Intel 13th Gen Desktop CPUs: All you need to know about the Intel Raptor Lake 13th Gen Core CPUs

 

Intel 13th Gen Desktop CPUs: All about the Raptor Lake 13th Gen Core CPUs (2024). Intel’s latest generation of processors starts with six unlocked desktop parts that iterate on “Alder Lake” and its hybrid Performance and Efficient core architecture.

At the Intel Innovation event in San Jose, Calif., today, the chip maker decloaked full details on its first 13th Gen Core desktop processors, dubbed “Raptor Lake-S” during their development. Like the previous-generation “Alder Lake” 12th Gen chips, the first chips (six of them) are all unclocked “K” or “KF” versions. Non-K models will follow later; Intel notes that there will ultimately be 22 desktop chips in the 13th Gen line.

The Raptor Lake announcement has presented us with some fascinating details about what Intel wants to do with its new desktop CPUs. In this article, we will explore all the important aspects of the release, from looking at changes in the architecture to pricing and more. This period might just be the most exciting time for a PC fan in over a decade, as multiple battles are taking place all over the industry.

And with the CPU market being this interesting, we wouldn’t want you to miss any information about it. So, here is everything you need to know about Intel’s 13th-Gen CPUs. Let’s dive in.

Intel Raptor Lake release date

At an investor meeting in February 2024, Intel confirmed the first 13th-gen CPUs were on track to release in the second half of 2024. The company even showed off a system powered by a Raptor Lake chip, in case we were in any doubt about them being on the way.

Eventually, the first Raptor Lake processors were revealed on 27 September at Intel’s Innovation event. As expected, these are from the Raptor Lake-K Series for enthusiast-level desktops, with all three going on sale from 20 October.

However, it seems like we’ll be waiting until 2023 for any more desktop chips, as well as CPUs designed to be integrated into laptops. The latter tends to launch at CES, making the trade show in January 2023 a likely candidate. But nothing has been confirmed at this stage.

Intel 13th Gen CPU Models and Specifications

Now before we have a look into the details of the Intel 13th-Gen architecture, let us start with a general overview of the entire CPU lineup. For now, Intel has only released details for six processors from the entire lineup, but they have reiterated that there will be 22 desktop-class processors in total. That said, let’s look at how the announced CPUs are differentiated below:

Processor Name Processor Cores / Threads L3 / L2 Cache Turbo Frequency (P/E) Base Frequency (P/E) Processor Graphics Base Power Turbo Power Est. Price
Core i9-13900K 24 (8P, 16E) / 32 36MB / 32MB Up to 5.8/Up to 4.3 3.0/2.2 Intel UHD Integrated Graphics 770 125 watts 253 watts $589
Core i9-13900KF 24 (8P, 16E) / 32 36MB / 32MB Up to 5.8/Up to 4.3 3.0/2.2 None 125 watts 253 watts $564
Core i7-13700K 16 (8P, 8E) / 24 30MB / 24MB Up to 5.4/Up to 4.2 3.4/2.5 Intel UHD Integrated Graphics 770 125 watts 253 watts $409
Core i7-13700KF 16 (8P, 8E) / 24 30MB / 24MB Up to 5.4/Up to 4.2 3.4/2.5 None 125 watts 253 watts $384
Core i5-13500K 14 (6p, 8E) / 20 24MB / 20MB Up to 5.1/Up to 3.9 3.5/2.6 Intel UHD Integrated Graphics 770 125 watts 181 watts $319
Core i5-13500KF 14 (6p, 8E) / 20 24MB / 20MB Up to 5.1/Up to 3.9 3.5/2.6 None 125 watts 181 watts $294

Starting from the top, the first processor we will be looking at is the flagship Intel Core i9-13900K, which was the center of attention at the announcement. It comes with 24 cores in total with 8P cores (performance) and 16E cores (efficiency). The i9-13900K distinguishes itself from the previous-gen flagship i9-12900K, as it has 8 more efficient cores than the latter. It is also clocked significantly higher than the 12900K with a max boost speed of 5.8 GHz. This is almost 600 MHz more than the 12900K, and as we will see in our performance section, it does lead to some impressive improvements.

The next CPU in the lineup is the Core i7-13700K, which comes with 16 cores in total (8P and 8E cores). Just like the i9-13900K, Intel Core i7-13700K also gets extra Efficiency cores (bumped up from 4 to 8 cores), along with a similar 0.6 GHz clock speed boost. Priced at around $400, a bit lower than the 13th-Gen Core i9 models, the i7-13700K seems to be the CPU that will be this generation’s “bread and butter” gaming processor. Its 16 cores will be a sweet spot to give optimal performance in video games for at least a few years.

The story is once again similar when we come to the latest 13th-Gen Intel Core i5-13600K. The core count sees a slight uptick with the addition of four new E cores and a bump in clock speeds to 5.1 GHz. With 14 cores, the 13th-Gen i5 desktop CPU will make for a good all-around mid-range processor that will be able to handle most tasks with ease. We believe that this will be a popular pick for budget gamers and those looking for a slight upgrade in processing power.

Intel also showcased the “KF” version of the aforementioned chips, which come without integrated graphics – Core i9-13900KF, Core i7-13700KF, and Core i5-13600KF. Other than the fact they come without an iGPU, they mostly share the same basic specifications and are slightly pricier than the “K”-series chips.

intel Raptor Lake pricing in the US

Impressively, Intel has managed to improve Raptor Lake-K CPUs without increasing the price in most cases. Core i5 processors have gone up, though:

  • Core i9-13900K – $589
  • Core i9-13900KF – $564
  • Core i7-13700K – $409
  • Core i7-13700KF – $384
  • Core i5-13500K – $319
  • Core i5-13500KF -$294

But remember, this is just suggested pricing for the US. Retailers ultimately decide how much each processor will cost, but this is a useful rough guide.

Intel 13th-Gen Raptor Lake Motherboard and Chipset

During the announcement, Intel also showed us the new motherboard chipset that will accompany the 13th Gen processors – the Z790. At the outset, it doesn’t seem like a significant upgrade from the previous-generation Z690 motherboards, but Intel has revealed that there are some small improvements in the chipset.

For one, the new Z790 chipset now sports a total of 20 PCIe 4.0 lanes, which is eight more 4.0 lanes than the Z690. There’s also the addition of increased memory support as the new chipset will support DDR5 RAM speeds up to 5600 MHz, which is 800 MHz more than the Alder Lake chipsets could achieve. Finally, we also see an additional 20 Gbps USB 3.2 port, which moves the maximum number of 20 Gbps USB ports to five.

We have more good news for existing Intel users. The new 13th-Gen Intel CPUs use the same LGA1700 socket as the previous 12th-gen processors, so most Z690 motherboards will be able to support the new chips. This backward compatibility is a good move from Intel, as until now, they have drawn criticism for ditching platforms just after a year or two.

Also, Intel announced that the new chips will be compatible with DDR4 memory and that DDR5 memory is not a necessity. So, if you think the eight additional PCIe lanes are not something that you need, you can continue with your Z690 board and your old DDR4 RAM. And in most cases, you will not see any performance difference.

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