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i9-13900K Vs i9-12900K: Which Is Better In 2023?

We compare the Core i9-13900K and Core i9-12900K in Gaming Benchmarks to help you understand the performance difference between the two.

In this guide, we will compare the Core i9-13900K vs Core i9-12900K across all categories and figure out how much has changed in the new generation. From their architectural differences to their gaming benchmarks, we will go through everything, starting off with their fundamentals. 

Key Takeaways

  • Starting off, there is a fundamental difference between the Core i9 13900K and Core i9 12900K processors, as the former uses the Raptor Lake-S architecture while the latter is based on Alder Lake-S.
  • In terms of just the FPS figures at 1440p ultra settings, the i9-13900K managed to outperform the i9-12900K by an average of 13.45%.
  • Moreover, going over power efficiency, the i9-12900K outperformed the i9-13900K, consuming about 12.25% less power on average.
  • Lastly, the i9-13900K showed a negligible increase in temperature of about 4.2% on average compared to the i9-12900K.

Specs Comparison Table

Technical Specs Intel i9-13900K Intel i9-12900K
Socket Intel Socket 1700 Intel Socket 1700
Codename Raptor Lake-S Alder Lake-S
Process Size 10 nm 10 nm
Frequency 3 GHz 3.2 GHz
Turbo Clock up to 5.8 GHz up to 5.2 GHz
Base Clock 100 MHz 100 MHz
Memory Support DDR4-3200 MHz

DDR5-5600 MHz


DDR4-3200 MHz

DDR5-4800 MHz


ECC Memory Yes No
PCI-Express Gen 5, 16 Lanes

(CPU only)

Gen 5, 20 Lanes

(CPU only)

L1 Cache 80K (per core) 80K (per core)
L2 Cache 2MB (per core) 1.25MB (per core)
L3 Cache 36MB (shared) 30MB (shared)
Die Size 257 mm² 215 mm²
tCaseMax 72°C 72°C
tJMax 100°C 100°C
Number of Cores 24 16
Number of Threads 32 24
Thermal design power TDP 125 W 125 W
Integrated Graphics UHD Graphics 770 UHD Graphics 770
Release Date Sep 27th, 2022 Nov 4th, 2021
MSRP 589 USD 599 USD
Best Motherboards BEST Motherboards For i9-13900K BEST Motherboards for i9-12900K
Best Cooler Best CPU Coolers For i9-13900K Best CPU Coolers For i9-12900K


Let’s first go over the architectural differences between the two chipsets to better understand everything that has improved with the Raptor Like line-up.

Also Read: i9-12900KS Vs i9-13900K

The Alder Lake Architecture

The Alder Lake line-up was the first to use a hybrid architectural design, where a mix of Performance (P) and Efficient (E) cores were used instead of just power cores.

The two cores were built for entirely different purposes. For instance, the Performance (P) cores were best optimized for heavy gaming and rendering tasks. On the other hand, as the names suggest, the Efficient (E) cores were best optimized for light tasks that were best suited for multi-threaded processing.

These cores were based on different microarchitectures; the Golden Cove microarchitecture for the Efficient (E) cores and the Gracemont microarchitecture for the Performance (P) cores.

They are many key differences between the two P and E cores, like the Performance cores are 4x larger in size, consume more power, output higher performance, support hyper-threading, and much more.

The Raptor Lake Architecture

The Raptor Lake architecture is more of a refined version of the Alder Lake instead of a complete overhaul. It carries forward the key features introduced with the 12th-gen chipsets but has improved them to keep up with the competition.

For instance, while the Raptor Lake CPUs also feature the hybrid architectural design that was first introduced in Alder Lake, it has made quite a few changes to it. Mainly, the Performance (P) cores are now built on an all-new Raptor Cove microarchitecture designed for light- and single-threaded operations. Similarly, while the Efficiency (E) cores still use the Gracemont microarchitecture, they have also been improved with twice the L2 cache capacity.

The Raptor Lake architecture has also increased the underlying die size, allowing Intel to pack in more Efficiency (E) cores into a chipset (2x in i9-13900K). Other than the hybrid architecture, Intel has also revamped its Thread Director technology.

Also Check: Intel i9-13900k Vs Ryzen 9 7900X 

i9-12900K Vs i9-13900K: Gaming Performance

So, in this section, we will analyze the Core i9-13900K vs Core i9-12900K gaming benchmarks to figure out how much better the i9-13900K is and if it is worth the upgrade.

Digital Testings have paired the two Intel chipsets in the following rig to test them in 8 games.

  • Processor: Core i9-13900K and Core i9-12900K
  • Motherboard: ROG STRIX Z690-E GAMING WIFI
  • RAM: G.SKILL Trident Z5 RGB 32GB DDR5 6000MHz CL36
  • GPU: MSI Gaming X Trio RTX 4090
  • CPU Cooler: Arctic Freezer 420mm
  • Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA 1000 G5
  • Storage: Samsung 970 EVO M.2 2280 1TB
  • Resolution: 1440p

Since the i9-13900K and the i9-12900K support the LGA 1700 socket, they are paired with the same ROG Z690 motherboard. Similarly, both chipsets are compatible with the same CPU cooler as well.

The beast RTX 4090 is used as the GPU of choice to prevent any bottleneck issues, and the 1000W EVGA SuperNOVA should provide plenty of power to keep the high-end GPU and the powerful chipsets running.

All games are running on 1440P quality with maxed-out settings.

Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077 benchmarks
Cyberpunk 2077 benchmarks

Let’s start our benchmark analysis with one of the most hyped games of all time — Cyberpunk 2077.

Right off the bat, it’s quite clear that the i9-13900K is in the lead with more FPS by running the game at 121 FPS. The i9-12900K is also not too behind by running at 111 FPS. Overall, that’s about a 9% lead for the newer CPU.

While there is a notable difference in the FPS figures, the temperatures of the two CPUs seem to be hovering somewhere around the same numbers. The i9-13900K is running at 61°C, and the i9-12900K is running at 59°C. There is only a ~3.3% difference in the temperature figures, which can be neglected.

However, what’s not negligible is the power consumption, as the i9-13900K is consuming 91W, and the i9-12900K is consuming 82W. The i9-13900K is clearly putting the ~10.9% higher power consumption to use as it is clocking at 5500 MHz as compared to the i9-12900K’s 4901 MHz, which explains why the chipset is also performing well.


Spider-Man benchmarks
Spider-Man benchmarks

Next up, we have a Spider-Man, a game where all the swinging relies heavily on the CPU.

Again, the i9-13900K is leading in sheer FPS figures by running the game at 141 FPS. Its predecessor, the i9-12900K, is about 16.5% behind at 121 FPS. Even though 121 FPS is not bad at all, the i9-13900K’s 141 FPS is just another level.

The temperature figures seem to be relatively tamed as both chipsets are in the same ballpark. The i9-13900K is running at 62°C, and the i9-12900K is just a smidge cooler at 60°C. Overall, an ~16.5% performance improvement with just ~3.3% higher temperatures does not seem like a bad deal for the new i9-13900K.

Also Read: Ryzen 7 7800X3D Vs i9-13900K

The i9-13900K is running with higher clock speeds of 5505 MHz, whereas the i9-12900K is clocking at 4904 MHz. Similarly, the i9-13900K also consumes about 11.8% more power as the chip takes about 98.1W. On the other hand, the i9-12900K is going a bit easy on the PSU as it is taking 87.7W.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

CS:GO benchmarks
CS:GO benchmarks

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is loved and played by hundreds of thousands of gamers globally every day, and it is also a great battleground to put two chipsets against each other.

With an FPS difference similar to what we saw in Spider-Man, the i9-13900K is leading by running CSGO at 726 FPS. Comparatively, the i9-12900K is about 17.8% behind at 616 FPS. So far, a lead of ~17.8% is the biggest we have seen.

Both the i9-13900K and the i9-12900K have pretty much the same temperatures, which is understandable as both chipsets support the same CPU coolers. The i9-13900K is running at 57°C, and the i9-12900K is running at 56°C.

We have seen the biggest FPS difference in CSGO yet, and the same goes for the power consumption as well, where the i9-13900K is consuming about 67.9W and the i9-12900K is consuming 55.8W, creating a power consumption difference of a whopping ~21.6%.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2 benchmarks
Red Dead Redemption 2 benchmarks

Coming up next on our Core i9-13900K vs Core i9-12900K comparison guide is the open-world masterpiece Red Dead Redemption 2. The game’s intricate details and beautiful graphics make it one of the best games to test different components.

Without any doubts, the i9-13900K has yet again outperformed its predecessor with an ~17.3% margin. The i9-13900K is running the game at 115 FPS, while the i9-12900K is just a shy short of 100 FPS at 98 FPS.

The temperature figures follow the same pattern as the other games, the i9-13900K is running at 58°C, and the i9-12900K is running at 55°C. While the 13th-gen Core i9 is about 5.4% hotter, a 58°C temperature is quite normal and shouldn’t be a concern.

With great performance comes higher power consumption, and that is the case with the i9-13900K, as it is consuming about 17.6% more power than the i9-12900K at 82W. Comparatively, the older i9-12900K is hovering at around 69.7W.

God Of War

God of War
God of War benchmarks

Kratos’ adventures in God of War rely heavily on CPU performance, making it a useful game to test our chipsets.

The i9-13900K is running God of War at around 140 FPS, while the i9-12900K stays a bit behind at 123 FPS. Overall, the i9-13900K is leading again with about 13.8% more FPS. While the i9-13900K is undoubtedly running the game at more FPS, its predecessor, the i9-12900K, is still a powerful CPU as it does not fall behind a lot.

Also Check: Ryzen 9 7900X3D Vs i9-13900K

It looks like Intel has achieved higher performance while maintaining good temperatures, the credit for which mostly goes to the i9-13900K’s base TDP, which is rated for 125W. In God of War, the i9-13900K is running at 65°C, and the i9-12900K is just a little cooler at 62°C. Overall, that’s a difference of about 4.8% between the temperatures of the two chipsets.

While there is not much of a difference in the temperature figures, the power consumption of the Intel chipsets has about a 15.2% difference when playing God of War. The i9-13900K is consuming 116.6W, whereas the i9-12900K is consuming 101.2W, making the older Core i9-12900K a more power-efficient CPU.

Hitman 3

Hitman 3
Hitman 3 benchmarks

Another open-world game in our list is Hitman 3, and the i9-13900K yet again outperforms its predecessor, and rightly so.

The i9-13900K is running Hitman 3 at 120 FPS. On the other hand, the i9-12900K is running at 113 FPS. Overall, that’s a difference of about 6.1% in the sheer gaming performance of the two chipsets.

While the temperature figures also have a ~5.3% difference, the i9-13900K is running at 59°C, which is not bad at all. Similarly, the i9-12900K is running at 56°C, making it even better in thermal efficiency.

When talking about efficiency, it is also integral to discuss the power consumption of the two chipsets. The i9-13900K is consuming 59.2W, whereas the i9-12900K is consuming just ~5.9% less at 55.9W. Consequently, the i9-12900K is a relatively more power-efficient chipset but with just a small and negligible margin.

Horizon Zero Dawn

Horizon Zero Dawn Benchmarks
Horizon Zero Dawn Benchmarks

Horizon Zero Dawn has some of the most beautiful graphics in a video game. It consumes lots of CPU power to output those fast combat sequences, making it a solid game to test our chipsets.

With no surprises, the i9-13900K is running the gorgeous game with a ~10.4% more FPS at 138 FPS. Comparatively, the i9-12900K is running at 125 FPS, making its successor a much better chipset.

When going through the temperatures, it is as clear as day that both chipsets are quite cool. In fact, they’re both running at almost the same temperatures as the i9-13900K is running at 59°C, and the i9-12900K is running at 58°C. The way the i9-13900K manages to run at temperatures similar to the i9-12900K speaks about how many improvements Intel has packed into the Raptor Lake line-up.

On the other hand, the power consumption of the two chipsets varies by ~16.8%, where the i9-13900K is consuming 94.1W, and the older i9-12900K is consuming 80.5W. While the i9-13900K is undoubtedly consuming more power when put next to its predecessor, the figure is not too high that it will put a load on your PSU.  

The Witcher 3

The Witcher 3 benchmarks
The Witcher 3 benchmarks

Last but not least, we will wind up our thorough Core i9-13900K vs. Core i9-12900K benchmark analysis with a game that is loved by all — the Witcher 3.

By now, we have seen a pattern in the gaming performance and the power and thermal efficiency of the two chipsets. So, to no one’s surprise, the i9-13900K is outperforming the i9-12900K with about 16.7% more FPS. Overall, the i9-13900K is running at 153 FPS, whereas the i9-12900K is running at 131 FPS. 

Similar Guides: Ryzen 9 7950X3D Vs Intel i9-13900K

Similarly, as we have noticed so far, the temperatures of the two chipsets also hover in the same ballpark. While playing the Witcher 3, the i9-13900K is at 63°C, and the i9-12900K is at 58°C. Even though the latest i9-13900K is about 8.6% hotter, it is nowhere near the max temperature limit, so you shouldn’t worry about thermal issues.

What’s most interesting so far is that for the first time, the i9-12900K is consuming just a bit more power than its successor, the i9-13900K. The chipset is consuming about ~1.8% more power as it is at 77.7W, whereas the latest i9-13900K is consuming just a little bit less at 76.3W. Seeing that there is not much of a difference between the two, we can say that both chipsets are consuming somewhat the same amount of power.

Overall Gaming Performance

It was never in question whether the i9-13900K would outperform the i9-12900K or not. However, we were all very curious to know by what margin will the latest and greatest Intel chipset stay ahead of its predecessor.

Well, after putting the two chipsets against each other in 8 games, we finally have an answer. In 6 of those 8 games, the i9-13900K was outputting more than 10% extra FPS than the i9-12900K, and the only game where the difference was the lowest was Hitman 3, where the chipset was ahead by just ~6.1%.

On average, the i9-13900K stayed ahead of the i9-12900K by 13.45% in terms of just the FPS figures, making it a solid upgrade over its predecessor. 

So, to conclude the overall gaming performance, the i9-13900K is the superior chipset, and it is rightly so due to the number of improvements Intel has made in their Raptor Lake architecture.

Nevertheless, one should not let the sheer performance of the i9-13900K overshadow the i9-12900K’s capabilities. The 12th-gen Core i9-12900K, despite being a year old, performed phenomenally well and held its ground in every game. The i9-12900K also ran all 8 games at ultra settings on 1440p without any issues, making it a beast CPU in its own league.

Power Consumption And Thermal Efficiency

We already saw in the detailed specifications that the i9-13900K has higher Max. Turbo Frequency and Power and their effects were evident in the gaming benchmarks.

Compared to the i9-12900K, the i9-13900K consumed more than 10% power in about 6 of those 8 games. The power consumption was higher than usual in CS:GO, where the chipset was consuming ~21.6% more power. However, in The Witcher 3, it was actually consuming ~1.8% less power.

Also Read: Intel i5-13600K Vs i9 12900K

On average, the i9-13900K was less power efficient than the i9-12900K, as it consumed about 12.25% more power. With that said, when we say the i9-13900K was less power efficient, we don’t mean you’ll need an extraordinarily enormous PSU to power the beast. In fact, both the i9-13900K and the i9-12900K can be powered by the same PSU.

On the topic of thermal efficiency, both chipsets were running at roughly the same temperatures, with the biggest difference in The Witcher 3, where the i9-13900K was running about 8.6% hotter. However, on average, the i9-13900K was just about 4.2% hotter, which is negligible and not something you should be concerned about.

Since both the i9-13900K and the i9-12900K have the LGA-1700 socket, you can use the same cooler on both CPUs, which means there are no thermal efficiency issues with the i9-13900K. 

Pricing And Availability

While the Core i9-12900K was launched with an MSRP of $589, the chipset has seen a decline in prices, and now you can get one from Amazon for about $500.

Similarly, the i9-13900K has also launched with the same MSRP of $589. But, since the processor is quite new, it is highly unlikely that you can find it in stock at its MSRP price.

Nevertheless, if we talk about which CPU provides better value for money, it has to be the i9-13900K. That’s because, for about $90 more, you get a cutting-edge chipset packed with all the bells and whistles of Intel’s Raptor Lake technology.

On top of that, since the i9-13900K has the same socket as its predecessor, you won’t have to spend extra on anything else. You can use the same DDR4 memory, 600- series motherboard, power supply, and LGA-1700 cooler.

While most gamers going for an i9 series processor won’t be on a tight budget, it is always good to know which processor is better value for money. The i9-12900K might be the best bang for the buck if its prices drop to about $450. But, as of now, if you can get an i9-13900K for its MSRP, you’ll get the most value for your money.

Core i9-13900K Vs i9-12900K: Which One Should You Go For?

  • if you’re planning to build an Intel CPU with the highest-end chipsets, then there’s no reason to skip the i9-13900K. The processor is one of its kind, with an enormous number of cores allowing it to attain huge multi-thread performance gains.
  • The only reason to go for an i9-12900K is if you’re planning to save some bucks. The i9-12900K is still a beast of a processor, offering solid performance with no issues whatsoever. But its successor, with just a bit of a price difference, outperforms it a lot. 

Similar Comparisons: i9-12900k vs i7-12700k

  • However, if you currently have the i9-12900K, you can continue to use this processor for the next year. That’s because while the i9-13900K is an upgrade, the jump is not so big that you would want to swap your i9-12900K for this. 
  • Overall, if you’re looking to purchase a processor right now, you should go for the i9-13900K.
  • However, if you can wait a bit, you should observe how much the prices of the i9-12900K go down; the chipset might offer better value for money by the end of this year. 

With that said, we hope that this Core i9-13900K vs Core i9-12900K detailed guide will also help you pick the right processor for your next gaming rig.

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