April 1, 2023

The Intel Core i5 13600K is another mighty mid-range chip from Intel, and you can expect a major uplift in core counts even with this more parsimoniously priced Raptor Lake nick. Well-tuned to deliver high gaming frame rates, this is ultimately the chip most gamers should consider first for their next video gaming PC.

Core-i5 13600K specs

Cores (P+E): 6+8
Threads: 20
L3 Cache (Smart Cache): 24MB
L2 Cache: 20MB
Max P-core Turbo frequency (GHz): 5. 1
Max E-core Turbo frequency (GHz): 3. 9
P-core base frequency (GHz): 3. five
E-core foundation frequency (GHz): 2 . 6
Unlocked: Yes
Max PCIe lanes: twenty
Graphics: UHD Graphics 770
Memory support (up to): DDR5 5600MT/s, DDR4 3200MT/s
Processor Base Power (W): 125
Maximum Turbo Power (W): 181
RRP: $319–$329

The fundamental hybrid architecture found in the particular Core i5 13600K is a continuation of the one introduced with Alder Lake and the 12th Gen, but with Raptor Lake there have been a few key improvements. I go into those in greater detail in our Core i9 13900K evaluation (opens in new tab) , but this is the particular headline upgrade: more cores.

The Core i5 13600K is a 14-core processor, made up of six Hyper-Threaded Performance-cores (P-cores) plus eight Efficient-cores (E-cores), for a total of 20 threads. That’s four more E-cores than this chip’s predecessor, the Core i5 12600K (opens in new tab) , but don’t be fooled by the E-cores’s diminutive name and silicon footprint. Those four extra cores make for a significant increase within multithreaded performance.

The chip makes light work of Blender’s Junk Shop benchmark, putting in the significantly faster samples per minute pace than the particular Core i5 12600K it replaces. The Key i5 13600K is also 37% quicker than the Core i5 12600K in the synthetic Cinebench R23 standard. But the actually more surprising stat is that the Core i5 13600K will be only 12% shy of the multithreaded score of the particular Intel Core i9 12900K (opens in brand new tab) .

The Primary i5 13600K’s single-threaded Cinebench score? Exactly the same as a Core i9 12900K, actually.

Alright, real-life performance won’t see the Core i5 13600K matching the Core i9 12900K in every regard, but it really does deliver something similar in gaming for the lot less money.

Test rigs

Motherboard: Asus ROG Strix Z690-F Gaming WiFi
Storage: 2TB Sabrent Rocket four. 0 Plus
Cooler: Asus ROG Ryujin II
PSU: Gigabyte Aorus P1200W

Motherboard: ASRock X670E Taichi
Storage: 1TB WD Black SN850
Cooler: Corsair H100i RGB

Memory: G. Skill Trident Z5 Neo DDR5-6000 CL30 2x 16GB
Graphics card: Nvidia RTX 3080 10GB

In three out of six games I’ve tested, the Core-i5 13600K matches the speed of the particular Core i9 12900K. Within one of those three, it actually outperforms the Primary i9 nick. That’s Civ 6, which admittedly has become a bit of a cakewalk for the latest generation of processors from Intel and AMD. But it’s no less an excellent showing for the particular far cheaper CPU.

Speaking of ADVANCED MICRO DEVICES, the Core i5 13600K is usually looking increasingly impressive in the face of the competition. The Core i5 13600K beats the AMD Ryzen 7 7700X (opens in new tab) in all but a single game, Shadow of the particular Tomb Raider, and it doesn’t let up in more productivity/creative workloads, such as Blender and x264. The blend of P-cores and E-cores appears to be working a treat versus even Zen 4’s homogenous, and still great, core design.

Intel's Core i5 13600K on a promotional box with the Raptor Lake die displayed on it

(Image credit: Future)

Even when this comes to power efficiency, which is usually not Intel’s forte, the Core i5 13600K’s more sensible clock speeds plus core counts make for the much a lot more efficient chip. It’s relatively similar inside terms associated with power draw in our own x264 benchmark to the particular Ryzen 7 7700X, and it generally doesn’t run as hot as the competition with regard to that effectiveness. That said, it does draw more from the wall than its predecessor, the particular Core i5 12600K. Compared to the Core i9 13900K, however, it’s practically in a permanent eco-mode.

The Core-i5 13600K is made that much better by the price versus the competition plus against the particular 12th Gen. It’s listed with a $319. 00—$329. 00 recommended customer price. Now, that is a great price regarding this sort of performance, yet I ought to mention that will may or may not exactly materialise on launch day. The particular on-shelf price may be upwards of that. But the thing to consider is that will AMD seemingly has very little response to this nick with the particular existing Ryzen 7000-series lineup either way.  

It would take a serious price cut to make the Ryzen 7 7700X the chip to buy at this cost, and if the 7700X can’t do it, the Ryzen 5 7600X can’t either. Though the Ryzen five 7600X is definitely cheaper in $299, and so far there’s no Raptor River chip under $300, so I’m not really dismissing the particular cheaper option entirely here.

Intel also has the holistically cheaper nick in the Core i5 13600K. I suspect some builders will find a way in order to spend the bucket load of cash on their motherboard and RAM, rather than taking the cheap 600-series/DDR4 choice, but in case you wanted to you could save a lot of money on Intel’s 600-series chipsets and more affordable RAM MEMORY versus AMD’s newer and generally dearer AM5 chipsets and DDR5 memory.

That pricing disparity might not remain for the lifetime of these chips, but at release it’s certainly a factor to consider. Both companies need to have less expensive CPUs plus chipsets available early next year to make life easier for budget builders, anyways.

Intel's Core i5 13600K on a promotional box with the Raptor Lake die displayed on it

(Image credit: Future)

The Primary i5 13600K is much more of an all-round powerhouse than I had expected it to be.

We’re once again seeing the best gaming chip come from the particular lower rungs of the stack with Raptor Lake. The Core i5 13600K delivers exceptional gaming overall performance in a sensibly priced package, delivering only a handful of frames less compared to the cpus that fetch double the particular asking price. For a gaming PC build in 2022/23, this can be absolutely the chip I’d recommend to most.

But I’d go one further than that. The inclusion associated with four a lot more E-cores turns this processor chip into the 14-core nick with the multithreaded performance in order to deliver in high-demand applications, and that makes it a great fit for streaming, content creation, editing, and more. The particular Core i5 13600K is certainly much more of an all-round powerhouse than I had formed expected it to be.  

So, when supply remains steady and the price sticks to the particular recommended figure, this is a shoe-in for that overall best CPU in 2022, and likely a good part of 2023, too.

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