Whereas standing seekers crave the Core i9, Intel’s Core i7 processors are sometimes one of the best values amongst Staff Blue’s desktop chips. Although they do not have fairly as a lot multithreaded processing energy, Core i7 CPUs pack some severe punch at decrease costs than their Core i9 cousins. This usually makes them extremely recommendable inside a given processor technology, and that is precisely the place we discover ourselves with the Core i7-13700K ($419). Whereas it is not absolutely the quickest mainstream desktop chip, and definitely not the most affordable, it occupies a worth excessive level within the silicon market—one which AMD is struggling to counter—incomes it our Editors’ Selection award for fanatic desktop processors.
Design: Meet the First Core i7 With 16 Cores
Intel’s thirteenth Era “Raptor Lake” structure would not differ considerably from its twelfth Gen “Alder Lake” platform. The latter was a revolutionary design with the introduction of a brand new multicore method that combined high-performance P-Cores and high-efficiency E-Cores in a configuration akin to ARM’s “massive.Little” design philosophy. This labored so effectively for Intel that with Raptor Lake, the corporate primarily opted for extra of the identical, boosting the variety of cores within the split-level configuration.
In different phrases, we’re nonetheless Efficiency cores and Environment friendly cores; we simply have extra of them now. The previous-generation Intel Core i7-12700K shipped with eight P-Cores and 4 E-Cores, whereas the Core i7-13700K steps as much as eight apiece. Intel did change a number of extra issues underneath the hood with Raptor Lake, boosting the general quantity of cache and pushing clock speeds a bit greater, however the elevated core depend is by far probably the most vital distinction.
That is to not say the rise in clock pace is chopped liver. The Core i7-13700K’s Efficiency cores have a max turbo pace of 5.4GHz, versus 5.0GHz for the Core i7-12700K. The Environment friendly cores get the same 400MHz hike, with the E-Cores clocked at 4.2GHz versus 3.8GHz for the Core i7-12700K’s. That may actually assist the Core i7-13700K in our upcoming benchmarks, particularly the single-threaded assessments.
It is attention-grabbing to notice that the brand new CPU’s base clocks are barely decrease than its predecessor’s, however realistically this doesn’t suggest a lot. Trendy processors nearly at all times function over their base clock speeds when underneath load, normally operating nearer to their max turbo speeds. The decrease base clocks would solely be an element if the turbo increase performance was disabled, which might principally defeat the aim of testing, so it is not one thing we will do.
The Core i7-12700K and Core i7-13700K have an identical built-in graphics processors (IGPs), denoted as Intel UHD Graphics 770. This graphics answer has 32 execution items (EUs) and operates at 1.5GHz within the Core i7-12700K, with the Core i7-13700K a step greater at 1.6GHz. Raptor Lake processors additionally assist DDR5 RAM speeds as much as 5,600MHz, which ought to give the built-in graphics a lift from the 4,800MHz ceiling of Alder Lake (assuming you pair your chip with appropriately speedy RAM and configure the reminiscence speeds thus).
One factor to notice: As a result of Intel Core i7-13700K’s excessive energy draw (extra about that later within the assessment), it doesn’t include a inventory cooler, air or in any other case; most high-end CPUs as of late make you convey your personal, too. As our customary 240mm water cooler is unable to deal with preserving the Core i7 cool underneath its thermal restrict at full load, it is uncertain any present inventory cooler can be adequate for the duty. If you do not have a suitable LGA1700-socket liquid cooler available, you may need to issue that value into the equation right here. That stated, competing Ryzen 9 chips just like the 7900X and 7950X additionally require you to provide your personal cooler.
Testing the Intel Core i7-13700K: Our Benchmarking Setup
We examined the Intel Core i7-13700K on a Gigabyte Z790 Aorus Grasp motherboard with two 16GB sticks of DDR5 reminiscence in a dual-channel configuration. The RAM was operated on the Core i7-13700K CPU’s most formally supported pace of 5,600MHz. Different non-Raptor Lake CPUs we examined have been operated at decrease reminiscence speeds based on their respective supported maximums.
A 240mm Cooler Grasp MasterLiquid PL240 Flux water cooler stored the chip from overheating. Energy got here from a SilverStone DA850 PSU, and all assessments have been carried out underneath Home windows 11. An open-air Praxis Wetbench chassis was used to deal with all of the components throughout testing.
The Core i7-13700K’s worth and efficiency put it in a fiercely aggressive group. Arguably its strongest rival is the AMD Ryzen 9 7900 (which we have examined and are within the means of reviewing), which has an MSRP simply $10 greater, at $429. Nevertheless, the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X may equally effectively declare that place, because it’s in all probability the closest to the Core i7-13700K in general efficiency.
The older Core i5-12600K, Core i7-12700K, and AMD Ryzen 7 5700X do not threaten the Core i7-13700K’s efficiency, however they’re nonetheless speedy CPUs value preserving in thoughts as they’re out there at steep reductions now that they are now not the most recent and best.
Intel Core i7-13700K Take a look at Outcomes: CPU Benchmarking
The AIDA64 reminiscence and bandwidth take a look at is a great tool that lets us gauge the quantity of bandwidth out there to the processor. Although the take a look at scores right here aren’t instantly indicative of real-world efficiency for any particular functions, the data may also help us to grasp the opposite take a look at scores.
Reminiscence bandwidth on the Core i7-13700K is plentiful, because of using DDR5 reminiscence clocked at 5,600MHz. The AMD chips right here assist DDR5 speeds as much as 5,200MHz, however it’s notable that the twelfth Era Intel processors restrict DDR5 to 4,800MHz and nonetheless have extra reminiscence bandwidth than AMD. AMD reverses this case with typically higher L2 and L3 cache efficiency, which is arguably extra essential.
The Core i7-13700K began off impressively in our artificial benchmarks with Cinebench scores (single-threaded and multithreaded) considerably greater than these of its closest-priced AMD competitor, the Ryzen 9 7900. The 13700K CPU wasn’t almost as quick as AMD’s Ryzen 9 7950X in Cinebench multithreaded, however, at $699, the latter prices significantly extra. Provided that, we might anticipate to see the 7950X carry out higher in each take a look at, however that wasn’t fairly the case. The Core i7-13700K beat it in single-threaded Cinebench, for one.
In our PugetBench-plugin assessments utilizing Adobe’s standard Photoshop and Premiere Professional, the Core i7-13700K truly traded blows with the Ryzen 9 7950X, profitable on one of many two. Usually we might think about this a draw, however contemplating their very totally different costs, the Intel chip is clearly the higher worth possibility right here. We additionally noticed the Core i7-13700K outpace the Ryzen 9 7950X in our HandBrake and single-threaded POV-Ray assessments, although the AMD processor posted countering wins with sooner Blender and multi-threaded POV-Ray scores.
Total, the Core i7-13700K did not outright beat AMD’s greatest Ryzen 9 by way of efficiency, however it’s crystal clear that it is the higher worth. It considerably outpaced the equally priced Ryzen 9 7900 in most assessments, with the latter’s worth equation helped solely barely by the first rate inventory cooler that AMD ships with it. Nevertheless, the efficiency delta was so nice that the Ryzen 9 7900 actually would not compete with the Core i7-13700K.
The older Core i7-12700K and the Core i5-13600K are each actually extra comparable with the Core i7-13700K. And seeing as each have worth tags nearer to $300, that truth provides you at the very least a monetary incentive to go for them, though the Core i7-13700K is clearly sooner.
Intel Core i7-13700K Take a look at Outcomes: Gaming Benchmarks
Paired with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 GPU, the Core i7-13700K proved the most effective gaming processors we have examined so far. It was notably sooner than a lot of the different examined chips in F1 22 (the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D was faster at 1080p, however solely by an quantity inside the margin of error). The Core i5-13600K managed to carry its personal in opposition to the Core i7-13700K, and it and the Ryzen 5 7600 have been even barely higher with the decision turned as much as 4K, although the distinction was once more margin-of-error materials. The underside line is that the Core i7-13700K carefully matches or beats out most different mainstream or high-end chips regardless. You may seemingly solely see slight benefits from chips just like the 3D V-cache-enabled AMDs with GPUs higher-end than the already elite RTX 3080.
In Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, the Core i7-13700K did not fare fairly as effectively, falling a number of frames behind the older Alder Lake processors in addition to (extra predictably) the Intel Core i9-13900K and the AMD Ryzen 7 7700. The pattern continued with Complete Warfare: Three Kingdoms, with the Core i7-13700K as soon as once more bested by all of the twelfth Gen Intel chips and extra of the Ryzen 7000 collection as effectively. Once more, a lot of the variations fell inside the margin of error, although the Ryzen 9 7950X3D clearly demonstrated its supremacy, ending 4% forward of the Core i7-13700K. If in case you have a really high-end GPU and variations in body fee of 5% or so are your concern, you could need to have a look at one of many AMD gaming-focused specialty chips to squeeze out each final drop.
The Core i7-13700K did higher in Bioshock Infinite, as soon as once more coming near the highest of the pack. The Core i9-13900K copped the gold medal right here, however the Core i7-13700K was clearly second-best. It was additionally quickest in Tomb Raider, besides at 4K decision the place the Ryzen 9 7950X3D once more made its presence identified by a number of frames.
Intel Core i7-13700K Take a look at Outcomes: Intel UHD Graphics 770 Testing
Built-in graphics are sometimes missed with processors like these, however they’re completely effectively fitted to any process other than operating fashionable video games with excessive ranges of graphics element. The Core i7-13700K’s Intel UHD Graphics 770 profit from barely greater clock speeds and sooner RAM that offers it an edge over older Alder Lake components, however that is not all that issues on the subject of gaming.
In F1 22, the purple workforce headed by the Ryzen 9 7950X3D held a slight benefit, however the Core i7-13700K did end forward of all of the older Alder Lake chips. This example modified drastically in Complete Warfare: Three Kingdoms, the place the Core i7-13700K outpaced every part besides the Core i9-13900K. AMD’s IGP did not stand an opportunity right here.
The Core i7-13700K’s IGP was as soon as once more the quickest in Bioshock Infinite, however the older Core i7-12700K and Core i5-12600K took a notable and sudden lead in Tomb Raider. These processors’ IGP is an identical to the brand new Core i7’s apart from the latter’s barely greater clocks and sooner RAM, which suggests their victory was because of optimization points. Nonetheless, the Core i7-13700K did beat AMD in all these assessments besides F1 22.
Body-rate watchers are inclined to view these processors’ built-in graphics as unusable for gaming, however it’s essential to take into account that we noticed playable body charges from most of those CPUs in all assessments at 720p. Even the AMD chips, which battle in some video games, can run previous video games like Tomb Raider or Bioshock Infinite in case you do not crank decision or graphics settings too excessive. Although gaming will undeniably be a lot better with a discrete GPU, you’ll be able to nonetheless have a comparatively satisfying gaming expertise with one among these processors so long as you settle for its limitations and stick with video games for which it is suited.
Intel Core i7-13700K Take a look at Outcomes: Energy and Thermals
We take a look at parts’ energy consumption utilizing a Kill-A-Watt wall meter to measure the facility draw of the take a look at system as an entire. For the reason that solely element that is modified in these assessments is the CPU, the distinction in complete energy consumption is generally because of that half alone, although comparisons between AMD and Intel have to be taken with a grain of salt as we will not take a look at them on the identical motherboard.
The Core i7-13700K is notably power-hungry, drawing 364 watts (W) of complete system energy in Cinebench and 544W in Adobe Premiere. That is greater than any of the AMD processors and all of the Intel rivals besides the Core i9-13900K. Nevertheless, its energy attract Cinebench was only one watt greater than the Core i7-12700K’s, which is great given the rise in core depend.
Like most fashionable high-end processors, the Core i7-13700K hits its thermal restrict, on this case 100 levels C, whereas underneath heavy load. This may make overclocking the processor tough with out substantial cooling. Undervolting the chip to cut back warmth and assist cut back thermal throttling could possibly be useful, nonetheless.
Verdict: Dominant in Its Worth Vary
Intel’s Core i7-13700K could also be power-hungry, however it additionally delivers thrilling efficiency for an applicable worth. After wanting over the market and evaluating its benchmarks to its rivals’, the CPU is in a close-to-unassailable place at this second within the around-$400 zone.
You at all times have the choice to spend extra and go sooner with a Core i9, or to do the alternative of that and purchase one thing extra reasonably priced that is a bit slower. Most on a regular basis customers can be positive doing the latter, because the Core i5-13600K and older Core i7-12700K supply wonderful multithreaded efficiency, too. However in case you’re trying to get one of the best processor you’ll be able to for round $400, and have factored within the CPU-cooler scenario, we will say with out hesitation that the Editors’ Selection-award-winning Core i7-13700K is it.