Intel Core i9-13900K review – is it worth it?

Should you buy the Intel Core i9-13900K in 2024?

Intel Core i9-13900K installed on a motherboard

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The Intel Core i9-13900K may not be the newest high-end processor made by Team Blue anymore but time hasn’t slowed this chipset down at all. Built upon the LGA 1700 socket, this leading Raptor Lake model is more than fast enough for today’s intensive games and the demands of productivity and creative workloads, too. We think it’s one of the best CPUs for gaming even in 2024 and it’s easy to see why; let’s get into all the details down below.

Intel Core i9-13900K

24 (8P-16E)
Boost speed
P-Core 5.7GHz / E-Core 4.3GHz
Base speed
P-Core 3.0GHz / E-Core 2.2GHz
L3 Cache
36 MB
Intel (LGA 1700)
  • Powerful gaming performance
  • Reuses the LGA 1700 socket
  • Leading cores and threads
  • Replaced by 14900K
  • Still pricey in 2024
  • Can get really hot
✓ Review summary

Why we’ve scored it a 4

The only real complaints we have with the Intel Core i9-143900K come down to the fact it was replaced by the identically-priced i9-14900K at MSRP. Factoring in discounts, however, and there’s a lot of potential left in LGA 1700. It can also get really hot.

Intel Core i9-13900K price

The Intel Core i9-13900K carries an MSRP of $589 since its release but that’s only one side of the story. That’s because this enthusiast-level chipset is available discounted frequently in 2024 down to around $520 from retailers such as Amazon and Newegg, saving you $60. For context, that’s the same pricing as the previous iteration, the i9-12900K, which also uses the same socket.

In terms of its rivals, the closest competition with the Intel Core i9-13900K is the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X3D which you can find for $599, slightly more expensive than Team Blue’s premiere offering. Whether the discount is enough to sway you away from the more recent Intel Core i9-14900K will depend on your usage case. At the time of writing, the most recent flagship has yet to receive any kind of offers to the same extent.

✓ Editor’s note

Check if your cooler is compatible

While LGA 1700 socket processors have been available since 2021, if you’re upgrading from an older model, you will need to ensure your CPU cooler has a compatible bracket as the 13900K can run hot.

Intel Core i9-13900K key design

As mentioned above, the Intel Core i9-13900K is once again built for the pre-existing LGA 1700 socket instead of switching up socket types. It’s the second generation hybrid architecture processor meaning it’s running a combination of E-cores (efficiency cores) and P-cores (performance cores) for better power optimization. Speaking of, the 13900K features a total of 24 cores (eight P-cores and 16 E-cores) as well as 24 threads for a truly leading amount when compared to its competition.

That extends to the base and boost clock speeds as well. The Intel Core i9-13900K is capable of boosting up to 5.8 Ghz straight out of the box which was unheard of back then. That’s since been outdone by the 14900K (6 GHz) and the brand-new 14900KS (6.2 GHz) but we’re still talking about an incredibly fast chipset all the same. There’s also 36MB of L3 cache to aid processor-intensive tasks such as gaming and rendering as the largest, but slowest cache type on the silicon.

It’s clear that the Intel Core i9-13900K is still more than competitive when it comes to powering today’s games

An advantage that Intel’s 13th Gen frontrunner has over its most recent rival chipsets is the fact that this i9 processor can utilize both DDR4 and DDR5 RAM. While an enthusiast is likely to want the higher speeds afforded by the latter, the option of having both supported shouldn’t be shrugged off, especially if you’re upgrading your PC bit by bit, saving you money as you go. With its 125W TDP, this processor is at the upper end of power usage, but still a good way behind the 170W of AMD’s Zen 4 non-3D lineup.

Intel Core i9-13900K gaming performance

Close-up of an Intel Core i9-13900K CPU with visible contact pins against a white background.
Rear view of the Intel Core i9-13900K showcasing the 1700 pins for the LGA socket © BGFG

In the testing conducted by WePC’s Jack Howarth, it’s clear that the Intel Core i9-13900K is still more than competitive when it comes to powering today’s games. This is most evident in titles such as Cyberpunk 2077, Resident Evil Village, CS2, and Days Gone. Provided you have one of the best graphics cards you shouldn’t notice any kind of bottleneck.

Our test system is running the i9-13900K with an ASUS ROG Ryujin II 360mm AIO CPU cooler on an ASUS ROG Maximus Z970 Extreme motherboard with 16GB DDR5 RAM @ 5600 MHz with the Fractal Design ION+860W PSU.

GameAverage FPS
Cyberpunk 2077342
Days Gone261
Resident Evil: Village351
All games tested at 1080p low settings

Intel Core i9-13900K synthetic benchmarks

It’s a similar story with the synthetic performance through our industry-standard suite of benchmarking tools such as CPU Z, Cinebench R23, and Geekbench with strong figures for single-core but especially powerful multi-core performance. We’ve got the full details down below.

CPU Z Single931
CPU Z Multi16,852
Cinebench R23 Single2,238
Cinebench R23 Multi39,318
Geekbench Single2,251
Geekbench Multi25,176
The Intel Core i9-13900K’s synthetic benchmarks are still strong in 2024

When stress-testing we noticed that the Intel Core i9-13900K actually got up to and beyond 100° even with a 360mm AIO installed. While it’s unlikely you will notice this level of heat dissipation when gaming or rendering, it’s worth investing in one of the best CPU coolers for 13900K in case. Don’t skimp on the cooling, and we don’t recommend an air cooler here either.


Even well over a year after its release, the Intel Core i9-13900K remains a powerful chip when paired with either Z690 or Z790 motherboards and should be a decent upgrade from Alder Lake or those coming over from pre-LGA 1700 boards. If you’re after max frame rates in today’s games then the chipset has proven its worth especially when twined with the likes of the RTX 4080 Super and RTX 4090.

Generation-on-generation, the performance gains are notable over 12th-gen processors as Raptor Lake excels with its higher core count and higher frequency clock speeds, but there’s a major caveat. That’s the fact that it was released back in 2022 and we’ve already had a successor, the 14900K, come in and excel past what this chipset can do in terms of maximum turbo power, single-core performance, and multi-core performance as our Intel Core i9-14900K vs Intel Core i9-13900K feature goes into.

Reasons to Buy
  • You can find the chip discounted
  • You’re upgrading from a pre-LGA 1700 socket CPU
  • You want a powerful performance
Reasons to Avoid
  • You can find the 14900K for a similar price
  • You’re on a tighter budget
Intel Core i9-13900K installed onto a motherboard with the lid socket lock engaged © BGFG

Is the Intel Core i9-13900K worth it?

As far as desktop processors go, the Intel Core i9-13900K is incredibly powerful but we would argue it’s only worth choosing over the newer Intel Core i9-14900K if you can find it at a substantial discount. While it’s no longer the flagship CPU it once was, there’s no faulting the performance it offers for the money, just be sure to utilize one of the best CPU coolers to keep those core temps in check.

Aleksha McLoughlin is Hardware and News Editor for PC Guide and she oversees buying guides, reviews, news, and features on site. She was previously Hardware and Affiliates Editor at VideoGamer.