Intel’s 13th-Gen Raptor Lake processors will have more cores, more connections, a new core architecture, support for PCIe 5.0 SSDs, and even an officially confirmed 6.0 GHz peak boost clock. Intel says that Raptor Lake will have a 15% improvement in single-threaded performance, a 41% improvement in multi-threaded performance, and a “40% performance scaling” compared to Alder Lake.
On October 20, these chips will go up against AMD’s Zen 4 Ryzen 7000 processors, setting up a fierce battle for desktop PC supremacy, especially for the title of best CPU for gaming. This is a new stage in the rivalry between Intel and AMD.
Intel’s Alder Lake brought the company back to the top of our CPU benchmark rankings, where it had been slowly losing its lead as AMD kept improving its Ryzen processors. AMD’s string of innovations led to Intel’s embarrassing loss of the performance crown when the Ryzen 5000 processors beat Intel’s chips in every performance, price, and power metric that mattered in 2020. This was the end of Intel’s fall from grace after it kept getting delayed moving to its often-delayed and seemingly doomed 10nm process node.
Alder Lake set the ship straight. These chips showed off the best of Intel’s newly reworked 10nm process, which is now called “Intel 7.” They had higher clock rates and used less power, which made Raptor Lake possible.
Intel will make the Raptor Lake processors on a refined version of the same process node and pair it with its newly redesigned x86 hybrid architecture, which is made up of a mix of larger high-performance cores and smaller high-efficiency cores.
13th-Generation Raptor Lake Release Window
The 13th-Generation Raptor Lake processors will be released by Intel on October 20. Intel has also said that the Raptor Lake mobile CPUs will be available this year.
The Z790 motherboards will be available for preorder on October 13, and the K-series SKUs will be available in stores on October 20. According to rumors, non-K CPUs and the B760 and H760 chipsets won’t be announced until CES on January 5, 2023, and they won’t be available in stores until the second half of that month.
Intel is also speeding up the launch of its mobile platforms. Recently, CEO Pat Gelsinger said that the mobile platforms will come out this year. We’ve even seen benchmarks for the Raptor Lake processors in mobile devices.
Intel 13th-Gen Raptor Lake Series
- Codename Raptor Lake
- Launch of desktop and mobile in Q4 2022 (October 20)
- The “Intel 7” process node can have up to 24 cores and 32 threads (34-core spotted)
- Up to 8 Raptor Cove Performance cores (P-Cores) and 16 Gracemont Efficiency cores (E-Cores) (E-Cores)
- Raptor Lake-S (65W to 125W desktop) and Raptor Lake-P (15W to 45W mobile) have been confirmed.
- Rumored 5.8 GHz boost
- Up to 36MB of L3 Cache, which is a 20% increase, and up to 32MB of L2 (2.3x increase)
- Dual-channel DDR4-3200 and DDR5-5600 memory support, x16 PCIe 5.0 and x4 PCIe 4.0 interface, Thunderbolt 4 and USB 4
- Support for AI M.2 SSDs and PCIe 5.0 M.2 SSDs
- +15% faster single-threaded, +41% faster multi-threaded, and “40% performance scaling” overall.
- Socket LGA 1700, works with existing coolers, and BGA-compatible mobile chips.
- 700-Series Chipset: Z790, H770, B760 Motherboards
- Chipset: Up to 20 PCH PCIe 4.0 and 8 PCIe 3.0
- Features that make it easier to overclock the CPU, such as per-core and Efficient Thermal Velocity Boost
13th-Generation Raptor Lake Specs and Features
Intel’s Raptor Lake processors can hit 6 GHz at standard settings and 8GHz with liquid nitrogen. Intel hasn’t disclosed which device will touch 6 GHz, 300 MHz quicker than AMD’s Ryzen 7000 processors. We don’t know if a 6GHz CPU will be in the first wave or a special ‘KS’ variant.
The Core i9-13900K has 24 cores and 32 threads, the i7-13700K has 16 cores and 24 threads, and the Core i5-13600K has 14 cores and 20 threads.
Raptor Lake chips are fabbed using the ‘Intel 7’ process and will feature a 15% single-threaded performance improvement, a 41% multi-threaded gain, and a ‘40% performance scaling’ compared to Alder Lake. Raptor Lake has improved overclocking, and AI M.2 support, and is compatible with Alder Lake systems.
13th-Gen Raptor Lake chips will contain P-cores with a redesigned microarchitecture. These cores are geared toward gaming and productivity. E-cores have a doubled L2 cache and other evidence of a redesigned microarchitecture, although they still use Gracemont. These cores handle multitasking, background processes, and heavy workloads.
Above are Intel’s previous-gen Core i9, i7, and i5 flagships and the upcoming Raptor Lake versions. Intel will release three K-series models and their graphics-less KF counterparts early next year.
Intel will reportedly only ship Raptor Lake Core i9, i7, and some i5 models, while some i5 and all i3, Pentium, and Celeron will use upgraded Alder Lake CPUs (Intel took a similar approach with its 11th-Gen Rocket Lake processors).
Core i9-13900K has 24 cores, 8 P-cores, and 16 E-cores. That’s eight more than the previous-generation flagship (but the same number of P-cores). These additional E-cores originate from Intel’s new 8+16 die (8 P-core + 16 E-core) for Core i9, i7, and K-series i5 CPUs. This larger die gives cores more cache (more on that in the architecture section), but Core i3 and below will have the same amount.
Intel could have a pricing advantage if it can match or exceed AMD’s 16-core $699 Ryzen 9 7950X with its 24-core $589 Core i9-13900K.
The $409 Core i7-13700K has four more e-cores for a total of eight and a 400 MHz e-core boost to 4.2 GHz.
Intel raised this chip’s MTP by 63W from the previous generation. 13700K competes with Ryzen 7 7700X ($399)
The 13600K has four extra e-cores, 200 MHz faster p-core rates to reach 5.1 GHz, and a 300 MHz e-core boost for 3.9 GHz. Intel raises the 13600K’s MTP by 31W to 181W.
Intel raised peak frequencies for p-cores and e-cores on all Raptor Lake CPUs, while base clocks fell by 200 MHz. This is likely done to manage the TDP rating. The 13900K features 125W Base Turbo Power (BTP) yet 253W Maximum Turbo Power (MTP).
The $319 Core i3-13600K is the only chip to rise in price; both the full-fledged variant and the graphics-less 13600KF are $30 higher. Intel’s boost here will yield the most cash while not endangering its strategy of undercutting AMD on the high end.
AMD’s $299 Ryzen 5 7600X is a powerful gaming CPU, so we’ll have to see how Raptor Lake performs. The 13600K has four extra e-cores, 200 MHz faster p-core rates to reach 5.1 GHz, and a 300 MHz e-core boost for 3.9 GHz. Intel raises the 13600K’s MTP by 31W to 181W.
All three chips have some improvements. Intel boosted the L2 cache for e-core clusters from 1.25MB to 4MB. More e-core clusters, each with an adjacent L3 cache slice, have also expanded L3 cache. All K-series Raptor Lake chips gain cache capacity.
Intel has boosted DDR5 memory capability to 5600 MT/s with 1DPC, up from 4800 MT/s with Alder Lake. Intel boosted 2DPC speeds from 3600 to 4400 MT/s. Intel expects DDR4 will coexist with DDR5 until 2024. This technique gives Intel platforms a value choice, unlike AMD’s DDR5 strategy.
Alder Lake processors will slip into the LGA 1700 socket, making them backward compatible with 600-series chipsets and forward compatible with Raptor Lake motherboards. The CPU’s 16 PCIe 5.0 lanes can now be split into two x8 arrangements, enabling PCIe 5.0 M.2 SSDs. In the motherboard portion, we’ll delve deeper.
Raptor Lake iGPU uses Alder Lake’s Xe-LP Gen 12.2 architecture. A recent benchmark showed the Raptor Lake Core i9-iGPU 13900’s operating at 1.65 GHz in OpenGL. The iGPU has the same number of cores but is 100 MHz (6.5%) faster.
We don’t expect any significant architectural changes to the iGPU. Intel added support for Raptor Lake-P (mobile) and Raptor Lake-S (desktop) processors to its media driver, hinting at mobile variations.
Intel touted an M.2 AI accelerator. Some edge use cases may benefit from this, but it’s unclear for most usage. We don’t know much about this product because Intel hasn’t published any details.