Intel core i9 13900k Review: The New Leader in Processor Speed

Intel has launched its 13th generation of desktop processors including top of the line Core i9 13900k. It is the company final generation of processors built on a monolithic die with a uniform manufacturing node. That make of CPU cores, an x86 graphics unit (iGPU), caches, and platform controllers all sitting on the same chip. Intel will be implementing its IDM 2.0 product development strategy with future generations. We will see a shift to silicon built from two or more chip modules (MCMs). 

Hybrid Architecture Doubles 

Intel 12th Gen “Alder Lake” CPUs doubled down on their Hybrid architecture. It dealt a big blow to AMD CPU lead in the segment. The idea behind Hybrid is that rather than trying to compete with AMD by increasing CPU core count. Intel placed two distinct types of CPUs with different speeds and power requirements. 

Intel larger P-cores manage the most demanding work and coincide with separate and distinct 8-core designs. This number of cores is enough for gaming workloads, never worry if you are concerned with an intensive task.

E-Core Counts Improve

Intel desktops processors are getting better. The number of cores has not changed, but Intel P-cores have improved IPC. Intel newest high-performance CPUs finally take advantage of the 8P+8E design, with an 8P+16E configuration. 

The i7-13700K is the latest generation of Intel 13th quad-core processors. The 7P+8E configuration will provide better speed and rendering capability than the 8P+4E configuration. Similarly, the Core i5 K-series will transition to having 6P+8E loadout from their previous 6P+4E configuration. 

8 Cores Performance Configuration

Raptor Lake silicon has more performance cores, better IPC than Alder Lake (Golden Cove). Compared to last generation “Gracemont” cores, these new ones offer 20% worse Level-2 cache size. However, they have 20% improved architecture. 

Intel has increased the size of its L2 cache, from 2 MB per 4-core cluster to 4 MB. P-core and E-core chips in their k-series line-up share a 36MB L3 cache. The L3 cache on the top-end Core i9 chip is the same size. The shared cache on the Core i7 is 30MB, and 24MB on the less powerful Core i5 K. 

Core i9-13900K compares with Ryzen 9 7950X

The Core i9-13900K and the Ryzen 9 7950X are closely matched in terms of cumulative performance. While they both give users high baseline and boost clock speeds, the 13900K offers higher optimized gaming performance. It is faster load times (31% faster than the 12900K). While this is not a huge improvement, it is important to remember that processors have historically seen significant improvements.  

As seen in 45 different TechPowerUp experiments, the Core i9-13900K averages 170 Watts. In comparison, the Ryzen 9 7950X uses 125 W average. 

Thermal features

The i9-13900K default behavior can be annoying when it comes to your power needs. However, when you overload your processor with commands and demands. It heats up and consumes more power than usual. 

When the temperature crosses 100 degrees Celsius, the Core i9-13900K will start to throttle and reduce its max turbo. Even if it does not cause an issue during standard use, overheating can happen when stress testing. No matter what the circumstances are, you need a good cooling solution. 

Clock speeds features

The MSI CoreLiquid S360 360mm liquid cooler and the MSI Core i9-13900K reach a max frequency of 5.2GHz for an hour. The frequency was sustained while inside the MSI Prospect 700R case. HWinfo shows that the CPU never goes above 5.8 GHz during this test. 

Cooling system features 

MSI CoreLiquid 360mm Liquid Cooler installed in the 13900K. The processor peaked at 100c or TjMAX.  Although the Zen 4 CPU never as good as the AMD Ryzen 7000 series, the results are still much worse. 

The 13900K thermal throttles after only a couple of minutes. We tried using high-end AIOs, even premium 420mm solutions, but the results were the same. One thing to keep in mind about coolers is that if they are not powerful enough, their performance will suffer. This will eventually lead to thermal throttling and your processor temperature rising dangerously. 

Thread Director and deep link

Intel 13th-generation CPUs are great for simplifying daily tasks, thanks to  unique features that run in the background. 

Thread Director makes use of Windows Scheduler and the CPU to better split threads and optimize computational power.  Deep Link technology has been used for some time, but progress in the Arc GPU family may mean this system is a potential major feature. The GPU connects with the integrated graphics from the CPU, and connects your graphics card. 

Hyper Encode feature locked by default. It gives GPUs a noticeable boost. You will need to do research before making this feature available to avoid any potential problems. 


If you want to take your PC to the next level, intel-core-i9-13900k is right fit. Get started with a processor that can handle challenging, multi-thread workloads and gives you plenty of extra power for overclocking. It is best for an enthusiast who wants the fastest processor around, a content creator, or streamer and play latest games on ultra-high settings.

Moatsim Nasir

Professional with expertise in areas, including business technology writing, search engine optimization (SEO), and innovation news. As a business technology writer, Moatsim deeply understands the intersection between technology and business. It allows him to provide valuable insights into digital transformation, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing.

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