What’s New About the 13th Generation Processors?

During the Intel Innovation keynote on September 27, 2022, Intel finally unveiled its 13th-generation Raptor Lake chips. This successor to the powerful 12th generation Intel Core processors is expected to offer more power and efficiency.


Announced just a month after AMD premiered its new 7000-series chips, the 13th-generation Intel chips are expected to pack a punch with Team Red’s latest offering. So, which processors do we get from Team Blue exactly?


Intel’s 13th Generation Processors

During the keynote, Intel unveiled six 13th-generation Raptor Lake chips: the i5-13600K, i7-13700K and i9-13900K, plus their KF variants without built-in graphics. These chips offer more cores and higher clock speeds while delivering more efficiency.

Apart from that, it also offers support for the latest technologies such as DDR5 memory and PCIe Gen 5.0 while remaining backward compatible with DDR4 and PCIe Gen 4.0. Top-end Intel Core i9 Unlocked chips also feature Adaptive Boost technology and Thermal Velocity Boost, allowing the processor to boost its frequency even further depending on power and available thermal space.

Each chip model also has a larger CPU cache than the previous generation. This increase is justified by the increased number of cores and higher clock speeds that the Raptor Lake chips can achieve.

More cores

All 13th generation processors get a boost in their core numbers. The i5-13600K, which previously had no E-Cores, now gets eight, bringing the total number of cores to 14. The i7-13700K also gets eight Efficiency Cores, compared to Alder Lake’s four E-Cores. Finally, the i7-13900K doubles the previous generation’s eight E-Cores to a whopping 16, giving Intel’s top enthusiast chip a total of 24 cores.

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While the performance cores for all Raptor Lake chips remain the same as the 12th-generation CPUs, the increase in Efficiency cores makes the 13th-generation CPUs perform better when multitasking.

Let’s say you render a video on Adobe Premiere Pro and are working on another app such as Adobe Lightroom. When Premiere Pro is running in the background, the workload is transferred to the E-Cores. The P-Core allows you to continue working on Lightroom with minimal effect on performance.

Dazzling clock speeds

Aside from the extra E-Cores, the 13th generation processors all get a higher clock speed. The 12th generation 12900K comes in at 5.2 GHz. However, the mainstream i5-13600K now has a maximum clock speed of 5.1 GHz.

If you increase the model numbers, the i7-13700K can hit 5.4GHz, while the i9-13900K has a blazing-fast maximum clock speed of 5.8GHz.

Intel has even announced that they will release a Raptor Lake chip in early 2023 that will reach 6.0GHz out of the box. This is a huge performance improvement and we are excited to see how these chips perform in field tests.

More power, but more efficiency

With all of these improvements, you can expect these chips to have massive power consumption — and you’re right. While they still have the same base TDP of 125W, they require significantly more on Turbo.

The i5-12600K, i7-12700K and i9-12900K had a max TDP of 150W, 190W and 241W. On the other hand, their 13th generation counterparts now require 181W for the i5-13600K and 253W for both the i7-13700K and i9-13900K. These are huge increases, especially for the i7-13700K. However, these also come with a huge increase in processing power.

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Despite this, the company claims that its Raptor Lake chips are more efficient than the Alder Lake CPUs. According to Intel, its validation platforms showed that a 13900K with 65W performs as well as a 12900K with 241W. And if you push the i9-13900K at max TDP, the chip performs 41% better than its predecessor.

RAM selection

While Intel’s Raptor Lake chips are DDR5 compatible, it still supports DDR4 RAM, allowing computer builders to upgrade their 12th-generation processors without the need for a RAM upgrade. This is in contrast to AMD’s Ryzen 7000 processors, which only work with DDR5 memory.

While DDR4 RAM might hinder the performance of the CPU, it allows users to upgrade their systems gradually. After all, DDR5 RAM is still expensive. So even if you don’t have the budget to upgrade your RAM, you can already enjoy the improved performance of the Raptor Lake processors.

Intel 13th Gen: Taking on the Ryzen 7000

AMD’s Ryzen processors allowed it to beat Intel and performed so well that the company was able to win up to half the market.

However, Intel is not going to let this go unnoticed. They released phenomenal chips in the form of the Alder Lake CPUs, and Raptor Lake looks equally impressive. While the Raptor Lake processors build on what Intel has accomplished with its 12th-generation chips, AMD’s Ryzen 7000 CPUs are no slouch either.

These two new processor families are heating up the CPU industry, with both processors delivering remarkable performance. Of course, we can’t wait to get our hands on one so we can watch both and see how they stack up against each other.

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