The Chinese portal Expreview got hold of an early engineering sample of the Intel Core i9-13900 processor, one of the oldest representatives of the upcoming Raptor Lake family compared it with the current flagship Core i9-12900K (Alder Lake) in synthetic and gaming tests.
As the source points out and this is confirmed by a CPU-Z screenshot, the Core i9-13900 packs eight powerful Raptor Cove P-cores and 16 energy-efficient Gracemont E-cores. The chip received 16MB of L2 cache for P-cores (2MB per core) and 16MB of L2 cache for E-cores (4MB per four-core cluster). Thus, the total size of the L2 cache in the processor is 32 MB. The L3 cache is 36 MB.
Because it is a technical example, the maximum frequency of large cores was only 3.8 GHz and less than 3.4 GHz. In addition, the tests turned out to be a sample of the regular version of the chip without the “K” suffix, that is, with a locked multiplier and a TDP level of 65 watts. To level the odds between representatives of two generations of processors in tests, Expreview lowered the frequency of the Intel Core i9-12900K to the same 3.8 GHz.
Both chips were tested on a mainboard with an Intel Z690 chipset. Both used G.Skill DDR5-5200 RAM and a graphics accelerator GeForce RTX 3090. Raptor Lake has not yet released an optimized BIOS, so this fact should be taken into account when examining the following performance charts.
In single-threaded tests, the Core i9-13900 Engineering Sample was slower than the Core i9-12900K. The reason given is not only the lack of optimization and the resulting less stable operation of the CPU, but also a significantly higher TDP level for the Alder Lake chip.
In multi-thread tests, the Raptor Lake model performed 20% faster due to twice the number of energy-efficient cores. Here, consumer versions of the Core i9-13900 should be able to increase the gap even further. In gaming tests, the performance of the two processor generations turned out to be equal. The difference on some projects in favor of Alder Lake was only a few percent.
The release of 13th generation Intel Core chips is expected in the second half of this year. Rumors have been circulating for some time that flagship models will be able to automatically overclock to 6 GHz. It is also reported that new items will be able to work with RAM standards and DDR4 and DDR5.