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Intel Core i7 13700K vs 12700K

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13700k

  • Intel Core i7-13700K

    Intel’s 13th Gen i7 Offering

    $350 $464 Save $114

    The Intel Core i7 13700K offers excellent value, great gaming performance, and as many as 16 cores (8P+8E config) for those looking to multitask along with integrated Intel graphics in tow

    Pros

    • Faster Gaming Performance vs the 12700k
    • Higher clocks out of the box vs 12700k
    • Has 4 more cores vs the 12700k
    Cons

    • Higher TDP vs 12700k
    • Requires more cooling vs 12700k

  • 12700k

    Intel Core i7-12700K CPU

    Last Gen Intel Core i7

    The Intel Core i7-12700K is the last gen Intel Core i7 processor from Intel that offers decent overall performance, stellar gaming, and multi-threading capabilities across a 12-core CPU (8P + 4E)

    Pros

    • Great value for money compared to the 13700K
    • Has the same amount of Performance Cores as a 13700K
    • Also works with 13th Gen motherboards
    Cons

    • Lower clocks compared to the 13700k
    • 4 Fewer Efficiency Cores than the 13700k


Intel’s Core i7 13700K sits at an interesting position as Intel’s de facto offering for gamers, creators, and productivity users who want to get the job done without spending the premium that the current 14th generation Intel Core offerings command. It currently is offered at a minor discount compared to its MSRP at multiple retailers in the backdrop of a resurgent AMD which, with the release of the 7800X3D is firmly back in the driver’s seat for gamers. Intel’s minor price cut might be a sign of things to come as AMD continues to forge ahead with its X3D processors, even as it provided guidance that seemed to indicate a slowdown in sales in the enthusiast PC market.



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The Core i7 13700K, however, is not the only capable processor in the market from Intel vying for users’ attention. One of 2021’s best-value CPUs, the Intel Core i7 12700K, is also a worthy contender, albeit because of its much more discounted price point than the current Core i7 offering. Both processors remain relevant thanks to the Intel Core i7 14700K offering higher clocks and four extra efficiency cores but relatively little gaming performance uplift as a refresh of the Raptor Lake-based Intel Core i7 13700K.

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Head To Head: Intel Core i7 13700K Versus Intel Core i7 12700K

While the Intel Core i7 13700K is the successor to the Intel Core i7 12700K, it can be thought of as simply a slightly more agile version of the last generation Intel Core i9 12900K. Thanks to its higher turbo TDP, higher boost clocks, and larger L2 cache size with a mild increase in integrated graphics clock. It’s faster Passmark scores and real-world performance do make it a significant upgrade over the 12700K even without considering the 4 additional efficiency cores in play.


Processor Variant

Intel Core I7 13700K

Intel Core I7 12700K

Processor Family Codename

Raptor Lake

Alder Lake

Release Date

27th Sept 2022

Oct 27th 2021

Integrated Graphics

Intel UHD 770 Graphics

Integrated Graphics Clock Speed

1.6GHz

1.5GHz

Total Number of Cores

16

12

Performance Cores

8

Efficiency Cores

8

4

Number of threads

24

20

Base Clock

3.4GHz

3.6GHz

Boost Clock

5.4GHz

5.0GHz

L2 Cache

24MB

12MB

L3 Cache

30MB

25MB

Native Memory Support

Up to DDR5 5600 MT/s

Up to DDR5 4800 MT/s

Typical TDP

125W

125W

Maximum TDP

253W

190W

PassMark Score

46620

34673

Current Market Price

$371

$237


A comparison between the 12-core 12700K and 13700K tends to favor the 13700K heavily thanks to the additional four efficiency cores it has in play. The higher boost clocks and larger L2 and L3 cache sizes both contribute to the higher overall TDP which tends to further increase the somewhat significant lead that the 13700k enjoys over its predecessor.

Memory support is another area where it solidifies its gains thanks to higher native memory clock support of up to 5600MT/s. That’s up from the 12700K’s more conservative 4800MT/s DDR5 clock speed offerings. Combined with the core clock and count gains, this translates to a significantly higher performance score that shows up to 20-30% gains for productivity-related benchmarks and as much as 10-15% gains for gaming-centric benchmarks.


This is because while productivity applications do utilize the four additional E-cores on the 13700K quite well (thanks to their multithreaded nature), most games rely on using the octa-core P-core layout on both processors (with single-core performance making a larger difference than multicore). The only major difference is the larger L2 and L3 caches as well as clock speeds on the Raptor Lake-based Core i7 13700K.

* It is important to note that PassMark CPU scores are an aggregate of how much the average Intel Core i7 12700K or Core i7 13700K performs. There could be a variety of settings, overclocked conditions, or thermal restrictions in play which could skew numbers slightly thanks to certain outliers. This is particularly true for both of the above because they do not come bundled with a stock cooler and much of their performance gains are tangent on having adequate cooling in play. ​​​​​​

On the flip side of this argument, one could point out that these might be some of the best real-world ratings one can get for CPU benchmarks currently. Both the 12700K and 13700K have at least 5000 and 3000 samples respectively, making passmark a great way to gauge the raw computing power each CPU offers to an end user, but is not a reliable indicator for gaming performance. The Team at Game Rant has listed Passmark scores that match the latest numbers available at the time when the article was updated.

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Buyer’s Guide: Intel Core i7 13700K vs AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D

Here’s everything you need to know to compare the Intel Core 17 13700K with the AMD Ryzen 8 7800X3D!

Picking The Intel Core i7 12700K In 2024

The Intel Core i7 12700K or the 12700KF are capable CPUs for gamers even in 2024, but the bulk of their inherent value comes from a relatively expensive Core i5 option in the shape of the competing 14600K that offers a significant performance edge over its older Core i7 sibling in 2024. With a passmark score of 4313 on the 14600K versus the 12700K’s 4043 in single-core performance and an even more significant lead (39665 vs 34673) in multicore scores, it is easy to see why the 12700K has been more or less supplanted by Intel’s unlocked core i5 CPU in both gaming and productivity benchmarks.


There is, however, one edge that still makes it competitive and a viable alternative to Intel’s 14th generation offerings. The 12700K can be had for as low as $237 at the time of writing. This, when compared to the $300 that the 14600K currently commands makes one consider the 12700K a much more viable alternative to the Raptor Lake Refresh CPU’s lower-end, locked Intel Core i5 14500 CPU. Here, the 12700K shines on all counts, offering better single-core and multicore performance while being marginally cheaper than the newer CPU.

It does, as some would point out, come at the cost of a bundled CPU cooler, but that is not necessarily a con given that an unlocked CPU like the 12700K can scale considerably better than the 14500 when paired with a better CPU cooler out of the box, making it an excellent purchase for gamers and productivity enthusiasts who would otherwise be in the market for an entry-level locked 14th generation Intel Raptor Lake Refresh CPU in 2024.


Picking The Intel Core i7 13700K in 2024

The comparisons get murkier when it comes to examining the Intel Core i7 13700K against its own next-generation Refresh alternative. The 14700K offers a 200 MHz performance core boost clock increase and a 100 MHz efficiency core clock increase in addition to 4 more efficient cores being thrown into the mix that bolster its multicore performance significantly. Intel also is implementing its APO scheduler optimizations in certain titles, making it an important performance difference when in play.

While there is news that both the 12th and the 13th generation CPUs will eventually see APO support trickle down as Intel changed its stance recently, the 14700K does seem to be a stellar performer and an ideal replacement for the 13700K in 2024. This is partially due to how the 13700K is priced currently. It is available at only a 10% discount over an already slightly discounted 14700K (~$370 vs $400 at multiple retailers).


This makes the 13700K a viable alternative to the 14700K and the 12700K when single-core gaming performance is considered with there being a minute difference between the former and a significant one versus the latter. At the same time, productivity-based use cases swing considerably in the 14700K’s favor as the 4 extra E-cores allow it to portray considerable muscle in benchmarks and real-world use cases where the 13700K’s biggest issue remains its significantly high ask versus Intel’s newer Raptor Lake Refresh CPU which is available at MSRP or lower across the board.

The Intel Core i7 13700K: Raptor Lake Unlocked

13700k

Intel Core i7-13700K

The Last Generation Intel Core i7 Processor

The Last-Gen Flagship in i7 Clothes

$371 $490 Save $119

The Intel Core i7-13700K absolutely dominates the top-tier sector for value. In fact, with the right cooling and overclocking, this top-tier CPU can beat most of the non-X3D AMD competition. Plus, those who have a 600 series motherboard from their previous CPU, this will work with a bios update.

The processor has 16 cores divided into 8 P-cores, 8 E-cores, and 24 processing threads. The processor comes with an integrated Intel UHD Graphics 770, maximum clock speed is 5.2 GHz.

Brand
Intel

CPU Model
Core i7-13700K

CPU Socket
LGA 1700

Cores
16

Threads
24

PCIe 4.0 Support
5.0 / 4.0

Architecture
Rocket Lake

Process
Intel 7 (10nm Enhanced SuperFin)

Base Clock Speed
3.4 GHz

Boost Clock Speed
5.4 GHz

Cache
54MB

RAM
Up to 128 GB DDR5 5600 MHz

Graphics
Intel UHD Graphics 770

TDP
253W

iGPU
Intel UHD 770

Pros

  • Excellent single-core performance translates to excellent gains while gaming
  • Has excellent multi-core performance thanks to its 16-core design
  • Compatible with a wide variety of DDR4 and DDR5 memory modules and clock speeds
  • Higher clocks and cache than the last generation Core i9 while maintaining the same number of cores
Cons

  • Runs hotter than AMD alternatives and even its last generation 12700K sibling
  • Not very energy efficient when running demanding workloads

The Intel Core i7 13700K is an excellent CPU by modern standards, given the price point it commands versus both the last-generation Core i9 12900K and the current-generation Core i9 13900K (and the Core i9 13900KS by proxy). In short, it delivers at a sweet spot for gamers even as the last-generation Core i9 12600K overshadowed its predecessor for gaming audiences. With eight performance cores coupled with eight efficiency cores, the nearest comparable processor is the Intel Core i9 12900K.


The i7 13700K, however, exceeds the performance levels of the 12900K meaningfully for both gaming and productivity, claiming a rough 10% lead in either department. This is due to its higher boost clocks, larger L2 and L3 caches, and other quality-of-life improvements that Intel has pushed in the Raptor Lake architecture such as better DDR5 memory support. This allows it to beat the 12900k in multiple benchmarks such as PassMark and Cinebench with a healthy 10% lead.

In a nutshell, the Intel Core i7 13700K is not a new processor. It is simply a better, upgraded version of the 12900K. However, the improvements themselves are substantial thanks to the newer, faster Raptor Lake cores that are also in play. This makes it an obvious pick over the 12900K and 12700K as it wields significant performance gains over the latter while a better price-to-performance ratio to the former, which retails at a relatively larger discount to Intel’s current mainstream performance processor, the Intel Core i7 14700K when compared to the 13700K.


Others might argue that the 13700K is overkill for gaming, and the ~$135 difference it commands over the 12700K would be better used to pick a higher-end GPU for gaming needs.

The Intel Core i7 12700K: Alder Lake Unlocked

12700k

Intel Core i7-12700K CPU

The Value-Centric Intel Core i7 Processor

8 Performance Cores At a Discount

$237 $290 Save $53

The Intel Core i7-12700K is the last-generation Intel Core i7 processor from Intel. This CPU is near the top range of options in the Intel Core series of processors. It has a clock speed of 3.6 GHz and offers more cache, including 25 MB of L3 cache, and a hyper-threading feature, which allows it to deliver better performance in demanding apps and games. The graphics performance is provided by the built-in Intel UHD graphics controller. The processor is compatible with both previous and current Socket LGA-1700 motherboards.

Brand
Intel

CPU Model
Core i7 12700K

CPU Socket
LGA 1700

Cores
12 (8P + 4E)

Threads
20 (16P + 4E)

PCIe 4.0 Support
PCI-E 5.0 and 4.0 Support

Process
Intel 7 (10 nm Enhanced SuperFin)

Boost Clock Speed
5.0 GHz

Cache
12 MB L2, 25MB L3 Smart Cache

RAM
Upto DDR5 4800 MT/s

TDP
125 Typical, 190W Turbo

iGPU
Yes, Intel UHD 770 Integrated

Pros

  • Excellent value at a sub-$300 price
  • Handles most current-gen GPUs without causing any significant bottlenecks
  • Runs relatively cooler than the Core i7 13700K
  • Does work with a wide variety of memory modules
Cons

  • Loses out in absolute performance to the 13700K
  • 10 to 15% slower than the 13700K for gaming in FHD benchmarks
  • Less stellar high-end memory support than the 13700K

The Intel Core i7 12700K is last year’s behemoth that is still a credible performer, even if AMD’s 5800X3D did put a damper to its gaming performance clout post-release during the middle of 2022. It has been discounted somewhat to make it look more appealing to end users as Intel tries to phase out its last-generation processors. In terms of raw performance, it is closest to the Intel Core i5 13600K, narrowly beating it thanks to higher clock speeds. That’s even as it competes with two fewer performance cores and four more efficiency cores, making it a 12-core CPU taking on a 14-core CPU effectively, even as both CPUs share the same amount of threads overall.


The 12700K offers better value than the 13700K thanks to its discounted price point, shaving off a little more than $100 for most gamers and enthusiasts going with Intel this generation. The savings could be used to get a better GPU, better memory, or simply a better motherboard. It is important to know that all motherboards that support the 13700K out of the box will support the 12700K too. On the other hand, all Intel Core i7 12700K-supporting motherboards might support the 13700K, but some would need a mandatory BIOS update to do so before they recognize Intel’s 13th-generation processors.

The Intel Core i7 12700K is unlikely to win performance benchmarks versus a processor that has four more efficient cores, higher clock speeds, better RAM support, and more L2 and L3 cache in addition to Intel’s QoL upgrades under the hood. However, it does make a much more compelling case for itself to users on the fence currently about spending over $300 on a CPU for gaming or productivity needs. This makes it a viable choice for those on a budget or simply those not needing cutting-edge hardware but rather decent current-gen tier performance.


The Intel Core i7 13700K Vs Intel Core i7 12700K: Performance Overview

As stated earlier, the comparison between the i7 13700K and the 12700K can also be seen as the 12th-generation chip against a more refined version of its last-gen Core i9 processor. This means that the 13th gen i7 does considerably outperform the 12th gen i7 with ease in both single-core and multicore performance significantly. The 13700K has superior single-core performance, registering an approximate 8-10% gain over the 12700K in both Cinebench R23 and Passmark’s single-core benchmarks.

This grows exponentially when one considers multicore performance as the 13700K makes short work of most of its benchmarks. That’s thanks to its higher cache, four extra cores, and higher clocks. It registers anywhere between 30 to 35% gains versus the 12700K across Cinebench R23, Passmark, and Geekbench 5 as it harnesses its advantages to the fullest.


For gaming, the single-core performance is more relative to gains we see on titles that are generally more CPU bound but still push about 10% gains in FPS on average when moving from the 12700K to 13700K which is not a mean feat. The 13700K essentially was pushed as a counter to AMD’s wildly popular 5800X3D, delivering on performance and value when it comes to gaming and productivity alike.

The Intel Core i7 13700K Vs Core i7 12700K: Value Proposition

While the Intel Core i7 13700K is undoubtedly the faster processor of the two, it does seem to offer questionable value for gamers versus the capable Core i7 12700K where one sees a tradeoff of 10% or lower gains (depending on the title in question) for the added $100-110 in cost. One can argue that gamers are better off spending that extra money on a better GPU instead for their gaming rig especially since the i7 12700K is unlikely to bottleneck a GPU meaningfully on most gaming presets for modern games.

That being said, exceptions do exist, and Esports titles such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Valorant, Dota 2, and others are considerably more CPU-bound in terms of performance, and users wanting to max out their FPS on said titles might find the 13700K a much more worthwhile upgrade than a GPU, at least for the extra $135 that they can spend.


For productivity-centric users, the answer however is much more clearer. The 13700K has considerably more clout with about 33% gains in multicore benchmarks. That translates to faster performance for users attempting to run workloads that utilize multithreaded, multicore-based workloads with considerable throughput required (such as rendering tools, programming suites, and development tools).

The 13700K does make sense as both a gaming and productivity upgrade for end users given its value proposition, but one could argue that while it is a no-brainer for productivity, gamers might want to rationalize their purchase a bit better to see if getting a better GPU does not make more sense versus the mild performance gains the 13700K does offer.

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The Intel Core i7 14700K: A Core-Heavy Alternative

Intel Core i7 14700K 20-Core, 28-Thread CPU

Intel Core i7 14700K 20-Core, 28-Thread CPU

The 14th Generation Intel Core i7

$400 $418 Save $18

The Intel Core i7 14700K 20-Core, 28-Thread CPU succeeds the Intel Core i7 13700K CPU with a 200 MHz boost clock increase as Intel also throws in an additional 4 efficiency cores to make it increasingly better value for money versus its predecessor.

With 28 threads on offer and higher boost clocks, the Intel Core i7 14700K is noticeably faster in both games and productivity benchmarks alike while replacing its predecessor at the same price points.

Brand
Intel

CPU Model
Core i7 14700K

CPU Socket
LGA 1700

Cores
20 (8P + 12E Cores)

Threads
28

Process
Intel 7 (10 nm)

Boost Clock Speed
5.6 GHz

Cache
28MB L2 + 33MB L3

RAM
Upto 192GB DDR5 RAM

Architecture
Rocket Lake Refresh

Base Clock Speed
3.4 GHz

PCIe
PCI-E 4.0/5.0 Support

Graphics
Yes, Intel UHD 770

Power Draw
253W (Turbo)

Pros

  • Adds 4 additional E-Cores into the mix versus the 13700K
  • Higher clock speeds for both its P-Cores and E-Cores
  • Works with existing 12th and 13th gen Intel-based Motherboards
Cons

  • Available only at MSRP as a fairly recent launch
  • Higher clocks come with higher power and thermal requirements

Consumers in the market for the Intel Core i7 13700K or the Core i7 12700K might also want to check out the latest and greatest Intel CPU that is intended as a replacement for the former. It adds four additional E-cores into the mix while offering higher boost clocks on both its efficiency cores and its performance cores.


While one could argue that the sub-200 MHz and 100 MHz increases in speeds might not be enough to differentiate the 14700K as a CPU in its own right as it essentially uses the same Raptor Lake cores as the 13700K, the additional four efficiency cores mean that it does clock in comfortably higher than the 13700K when multicore benchmarks are in play. In addition to this, it benefits from compatibility with both 12th and 13th-generation Intel motherboards while also retaining support for both DDR4 and DDR5 memory out of the box.

With higher clocks, more cores, and the latest Intel Core badge on offer, the Intel Core i7 14700K is not going anywhere, despite the somewhat mixed consumer reviews of what is being considered a relatively lackluster 14th-generation upgrade list. It does offer the strongest of all three 14th-gen processor variants thanks to its added cores even as it retains the MSRP of the now-replaced Intel Core i7 13700K.


This does mean that the 13700K trades at a considerably larger discount than before, making it an essentially better buy for gamers looking for a bargain. However, the 14700K can’t be ignored, given its value as a multicore juggernaut that is closer to the Core i9 CPU than the Core i7 has ever been in multiple generations.

The Verdict

Irrespective of which CPU one favors, both will deliver excellent performance and hold their own in both productivity and gaming-related workloads reasonably well versus the competition. Game Rant’s favorite is the 13700K. It delivers better performance from the get-go with significantly more multicore performance. Also, it isn’t priced out of reach like the Core i9 14900K this generation, making it a much more palatable high-end Intel CPU that games quite well too.


While it does offer a slightly faster version of the same iGPU as the 12700K, any meaningful performance-based use of the chip that requires a GPU will mean the integrated component will be more or less ignored, making it a relatively moot point. The 12700K does, however, offer better value for gamers, while potentially offering an upgrade path down the line to a Core i9 13900K chip if required. But for most gamers and casual users, it will be more than enough to navigate both modern games and applications for years to come.

It might be worth checking out the Intel Core i7 12700KF and 13700KF if users are insistent on getting a better bargain. They are both GPU-less versions of the CPUs discussed above and can save end-users a bit of money if one decides to go along with the overwhelming majority of users who pair this with a discrete GPU (dGPU).

MORE:

The Best Motherboards for the 13700K

The Intel 13700K is capable of powering the best gaming rigs. Learn which motherboards are the ideal match for this high-performance CPU.

FAQ

Q: How many cores does an Intel Core i7 13700K have?

The Intel Core i7 13700K has 16 total cores, of which 8 are the performance-centric ‘P’ cores and 8 are efficiency-centric ‘E’ cores as part of Intel’s foray into big.little architectures for desktop CPUs. The performance cores have 2 threads each and higher clocks compared to the single-thread efficiency cores which also are clocked lower and boost similarly.


Q: Should I upgrade to a Core i7 13700K?

This depends on both your use case and current hardware. Unlike modern GPUs, modern CPUs get nearly yearly releases with minor performance gains per generation. While exceptions do exist, they are few and far between. The 13700K is an excellent processor, but you might want to reconsider if you are upgrading from the 12th generation as single-core gains are somewhat lackluster and can be normally supplemented by overclocking your existing processor to slightly higher clocks.

At the same time, it might be worth considering AMD’s current gaming juggernaut, the Ryzen 7 7800X3D which performs far better in games at a similar price point, even if it trades productivity performance as a result. Alternatively, the new, slightly higher clocked Intel Core i7 14700K might also be the way to go for gamers and productivity users

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