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Core i9-12900KS Vs Core i7-13700K [Gaming Benchmarks]

I compare the Core i9-12900KS and Core i7-13700K in Gaming Benchmarks and discuss their overall gaming performance to determine which one is better.

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Intel’s Raptor Lake CPUs have taken the market by storm, with many Alder Lake users considering an upgrade. Today, I’m comparing the Core i9-12900KS vs Core i7-13700K. The former is the fastest Intel CPU of its generation, while the latter is the new mainstream Core i7 chip, replacing the Core i7-12700K. Let’s see how the two compare. 

Key Takeaways

  • Both the Core i9-12900KS and Core i7-13700K have very similar specifications. They are also based on the same Hybrid Core Architecture and share the same Intel 7 node. 
  • In my six 1080P gaming benchmarks, the Core i7-13700K proved 5.2% faster than the Core i9-12900KS.
  • Furthermore, my performance analysis showed that the Core i7-13700K is 7.1% more power-efficient than the Core i9-12900KS in 1080P gaming. 
  • In terms of thermals, both the CPUs are very similar and differ by less than 1% in temperatures across my 1080P performance tests. 
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Comparison Table

Here’s how the CPUs compare in specifications:

CPU Core i9-12900KS Core i7-13700K
Architecture Hybrid Core Hybrid Core
Codename Alder Lake Raptor Lake
CPU Socket LGA1700 LGA1700
Cores 8P, 8E (16 cores) 8P, 8E (16 cores)
Threads 24 24
Base Clock
  • 3.40GHz (P-cores)
  • 2.50GHz (E-cores)
  • 3.40GHz (P-cores)
  • 2.50GHz (E-cores)
Boost Clock
  • 5.20GHz (P-cores)
  • 4.0GHz (E-cores)
  • 5.30GHz (P-cores)
  • 4.20GHz (E-cores)
Unlocked for Overclocking Yes Yes
Integrated Graphics Intel UHD 770 Intel UHD 770
Default TDP 150W 125W
Max. Boost Power 241W 253W
Max. Operating Temperature 90°C 100°C
Die Size  215mm² 257mm²
Manufacturing Process Intel 7 (10nm) Intel 7 (10nm)
L1 Cache
  • 80KB per P-core
  • 96KB per E-core
  • 80KB per P-core
  • 96KB per E-core
L2 Cache
  • 1.25MB per P-core
  • 2MB per E-core (module)
  • 2MB per P-core
  • 4MB per E-core (module)
L3 Cache 30MB 30MB
PCIe Version Gen 5 Gen 5
Memory Type & Speed
  • DDR4, up to 3200 MT/s
  • DDR5, up to 4800 MT/s
  • DDR4, up to 3200 MT/s
  • DDR5, up to 5600 MT/s
Release Date Apr 5th, 2022 Sept 27th, 2022
MSRP $739 $409
Best CPU Coolers Best Memory for Core i7-13700K
Best Motherboards Best Memory for Core i7-13700K
Best Memory Best Memory for Core i7-13700K

Core i9-12900KS vs Core i7-13700K

Architectural Differences

  1. Clock SpeedsStarting with the clock speeds, both CPUs have the same base clock speeds for both the P-cores and E-cores. As for the boost frequencies, the Core i9-12900KS can be pushed up to 5.2 GHz for the P-cores, which the Core i7-13700K betters with 5.3 GHz. Similarly, for the E-cores, the Core i9-12900KS has a boost clock frequency of 4.0 GHz, and the Core i7-13700K pushes that up to 4.20 GHz
  2. Cache: The Raptor Lake Core i7s get an upgrade to 4MB of L2 cache per E-core cluster. With each cluster having 4 cores and 2 clusters in total, we get 8MB of L2 cache from the E cores. The Core i9-12900KS contains 2MB of L2 cache for every 4 E cores. Thus, the Core i7-13700K features 30MB of L2 cache, compared to 24MB of the Core i9-12900KS.
  3. TDP: In terms of the base TDP, the Core i7-13700K is the better CPU with a rating of 125 watts compared to the 150 watts of the Core i9-12900KS. However, the i7-13700K does have a higher boost TDP rating of 253 watts, while the Core i9-12900KS draws a maximum of 241 watts

Similar Comparison: Core i9-12900KS vs Ryzen 7 5800X3D

Gaming Performance

Let’s see how these two CPUs stack against each other in gaming. I’ll compare their performance across 6 games, all tested at 1080P resolution with ultra or equivalent settings.

Note: The recorded figures may differ slightly from the actual figures due to shortcomings of the monitoring software. 

Test Bench

  • Intel Core i9-12900KS on Gigabyte Z690 AORUS ULTRA
  • Intel Core i7-13700K on Asus ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming
  • CPU Cooler: Corsair iCue H150I Elite
  • Graphics Card: Asus TUF Gaming RTX 4090 24GB
  • Memory: Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB 32GB (2×16) DDR5 @ 6000MHz 
  • SSD: Samsung 980 PRO 2TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2
  • HDD: WD Blue 4TB Desktop Hard Disk Drive
  • Power Supply: Corsair RM1000X (1000 watts)
  • Operating System: Windows 10

Hitman 3

A graph comparing the Core i9-12900KS vs Core i7-13700K in Hitman 3 at 1080P, comparing average FPS, %1 lows, temperature, and power draw.
Hitman 3 – Image Credits (Tech4Gamers)
  • Starting my benchmark tests with Hitman 3, I observed that the i7-13700K took a 4.3% lead with an average of 218 FPS. The Core i9-12900KS, in turn, scored 209 FPS, indicating a slight performance advantage for the Core i7-13700K.
  • Examining the %1 low figures, I noticed another win for the Core i7-13700K, which outscored the Core i9-12900KS by 5.2% in terms of minimum frame rates.
  • Turning my attention to temperatures, I found that the Core i9-12900KS ran at around 59°C, while the Core i7-13700K ran 1°C hotter, suggesting similar thermal performance between the two processors.
  • Additionally, I observed that the Intel Core i9-12900KS showed slightly higher power consumption, drawing 115 watts, compared to the Raptor Lake Core i7-13700K.

Cyberpunk 2077

A graph comparing the Core i9-12900KS vs Core i7-13700K in Cyberpunk 2077 at 1080P, comparing average FPS, %1 lows, temperature, and power draw.
Cyberpunk 2077 – Image Credits (Tech4Gamers)
  • Moving on to Cyberpunk 2077, I found that the Core i9-12900KS lagged behind the Core i7-13700K by 7.2% in terms of average FPS.
  • In terms of %1 low FPS, the Core i7-13700K maintained a lead with 131 FPS, while the Core i9-12900KS managed 124 FPS, indicating better minimum frame rates for the Core i7-13700K.
  • Another win for the Core i9-12900KS was in terms of thermal performance, as it ran 2°C cooler compared to the Core i7-13700K.
  • However, the Core i9-12900KS proved to be more power-hungry in Cyberpunk 2077, drawing 11.7% more power than the Core i7-13700K.

Far Cry 6

A graph comparing the Core i9-12900KS vs Core i7-13700K in Far Cry 6 at 1080P, comparing average FPS, %1 lows, temperature, and power draw.
Far Cry 6 – Image Credits (Tech4Gamers)
  • In my testing of Far Cry 6, the Core i7-13700K managed another marginal lead, averaging 166 FPS, while the Core i9-12900KS replied with 158 FPS on average.
  • Looking at the %1 lows, the Core i9-12900KS trailed the Core i7-13700K again, but this time by 3.5%, indicating slightly lower minimum frame rates.
  • However, things took a turn in terms of thermal performance as the Core i9-12900KS reached the 70°C mark, while the Core i7-13700K ran at around 65°C, making it 7.6% cooler.
  • The Core i7-13700K outperformed the Core i9-12900KS in terms of power efficiency, drawing 96.2 watts on average, which is notable.

Also Read: Intel i9-12900K vs i9-12900KS

God of War

A graph comparing the Core i9-12900KS vs Core i7-13700K in God of War at 1080P, comparing average FPS, %1 lows, temperature, and power draw.
God of War – Image Credits (Tech4Gamers)
  • In my God of War performance analysis, the Core i7-13700K continued to impress with an average of 204 FPS, while the Core i9-12900KS trailed slightly with 195 FPS, indicating a 4.6% difference.
  • When examining the %1 lows, I found the Core i7-13700K extending its lead to 9.3% with 176 FPS, suggesting more stable minimum frame rates.
  • Unfortunately, the Core i9-12900KS continued to lag behind in thermal performance, reaching around 68°C, while its competitor averaged 63°C, a 7.9% difference in temperature.
  • In terms of power consumption, the Core i9-12900KS drew 14.2% more power compared to the Core i7-13700K, showing a notable difference in power efficiency.

Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla

A graph comparing the Core i9-12900KS vs Core i7-13700K in Assassin's Creed: Valhalla at 1080P, comparing average FPS, %1 lows, temperature, and power draw.
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla – Image Credits (Tech4Gamers)
  • Next, I tested Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla. Here, the Core i9-12900KS continues to trail behind the i7-13700K, with an average of 206 FPS.
  • When considering the %1 low FPS, the i7-13700K scores 159 FPS, while the Core i9-12900KS scores 148 FPS, showcasing a 6.9% difference.
  • The Core i9-12900KS outshines its competitor in thermal performance, averaging just around 60°C, compared to the i7-13700K, which runs 4°C hotter, demonstrating a 6.7% difference in temperature.
  • A rare coincidence occurs as both CPUs draw the same amount of power on average, at 113.9 watts, emphasizing identical power consumption.

Horizon Zero Dawn

A graph comparing the Core i9-12900KS vs Core i7-13700K in Horizon Zero Dawn at 1080P, comparing average FPS, %1 lows, temperature, and power draw.
Horizon Zero Dawn – Image Credits (Tech4Gamers)
  • Average FPS: Core i7-13700K maintains its lead with an average of 219 FPS, making it 3.6% faster than Core i9-12900KS, which achieves 211 FPS.
  • 1% Lows: Core i7-13700K maintains a marginal 1.7% lead over Core i9-12900KS in terms of 1% lows.
  • Temperatures: Core i9-12900KS reaches 70°C, while Core i7-13700K runs 1°C cooler, indicating a slight difference in thermal performance.
  • Power Draw: Core i9-12900KS has an average power draw of 114.7 watts, whereas Core i7-13700K consumes 109.8 watts, making it 4.4% more power-efficient.

Overall Gaming Performance

Let’s look at the average FPS and %1 low FPS across the 6 games to summarize the gaming benchmarks. 

A graph comparing the performance difference between the Core i9-12900KS and the Core i7-13700K across 6 games.
Overall Gaming Performance – Image Credits (Tech4Gamers)
  • Average FPS (1080P Gaming): Core i7-13700K averages 195.8 FPS, making it 5.2% faster than Core i9-12900KS, which averages 186.1 FPS.
  • 1% Lows: Core i7-13700K achieves 160.3 FPS in 1% lows, surpassing Core i9-12900KS by 5.46%, as it scored 152 FPS.

Also Read: Intel i7-13700k Vs Ryzen 7 7700X

Power Consumption

Next, a look at the power consumption numbers across the six tested games.

Reminder:

  • Core i9-12900KS Base TDP: 150W
  • Core i7-13700K Base TDP: 125W (20% lower)
A graph comparing the power consumption of the Core i9-12900KS and the Core i7-13700K across 6 tested games.
Power Draw – Image Credits (Tech4Gamers)
  • Across my six benchmarks, the Core i9-12900KS drew 113.1 watts on average, while the Core i7-13700K used 105.6 watts. This makes the Core i7-13700K 7.1% more power-efficient in 1080P gaming.
  • The CPU with the lower base TDP wins, though not by a significant margin.

Thermal Performance

The Core i7-13700K was the more power-efficient CPU, but is it also more thermally efficient? Let’s see. 

A graph comparing the thermal performance of the Core i9-12900KS vs the Core i7-13700K across 7 benchmarks.
Thermal Performance – Image Credits (Tech4Gamers)
  • In terms of temperatures, I observed that the Core i9-12900KS averaged 65.1°C across my six tests. In comparison, the Core i7-13700K ran slightly cooler, at 64.5°C.
  • Therefore, the Core i7-13700K is not even 1% better than the Core i9-12900KS in terms of thermal performance when it comes to 1080P gaming.

CPU Cost And Electricity Prices

Since the Core i9-12900KS costs almost half of its launch MSRP now (around $419), it’s evenly matched with the Core i7-13700K (~$417) in terms of CPU prices. Furthermore, both CPUs support the same chipsets, so the question of platform costs does not come into consideration. 

The two CPUs also share very similar power draw ratings. However, the Core i7-13700K is the more efficient CPU at a base frequency and could be slightly more economical if you’re running your CPU at stock settings.

In my 1080P gaming performance analysis, I found that the Core i7-13700K was 7.1% more power-efficient than the Core i9-12900KS. But, since the Core i7-13700K has a slightly higher boost TDP rating, it could cost more if your focus is on 4K gaming or productivity tasks. 

Also Check: i7-13700K vs Ryzen 9 7900X

Core i7-13700K Vs Core i9-12900KS: Which CPU Do I Recommend?

  • Both the Core i9-12900KS and Core i7-13700K are solid CPUs for gaming. Even though the two CPUs are from different lineups, their specifications are very similar, and they’re also based on the same architecture. Furthermore, they have comparable prices. 
  • Both the CPUs performed very well in 1080P gaming, but the i7-13700K proved to be faster. What gives the Core i7-13700K an advantage is its slightly better power efficiency, as I analyzed in my benchmarks. Additionally, it has improved DDR5 memory support. Thus, I recommend the Core i7-13700K over the Core i9-12900KS.

Pros And Cons

CPU Pros Cons
Core i9-12900KS
  • Lower boost TDP rating.
  • Thermal performance on par with 13700K.
  • MSRP is almost half of the launch price.
  • Older.
  • DDR5 support only up to 4800 MT/s.
Core i7-13700K
  • Better 1080P gaming performance.
  • More power-efficient.
  • Improved DDR5 support.
  • Improved architecture.
  • May draw more power in 4K gaming.

FAQs

Is the Core i7-13700K better than the Core i9-12900KS?

The Core i7-13700K shares many similarities with the Core i9-12900KS regarding specifications. However, it’s 5.2% faster in 1080P gaming and more power efficient.

Does the Core i7-13700K have the same memory support as the Core i9-12900KS?

Both the CPUs support DDR4 and DDR5 memory. However, the Core i7-13700K supports slightly faster DDR5 memory at 5400 MT/s.

Does the Core i7-13700K show better power-efficiency than the Core i9-12900KS?

Yes. The Core i7-13700K has a lower base TDP rating and consumed 7.1% less power in 1080P gaming.


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