Intel debuts next-generation desktop CPUs, promising a big boost for gaming and multitasking performance

Intel Corp. today lifted the lid off of its latest generation of central processing units for desktop computers.

Announced today by Intel Chief Executive Pat Gelsinger (below) at the chipmaking giant’s two-day Intel Innovation event, the new generation of CPUs is known as the 13th Gen Intel Core family. Code-named Raptor Lake, it includes what the company claims is the world’s fastest desktop processor, the i9-13900K.

The 13th Gen Intel Core family of CPUs will consist of 22 processors in all when it goes on sale on Oct. 20. They will be available in more than 125 partner system designs, including boxed processors, motherboards and desktop systems, providing what Intel promises will be big enhancements in both application performance and platform compatibility.

Within the new generation of CPUs are six new Intel Core ’K’ desktop processors that deliver up to 24 cores, with 32 threads and “blazing clock speeds” of up to 5.8 gigahertz. That will enable a superior experience for gaming, streaming and recording, Intel said.

The new-generation CPUs are built on a matured Intel 7 process and boast an x86 performance hybrid architecture, delivering high performance for the most demanding multitasking workloads, the company explained. It reeled off a ton of impressive numbers to back up those claims, saying the 13th Gen Intel Core chips provide up to 15% better single-threaded performance and up to 41% better multithreaded performance.

Gamers especially should appreciate this next level of performance. Intel said the 13th Gen Intel Core family combines its fastest-ever Performance-cores with double the number of Efficient-cores to deliver noticeably higher frame rates for even the most demanding games.

Meanwhile, the expanded E-cores across the 13th Gen Intel Core i5, i7 and i9 chips means they can also handle multiple, compute-intensive workloads to keep the busiest creators in flow. Further, the chips provide what Intel says is an “unmatched overclocking experience.” Using the newly developed Intel Speed Optimizer, users will be able to increase the clock rate of their devices with a single click to squeeze even greater performance out of them, the company said.

Michelle Johnston Holthaus, executive vice president and general manager of Intel’s Client Computing Group, said the company has successfully raised the standards of PC performance once again. “The 13th Gen Intel Core family is the latest example of how Intel is enabling amazing experiences to happen on the PC — at scale and across all PC product segments,” she said.

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger with new Core CPU

The 13th Gen Intel Core chips come with a number of new features not seen in previous generations, including the most advanced version of Intel’s Adaptive Boost and Thermal Velocity Boost technologies. Available in Intel Core i9 unlocked SKUs, these technologies are said to work in tandem to opportunistically boost the CPUs’ clock frequency based on power consumption and thermal headroom during a given workload. The company also mentioned support for PCIe Gen 5.0, with increased memory support to DDR5-5600 and DDR5-5200, while maintaining DDR4 compatibility.

Whether or not Intel’s 13th Gen Core chips really are the fastest-ever desktop processors remains to be seen, said analyst Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy. “Both Intel and AMD like to paint their processors as the best for the workloads they’re optimized for when they first launch,” he said. “Until we see full systems compared head-to-head by reviewers, which will likely be soon, it’s too close to call.”

In terms of system hardware, Intel said the 13th Gen Intel Core family can work with existing Intel 600 series chipset motherboards or the new generation 700 series, which also launched today.

The Intel 700 Series chipset is said to provide advanced features that increase reliability and performance, with eight additional PCIe Gen 4.0 lanes combined with PCIe Gen 3.0, amounting to 28 total lanes off the chipset. Meanwhile, the 700 Series also supports USB 3.2 Gen connectivity, meaning higher throughput for peripheral devices, Intel said.

Finally, Intel said, 13th Gen Intel Core chips will be able to take advantage of a new software solution called Intel Unison that can connect PCs with multiple other devices, beginning with iOS and Android smartphones. With Intel Unison, users simply pair their devices by following a few simple steps, and after that they’ll be able to easily share workloads across them. For instance, users can take a photo on their Android phone and edit it on their Intel-powered PC, or else view SMS messages received by their phone on the bigger screen, eliminating the need to switch devices.

Holger Mueller of Constellation Research Inc. said that as far as first impressions go, the 13th Gen of Intel’s desktop CPUs are likely to offer real value to gamers and creatives, both of whom can always use a little more oomph for their workloads. “The good news is that Gelsinger and Intel are claiming lots of extra oomph with these new CPUs,” Mueller added. “The new software offering Intel Unison is also very noteworthy as it will allow the sharing of media across platforms. That fills a gap and is an attractive upsell for what is traditionally a hardware maker.”

Intel said Intel Unison is coming to select Intel Evo laptops based on its older 12th Gen Intel Core Chips later this year, before arriving on 13th Gen Intel Core-based PCs early next year.

Images: Intel

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