Intel Core i7-13700K Review: Core i9 Gaming at i7 Pricing

Taking the shine off Core i9.

Intel Core i7-13700K
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Intel)

Why you can trust Tom's Hardware Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Gaming Benchmarks on Intel Core i7-13700K — The TLDR:

Below you can see the geometric mean of our gaming tests at 1080p and 1440p, with each resolution split into its own chart. Be aware that a different mix of game titles could yield somewhat different results (particularly with the Ryzen 7 5800X3D), but this serves as a solid overall indicator of gaming performance. We're testing with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 to reduce GPU-imposed bottlenecks as much as possible, and differences between test subjects will shrink with lesser cards or higher resolutions and fidelity. You'll find further game-by-game breakdowns below.

If you aren't after the best performance possible in heavy productivity tasks and games, the $409 Core i7-13700K takes the shine off the $589 Core i9-13900K. Overall, the 13700K provides 95% of the 13900K's gaming performance, but for $180 less. Even better, you can overclock the 13700K and get basically identical gaming (and single-thread) performance to the stock Core i9-13900K.

The 13700K is also 18.8% faster than the previous-gen Core i7-12700K, an impressive feat given they have the same underlying chip microarchitectures.  

The Ryzen 7 5800X3D is the fastest AMD gaming chip by far, but its extra 96MB of L3 cache doesn't accelerate all games, so performance can be spotty. As a result, the winner between the 13700K and the 5800X3D will vary with different test suites. In our suite, the Core i7-13700K trails the 5800X3D by a mere 1% at stock settings, amounting to a tie, but takes a 6% lead after overclocking.

The Ryzen 7 5800X3D comes with a few caveats, though. For instance, the 13700K offers a balanced performance profile throughout the full game suite. In contrast, the 5800X3D profits heavily from a few massive leads that amount to outliers (like Microsoft Flight Simulator 2021 and Red Dead Redemption 2). Additionally, as we see in our application testing section, you'll have to accept much lower performance in just about every other type of productivity application if you opt for the Zen 3-powered Ryzen 7 5800X3D.

Zooming out to the newer $399 Ryzen 7 7700X, the 13700K is ~9% faster in stock and overclocked configurations. In fact, none of the Ryzen 7000 chips can match the stock Core i7-13700K in gaming, even after overclocking. 

The deltas in these charts can be slim, though, and large deltas in individual game titles, as we see with the 5800X3D, impact cumulative measurements. We've also seen a few game tests with the Ryzen 7000 processors where dual-chiplet models trail single-chiplet models, which also impacts these measurements.

The Nvidia RTX 4090 delivers the largest gen-on-gen increase in GPU compute power in recent history, so we could see a wave of game optimizations to fully exploit the increased resources. That means these results could change, and as always, the competition between AMD and Intel chips can vary based on the title and the GPU you use. It's best to make an informed decision based on the types of titles you play frequently, so be sure to check out the individual tests below.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Raptor Lake Gaming Benchmarks - relative fps percentage
Tom's Hardware 1080p Game Benchmarks 1440p Game Benchmarks
$589 — Core i9-13900K100%100%
$430 — Ryzen 7 5800X3D96.3%97.4%
$409 — Core i7-13700K95.4%96.7%
$319 — Core i5-13600K89.2%91.4%
$549 — Ryzen 9 7900X87.9%90.2%
$399 — Ryzen 7 7700X87.8%90.8%
$699 — Ryzen 9 7950X87.2%90%
$299 — Ryzen 5 7600X83.7%88.3%

Cyberpunk 2077 on Intel Core i7-13700K

To simplify the charts, the first slide in each game album features only the stock configurations, while the remainder of the slides cover the same results but have the overclocked configurations added. We use that same approach for the rest of the gaming results below.

Cyberpunk 2077 finds the Intel processors taking the lead over the Ryzen 7000 models, but you'll notice that the dual-CCD Ryzen 9 7950X and 7900X trail the single-CCD Ryzen 5 and 7 models, implying this game could use some optimization. The single-CCD Ryzen 7 7700X, the 13700K's direct competitor, doesn't suffer the same reductions.

The Core i7-13700K is 12% faster than the fastest AMD chip in this title, the Ryzen 7 7600X. Turning the overclocking knobs boosts the 13700K beyond even the 13900K as it takes the top of the chart.

Far Cry 6 on Intel Core i7-13700K

The Core i7-13700K leads the Ryzen 7 7700X by 12% at stock settings in Far Cry 6, and that expands to 13% after overclocking. 

F1 2021 on Intel Core i7-13700K

F1 2021 tends to scale by core count, but the dual-CCD Ryzen chips don't benefit, so future game optimizations could yield big gains for AMD's core-heavy chips. 

For now, the Ryzen 7 7700X is the fastest standard AMD chip in the lineup, but the Core i7-13700K is 3% faster. The Ryzen 7 5800X3D reminds us of the power of its incredible 96MB of L3 cache: Despite its much lower 4.5 GHz clock rate, it is still 17% faster than the Core i7-13700K. Overclocking the 13700K narrows the gap to 9%, but that's still a sizeable lead.

Hitman 3 on Intel Core i7-13700K

In Hitman 3, the Ryzen 7000 processors scale in a more predictable manner based on core count, but the Raptor Lake chips maintain a solid lead at their respective price points. The Core i7-13700K is 20% faster than the Ryzen 7 7700X, and 7% faster than the $699 Ryzen 9 7950X. 

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2021 on Intel Core i7-13700K

L3 cache obviously reigns supreme in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2021, as the Ryzen 7 5800X3D is an incredible 32% faster than the Core i7-13700K, and overclocking only shrinks the 5800X3D's lead to 22%. However, this large advantage isn't representative of the 5800X3D's performance in most titles, and it's a good illustration of how big outliers can make the 5800X3D seem more impressive in cumulative measurements.  

We see some odd performance trends with Ryzen 7000 processors once again, with the Ryzen 9 7900X inexplicably trailing the other chips regardless of how many times we retested. This suggests some game code tuning could be in order. 

Red Dead Redemption 2 on Intel Core i7-13700K

Even though they were leaders in gaming performance just a few months ago, the Alder Lake chips now wallow at the bottom of the chart, perhaps justifying a gen-on-gen update, a rarity, if you're after the best performance from an Intel chip.

The Ryzen 7 5800X3D once again takes a massive lead over the test pool. The Ryzen 7 7700X is 2% faster than the Core i7-13700K in this title, but overclocking shrinks it to a dead heat. 

Warhammer 3 on Intel Core i7-13700K

Flipping over to the 1440p charts shows us that higher resolutions are often the great equalizer that levels the playing field for chips with similar accommodations. 

Watch Dogs Legion on Intel Core i7-13700K

The Core i7-13700K takes a sizeable lead over the Ryzen competitors in this title, beating even the Ryzen 7 5800X3D by 7%. 

Paul Alcorn
Managing Editor: News and Emerging Tech

Paul Alcorn is the Managing Editor: News and Emerging Tech for Tom's Hardware US. He also writes news and reviews on CPUs, storage, and enterprise hardware.

  • splunkett
    another Intel ad. yeesh
  • brandonjclark
    It was such a good review I went and compared my 10900kf to the 13700k and was AMAZED to find them13700k is much more powerful, in every category. It's even more powerful in the multi threaded scoring.

    I have deep enough pockets that I'd still likely go for a core I9, but I'm just not in the market this gen. I think I'll wait for the core i9-15xxx series.