Intel Core i7-13700K Review

Intel Core i7-13700K Review


In our introduction we wondered whether Intel had managed to avoid falling in to the trap of the 7000 series AMD Ryzen processors and produce a model in the middle of their range that would justify the extra expense to those who just wanted a gaming CPU, whilst also having enough performance at the top end to be a suitable replacement for those who want a Core i9 but on a tighter budget.

The answer is far more nebulous than you might imagine. Certainly it is not a question to which you can give a strident yes or no. Part of the fuzziness is to do with the pricing. As you saw in the specifications table, on paper the Intel Core i7-13700K is much nearer to being a slightly beefed up Core i5 than it is being a cut down Core i9. The pricing also strongly reflects that. This is a £480 processor, with the Core i5-13600K coming in a hundred pounds cheaper at £380, whilst the flagship Core i9-13900K is a massive two hundred and twenty pounds more expensive with a MSRP of basically £700.

Therefore if you’re hoping the Intel Core i7-13700K will get you close to the Core i9, the answer is, as we saw in testing, unfortunately not. You can’t even make up the difference with overclocking either. Maybe we got a middling one. Maybe the Intel automatic clock speed boost technology has reached its zenith, but there was little headroom on our review sample and pushing the same clock speed across all cores only hampered the results in those benchmarks that don’t require every single thread available.

If it’s not a flagship for those with tight purse strings then do those extra P Cores and higher clock speed make a difference in games? Again, not really. The titles that we might expect to be harsh, such as Cyberpunk 2077, are far more reliant upon GPU horsepower, whilst those that clearly use a lot of CPU cycles such as Total War : Warhammer III, the extra £100 you’re spending on the Core i7-13700K only buy you 2 FPS average against a CPU that is already pushing 95 FPS on our test rig.

The way to approach the newest addition to the Intel 13th Generation range is to think of it as exactly what it appeared as on paper. A Core i5-13600K with a couple of extra cores and a small speed increase that will show up mainly when you’re rendering either video or 3D. It’s not fully well-rounded, the gap to the Core i9 is too big to breach, but it’s more than you’ll get from the Core i5 in creation tasks. All of which means it falls into the incredibly tiny niche of people who mainly game rather than create, but do occasionally create, and can’t stretch to the extra £200 for the big flagship model whilst still needing more than the 13600K offers. For those reasons the Intel Core i7-13700K wins our OC3D Gamers Choice.

Intel Core i7-13700K Review  

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