Intel i9-13900K vs i9-12900K processors

We compare Intel’s 12th and 13th-generation processors in this comparison study. The 13th generation processor i9-13900K was released in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Main differences

The main differences between Intel i9-13900K and i9-12900K series core processors are shared below:

  • Intel i9-13900K has a higher number of efficient cores than i9-12900K.
  • Intel i9-13900K has a higher turbo frequency than the i9-12900K.
  • There are more threads in Intel i9-13900K.
  • Intel i9-13900K has a higher size cache than the i9-12900K.
  • Intel i9-13900K can support DDR5 RAM up to 5600 Megatransfers per second
  • The RAM throughput of Intel i9-13900K is marginally higher than i9-12900K

We cover these differences in detail below.

Processor cores and architecture- Intel i9-13900K vs i9-12900K

Intel i9-13900K has a higher number of efficient cores than i9-12900K. The number of performance cores remains the same across both processors.

The table below lists the performance cores and efficient cores on both processors. The operating frequency of both processors is also shared.

Specifications Intel i9-13900KIntel i9-12900K
ArchitectureRaptor lakeAlder lake
Number of performance cores88
Number of efficient cores168
Total threads3224
Base frequency of performance cores3.00 GHz3.20 GHz
Base frequency of efficient cores2.20 GHz2.40 GHz
Max Turbo frequency of performance cores5.40 GHz5.10 GHz
Max Turbo frequency of efficient cores4.30 GHz3.90 GHz
Intel® Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 Frequency 5.70 GHz5.20 GHz
Max Turbo Frequency5.80 GHz5.20 GHz
Base Power125 Watts125 Watts
Max Turbo Power253 W241 W
Socket compatibilityFCLGA1700FCLGA1700
T Junction 100°C100°C
PCI Express SupportPCI 5 and 4PCI 5 and 4
Max PCI lanes2020
PCI Express configurationUp to 1×16+4, 2×8+4Up to 1×16+4, 2×8+4

Intel i9-13900K has 16 efficient cores and 32 threads while Intel i9-12900K has 8 efficient cores and 24 threads. And, the max turbo frequency of i9-13900K is higher at 5.80 GHz. i9-12900K can go up to 5.10 GHz.

Cache – Intel i9-13900K vs i9-12900K

The cache of i9-13900K is marginally higher than i9-12900K. A higher cache affords better processing speed for multiple tasks, The cache details are shared below.

Cache typeIntel i9-13900KIntel i9-12900K
Base cache36 MB30 MB
L2 Cache32 MB16 MB

32 MB L2 cache of Intel i9-13900K is a significant improvement over the 16 MB L2 cache of i9-12900K.

In other words, i9-13900K has 2 MB L2 cache per performance core while the i9-12900K has 1.25 MB L2 cache per performance core.

RAM – Intel i9-13900K vs i9-12900K

In terms of RAM compatibility, both processors can support DDR4 and DDR5 RAM. The exact details of the memory throughout and memory speed are mentioned hereunder.

RAM specificationsIntel i9-13900KIntel i9-12900K
DDR4 Memory typeUpto 3200 MT/s3200 MT/s
DDR5 Memory typeUpto 5600 MT/sUpto 4800 MT/s
Number of memory channels supported22
Max memory size supported128 GB128 GB
Max memory speed89.6 GB/s76.8 GB/s

Intel i9-13900K supports higher speed for DDR5 RAM. The maximum memory throughput has also improved by almost 20 percent over the i9-12900K processors.

Display – Intel i9-13900K vs i9-12900K

The display specifications of the i9-13900K and i9-12900K are identical to a large extent. The only difference lies in the marginally higher speed of the graphics engine.

The display specifications of both processors are shared below.

Display specificationsIntel i9-13900KIntel i9-12900K
Graphics processorUHD 770UHD 770
Base frequency300 MHz300 MHz
Turbo frequency1.65 GHzTurbo Frequency
Number of displays supported44
Max HDMI Resolution4096 x 2160 @ 60Hz4096 x 2160 @ 60Hz
Max DP Resolution7680 x 4320 @ 60Hz7680 x 4320 @ 60Hz
Max eDP Resolution5120 x 3200 @ 120Hz5120 x 3200 @ 120Hz
DirectX Support1212
OpenGL Support4.54.5

Benchmark scores – Intel i9-13900K vs i9-12900K

We have compiled the benchmark scores of i9-13900K and i9-12900K for your ready reference. The benchmark scores have been mentioned for single-core and multi-core performance.

Benchmark scoresi9-13900Ki9-12900K
3D Mark1653011877

These benchmark scores do confirm a 20 percent improvement of performance in i9-13900K over the i9-12900K.


Intel i9-13900K is available for a little over $550 while the i9-12900K comes at a discounted price of around $450. As of writing this, the difference in cost between Raptor Lake and Alder Lake processor range is of around $100.

Final verdict

i9-13900K is a faster processor. A higher number of threads and the improved L2 cache also boost the performance of the Raptor Lake in comparison to the Alder Lake range of core Intel processors.

The actual performance gains could be anywhere between 20-35% between i9-13900K and i9-12900K.

The incremental cost of i9-13900K is, therefore, attributable to the latest generation and faster processing of the Raptor Lake series.

You may like to read more about processors below:

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Rajesh Dhawan

Rajesh Dhawan is a technology professional who loves to blog about smart wearables, Cloud computing and Microsoft technologies. He loves to break complex problems into manageable chunks of meaningful information.