Event Coverage

16 new Intel mainstream 13th Gen Core desktop processors join the existing lineup

By Vijay Anand - 7 Jan 2023

16 new Intel mainstream 13th Gen Core desktop processors join the existing lineup

Note: This article was first published on 4 January 2023.

Mainstream 13th Gen Core processors have landed in Singapore! (Image source: PC Themes Facebook page)

Now everyone can hop on the 13th Gen Core bandwagon

Do you recall what the fastest CPU is in the market? That's right, the Intel 13th Gen Core i9-13900K is a fantastic performer going by the real-world gaming and content creation tests. Intel's 'Raptor Lake' series launched with a bang in September 2022 with six K-SKU processors offered.

At CES 2023, Intel not only announced brand new 13th Gen Core mobile processors, but a slew of mainstream 13th Gen Core desktop processors, 16 to be exact, that span the Core i3 to Core i9 classes at a much tamer 65W and 35W TDP power range that's easier to cool using conventional air coolers. (This is because the Core i9-13900K requires a liquid cooler to really keep it running smoothly.)

To recap, Raptor Lake is essentially a spruced-up Alder Lake featuring the same performance hybrid architecture. Raptor Lake, or 13th Gen Core processors, is using an even more refined Intel 7 process to bring about an enhanced Raptor Cove core (the new Performance Core or otherwise known as the P-core) that scales better with increased voltage and unleashes a big speed boost. This is why the K-SKU processors easily ramp up well past the 5GHz mark. In addition to the new P-core, there are now much more Efficiency Cores (E-cores), much larger L2 and L3 caches and support for up to DDR5-5600 memory. We've covered far more technical details for Raptor Lake performance hybrid architecture here if you's missed catching up previously.

Here are all the 65W TDP models offered:-

Intel's 13th Gen Core 65W desktop SKUs
  Core i9-13900
&
Core i9-13900F
Core i7-13700
&
Core i7-13700F
Core i5-13600 Core i5-13500 Core i5-13400
&
Core i5-13400F
Core i3-13100
&
Core i3-13100F
Price ($USD) $549 & $524 $384 & $359 $255 $232 $221 & $196 $134 & $109
Core config 24
(8P + 16E)
16
(8P + 8E)
14
(6P + 8E)
14
(6P + 8E)
10
(6P + 4E)
4
(4P + 0E)
Max Processor Threads 32 24 20 20 16 8
L3 Smart Cache 36MB 30MB 24MB 24MB 20MB 12MB
L2 Cache 32MB 24MB 11.5MB 11.5MB 9.5MB 5MB
P-core Max Turbo 5.6GHz 5.2GHz 5.0GHz 4.8GHz 4.6GHz 4.5GHz
E-core Max Turbo 4.2GHz 4.1GHz 3.7GHz 3.5GHz 3.3GHz --
P-core Base Clocks 2.0GHz 2.1GHz 2.7GHz 2.5GHz 2.5GHz 3.4GHz
E-core Base Clocks 1.5GHz 1.5GHz 2.0GHz 1.8GHz 1.8GHz --
Integrated Graphics Intel UHD Graphic 770
(F-SKUs have no IGP)
Intel UHD Graphic 730
(F-SKUs have no IGP)
Max Graphics Clock TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD
Max Memory Speed Up to DDR5 5,600MHz
OR
Up to DDR4 3,200MHz
Up to DDR5 4,800MHz
OR
Up to DDR4 3,200MHz
Memory Channels 2
CPU PCIe Lanes 16 PCIe 5.0 lanes
+
4 PCIe 4.0 lanes
Processor Base Power 65W 60W
Max Turbo Power 219W 219W 154W 154W 148W 89W

 

Quick Analysis

If you recall the 12th Gen Core's mainstream desktop processor barrage, there's one aspect that's distinctly different this time on the 13th Gen Core offerings -- no more missing E-cores! Unlike the last generation, almost all the mainstream processors except the Core i3, have E-cores. This immediately brings up the performance bar of the mainstream processors since they now have nearly double the overall core count. For example, the Core i5-13600 has 20 cores, with more cache and higher clocks, than last year's Core i5-12600 with 'only' 12 cores by comparison. 

Based on the lead model in this group, the Core i9-13900, Intel published that the overall single-threaded and multi-threaded performance have been boosted by 11% and 34% respectively over the Core i9-12900 through the improvements made to the Raptor Lake core enhancements outlined earlier. This figure comes from testing the processor through a very gruelling SPEC CPU 2017 integer benchmark. So it represents the very best-case scenario. Thankfully, Intel has also published result from everyday usage scenarios through gaming and content creation and these range from 3% to 19% performance uplift and is a more realistic gauge as shown here:-

(Image source: Intel)

So yes, more performance is a good thing, but so many more cores on a similar process technology also directly mean the 13th Gen Core offerings have a higher max power draw than the 12th Gen counterparts, even if their base power draw is in a similar 'bin'. Packing much more on the processor also means a larger die size and thus a higher asking price with suggested retail prices up by about 12 to 15% this year.

We'll be sure to give the new mainstream processor a good run-in when we get our hands on one to better assess its proposition after weighing in local market pricing factors.

 

35W Processor Base Power SKUs available too

The processors listed above are rated for 65W base power draw, but Intel also has variants of them that draw lower power with these 35W base power models for the same price point. The catch? They run at lower base clocks though their peak clocks are only slightly off. The upside is these T-SKU processors would be really easy to cool using simpler air cooling solutions.

Intel's 13th Gen Core 35W desktop SKUs
  Core i9-13900T Core i7-13700T Core i5-13600T Core i5-13500T Core i5-13400T Core i3-13100T
Price ($USD) $549 $384 $255 $232 $221 $134
  24
(8P + 16E)
16
(8P + 8E)
14
(6P + 8E)
14
(6P + 8E)
10
(6P + 4E)
4
(4P + 0E)
Max Processor Threads 32 24 20 20 16 8
L3 Smart Cache 36MB 30MB 24MB 24MB 20MB 12MB
L2 Cache 32MB 24MB 11.5MB 11.5MB 9.5MB 5MB
P-core Max Turbo 5.3GHz 4.9GHz 4.8GHz 4.6GHz 4.4GHz 4.2GHz
E-core Max Turbo 3.9GHz 3.6GHz 3.4GHz 3.2GHz 3.0GHz --
P-core Base Clocks 1.1GHz 1.4GHz 1.8GHz 1.6GHz 1.3GHz 2.5GHz
E-core Base Clocks 0.8GHz 1.0GHz 1.3GHz 1.2GHz 1.0GHz --
Integrated Graphics Intel UHD Graphic 770 Intel UHD Graphic 730
Max Graphics Clock TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD
Max Memory Speed Up to DDR5 5,600MHz
OR
Up to DDR4 3,200MHz
Up to DDR5 4,800MHz
OR
Up to DDR4 3,200MHz
Memory Channels 2
CPU PCIe Lanes 16 PCIe 5.0 lanes
+
4 PCIe 4.0 lanes
Processor Base Power 35W
Max Turbo Power 106W 106W 92W 92W 82W 69W

 

Do you need a new motherboard?

While there are new Intel 700-series chipset-based boards, as reported in our Raptor Lake story, the new processors are backwards compatible with existing 600-series motherboards too. Whether you have an existing motherboard or not, this flexibility also means the retail market would have stock of existing 600-series motherboards that you could opt to choose over the newer 700-series options and save some cost.

 

Availability

If you're interested in getting these new processors, especially the more regular 65W TDP variants, some local retailers like PC Themes already have them in stock!

For all other vendors and local price points, stay tuned to our updated Price Lists section this weekend.

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