Following AMD's late-2022 launch of the Ryzen 7000 series, Intel's own next-gen CPUs are now official. The 13th Gen "Raptor Lake" desktop CPUs hit the market on October 20, 2022 and in the usual way, there's a lot to talk about.
The 13th Gen chips, in a not-at-all-surprising move, are harder, faster, and stronger than their predecessors. There were six K-series CPUs available at launch, and Intel has now revealed the full lineup including chips for gaming and budget laptops, mainstream Ultrabooks, consumer desktops, and more at CES 2023.
Here's a breakdown of everything we know.
What's new with Intel's 13th Gen Raptor Lake CPUs?
Intel recently laid out security details and coming improvements surrounding its 13th Gen vPro processor lineup. Intel is expecting more than 170 different PCs from different manufacturers to employ vPro chips and their extra security and management features in 2023, and we've already seen some hit the market in the form of the best business laptops. Intel has added new encryption and kernel protection for virtualized instances, with some add-ons expected to arrive via Windows Update.
Here's a look at the 13th Gen Intel desktop and mobile processors that are eligible for vPro.
Enterprise + Essentials vPro
i5-13500, i5-13600, i7-13700, i9-13900
i5-13500T, i5-13600T, i7-13700T, i9-13900T
S-Series K (125W)
i5-13600K, i7-13700K, i9-13900K
Enterprise for Chrome vPro
i5-1334U, i5-1335U, i7-1355U
i5-13600H/X, i7,13800H/X, i9-13900H/X
i5-13500H, i7-13700H, i9-13900HK
As an example, Dell's Latitude 7440 is available now with 13th Gen Intel Core vPro processors. You can equip it with up to a Core i7-1370P chip with 14 cores, and it comes in either notebook or convertible designs with a bunch of different display options. As it belong to the Latitude family, it features plenty of additional security and management features with a focus on business. It even has optional 5G connectivity so that you can remain in contact anywhere you go. Prices start at about $1,889 for this awesome device that we consider to be one of the best Dell laptops on the market today.
Dell Latitude 7440
Dell's Latitude 7440 is available as a convertible or as a notebook, with a bunch of different display options and performance hardware to choose from. If you'd like to try out Intel's new 13th Gen vPro CPUs, this is a great way to go.
Intel 13th Gen Raptor Lake: At a glance
Intel has revealed its full lineup of 13th Gen Raptor Lake processors at CES 2023, and they've come to dominate our collection of the best Intel CPUs. This includes mainstays like the HX-, H-, P-, and U-series laptop chips, as well as standard (non-K) and F-series desktop chips, new 35W T-series unlocked lifestyle chips for desktops, and N-series processors for budget laptops and desktops.
These new processors complement the 13th Gen K-series desktop CPUs that were released October 2022.
There are many specs, details, and performance metrics to get through. But if you're looking for the brief overview, here's what we're looking at.
- Up to 24 cores (a combination of P (performance) and E (efficient) cores) and 32 threads
- Intel Thread Director optimizes workloads by helping the OS distribute loads to optimal cores
- Intel Core i9-13900K is the "world's fastest gaming CPU" with a 5.8GHz clock speed on the P-cores
- DDR4-3200 and DDR5-5600 support
- PCIe 4.0 (up to 4 lanes) and PCIe 5.0 (up to 16 lanes) support
- P-cores, E-cores, graphics, and memory can be overclocked on Z690 and Z790 chipsets
- XMP 3.0 support
- Integrated graphics capable of driving 8K60 HDR video and four simultaneous 4K60 displays
- Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6E
Intel 13th Gen Raptor Lake desktop lineup
We now have the full 13th Gen Raptor Lake processor lineup from Intel, giving us a better idea of how it has laid out its selection. As was previously confirmed, the Raptor Lake CPUs are built on the same Intel 7 process as the 12th Gen Alder Lake, but with impressive performance improvements. It's expected these will be the last CPUs built on Intel 7 before the move to Intel 4.
The K- and KF-series CPUs released last year include Core i5, Core i7, and Core i9 variants with ascending levels of performance. Here's a look at the lineup.
Just as with 12th-generation chips, the new Raptor Lake CPUs boast Intel's hybrid design of performance (P-cores) and efficiency (E-cores) cores. The range-topping Core i9 now boasts 24 total cores, though like the Core i7 only 8 of these are P-cores. Across the board, though, the new CPUs see double the number of E-cores to their relevant predecessor. And all of these cores can be overclocked on K variants. Turbo clock speeds are also increased, with up to an additional 600MHz from the Core i9.
Additionally, Intel's 13-generation chips increase DDR5 support up to 5600, compared to 4800 in the 12th Gen. It's also now confirmed that DDR4 support does remain up to 3200. AMD has ditched DDR4 with Ryzen 7000, so this additional backward compatibility is undoubtedly a comfort to some Intel PC builders.
Both PCIe 4.0 and 5.0 support is included, with up to 16 lanes of PCIe 5.0 bandwidth. Finally, they're compatible with both Z690 and Z790 chipsets while using the same LGA1700 socket as the last generation. This also means the same cooler support.
The unlocked 125W K-series CPUs that were first introduced are aimed at gamers and enthusiasts who want the most power possible. The Core i5-13600K might be our top pick when it comes to the best gaming CPUs, but its Core i9-13900K sibling is where to turn if you can't settle for anything but the fastest. It has 24 cores, 32 threads, and a Turbo clock speed up to 5.8GHz.
Intel Core i9-13900K
Want to go all-out with your next gaming PC build? The Intel Core i9-13900K is an absolute monster of a CPU, with 24 cores, 32 threads, and a boost clock up to 5.8GHz.
Those who don't need quite as much juice can now check out Intel's 13th Gen 65W desktop processors, with and without integrated graphics. There are ten chips in total from this category, ranging from Core i3 (which are actually 58W and 60W versions) to Core i9. Here's a look at the list.
There are 10 processors in total, with up to 24 cores, 32 threads, and a 5.6GHz Turbo clock speed. The standard versions include integrated Intel UHD Graphics 770, while the F-series variants forego anything integrated. This keeps the cost down in systems that have a discrete GPU. It's interesting to note that the Core i5 chips now have both Performance and Efficient cores; 12th Gen chips went with P cores only.
Intel wasn't done there, also introducing some new T-series desktop CPUs with a 35W TDP. These are geared more toward your average desktop user that don't want to use as much power. They won't be as powerful as their 65W counterparts, but they're still ideal for creativity and productivity.
Here's a look at the rundown of T-series chips, of which there are seven. All come with integrated Intel UHD Graphics 770, and they range from Core i3 up to Core i9.
Intel 13th Gen Raptor Lake mobile lineup
Intel's 13th Gen mobile processors for laptops haven't changed much since the previous generation, save for the newer HX series. HX CPUs hit the market mid-2022, offering up performance that could rival and even best some desktops. HX now looks to be a main part of Intel's lineup, coming in with nine new chips for the 13th Gen lineup.
These 55W processors range from Core i5 to Core i9, topping out at 24 cores, 32 threads, and a 5.6GHz Turbo frequency. These CPUs are unlocked for overclocking, and they hang onto DDR4 support (with DDR5 also supported). Here's a look at the full lineup of 13th Gen HX-series CPUs.
The HX-series CPUs have found their way into some of the best gaming laptops on the market, including the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i (Gen 8). It's our current top pick for most gamers, sporting the high-performance processors matched up with NVIDIA RTX 40-series mobile GPUs and high-end 16-inch display options.
Lenovo Legion Pro 7i Gen 8
Lenovo's eighth-gen Legion Pro 7i gaming laptop is one of the best around. It has 13th Gen Intel Core HX-series CPUs, NVIDIA RTX 40-series GPUs, a bunch of high-end 16-inch display options, and the right thermal system to keep it all cool.
One step down are Intel's 13th Gen H-series mobile processors, sporting a slightly lower 45W TDP and maximum core count but still offering up strong gaming and design performance. These new models range from Core i5 up to Core i9, with a 14-core and 20-thread count for the most powerful i9-13900HK.
Here's a look at the full range of Intel's 13th Gen H-series CPUs.
P- and U-series mobile chips have received the same iterative update as their H-series counterparts. P-series chips range from Core i5 to Core i7 with up to a 14-core and 20-thread count, while the U-series CPUs include Core i3 up to Core i7 with a maximum 10-core and 12-thread count. The P-series processors run at 28W, while the U-series runs at 15W for better battery life.
Check out the full Intel 13th Gen U- and P-series lineups.
Laptops that make the grade for Intel's Evo platform will continue to hit certain requirements, including long battery life and strong performance even when not plugged in, as well as the new Intel Unison tech that lets you field calls, answer text messages, and transfer files between your laptop to your phone.
Intel further explained that some of its new Core-equipped laptops will include something called a Movidius vision processing unit (VPU). This works in tandem with Microsoft's Windows Studio Effects, helping free up the processor while the VPU handles AI-intensive tasks.
Finally, Intel also has some new N-series processors to show off. The four new CPUs employ Gracemont cores and are built with the Intel 7 process, though they do not have any Performance cores. Instead, you can get up to 8 Efficient cores and 8 threads, with relatively large performance gains. Intel claims these new N-series chips can manage a 28% increase in app performance and a 64% increase in graphics performance over the last generation.
Intel made some big claims before the launch of 13th Gen about its performance, especially in comparison to 12th Gen and AMD. But that data was produced using the previous generation AMD Ryzen CPUs. Now both companies have made their latest available, we have a clearer idea.
As we found in our Intel Core i5-13600K review and our Core i9-13900K review, Intel wasn't exaggerating its performance claims (too much). Single-core performance remains class-leading, making for great experiences in tasks such as gaming. The additional E-cores certainly help on multi-thread workloads, but it's the Core i9-13900K that's the absolute champion. Not only can it perform in games, but its multi-core performance is more than a match for AMD's finest, and in some areas, surpasses it while undercutting on price.
The Core i9-13900K is billed as the "world's fastest gaming CPU," but if you're buying one only to game with, you're massively underutilizing it. Professionals, workstations, and creators will all benefit from the sheer magnitude of power available. Streamers, for example, can comfortably look beyond using dual-PC setups. This one CPU can do it all.
Intel claims up to 41% better multi-threaded performance from 13th Gen
Since the 13th Gen is the same Intel 7 process as 12th Gen, the gains come from several areas, not least by doubling up the number of E-cores on each of the new CPUs. These E-cores also have higher clock speeds and up to 4.3GHz turbo. It's a similar tale regarding the P-cores, with an updated design, up to 600MHz clock speed increase, and a larger L2 cache. If you're into overclocking, the P-cores have already reached over 8 GHz using liquid nitrogen.
Perhaps more impressive is the scalable performance compared to the power draw. The Core i9-13900K can deliver a similar level of performance to a 241W Core i9-12900K while drawing only 65W — or about a quarter of the power of the 12th Gen. Ramp up the power and the gains kick in, but at the same 241W as the max turbo on the Core i9-12900K, Intel says the Core i9-13900K will perform 37% better.
Impressively, the Intel Core i9-13900K has the same TDP as the Core i7-13700K despite its increased core count. That's not to say it won't run hot, topping out at 100 degrees Celsius in our tests, and exceeding 300W easily. The Core i5-13600K, by contrast, handily stays within its quoted TDP limits and doesn't get hot to the point of throttling.
Release date and price
The good news is that Intel was truthful about launching its 13th Gen K-series CPUs before the end of 2022. They went on sale October 20, 2022. Intel's new desktop and mobile CPUs will begin showing up in the best pre-built gaming PCs and the best laptops soon, as well as some hitting store shelves as standalone buys for builders. There's no definitive date set as of now, but new laptops (like the Razer Blade 18) are already available with the latest hardware.
Prices vary, with the Intel Core i5-13600KF starting at just under $300 and its K variant at just over $300. The range-topping Core i9 starts at around $560. The difference between the K and KF variants is that the KF CPUs don't have integrated graphics. So if you're building a gaming PC with a dedicated GPU, you can save yourself a little money.
You can also check out our guide on where to buy 13th Gen Intel CPUs for more information, including retailers and prices in major markets.
Frequently asked questions about Intel's 13th Gen processors
What socket does Intel's 13th Gen use?
Intel's 13th Gen Raptor Lake uses the same LGA1700 CPU socket used by 12th Gen Alder Lake chips. And since 13th Gen supports Z690 and Z790, you can retain your existing motherboard.
Do 12th Gen CPU coolers work with 13th Gen processors?
Yes, the CPU coolers that you may have just purchased for your Alder Lake-based PC build will also work with the next-gen Intel chips. This is because the 13th Gen Raptor Lake processors also use the same LGA1700 socket.
Does Raptor Lake support DDR4 memory modules?
Yes, DDR4-3200 is supported, though overall system performance will be lower than when using DDR5.
Do you need a BIOS update for 13th Gen Intel?
Yes, there's a good chance you will need to update your motherboard's BIOS for Intel's 13th Gen hardware. This will become less likely as motherboard manufacturers begin using the latest updates in their releases. Our guide on BIOS updates for Intel 13th Gen has more information.
It's a great time to be a PC builder, between these new Intel 13th Gen CPUs and AMD's own newest offerings. This isn't the same shift that 12th Gen was from 11th Gen, so retaining some of your existing hardware is certainly a bonus. But there are still serious performance gains to be had.
The 13th Gen CPUs are just more: more cores, more performance, and, importantly, better performance-to-power ratio. There are some additional touches that impress, too. Intel Thread Director works in conjunction with Windows 11 to better distribute workloads across optimal cores. It's a solid update, even if you already have a 12th Gen system. The Core i5-13600K tops our list of the best CPUs you can buy today, all thanks to its outstanding price-to-performance ratio.
Intel Core i5-13600K
Intel's latest mid-range CPU is an absolute winner, with much-improved performance over its predecessor, which makes this now the best CPU to put in a gaming PC.