Intel launched its highly anticipated 13th Gen Raptor Lake processors in September 2022. And gamers have been patiently waiting to see how the latest i7 and i9 CPUs from Intel stack up. Well, the wait is over as both the i7 13700K and i9 13900K are excellent processors that come with amazing performance, which is capable of even beating out its AMD counterparts. But this leads us to one very important question – when comparing the Intel 13700K vs 13900K for gaming, which CPU wins?
To briefly answer the debate between the Intel 13700K vs 13900K for gaming – the 13900K wins against the 13700K in terms of performance as it is Intel’s flagship CPU in the Raptor Lake lineup. However, that’s not the whole story. In this article, we will be breaking down the main aspects of these two processors and see which one is better for gamers. With that said, let’s dive right in!
Intel 13700K Vs 13900K For Gaming: Spec Comparison
To start this battle, we will be comparing the specs of the Intel 13900K to the Intel 13700K.
|Specs||Intel Core i9 13900K||Intel Core i7 13700K|
|Cores||24 (8P+16E)||16 (8P+8E)|
|L3 Cache||36MB (shared)||30MB (shared)|
|Base Frequency||3.0 GHz||3.4 GHz|
|Boost Frequency||5.4 GHz||5.3 GHz|
|iGPU||Intel® UHD Graphics 770||Intel® UHD Graphics 770|
|Supported Memory||DDR5, DDR4||DDR5, DDR4|
From the spec sheet alone, we can determine that the 13900K is more powerful than the 13700K. The 13900K has a higher number of cores and threads. But the 13700K has a faster base frequency, whereas the 13900K has a slightly higher boost frequency. The 13900K also has a larger L3 cache memory than the 13700K. As for similarities, both the 13900K and 13700K have the same TDP and iGPU, while also being able to support both DDR4 and DDR5 memory.
Intel 13700K vs 13900K For Gaming: Performance Comparison
Now, for what you have been waiting for! Let’s take a look at the performance difference between Intel 13700K vs 13900K for gaming. For this test, we have paired up both processors with a RTX 4090 and 16GB of RAM (2X8GB). And we set the resolution to 1080p with a mix of high and ultra graphical settings because if you go to higher resolutions, then the games become more GPU-bound.
|Games||Intel 13900K (Avg. FPS)||Intel 13700K (Avg. FPS)|
|God Of War (2018)||265||257|
|Red Dead Redemption||205||202|
|Forza Horizon 5||260||251|
We can see from the table that the 13900K has a clear advantage over the 13700K. But the real question is by how much? Well, the 13900K performed approximately 6% better than the 13700K. However, this performance delta can vary from 2% to 10%.
So, why is there such a small gap between Intel’s flagship CPU and the runners-up? The simple answer is – both CPUs have the same number of performance cores. However, given that the 13900K has a higher boost frequency and more threads, it gives it a slight edge over the 13700K. But that doesn’t take away from the merits of the 13700K as it also has excellent performance.
Intel 13700K vs 13900K For Gaming: Power And Thermals
Apart from the gaming performance, another important aspect to consider is how good the CPU is in terms of power and thermal efficiency. What’s interesting is, while the 13900K offers a higher FPS count, the 13700K has better overall thermal and power efficiency.
During our gaming test, we noticed that the 13700K consumed around 20% less power than the 13900K. That is quite a feat for the 13700K as it is almost neck and neck with the 13900K while not requiring as much power to operate. And a similar scenario can be seen with the thermals. The Core i7 13700K ran 12% cooler than the 13900K!
But to defend the 13900K, it wasn’t like the CPU was overheating. Both CPUs maintained a respectable temperature between 50°-70° and a power draw of 110W-190W, with the 13700K taking the lead in both aspects.
Intel 13700K vs 13900K: Which One Should You Get For Gaming?
Let’s look at things from the consumer perspective. If you are out in the market looking for the best CPU, then both the i7 13700K and i9 13900K are your best options. But as a consumer, price plays a very crucial role. Given that the 13900K is quite a bit more expensive than the 13700K, going with the 13700K would be the better choice. Plus the added benefit of a more power-efficient CPU that operates at a comparatively lower temperature can sway your preference toward the 13700K.
Overall, if you are looking for pure flagship-level power, then the Intel i9 13900K is the clear winner. It has more of everything that the 13700K offers and is likely to be more future-proof. On the other hand, if you want the best value for money without compromising too much on performance, then we highly recommend going for the Intel i7 13700K.