Well, with the latest Intel Core i9-13900K CPU’s your PC performance might just sky rocket. In terms of multithread performance gains and boosts to gaming and creator apps. But, as always there is a catch.
What is the price of Intel Core i9-13900K ?
The latest flagship Core i9-13900K CPU cost around $589 (with retailers offering it at around $659 today), with 24 cores/32 threads, and clock speeds of up to 5.8GHz. While base clocks have dropped this year, the boost clock speeds of up to 5.8GHz seem to make all the difference for performance, alongside the extra efficiency cores.
Intel has promised up to 15 percent better single-thread performance on its Core i9-13900K over the previous 12900K and up to 41 percent better multithread performance. I’ve been testing a Core i9-13900K over the past week, and it largely delivers on Intel’s promises, with some big multithread performance gains that really speed up the heaviest workloads.
But this might not be the best option for gaming. While the 13900K beats AMD’s top 7950X Ryzen 7000 CPU in the majority of my gaming tests at 1080p, AMD’s impressive 5800X3D still looms large over both the Zen 4 and Intel’s 13th Gen chips when it comes to gaming.
Motherboard for Intel Core i9-13900K
The great thing about Intel’s 13th Gen chips is that they work on existing motherboards that support 12th Gen processors. That means there are plenty of affordable motherboard options to choose from.
It also means existing coolers work just fine here, and you only need to buy the latest Z790 motherboards if you really need the eight additional PCIe 4.0 lanes and increased USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 (20Gbps) ports. All you need is a BIOS update to get Intel’s 13th Gen chips working out of the box.
Built on Intel’s 7 process and its x86 performance hybrid architecture, 13th Gen processors include performance cores (P-cores) and efficiency cores (E-cores), an embedded microcontroller inside the CPU that monitors threads and ensures they’re running on the correct cores.
Intel has bumped up the amount of efficiency cores on the Core i9-13900K by eight for a total of 16, but there’s no change to the eight performance cores. The boost clock speeds that are different this time, which can take the Core i9 all the way to 5.8GHz.
There’s also PCIe Gen 5.0 support with up to 16 lanes off the processor and DDR5-5600 and DDR5-5200 support. Intel is also maintaining DDR4 compatibility for motherboard makers that want to continue shipping with DDR4 instead of DDR5.
Z790 Chipset & DDR5-5600 Support
The latest 13th Gen Core chips comes with a new generation of motherboards from Intel: Z790. The 13th Gen Core chips are backwards-compatible with 600 series boards (with the necessary BIOS update).
Most notable for aspiring builders will be that Z790 boards will be the first boards validated for the higher DDR5 memory speeds that Raptor Lake is capable of. Alder Lake officially topped out at DDR5-4800, Alder Lake can run at DDR5-5600, helping to feed the beast a bit more with higher memory clockspeeds. Enthusiasts will likely run overclocked with XMP kits.