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Intel i5-13600K Vs i9 12900K [Benchmarks 2023]

Our Core i5 13600K vs Core i9 12900K comparison guide tests both processors in both gaming and productivity.

Intel is known to be dominating the CPU market for decades at this point. Today we will be comparing two very different CPUs from this tech giant. On one corner, we have an entry-level CPU from intel’s latest and greatest raptor lake, core i5 13600k. A budget king, providing top-notch performance for the price it’s being sold at.

On the other hand, we have core i9 12900K, a high-end CPU from their previous alder lake series. Despite being one generation behind at this point, the 12th gen CPUs from intel are still in high demand because of how well they perform. So without any further due, let’s dive into Core  i5 13600K Vs Core i9 12900K.

Not a fan of team blue and looking to discover some options from AMD? We got you covered there too. Check out our comparison between the Ryzen 7 5800X Vs. Ryzen 7 5700G.


Major Differences Summarized 

  • Core i5 13600K is an entry-level CPU from Intel’s latest raptor lake lineup, whereas Core i9 12900K is a high-end CPU from Intel’s previous alder lake lineup. 
  • Gaming performance is nearly identical on both of these CPUs.
  • Core i9 12900K is anywhere between 5 to 18% faster than Core i5 13600K in productivity and content creator workloads. 
  • Despite having similar TDP. Core i5 13600K was consuming 6% less power during our stress tests. 
  • Intel Core i5 13600K is approximately 61% cheaper than the Core i9 12900K was at MSRP.
  • Intel Core i9 12900K has more cores and threads, which gives it an edge in content creator workloads. 

Core i5 13600K Vs Core i9 12900K: Comparison Table

CPU Intel Core i9 12900K Intel Core i5 13600K
Product Generation Intel Core i9 12th gen Intel Core i5 13th gen
Core Architecture Alder Lake Raptor Lake
Processing Node Intel 10nm Intel 10nm
Socket Intel Socket 1700 Intel Socket 1700
Motherboard Chipset Support Z690, H670, B660, H610 Z690, Z790
Number of Cores (Threads) 16(24) 14(20)
L2 Cache 1.25MB (per core) 2MB (per core)
L3 Cache 30MB (shared) 24MB (shared)
Base Clock Speed 3.2 GHz 3.5 GHz
Boost Clock Speed 5.2 GHz 5.1 GHz
Thermal Design Power 125 watts 125 watts
Integrated Graphics UHD Graphics 770 UHD Graphics 770
Launch Price $599 $319
Launch Date November 2021 September 2022
Best Motherboards Best Motherboards for i9-12900K Best Motherboards For i5-13600K
Best Coolers Best CPU Coolers For Core i9-12900K Best CPU Coolers For i5-13600K

Similarities In Specifications

Before we head over to discuss the differences, let us take a detailed look at some of the specifications that both of these CPUs share. Intel is revising their 1700 socket for another year which means both 12900K and 13600K share the same socket.

This also means that we will see motherboards like Z690 that supported the previous alder lake CPUs will also have support for the next-gen raptor lake CPUs. After all, both 12900K and 13600K are designed on Intel’s same 10nm processing node.

Also Read: Intel i7-12700K Vs i5-13600K

Despite being an entry-level CPU, 13600K has the same TDP as the previous generation’s high-end 12900K at 125 watts. Max case and thermal junction temperatures are also advertised to be the same among these CPUs at 72°C and 100°C, respectively. Both of these CPUs have support for the faster next-gen 5 PCI Express.

DDR5 is also supported on both of these CPUs. However, 13600K went one step ahead and supports DDR5 memory speeds up to 5600 MHz, whereas 12900K maxes out at 4800 MHz. DDR4 speeds for both are capped at 3200 MHz.

Lastly, onboard graphics support for both these CPUs is also the same, with the Intel UHD 770 integrated GPU. That is all that’s common between these CPUs. Let us head over to see the differences now. 

Differences In Specifications

Right off the bat, we can see that both of these CPUs were designed on the same 10nm processing node by Intel, but 13600K has a larger die size of around 257 mm² compared to 215 mm² on 12900K. This, however, does not affect the support for the shared motherboards between these CPUs.

The newer 13600K runs at a higher clock frequency of around 3.5 GHz compared to 3.2 GHz on 12900K. However, 12900K is able to clock higher on the boost frequency at around 5.2 GHz, compared to 13600K, which maxes out at 5.1 GHz.

12900K also has a greater number of cores and threads, at 16 and 24, respectively. Compared to that, 13600K only has 14 cores and 20 threads. This will give an edge to 12900K in the productivity benchmarks, which we will observe later in the article.

The L1 cache was the same on both CPUs at 80K per core. However, since 12900K has more cores, it has a higher total L1 cache. 13600K did seem to have a higher L2 cache at around 2MB per core, compared to 1.25MB per core on 12900K. But, 12900K did end up having a higher L3 cache at around 30MB compared to 24MB on 13600K.

The biggest difference among these CPUs was observed in the price, where 12900K was a whopping 61% more expensive than 13600K at MSRP. Let us head over to the benchmarks now and see if 12900K is able to justify that hefty price tag.

Core i5 13600K Vs Core i9 12900K: Gaming Benchmarks

Let’s examine how these CPUs perform in some of the most recent AAA games. All of the games will be tested at 1080p and 1440p resolutions so that you can better understand how each CPU performs. Particularly at lower resolutions where our CPU is actually tested.

As the resolution increases, the GPU’s contribution in performance tends to become more crucial. It is also important to note that, in comparison to average frame rates, a game’s 1% lows provide a better understanding of the performance differences between the two CPUs since the rig we will be using has an RTX 4090, so we are not GPU bound.

We will be heading over to TheSpyHood’s YouTube channel for the Core i5 13600K vs Core i9 12900K gaming benchmarks. All the games were tested on the highest settings in two separate resolutions, i.e., 1080p and 1440p, on the following rig with both CPUs running on stock configuration. 

Testing Rig

  • CPU 1: Intel Core i5 13600K (Stock) 
  • Motherboard 1: Gigabyte Z790 Aorus Master
  • CPU 2: Intel Core i9 12900K (Stock)
  • Motherboard 2: Gigabyte Z690 AORUS Master
  • CPU Cooler: MSI MAG Core Liquid C360 AIO cooler
  • GPU: Nvidia Geforce RTX 4090 24 GB
  • RAM : 64 GB DDR4 4000 MHz (4*16 GB)
  • PSU: 1200 watts Asus ROG Thor Platinum

Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077 is one of the heaviest and most demanding games. It is both a CPU and GPU-intensive title

1080p

Cyberpunk 2077 1080p benchmark
Cyberpunk 2077 1080p benchmark
  • i5 13600K manages to run the game comfortably at 176 average fps, and 3 fps behind is 12900K at 173 average fps.
  • 13600K leads our first benchmark by a margin of 1.7% in terms of average fps.
  • 1% lows yielded by 13600K were around 131 fps. Whereas 12900K was able to deliver 130 fps in terms of 1% lows. 
  • The margin in 1% lows was much smaller of a single frame, with 13600K coming on top.

1440p

Cyberpunk 2077 1440p benchmark
Cyberpunk 2077 1440p benchmark
  • Both of our CPUs were extremely neck-to-neck in terms of average fps at 1440p with no difference.
  • Both CPUs were averaging around 151 fps. 
  • Despite providing similar average fps, the game seemed to run smoother on 12900K as it was 3.4% ahead in terms of 1% lows. 
  • 12900K was able to provide 119 1% low fps. At the same time, 13600K maxed out at 115 fps. 

Forza Horizon 5

Forza Horizon 5 is a little lighter on the CPU as compared to a GPU. It scales really well as we continue to upscale our core and thread count.

1080p

Forza Horizon 5 1080p benchmark
Forza Horizon 5 1080p benchmark
  • Both of our contenders could handle Forza Horizon 5 fairly well, as they were running the game at over 200 fps. However, it did run slightly better on 13600K, which was approximately 1.6% faster than its competitor.
  • 13600K was able to deliver a stable 253 fps experience. Compared to that, 12900K was averaging around 249 fps.
  • 1% lows painted a totally different picture, as this time around, it was 12900K with the lead. However, the difference was very insignificant as 13600K was only 1 frame behind it.
  • 13600K yielded an average of 204 fps, compared to 205 fps by 12900K.

1440p

Forza Horizon 5 1440p benchmark
Forza Horizon 5 1440p benchmark
  • This time around 13600K was averaging at around 218 fps. In comparison to that, 12900K was just shy of 1 frame, averaging around 217 fps. 
  • 1% lows were once again in favour of 12900K, which was now 4% ahead.
  • 13600K was able to deliver a respectable 170 fps when it came to 1% lows. However, 12900K was still ahead, averaging around 177 fps. 

Battlefield 2042

Battlefield 2042 is a perfect game to test Core i5 13600K vs Core i9 12900K, as it gets severely merciless on CPUs

1080p

Battlefield 2042 1080p benchmark
Battlefield 2042 1080p benchmark
  • Things start to look a little worrying for 13600K as 12900K managed to take the lead here, with a margin of 1.4%.
  • 12900K was able to deliver solid 221 fps on average. Next to that, 13600K was just two frames shy of 220 fps experience and delivered 218 average fps. 
  • 1% lows were totally different, as this time, 13600K was ahead by a margin of 2.8%.
  • It pushed out 180 frames when it came to 1% lows. 12900K, on the other hand, was able to yield 175 fps

1440p

  • 13600K manages to retake its lost lead at 1440p. However, it was only a single frame ahead. 
  • It was now averaging around 185 fps. 1 fps behind was 12900K, providing 184 fps on average. 
  • To 12900K’s credit, it does manage to take a respectable lead in 1% lows by a margin of 5.4%.  
  • It managed to provide a respectable 158 1% low fps on average. 13600K, on the other hand, could only give 143 fps. 

Similar Guide: Core i5-13600k vs i5-12600k

Call Of Duty Warzone Pacific

Call of Duty Warzone is an extremely demanding title that tends to rely a bit more on the GPU side. However, you are still going to need a beefy CPU in order to load those maps and textures on the spot.

1080p

Call of Duty Warzone Pacific 1080p benchmark
Call of Duty Warzone Pacific 1080p benchmark
  • 12900K once again manages to take the lead in this benchmark, this time at Call of Duty Warzone Pacific, with a margin of 1.3%. 
  • It was averaging near 223 fps. 13600K also ran the game at an acceptable 220 average fps but still lagging behind its competitor. 
  • 13600K manages to turn things around in 1% lows by snatching the lead with a margin of 3.3%. 
  • It was able to deliver 181 fps in terms of 1% lows. Contrary to that, 12900K was able to provide 175 fps. 

1440p

Call of Duty Warzone Pacific 1440p benchmark
Call of Duty Warzone Pacific 1440p benchmark
  • 12900K managed to retain its lead at the higher 1440p resolution but with a margin of a single frame this time around. 
  • It managed to run the game at an average of 194 fps. Not far behind was 13600K averaging around 193 fps. 
  • The game also ran smoother on 12900K, as it was 2.5% ahead in terms of 1% lows. 
  • 12900K managed to deliver an average of 160 1% low fps. Compared to that, 13600K was only able to deliver 156 fps. 

A Plague Tale Requiem

A Plague Tale Requiem is a GPU-bound title. However, a capable CPU is also required to load up those next-gen high-resolution textures. 

1080p

A Plague Tale Requiem 1080p benchmark
A Plague Tale Requiem 1080p benchmark
  • A plague tale requiem ran better on 13600K, which was 3.2% faster than 12900K this time. 
  • It yielded an average of 156 fps. 12900K was lagging at an average of 151 fps. 
  • 1% lows also saw a much difference, where 12900K came on top but by a margin of a single frame.
  • It delivered a solid frame rate of 121 fps in the 1% lows department. At the same time, 13600K was one step behind at 120 fps. 

1440p

A Plague Tale Requiem 1440p benchmark
A Plague Tale Requiem 1440p benchmark
  • Things start to look a little worrying for 13600K as 12900K once again takes the lead, this time with a margin of 1.5%.
  • 12900K managed to push out 135 fps on average. 2 fps behind was 13600K, with an average of 133 fps. 
  • 1% lows also seemed to be in favor of 12900K, as it was now 7% ahead.  
  • 13600K could only average around 95 1% low fps. Meanwhile, 12900K was just able to push out 102 fps

God Of War 2018

God of War 2018 tends to rely more on the GPU. However, a capable CPU is also required to avoid any bottlenecks. 

1080p

God Of War 2018 1080p benchmark
God Of War 2018 1080p benchmark
  • God of War ran better on 13600K as it finally managed to regain the lead, this time with a margin of 1.6%.
  • 13600K was steadily pushing out 190 fps on average. 12900K was just shy of 3 frames from reaching this and maxed out at 187 fps
  • The difference in 1% lows was smaller, as 13600K performed 1.3% faster this time. 
  • On average, it was yielding 151 1% low fps. Contrary to that, 12900K could only manage to deliver 149 fps. 

1440p

God Of War 2018 1440p benchmark
God Of War 2018 1440p benchmark
  • After locking horns in the higher 1440p resolution, our former winner, 13600K, ends up losing its lead, with a minor difference of one single frame. 
  • 13600K was just enough to touch the stable 160 fps threshold on average. 12900K, on the other hand, was one frame ahead, averaging around 161 fps.
  • A similar difference was observed in terms of 1% lows, where this time, it was 13600K with the lead but with a single frame.
  • It was able to provide an average of 125 1% low fps. 1 frame behind was 12900K at 124 fps.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption is an extremely demanding title, which does a very good job of being both GPU and CPU intensive. This makes it a good choice for Core i5 13600K vs Core i9 12900K gaming benchmarks. 

1080p

Red Dead Redemption 2 1080p benchmark
Red Dead Redemption 2 1080p benchmark
  • Our contenders were able to run Red Dead Redemption 2 fairly well, as they were running the game at over 200 fps. However, it did run slightly better on 13600K, which was approximately 1.3% faster than its competitor.
  • It provided a stable experience of 227 fps on average. 12900K was not far behind at 224 fps.
  • Regarding 1% lows, 13600K ends up blowing its lead by a margin of 2.1%.
  • 1% lows yielded by 13600K were around 181 fps. Compared to that, 12900K peaked at 185 fps.

1440p

Red Dead Redemption 2 1440p benchmark
Red Dead Redemption 2 1440p benchmark
  • 1440p did not seem to paint a different picture, as 13600K managed to retain its lead by a margin of 1.1%.
  • 13600K had no problem running the game, as it was averaging around 181 fps. 12900K could not keep up since it maxed out at 179 fps. 
  • The lead extended drastically in 1% lows, as 13600K was now a whopping 9.3% faster than its competitor. 
  • It was able to yield an average of 145 fps. 12900K struggled to keep up as it maxed out at 132 fps in terms of 1% lows.

Also Read: i7-13700K Vs i5-13600K

Call Of Duty Modern Warfare 2

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 is one of the very few games that can actually utilize more than 8 cores offered by a CPU.

1080p

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 1080p benchmark
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 1080p benchmark
  • 13600K was able to provide a solid 214 fps experience. In comparison to that, 12900K was averaging around 209 fps.
  • 13600K once again enjoyed a comfortable lead by being 2.3% better.
  • Call of Duty Modern Warfare saw one of the bigger differences in 1% lows. 12900K was approximately 6.7% ahead of 13600K.
  • It managed to provide a respectable 170 1% low fps on average. 13600K, on the other hand, could only give 159 fps. 

1440p

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 1440p benchmark
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 1440p benchmark
  • The difference observed at 1440p was much smaller as both of our CPUs are very close in average fps. 13600K retains its lead, but now it’s only a single frame ahead of 12900K.
  • It manages to give an average of 184 fps. Exactly 1 frame behind is 12900K, delivering 183 fps on average.
  • The game ran smoother on 13600K since it was 5% ahead of 12900K in 1% lows. 
  • 13600K delivered an average of 146 fps when it came to 1% lows. In comparison, 12900K capped out at 139 fps. 

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

Being a Ubisoft title, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla does not have the best optimization. You will need at least a six-core CPU to run this game. 

1080p

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla 1080p benchmark
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla 1080p benchmark
  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla ran slightly better on 13600K, as it was 2.6% ahead.
  • 13600K was able to provide a solid 196 fps on average. 12900K was 5 frames behind, averaging around 191 fps. 
  • 1% lows saw a much smaller difference of around 1.3% in favor of 13600K.
  • It pushed out 154 frames in terms of 1% lows. 12900K, on the other hand, was just 2 frames behind at 152 fps

1440p

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla 1440p benchmark
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla 1440p benchmark
  • 1440p saw basically no difference in terms of average fps.
  • Both CPUs were averaging around 169 fps on average. 
  • However, the game did run better on 12900K, as it was 6.3% faster in 1% lows. 
  • It yielded 131 1% low fps compared to 123 fps by 13600K. 

Days Gone

Days Gone is extremely well-optimized, and modern-day CPUs and GPUs had no problems running it. 

1080p

Days Gone 1080p benchmark
Days Gone 1080p benchmark
  • Days gone turned out a little unfortunate for our former winner 13600K, which ended up blowing its lead to 12900K by a margin of 1.56%.
  • The average fps yielded by 13600K were hovering around 254 fps, compared to 12900K which was around 258 fps.
  • To 12900K’s credit, it does manage to turn things around in 1% lows and gain a lead of 4%.
  • 13600K was able to deliver 195 1% low fps. 12900K was roughly 8 fps ahead at an average of 203 1% low fps.

1440p

Days Gone 1440p benchmark
Days Gone 1440p benchmark
  • Switching up to 1440p ended up being beneficial for 12900K, as it dethroned our former winner. The difference was not drastic, as it was only 2 frames ahead.
  • Both CPUs continue to annihilate games at over 200 fps, with 13600K, this time averaging around 213 fps. 12900K, on the other hand, got an average of 215 fps. 
  • 1% lows ended up heavily favoring 13600K, as it was 13.2% ahead.
  • 13600K was just a single frame shy of reaching the 170 fps mark and averaging around 169 fps in terms of 1% lows. 12900K was 21 frames below at around 213 fps

Uncharted 4 A Thief’s End

Uncharted 4 A Thief’s End requires a high-end GPU to run. However, the game has good multi-threading capabilities, so it runs better on CPUs with more cores and threads.

1080p

Uncharted 4 1080p benchmark
Uncharted 4 1080p benchmarks
  • i5 13600K manages to run the game comfortably at 232 average fps, and 4 fps behind is 12900K at 228 average fps.
  • 13600K in this title, with a margin of 1.7% in terms of average fps.
  • 12900K does manage to turn things around in terms of 1% lows, as it is now ahead by being 3.2% faster.
  • 1% lows yielded by 13600K were around 185 fps. In contrast, 12900K was able to deliver 191 fps.

1440p

Uncharted 4 1440p benchmark
Uncharted 4 1440p benchmark
  • 1440p saw a much smaller difference of around 1%, with 13600K coming on top.
  • The average fps delivered by 13600K were hovering around 194 fps. 12900K was only 2 fps behind, giving us a total average of 192 fps.
  • This time, 13600K was also ahead in 1% lows by performing 2.6% faster. 
  • 13600K was able to provide 156 1% low fps. In the meanwhile, 12900K maxed out at 152 fps. 

Similar Comparisons: Ryzen 7 5800X3D Vs. i5-13600K

Marvel’s Spiderman Remastered 

Marvel’s Spiderman is fairly light on CPUs and relies mostly on GPU

1080p

Marvel's Spiderman remastered 1080p benchmark
Marvel’s Spiderman remastered 1080p benchmark
  • Both our contenders are crushing this game at over 250 fps on average. However, 13600K, once again, manages to come on top with a difference of 2.15%.
  • It runs the game comfortably at a whopping 281 fps on average. 12900K also delivered a respectable frame rate of around 275 fps. 
  • The gap seems to have extended in the 1% lows department, as 12900K snatches the lead from 13600K by a margin of 5.12%. 
  • It managed to yield a stable experience of 220 1% low fps. On the other hand, 13600K could only yield 209 fps. 

1440p

Marvel's Spiderman remastered 1440p benchmark
Marvel’s Spiderman remastered 1440p benchmark
  • Smaller differences were observed at the 1440p resolution, with 13600K leading the race with a margin of 1.2%.
  • The game ran buttery smooth at around 252 fps on average on 13600K. Results from 12900K were also extremely acceptable, hovering around 249 average fps. 
  • 13600K also managed to do impressively in terms of 1% lows, as it was still averaging above 200 fps at around 203 fps. It also retained its lead by a margin of 8.74% this time.
  • 12900K was approximately 17 frames behind, averaging around 186 fps. 

Dying Light 2

Dying Light 2 is a title that is equally merciless on CPU and GPU

1080p

Dying Light 2 1080p benchmark
Dying Light 2 1080p benchmark
  • 13600K manages to retain its lead in Dying Light 2 by performing 2.8% better than 12900K.
  • The average fps delivered by 13600K lingered around 181 fps. 12900K was 5 fps behind, giving us a total average of 176 fps.
  • 1% lows saw a bigger difference of around 6% in favor of 13600K.
  • It pushed out 152 1% low frames on average. 12900K, on the other hand, could only yield 143 fps

1440p

Dying Light 2 1440p benchmark
Dying Light 2 1440p benchmark
  • 1440p resolution tends to prefer 12900K, as it ended up dethroning our former winner by a difference of 1.3%.
  • 13600K, this time around, was just shy of one frame from providing us a stable 150 fps experience while averaging around 149 fps. At the same time, 12900K was giving us an average of 151 fps.  
  • 1% lows saw a slightly bigger difference of about 2.7%, with 12900K coming ahead.
  • It provided an average of 113 1% low fps. 3 frames behind was 13600K giving us an average of 110 fps. 

Far Cry 6

Far Cry 6 has major CPU optimization issues. It relies heavily on the CPU’s cores and threads despite being a DirectX 12 title.

1080p

Far Cry 6 1080p benchmark
Far Cry 6 1080p benchmark
  • 12900K leads our final Core i5 13600K vs Core i9 12900K gaming benchmark by a margin of 1.73%.
  • 13600K was averaging around 229 fps. Compared to 12900K, which managed to deliver 233 fps.
  • 1% lows were found to be exactly similar on both CPUs, as they were both averaging around 182 fps. 

1440p

Far Cry 6 1440p benchmark
Far Cry 6 1440p benchmark
  • i5 13600K manages to run the game comfortably at 192 average fps. 12900K is slightly behind at 189 average fps.
  • 13600K bags a final lead in our closing benchmark by a margin of 1.57%.
  • 1% lows yielded by 13600K were around 155 fps compared to 150 fps by 12900K.
  • The margin in 1% lows was huge at 3.27%, with 13600K coming on top.

Overall Gaming Performance

From the gaming benchmarks we have seen so far, it is safe to say that both of these CPUs are extremely neck-to-neck, sometimes 13600K comes on top, but shortly we see 12900K snatching the lead. Ultimately, it will depend on the game, resolution, and settings.

Now, for a more in-depth analysis, we will take average fps and 1% lows from the 14 titles tested and calculate the mean out of it. This will give us a better estimate of how much performance difference we can generally expect between these CPUs.

1080p

At 1080p, the difference between both of our contenders was relatively small. 13600K was performing roughly 1.46% better than 12900K in terms of average fps. On the mean, from 14 games tested at 1080p, it provided 216.21 fps. Compared to that, 12900K was able to deliver 213.07 fps.

Both CPUs were extremely neck-to-neck in terms of 1% lows. The difference was of less than one frame. A mean of 1% lows was yielded by 13600K in 14 different games, on 1080p resolution was 170.28 fps. Whereas 12900K was able to push out an average of 170 1% low fps. 

The biggest difference in average fps on 1080p resolution between these two CPUs was observed in A Plague Tale Requiem, where 13600K was 3.2% better. 

Also Read: i7-13700K Vs Ryzen 9 7900X

1440p

1440p saw an extremely negligible difference of 0.12% in favor of 13600K. Both CPUs were extremely neck-to-neck. This time around, on mean, 13600K was providing an average of 183.07 fps in 14 different titles that were tested.

At the same time, 12900K was less than one frame behind, giving us an average of 182.84 fps. The difference seems to extend a little in 1% lows in favor of 12900K, which was now on lead with a margin of 4.3%. It delivered an average of 141 1% low fps. On the other hand, 13600K could only provide 135 fps.

The biggest difference in average fps on 1440p resolution between these two CPUs was observed in Forza Horizon 5, where 12900K was 4% better. 

Core i5 13600K Vs Core i9 12900K: Productivity Benchmarks

After observing the performance of both of our CPUs in gaming benchmarks, let us compare their performance using productivity benchmarks to see how well they perform in some content creator workloads. We will be heading over to PC Benchmark’s YouTube channel for this one, as they have previously benchmarked these CPUs in a handful of productivity apps. Mentioned below are the specifications of the testing rig they used.

Testing Rig

  • CPU 1: Intel Core i5 13600K
  • CPU 2: Intel Core i9 12900K
  • Motherboard 1: MSI Z790
  • Motherboard 2: MSI Z690
  • RAM: 32 Gb DDR 5 6000 MHz (2*16 Gb)
  • GPU: Nvidia Ge-force RTX 4090

Cinebench R23

Let’s start the benchmark with Cinebench R23. A handy little test suite to test not only the single-core performance of our CPU but multi-core as well. It utilizes your CPU to render a high-quality 3D image based on its performance. It rates the CPU with a score. Both of our CPUs were put up against each other to render an image. Let’s find out how well they did.

Cinebench R23 Benchmark
Cinebench R23 Benchmark
  • Right off the bat, we can see 12900K getting a clear advantage in multi-core workload as it scores a whopping 18.5% higher than 13600K. 
  • The higher number of cores helps 12900K secure an excellent score of 27755. 13600K, on the other hand, could only manage to get 23050. 
  • Both CPUs’ single-core performance is relatively similar, as observed previously in the gaming benchmarks. The same is the case here in the single-core benchmark, as 12900K is now only 1.62% better than 13600K.
  • It managed to score 2045, slightly behind it was 13600K, with a score of 2012.

Blender

Up next, we have Blender. It is an open-source 3D creation suite used to render high-quality 3D graphics. Our contenders were put up to render the same scene, so we could see the time it takes our CPUs to render it and which one gets it done faster.

Blender Benchmark
Blender Benchmark
  • To no one’s surprise, 12900K managed to render the scene faster than 13600K, with a margin of 13%.
  • Total time taken by 12900K to render the entire scene was approximately 635 seconds. 
  • In comparison to that, 13600K took 724 seconds to render the same scene. 

Corona 1.3

Next up, we have Corona 1.3. It is another CPU performance testing suite that allows users to render 3D animations. It uses the CPU render engine Corona to push your CPU to its limits. Once again, both of our CPUs were put up to the task of rendering a similar scene.

Corona 1.3 Benchmark
Corona 1.3 Benchmark
  • Once again, the additional number of cores on 12900K helps it to render the scene faster. This time by a smaller margin of 5%, though.
  • 12900K took 59 seconds to render the entire scene.
  • At the same time, 13600K got the same scene rendered in 62 seconds. 

7-Zip File Manager

The next software we will be testing for Core i5 13600K vs Core i9 12900K productivity benchmarks is the 7-Zip file manager. It is an open-source file archiver. It is also used to test the compression and decompression speeds of CPUs. The performance is measured in MIPS or instructions per second (million).

7 Zip File manager Benchmark
7 Zip File manager Benchmark
  • Decompression was done faster on 12900K, as it scored 11.7% higher than 13600K in our decompression test.
  • It managed to complete 145804 MIPS compared to 13600K, which could only do 119548 MIPS. 
  • Things were totally different when it came to compression speeds. This time, it was 13600K, with the lead by a margin of 4%.
  • The total MIPS completed by 13600K was around 119548, whereas 12900K could complete 114931 MIPS.

Also Check: Intel i9-13900K Vs. i9-12900K

Handbrake

The last productivity benchmarking software that we will be using today is Handbrake. Handbrake is an open-source video transcoder for videos. It can be used to convert videos to nearly any format. It is a good software to test our CPU’s performance as the video encoders, filters and other processes rely heavily on the CPU. For this test, a 4k video was converted to 1080p format for YouTube.

HandBrake Benchmark
Handbrake Benchmark
  • 12900K got a lead in our final benchmark today, as it converted the video 10.8% faster than 13600K.
  • It took a total of 270 seconds to convert the entire 4k video to 1080p. 
  • Whereas 13600K needed 301 seconds to convert the same exact video.

Overall Productivity Performance

From the productivity benchmarks, we noticed that Core i9 12900K is anywhere between 5 to 18% faster than Core i5 13600K, depending on the task and application. This is primarily because 12900K has 16 cores and 24 threads, whereas 13600K only has 14 cores and 20 threads.

The superior number of cores and threads gives 12900K a clear edge in multi-threaded tasks. Any task that can utilize more than one core will be done faster and more efficiently on 12900K. The only tasks where 13600K could catch up to 12900K were the single-core tasks, as both of these CPUs are known to perform identically in them.

Power Consumption And Thermal Efficiency

Let’s take a look at the power consumption and thermal efficiency of both processors. 

Power Consumption

Both 12900K and 13600K have a similar TDP at 125 watts despite the architectural difference and the fact that one is an entry-level CPU with fewer cores and threads, and the other is a high-end CPU with more cores and threads.

But it’s one thing to have lower TDP on paper and another thing to be actually power efficient under heavy loads. That is why we will be calculating the average power drawn by both of our CPUs during a stress test and see which one is actually more power efficient. 

Power Consumption
Power Consumption

The total power drawn by 13600K during our benchmark was around 204 watts. On the other hand, 12900K was drawing slightly more power at around 217 wattsThis was anticipated as 12900K has more cores and threads to feed power to.

The difference is not as drastic as 12900K is only drawing 6% more power. However, this difference was enough for us to reach the conclusion that 13600K is the more power efficient out of the two. 

Thermal Efficiency 

Another factor to take into account when choosing a new CPU is thermal efficiency, particularly if you reside in a warm-climate area. Now, Intel advertises both their 12th-gen and 13th-gen CPUs to have a Case temperature of a maximum of 72°C.

While the maximum thermal junction temperature goes up to 100°C before the inbuilt thermal control system gains control and slows the clock speeds to reduce the temperature. We will calculate the average temperature of both these CPUs in some of the games tested and see which is more thermally efficient. 

We observed that the temperature difference between both CPUs was relatively small during our testing. 13600K was running a bit cooler at 62.25°C. At the same time, 12900K was averaging around 65.37°C. 13600K did turn out to be more thermally efficient by a margin of 4.8%. However, the difference was not as drastic since the temperatures on both of these CPUs were extremely acceptable.

Pricing And Availability

The price difference between these CPUs is extremely drastic, as both of these CPUs are for very different budget categories. 13600K was launched as an entry-level CPU for more budget-oriented people. This is also one of the cheapest raptor lake CPUs you can find in the market. This meant that Intel had to set its price tag extremely competitively, and so it did. It was launched at an MSRP of $319, making it a good bang for the buck for the performance it offers. 

12900K, on the other hand, was launched for a totally different class of people. It was a high-end CPU for people that did not have a limited budget. It was one of the last generation’s most expensive alder lake CPUs and was priced accordingly. With an MSRP of $599, 12900K was a whopping 61% more expensive than its competitor. 

Both of these CPUs are readily available on amazon right now. 12900K is available for much cheaper than what it was released for, roughly around $409, which makes it a much better bang for the buck compared to when it was launched. 13600K, on the other hand, has not seen a drop in its price since it was released just a couple of months ago. However, even without a drop in its price, it is still approximately 25% cheaper out of the two, which makes it the better bang for the buck.

Core i5 13600K Vs Core i9 12900K: Which One Should You Go For?

Intel Core i5 13600K and Core i9 12900K are two of the best CPUs in their price brackets. Both have their own perks and privileges. Many factors will decide which is the better option for you. Which one you should go for will depend a lot on your applications and uses.

If you want a processor solely for gaming, then 13600K is a better option. It performs nearly identically in games while costing 25% less. Single-core tasks other than gaming that do not utilize more cores will also run identically on 13600K.

On the contrary, if you are a content creator, who also likes to game occasionally, and your work can benefit from the additional number of cores, then spending some extra money to get 12900K would make more sense. It performs anywhere between 5 to 18% better in content creator workloads.

Any task that can utilize more cores will be done faster and more efficiently on it. Its gaming performance is also on par with the newer 13600K, so you get the best of both worlds.  In any case, we hope that our Core i5 13600K vs Core i9 12900K guide proved to be beneficial to you. 

FAQs

Which is a better option for gaming?

Both CPUs are a good option for gaming, as their performance is pretty much on par.

Which one is the better option for content creators?

Core i9 12900K is the better option for content creators as its additional cores and threads allow it to perform in content creator workloads. 

Which one is more power efficient?

13600K is the more power efficient of the two, as it consumed 6% less during our CPU stress test.

Which CPU is the better bang for the buck?

Core i5 13600K is easily the better bang for the buck as it was approximately 61% cheaper than 12900K at MSRP. Even after a year of its launch, 12900K is still costing more than 13600K.


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Abde Manaf
Abde Manaf
Abdemanaf has been a creative writer since 2011. He first dwelled in the tech world in early 2015 and has since compared many product offerings by different companies. Abdemanaf started working for Tech4Gamers in February 2022 as a blog and comparison writer.

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