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Intel's Core i9-13900K Leads Single-Thread Performance Rankings

Core i9-13900K QS tested
(Image credit: Intel)

Intel has yet to formally announce and start shipments of its unlocked Core i9-13900K 'Raptor Lake' processor, but some of its synthetic benchmark results have already been published. The flagship CPU already tops PassMark's single-thread rankings, beating predecessors and processors from AMD and Apple (as noticed by @Tum_Apisak). 

Intel's Core i9-13900K processor has eight high-performance cores operating at 3.0 GHz base clock and 16 energy-efficient working at 2.20 GHz base frequency. However, when maximum single-thread performance is needed, it turns on Thermal Velocity Boost and skyrockets high-performance cores to an impressive 5.80 GHz (at 241W). The CPU scores 4,883 points in PassMark's single-thread performance benchmark, which is 471 points higher than Intel's Core i9-12900KS.

(Image credit: PassMark Software/Tom's Hardware)

In fact, Intel's 12th Generation Core i7 and Core i9 'Alder Lake' processors have led PassMark single-thread CPU performance rankings for a while now. Mostly because of high clocks and high IPC execution, these processors dethroned Apple's M1 system-on-chip that topped this benchmark throughout 2021.  

Yet, Apple's single-thread efficiency speaks for itself: in a bid to beat Apple's M2 processor (up to 3.50 GHz at 22W ~ 30W), Intel's Core i9-13900K (up to 5.80 GHz at 241W) had to work at a 65% higher frequency while consuming almost an order of magnitude more power. Of course, Intel's new flagship CPU has 24 (8P+16E) cores and can process up to 32 threads per clock, beating all of Apple's offerings in synthetic benchmarks.

(Image credit: PassMark Software/Tom's Hardware)

Meanwhile, Intel's yet-to-be-released Core i9-13900K is not the best high-end CPU in PassMark's general CPU benchmark that takes into account both single-thread and multi-thread performance. AMD's Ryzen Threadripper processors clearly lead the game here. For now, the Core i9-13900K leaves behind AMD's previous-generation Ryzen 9 5950X by a comfortable margin. However, in a few days, AMD's next-generation Ryzen 9 7950X enters the arena, and we are eager to see whether it beats Intel's offering. 

While the results of Intel's upcoming Core i9-13900K processor seem legit, take them with a grain of sale as we might be dealing with pre-production hardware with all possible consequences.

Anton Shilov
Freelance News Writer

Anton Shilov is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.

  • lmcnabney
    Not a lot of Apples:Apples benchmarks to compare

    i9-13900K Passmark/CPU-Single 4,833 (about 9% increase)
    i9-12900k Passmark/CPU-Single 4,412

    Ryzen 9 7950 Geekbench-Single 2,217 (about 23% increase over 5950, 11% of 12900 )
    Ryzen 9 5950 Geekbench-Single 1,759
    i9-12900kf Geekbench-Single 1,990

    It looks like we are going to have a horse race
    Reply
  • -Fran-
    In all fairness to Intel, a single core (or let's call it "low threaded") workload will never use the whole 240W. It'll hover around 70W, maybe 80W. Apple can't break the laws of physics, no matter how badly they want you to believe they use pixie dust for their stuff.

    Regards.
    Reply
  • TerryLaze
    Admin said:
    Raptor shows its teeth: Core i9-13900K tops PassMark's single-thread CPU performance rankings.

    Intel's Core i9-13900K Leads Single-Thread Performance Rankings : Read more
    The CPU scores 4,883 points in PassMark's single-thread performance benchmark, which is 471 points higher than Intel's Core i9-12900KS.
    That should be 421 points, 4,883-4412.
    -Fran- said:
    In all fairness to Intel, a single core (or let's call it "low threaded") workload will never use the whole 240W. It'll hover around 70W, maybe 80W.
    It always depends on what you run, some things use more power than other, I also doubt that a single core could reach that high but I don't think it's impossible either.
    Reply
  • Flyfisherman
    What modern games or s/w benefits heavily on single core performance?
    All the games and s/w I am running uses multiple cores, as I can clearly see on my secondary monitor, were I have Core Temp gadget and FPS Monitor (FPS counter on game screen) widgets to keep an eye on my CPU and my GPU (Asus AMD RX 6900 XT).
    My primary monitor is a 27" 2560x1440 @165 Hz. I have limit it to 120 Hz so that I can try to maximize quality and as quiet as possible (low temp) gaming.

    I would love to have an even heftier 16 core CPU, such as Ryzen 9 7950X, but the price tag for a new mobo, CPU, DDR 5 memory etc would make it hard on this side of the new year...

    For example Assassins Creed Odyssey can use up to 12 cores and same goes for many other games, some can use all avaible cores.
    This shows right now how Ghost Recon Breakpoint uses 8 CPU cores as well GPU load, GPU memory load and temp etc. on ultra settings - and very quiet gaming experience.


    Best regards from Sweden
    Reply
  • -Fran-
    TerryLaze said:
    It always depends on what you run, some things use more power than other, I also doubt that a single core could reach that high but I don't think it's impossible either.
    That's just going from memory. I know 10K series, for 1 heavy loaded core and the rest hovering at 2-5%, was ~60W for about 4.9Ghz, so I'm just extrapolating from the increase in clocks, voltage+amps and process being an extra 10W to 20W, depending on how aggressive the boost behavior is. Happy to be wrong though, but I'm sure I'm not far off.

    Regards.
    Reply
  • cyrusfox
    Flyfisherman said:
    What modern games or s/w benefits heavily on single core performance?
    "A rising tide lifts all boats " Everything benefits from single core performance uplift. Even though your threads are all loaded up, what you are missing is they are still dependent on a single core path and only doing work to prepare for that dependency. A computer with 10%+ uplift single core is very noticeable improvement. I just went from 11700k (8core 16 thread) to 12600k(6P4e cores also 16 threads) and it is extremely noticeable. even though my multi-thread performance is about the same, my single thread speed is up by 18% and its much more snappier as well as running a lot cooler.
    Software that is still mostly single threaded(Sometimes exclusively so) would be your office applications and scripting.
    Reply
  • TerryLaze
    Flyfisherman said:
    This shows right now how Ghost Recon Breakpoint uses 8 CPU cores as well GPU load, GPU memory load and temp etc. on ultra settings - and very quiet gaming experience.


    Best regards from Sweden
    That's not how that works...
    25-30% of 8 cores are not 8 cores.

    Also core temp shows you the usage of a cpu over time so if a core is being used 0% for 70% of the time and 100% for 30% of the time it will show up as 30% usage and if it is being used 30% for 100% of the time it would again show up as 30% usage.

    What you need is a program like process hacker that can actually show you how much each thread of the game is using in real-time and not over time.
    Reply
  • hannibal
    Flyfisherman said:
    What modern games or s/w benefits heavily on single core performance?

    Best regards from Sweden

    Most strand strategy games are still mainly using single core...
    Reply