Intel Core I9-13900K Leads 13th-Gen CPU Lineup, And Release Day Is Just Around The Corner

Intel has announced its latest generation of desktop CPUs, and PC builders may soon be able to put "the world's fastest desktop processor" in their rigs. Six "unlocked" processors were announced in total, containing up to 24 cores and 32 threads. The company's 13th generation of processors on the whole is set to include "22 processors and more than 125 partner system designs." The chips made their debut at Intel's annual Innovation event on September 27. The "K" line consists of Intel Core i5, i7, i9 CPUs.

Speaking about the new chips, Michelle Johnston Holthaus, executive vice president and general manager of the Client Computing Group at Intel, said, "We are raising the standards of PC performance once again with our latest generation of flagship 13th Gen Intel Core Processors. The 13th Gen Intel Core family is the latest example of how Intel is enabling amazing experiences to happen on the PC – at scale and across all PC product segments."

The news follows Nvidia's unveiling of its 40 series GPUs earlier this month and means PC builders will now have a clear idea of what specs they can expect from the latest hardware. The flagship RTX 4090 is said to offer double the speeds of the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti. If that kind of power is coupled with the gains Intel's 13th generation of chips have made over its previous offerings, then PCs are about to get significantly better – at least on paper.

In addition to the new CPUs, Intel also announced the release of its 700 Series Chipset — which features support for eight additional PCIe Gen 4.0 lanes, USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 (20Gbps) ports, and the return of forward and backward compatibility.

Intel promises an all-rounder CPU

Gaming PCs and video editing workhorses have different demands. Gamers are usually better off with more raw processing power, while editors will benefit from more cores to spread the workload over. With their latest generation of CPUs, Intel is promising its customers a chip that can do both. Gamers and creatives are being offered "improved single-threaded and multi-threaded performance" which should help meet their needs, whatever those needs are.

Single-threaded performance is up by 15% when compared to Intel's previous generation of processors, while multi-thread performance is up by a reported 41%. The flagship Core i9-13900K offers clock speeds of up to 5.8 GHz, which the company says is enough to "push high frame rates and allow for unleashed gaming experiences across top titles." Intel also claims the multi-thread gains are due to an increased number of "e-cores" (efficient-cores) available in the CPU.

Today, the flagship 13900K is getting the lion's share of attention, which is typically how these new Core lineup reveals go. Intel promises that information about the rest of the lineup is coming at a later time, but thankfully, we don't have to wait for word of a release date. Intel says that the 13th Gen Core desktop "K" processors, and the Intel Z790 motherboards, are set to hit shelves on October 20.