Intel has announced the latest updates to their 13th generation Raptor Lake Core CPU lines. The latest CPUs include models with 65 watt base power ratings, as well as the T-Series with a 35 watt base power rating. Both have far higher max turbo wattage. Of particular interest to the SFF crowd is the T-Series CPUs as they have often found themselves used in prebuilts such as the HP mini-pc series, and in many power and heat sensitive builds from members on SFFN.
Intel’s highest end T-Series is the new I9-13900T featuring 24 cores (8 performance and 16 efficiency units), and a maximum turbo wattage of 106 watts. Intel states that the chip will boost up to 5.3 GHz on the P-Cores, but can drop as low as 1.1 GHz as a base frequency. What is not mentioned is what the sustained all core frequency will be at 106 watts under AVX intensive loads. Typically, it’s lower than the claimed max turbo. To quote Intel: “The frequency of cores and core types varies by workload, power consumption and other factors.”
On the low end is the i3-13100T which features four performance cores and no efficiency cores. It has a maximum turbo power draw of 69 watts with a maximum boost clock of 4.2GHz. Intel rates it for DDR5-4800, but states in the fine print that it can support DDR5-5600. At $134 MSRP, it feels a bit on the expensive side. I would have like to have seen a 4P-4E configuration for at or near that price.
More interesting is the i5 series which range from 82 to 92 watts max turbo power. The i5-13400T comes in with 10 total cores (6P+4E) for $221, which makes it a complete rip-off next to the i5-13500T which sports 14 total cores (6P+8E), faster turbo clocks, more cache, and costs only $11 more at $232. You would be insane to get the 13400T when the 13500T was available.
The Non-T i5 series isn’t any better in terms of value as the 13400 (6+4) is also $221 vs the 13500 (6+8) for $232. Again, the 13400 is a terrible value compared to the 13500.
Which brings us to 800lb gorilla in the room; Intel is raising prices and entry points. Alder Lake 12th generation CPUs have seen an across the board 10% increase in price over the last week. Raptor Lake 13th Gen hasn’t seen as much of an increase yet, but Intel has announced that they will be increasing their chip pricing after taking a $500 million loss for the second quarter of 2022. Based on the lack of value of the i3 series Raptor Lakes, and the high starting price of the i5s, a lot of the price increases may already be in place. One doesn’t have to look far back in Intel’s history to see this. The I5-8400 launched at about $180 and could match the previous generation’s $305 I7-7700K. The i5-10400 also launched at nearly $180 and could match $360 I7-8700K. One might argue that the 12600K launched at $330. However, it was grossly overpriced and the market showed it by the price plummeting rapidly. The street price of the 12600K has been between $230 and $250 for the last few months.
There isn’t even a $180 Raptor Lake CPU SKU on the board, and the i5-13400, which would be matched against the i5-12600K for core count, doesn’t offer any real discount. That’s not to say that you can’t get good performance out of the new i5 CPUs, but the days of getting the last generation i7 performance for half the price are clearly over.