Intel to release not one, not two, but five generations of processors based on iterations of the sixth-generation Skylake core between the years 2015 and 2020. Despite these difficulties, Intel was still able to increase clock speeds and core counts sufficiently to remain competitive throughout the majority of this timeframe.
It’s a strategy that’s making a comeback with Intel’s 13th-generation Core central processing units (CPUs), the first of which are getting their formal announcement today. Intel has announced that it has made some enhancements to the architecture of the central processing unit (CPU) as well as the manufacturing process for the Intel 7 chipset; however, the strategy for improving their performance is one that has been tried and true for a long time and is simple to comprehend: add more cores and make them run at higher clock speeds.
The Core i9-13900K, Core i7-13700K, and Core i5-13600K will be released on October 20 alongside new Z790 chipsets and motherboards. Each of these new CPUs will be available with and without integrated graphics, as usual, denoted by the absence of an “F” at the end of the model name.
They are also compatible with all motherboards of the 600-series of the current generation, provided that the manufacturer of your motherboard has released a BIOS update for it, and they will continue to support both DDR4 and DDR5 memory.
Raptor Lake uses the hybrid architecture that Intel introduced in its 12th-generation Alder Lake chips last year. This architecture is a combination of large performance cores (P-cores) that keep games and other performance-sensitive applications running quickly, plus clusters of smaller efficiency cores (E-cores) that use less power. However, in our testing across laptops and desktops, it is clear that “efficiency” is more about the number of cores that can be fit into a given area on a CPU die
In addition to this, there have been a few additional new additions. The amount of L2 cache that is allocated to each core has virtually been increased by a factor of two, increasing from 1.25 MB to 2 MB for each P-core and from 2 MB to 4 MB for each E-core cluster (E-cores always come in clusters of four).
The CPUs will officially support DDR5-5600 RAM, which is an increase from the existing limit of DDR5-4800. However, the DDR5-4800 maximum may easily be reached using XMP memory kits on 12th-generation motherboards, thus official support will not be necessary.
The highest speed of DDR4 RAM that is officially supported is still DDR4-3200; nevertheless, the same disclaimer regarding XMP applies to this setting as well.
In terms of core counts and frequencies, the Core i5 and Core i7 central processing units (CPUs) each gain one more E-core cluster, bringing the total number of E-cores up from four to eight. The Core i9 now has two more E-core clusters, bringing the total number of cores on the chip to 16, up from eight before. The maximum boost clocks of each E-core have been increased by 400MHz compared to what they were previously.
The number of P-cores included in each processor has been left the same; however, the maximum boost speed has been raised by 600MHz, 400MHz, and 200MHz, respectively, for the Core i9, i7, and i5 models. When utilized with a motherboard that uses the Z690 or Z790 chipset, all of these K-series processors have their overclocking potential enabled.
The prices of the Core i5 models will go up at launch by $30, while the prices of the other two will remain the same. Intel’s K- and KF-series CPUs, as is their custom, do not come with a CPU cooling of any kind. The following is a comparison of each new CPU to its predecessor:
|CPU||LAUNCH MSRP||P/E-CORES||CLOCKS (BASE/BOOST)||TOTAL CACHE (L2+L3)||BASE/MAX POWER|
|8P/16E||3.0/5.8 GHz (P)|
2.2/4.3 GHz (E)
|68MB (32 + 36)||125/253 W|
|8P/8E||3.2/5.2 GHz (P)|
2.4/3.9 GHz (E)
|34MB (14 + 30)||125/241 W|
|8P/8E||3.4/5.4 GHz (P)|
2.5/4.2 GHz (E)
|54 MB (24 + 30)||125/253 W|
|8P/4E||3.6/5.0 GHz (P)|
2.7/3.8 GHz (E)
|37 MB (12 + 25)||125/190 W|
|6P/8E||3.5/5.1 GHz (P)|
2.6/3.9 GHz (E)
|44 MB (24 + 20)||125/181 W|
|6P/4E||3.7/4.9 GHz (P)|
2.8/3.6 GHz (E)
|29.5 MB (9.5 + 20)||125/150 W|
According to Intel, the i9-13900single-threaded K’s performance will rise by around 15 percent as a result of all of the improvements, with the majority of the improvement being related to increases in the P-core clock speed. This is lower than the 29 percent that AMD was able to achieve throughout its whole product range with its Zen 4 processors, and it will be much lower for the i7 and the i5 models.
However, taking into account that it is a rise over the previous year, it is acceptable. When compared to the i9-12900K, the i9-13900K has a performance advantage over its predecessor that is equivalent to a 41 percent increase in multi-threaded processing speed. This improvement is the result of increased cache size, higher clock speeds, and an increase in the number of execution cores (though, again, that number may be less impressive for the i7 and i5).
The manufacturing process is at best only improving marginally, thus the price you’ll pay for the additional clock speed and core counts is an increase in the amount of power that is required to run the device.
The base power of these 13th-generation CPUs will remain at 125 watts, but the Maximum Turbo Power numbers have increased quite a bit. The Core i9-13900maximum K’s of 253 watts is the maximum amount of power that the LGA1700 socket officially supports, though it’s possible that some high-end motherboards could let it go even higher. Intel is keeping the base power of these 13th-generation CPUs at 125 watts.
Nevertheless, this does not mean that Intel has completely abandoned its efforts to improve its power efficiency. According to Intel, the advancements made to Raptor Lake will enable the chips to handle multi-threaded tasks just as rapidly as a Core i9-12900K that is operating at 241 W, even while the base power is constrained to 65 W. This is the claim that Intel has made.
It is expected that these high-end components would have a quick performance but a high power consumption by default; nevertheless, customers have the ability to slow them down or reduce their power consumption if they so want.
If you currently have a 600-series motherboard that you’re happy with, there’s probably no reason to upgrade to the Z790 chipset because it only offers a few incremental improvements over its predecessor, the Z690 chipset, but these changes aren’t significant enough to warrant the cost of the upgrade. The chipset now includes a total of 20 PCIe 4.0 lanes for SSDs and other peripherals, in addition to eight PCIe 8.0 lanes. Z690 only has 12 PCIe 4.0 lanes and 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes, so it is obvious that Intel is just moving the emphasis toward faster connectivity.
Z790 eliminates support for standard USB 2.0 ports altogether and adds support for an extra 20Gbps USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 port, bringing the total number of supported ports to five. PCI Express 5.0 lanes for graphics processing units (GPUs) and next-generation solid-state drives (SSDs) are still incorporated into the CPU and not the chipset itself on this platform.
Today, Intel did not announce any other 13th-generation CPU models; however, the company did hint that the standard range of chips would be following in the coming months. These chips would include lower-wattage, lower-cost desktop parts, as well as laptop CPUs designed for everything from thin-and-light ultrabooks to bulky LED-festooned gaming laptops. Intel did not announce any other 13th-generation CPU models today.
According to Intel, we can anticipate that other desktop CPUs in the lineup would also receive more E-cores, which is something that earlier reports had previously hinted would happen. At CES in January, we anticipate gaining further knowledge on these chips.