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Intel Core i9-13900K at 125W and 65W vs. AMD Ryzen 9 7950X

Club386’s recent comparison of AMD Ryzen 9 7950X and Core i9-12900K revealed some interesting facts. Both companies’ aspirations for maximum performance have resulted in processor power pushing to well over 200W, but manually limiting the numbers to 125W and 65W (the two limits used for historic premium and energy-efficient chips) does little to drastically reduce gaming performance. doing. it still gives impressive results in multi-core applications. Aside from the obvious advantages of lower operating costs and cooler running, reducing water is another boon as system noise is more tolerable.

As expected, AMD’s newly released Ryzen 9 7950X effortlessly beats the Core i9-12900K in multi-core programs. For example, the gap is huge in Cinebench, where the latest Zen 4 chip at 65W is faster than Alder Lake’s best grunt and puff at 241W. Food for thought.

But now a new Intel competitor has emerged. Enter the Core i9-13900K. Built on an advanced Intel 7 process and offering 24 cores and 32 threads wrapped in a 253W power budget, Raptor Lake’s lead performance hero demands attention. We’re already aware of its huge potential compared to countless chips, but what happens when this beast is scaled down to 125W and 65W – can it also provide a more agile experience at lower power ratings? There is only one way to find out.

A Power Question

But first it is useful to understand what exactly we want to compare. Intel 13th Gen Core uses a monolithic die that integrates cores, cache, GPU, memory controller and PCIe connectivity. In other words, total chip power lights up these eclectic features as and when needed. On the other hand, AMD is taking a different path. The high-end Ryzen 7000 Series packages consist of three chips – two octa-core CPU blocks and a central IOD slot for integrated graphics, PCIe connectivity, DDR5 memory controllers and USB.

This distinction between how Intel and AMD build the chips is important in terms of power. AMD cites a CPU budget of 170W for the Ryzen 9 7950X, compared to 253W for the Intel Core i9-13900K. Looks like Intel uses a lot more juice, right? It’s not that simple; Similar to Intel TDP, accurate full AMD packet power is what the Ryzen team calls Packet Power Monitoring (PPT), which also takes into account IOD consumption.

The Core i9-13900K can easily be limited to 125W, and that limit applies to any processor…controllers and all. To make the wattage comparison fair, we need to limit the Ryzen 9 7950X at 125W PPT, not just CPU power.

Yes, there it is! The same methodology is applied when reducing the total chip power to 65W. As you’ll see later, the total system-wide consumption at 65W, 125W, and 230/253W is eerily similar, empowering proper use of PPT for AMD-based processors.

Common components include 32GB (2x16GB) G.Skill Trident Z5 Neo EXPO memory running at DDR5-6000 CL30, single-fan Noctua NH-D15 cooling, Seagate FireCuda 530 2TB NVMe SSD, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 FE graphics card and Asus. ROG Hero motherboards from the Z790 (Intel) and X670E (AMD) families. Make a pre-production mute! The Dark Power 13 1,000W PSU provided excellent stable power. We couldn’t make the two platforms more similar if we tried.

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X Intel Core i9-13900K
All core frequency in stock 5.060MHz 5,250MHz
All core frequency at 125W 4,535MHz 4.430MHz
All core frequency at 65W 3.212MHz 2,930MHz

Understanding upcoming graphics requires knowing how each chip behaves when it lacks ideal power. Top of the line processors, evaluated during Cinebench R23’s 10-minute run, run performance cores over 5GHz in out-of-the-box mode. Intel’s P-cores climb higher, according to our findings, as AMD’s symmetrical design is harder to push to higher frequencies.

Whether it’s Intel TDP or AMD PPT, the low massage power of up to 125W balances the books, so to speak. AMD’s leading-edge, TMSC-built 5nm process scales the frequency slightly higher, showing true value, which bodes well for performance in a power constrained environment. Finally, capping at 65W encourages the 5nm process to shine; stays at higher frequencies than competing 10nm ESF.

So, if the Ryzen 9 7950X is paired with the Core i9-13900K at stock settings, it’s expected to drive at 125W and specifically 65W, keeping more usable frequencies for cores and threads. But don’t take our word for it, let’s check the criteria.

CPU Performance

Low loads are typically independent of limited power. This is proof as both sets of results are similar regardless of wattage. The Core i9-13900K’s desire to push at 5.8 GHz is bearing fruit.

Multi-core is where pushing the power bands is most important. The first takeaway is almost the same performance out of the box. Secondly, as we mentioned, Ryzen’s ability to hold more comparative frequencies at 125W – just keep in mind that it drops 10 percent; Intel saves 16 percent in the same power scenario – so the score is naturally higher. At 65W we’re pretty much at a stalemate.

Putting these results in a broader context, the 250W Core i9-11900K from two generations scores 14,949 points. Today’s best chips completely outperform this, with just 65W.

See how close it is in single core Geekbench. Power doesn’t distort results much.

Criteria for horses and chips for courses. Intel has two wins here – stock and 65W – but none of the processors are bad.

These scores combine performance in three scenes and are presented as samples per minute. Here’s an easy win for the Ryzen 9 7950X. It’s faster in all three scenarios, peaking at 125W almost 20 percent faster. In fact, the Core i9-13900K is nearly that fast at this setting, as is the full blown 253W.

With both processors set to 125W, AMD is the clear winner.

Don’t you have anything better to do than calculate pi? The tested version of Y-cruncher has AVX512 support and maybe that’s why the Ryzen 7000 Series chief is so fast.

Running full chat, AMD retains the performance crown for a few seconds.

While the Intel Core i9-13900K seems like a good multi-core match with the Ryzen 9 7950X, further benchmarks start to tip the scales in favor of the ‘Symmetric Killer’.

Intel Core i9-13900K at 253W isn’t enough to beat the Ryzen 9 7950X at 125W!

Ryzen is particularly good at retaining most of its stock performance when at 125W, offering a better voltage/frequency curve than the 13th Gen Core.

Depending on the workload, the Ryzen 9 7950X at 125W is a good proxy for the Core i9-13900K in 253W rampage mode.

System and Memory

The tables turned once again. At 65W Intel is better than AMD at 230W. Sorry, not that the bottom 8,892 points are bad.

According to the popular AIDA memory benchmark, Intel offers significantly more bandwidth than Ryzen when both use the same DDR5-6000 memory.

Gaming at 1080p

Definition of a mixed bag.

253W or 65W – it doesn’t really matter in Forza Horizon 5.

Gaming at 1440p

The latest Raptor Lake Core architecture is a bit of a gaming beast. Power limits are much less important than the processor brand used.

Gaming at 2160p

Efficiency, Temps and Operating Cost

Setting strict total packet power limits forces both chips to have similar wattage behavior. We’re looking at nearly identical loads system-wide in all three configurations.

By doing some base sums, we can estimate the following figures for the Ryzen 9 7950X based on the October UK Energy Price cap of 34pc per kWh.

operation time Annual cost @ stock Annual cost @ 125W Annual cost @ 65W
1 hour a day £40.33 £28.43 £18.87
6 hours a day £241.98 £170.58 £113.22

Of course, quite a lot of assumptions are made here. Our figures describe that the system is on for one or six hours each day and remains under full load throughout that time. Secondly, it may well seem like hardcore gamers, and in such a case, going from stock settings to 125W would save ~£71 in annual electricity costs, again considering possible hypothetical rates won’t increase over the next 12 months. The thing is, you could potentially pocket enough money for a new game or two.

A great side effect of power reduction is much lower temperature. Both chips don’t run a million miles above ambient at 65W, and recording around 65°C at 125W shows that high-performance systems can be cool and quiet. At 230W/253W it makes you wonder what all the fuss is about.

Dividing the all-core Cinebench R23 score by the observed system-wide power consumption gives us these results. The Ryzen 9 7950X and Core i9-13900K are most efficient when powered at 65W and that makes a lot of sense. Even 125W produces very healthy measurements, indicating that the optimal voltage/frequency curve for efficiency is between 65-125W.

The ongoing struggle for performance supremacy has inexorably led to a battle of frequency and power, characterized by the pulling of all stops in the name of comparative supremacy. Truth be told, that’s not a good thing, and we’d prefer both companies tweak the processors more for more constrained wattages. The cost of living crisis and all that.


Desiring the crown of the best mainstream CPU, Intel and AMD opened serious artillery fire at each other last year by pitting the Core i9-12900K against the Ryzen 9 5950X. A close call in apps and games, AMD took the initiative in September 2022 and brought the powerful Ryzen 7000 Series to life. Running amok on a brand new AM5 platform, multi-core performance is up to 40 percent faster than before, making the Ryzen 9 7950X a beast to fight. Stepping into Threadripper territory without apologies, big frequency spikes and a bit of IPC are blurring the lines between high-end desktop and workstation. A really good offer.

Faced with angering Ryzen, Intel’s still impressive Core i9-12900K doesn’t stand a chance in multi-core applications, but to the hybrid architecture’s credit, it remains stable in the gaming space. To correct this imbalance, the Core i9-13900K, which arrived on the scene today, is more powerful.

The best of Raptor Lake, which brought AMD its famous kitchen sink using more cores, higher frequencies, larger caches, and faster memory, do a good enough job in the broad spectrum. We’re back in last year’s predicament, albeit at a much higher level of performance, arguably better at gaming and touch range across a range of related multi-core applications.

Those who have enough cash for an exotic build this winter can count on the knowledge that both processor companies have upped their game admirably with top champions. Naturally working best in high power mode, reducing the wattage to 125W or 65W remains an attractive option for both camps. The little performance lost at 125W is suitably compensated by lower temperatures, less noise and lower bill. Between the two, the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X loses less innate performance, which is a testament to the implementation of a pioneering manufacturing process.

Lowering it to 65W still yields nice returns; AMD shadows this in multi-core performance, while Intel remains a leader in the gaming space, so you pay your money and make your choice. Our advice is to not be afraid to lower the wattage on these impressive class-leading processors. Sacrificing a little performance goes a long way in other key areas.

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X

“AMD Ryzen 9 7950X is a powerful 16-core and 32-thread processor that can do anything for the most demanding gamers and creators.”

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Intel Core i9-13900K

“With the fastest clock speeds and groundbreaking new architecture, you’ll be able to take your gaming to new heights while secondary apps run smoothly in the background.”

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