Intel Core i9-13900K: Two-minute review
It must really hurt to be AMD, sometimes. Team Red has been the underdog since its inception in the late 1960s, formed by employees leaving the then-titanic Fairchild Semiconductor firm – just one year after Intel was established in the exact same way.
Intel had the drop on AMD, and for decades the company in the red corner was beholden to Intel’s will – as a second-source manufacturer, it spent less time making its own components and more time producing patented products for Team Blue. It wasn’t really until the turn of the century that AMD was able to properly kick out, finally managing to secure a chunk of the dedicated CPU market and expanding from there with the product lines we know and love today: Athlon, Bulldozer, and later Ryzen.
The recent launch of AMD’s new ‘Zen 4’ CPUs looked like it could be a turning point for the dark horse of the microprocessor market. We gave five-star reviews to both the Ryzen 9 7950X and the incredible mainstream Ryzen 7 7700X – generational performance was through the roof, blowing Intel’s current 12th-generation chips out of the water.
Unfortunately, Intel is here to ruin the party. Only for AMD, though, to be clear; for us consumers, this party is going to rage all night long. The Intel Core i9-13900K is here, and it’s going to blow your socks off.
Yes, Intel’s 13th-gen ‘Raptor Lake’ CPUs have arrived, and now that we’ve tested them we can firmly say that the flagship chip is an absolute demon in almost every department. It’s not as big of a generational leap in performance when compared to the i9-12900K – unsurprising, given that it’s built on the same architecture while Ryzen 7000 used an entirely new 5nm process – but it’s enough to smack AMD’s best chips into next week.
Expect to see the i9-13900K shoot straight to the top of our most powerful processors list, is basically what we’re saying. This CPU dominates in everything from gaming to number-crunching, delivering best-in-class performance in single- and multi-core workloads.
We run an awful lot of tests when reviewing a new CPU: games, synthetic benchmarks, rendering tests, power, and thermal monitoring. We’re not going to show you our horrible, enormous spreadsheets filled with test results, but we will say this. Out of twenty-four averaged test results, the i9-13900K beat the Ryzen 9 7950X in all but six of them.
Oh, and like one final nail in AMD’s coffin, it’s more than a hundred bucks cheaper. We won’t mince words: this is the best consumer desktop CPU ever made, putting the championship belt squarely back on Intel’s muscular waist. Good job, Team Blue; better luck next time, Team Red.
Intel Core i9-13900K: Price & availability
- How much does it cost? MSRP $589 (about £500 / AU$850)
- When is it available? October 20, 2022
- Where can you get it? Available worldwide now
Coming in at $589, the Intel Core i9-13900K’s launch price is exactly the same…