With the recent launch of the remainder of the Intel 13th-Gen CPU line-up we’re excited to see what the new SKUs can offer when it comes to performance. The first three flagship models definitely left us impressed at the GeekaWhat offices, so the pressure is on for Intel to demonstrate they are yet again the performance king.
In order to assess the value of Intel’s brand new Core i5 13400F we’ll be comparing it against the main champion of the initial launch – the Core i5 13600K. In typical GeekaWhat fashion we’re putting both of these processors head-to-head in a CPU versus battle to see where performance lies, and which option offers better value.
Suggested Article: Intel Core i5 13400F Review – A CPU of Questionable Value
CPU Versus Battle
Core i5 13400F
|Base Clock Speed||2.5GHz|
|Boost Clock Speed||4.6GHz|
Intel‘s Core i5 range of CPUs tends to be the go-to for most consumers where performance metrics are very strong on the gaming front, especially at 1440P and 1080P. Architecturally the 13400F follows the same process that the other Raptor Lake CPUs have, with refinements to the 12th-Gen processing node. This allows Intel to add more cores and increase clock speeds pushing performance even further than what we saw 12th-Gen offerings.
Without giving too much away about the performance metrics, the 13400F has decent multi and single threaded scores, but not as strong compared to many of the higher SKUs designed to handle much more intensive workloads. When it comes to gaming the 13400F holds up relatively well at a 4K resolution if paired up with an equally powerful graphics card. 1440P and 1080P offer much better performance metrics due to the lower overhead. The biggest downside to the 13400F is the reduced clock speed, which will affect it’s performance within games, because most titles only require a single core. This means that there are quite a few CPUs with a lower core count out of the box, but with a higher clock speed that can beat out the 13400F.
But despite the somewhat weaker clock speeds, the 13400F has hit the market at an extremely competitive price point. Sitting around the $200, this allows consumers to enjoy very decent performance at a much lower cost compared to the majority of options currently available on the market. This combined with the fact that B760 boards have just recently release, and you’re off to a great start with a build at a very good price. However, the true value of this CPU will be assessed in the benchmarking section, where readers will likely be surprised at the performance output.
Buy the Intel Core i5 13400F on:
Core i5 13600K
|Base Clock Speed||3.5GHz|
|Boost Clock Speed||5.1GHz|
Prior to the release of a ‘400F’ SKU, the ‘600K’ CPUs were the go-to for the majority of consumers. These processors offered a steady mid-range price, whilst providing users with the opportunity of building a workstation/gaming PC. The Core i5 12600K was one of the best CPUs that we’d seen from the 12th-Gen line-up, and the 13600K offered such impressive metrics in everything that it blew all of its competition out of the water.
Speaking of performance, what does the 13600K have on offer? Well, as we’ve alluded to above, the 13600K offers incredible metrics in pretty much every circumstance. If you’re looking to play games at 4K, paired up with a powerful GPU, the 13600K will effectively have no issues. 1440P and 1080P also pose very little issue to the 13600K due to the lower performance overhead. The Core i5 13600K is also ideal as a workstation processor, offering plenty of cores and threads at a very high clock speed. Overall, the performance of the 13600K is extremely strong in pretty much every circumstance and there are few CPUs that come close apart from the top-end SKUs such as the Core i9, or AMD’s Ryzen 9 7900X.
Looking at market positioning and value, the 13600K is currently one of the best CPUs that consumers can get their hands on. This powerful Core i5 offers significant generational improvements and sits on par with the top-end Core i9 from the 12th-Gen range. And it does this all whilst sitting around the $300 price point, which is absolutely insane value. The vast majority of consumers will not be disappointed with the strong performance of the 13600K, and there are very few offers in the current market that offer similar metrics at an equally competitive price point.
Buy the Intel Core i5 13600K on:
Our Testing Methodology
In order to benchmark all of our components for a video or an article, we follow a rigorous methodology that involves two major steps to ensure fair and impartial testing. The first part of this method is to use fairly matched PC components, which involves building a benchmarking system that would only pair high-end parts with other high-end parts. We do this to reduce any bottlenecking, making sure that our results are not impacted by poor performing components.
To test the 13400F and 13600K, we paired up each of these CPUs with AMD’s Radeon RX 6950XT to maximise our graphical performance, so the only change in metrics would be down to the power of our chosen CPU. The second part of this methodology involves sticking to our editorial promise. Detailed in the ‘About Us‘ section on our website, we promise that any component sent by a manufacturer will be put through a fair review and the content of the article will not be subject to amendment by any external party.
In this section we’ll be delving into the performance to determine which of these CPUs is better. Below you’ll find a range of graphs including synthetic and gaming benchmarks at 4K and 1080P. All of the full runs can be found on our YouTube channel ‘Benched’ where we test a variety of components in the latest triple A and Esports titles.
Cinebench R23 Multi Core
We first up in our benchmarking roundup is Cinebench R23. In this multi-core benchmark we saw incredibly strong leading performance from the 13600K, with this CPU siting on par with the 5900X and 5950X from AMD’s last generation. Considering the core counts from both of those AMD CPUs, this is impressive to see. The 13400F fell behind with a metric closer to the 5800X3D. This isn’t dreadful performance, but we were expecting the 13400F to align itself more with the 12600K or alternatively offer better performance.
Cinebench R23 Single Core
During our single core benchmark we saw the 13600K surge up the list sitting in third place compared to the rest of the CPUs we’ve tested. This is extremely impressive to see, and demonstrates the significant performance improvements with the new generation of Intel CPUs. However, the 13400F doesn’t quite follow suit, with the performance sitting around the 12600K mark. Again, we were expecting the performance to be somewhat better here, but based on the clock speeds of the 13400F this was to be expected to some extent.
3D Mark CPU Profile
In this benchmark, we used 3DMark’s CPU Profile to test the 13400F and 13600K at a variety of different thread configurations to see where performance lies. Yet again, the 13600K was able to demonstrate how powerful it is with a metric extremely close to the 12900K at max threads all the way down to single. The Core i5 13400F wasn’t able to beat out the 12600K, but it offers very similar performance to AMD’s latest Ryzen 5 7600X. With the 13400F at a lower price point than the 7600X this does show good value when compared to AMD’s budget offering.
3D Mark’s Timespy Extreme and Firestrike
In 3D Mark’s Timespy Extreme we saw performance closer to that of the real-world when it comes to gaming. The 13600K offered a very strong CPU score of 7910, which sits around 500 points higher than the 5900X. The 13400F yet again sits towards the lower portion of the graph, with performance aligning closer to the Ryzen 5 7600X again. Both of these Intel CPUs are demonstrating that AMD’s lower-end SKUs on their latest platform are not quite able to hold a candle to the performance of 13th-Gen processors at 4K.
In our Firestrike benchmark the performance didn’t change much for the 13400F, but the Core i5 did show a better score at 1080P which is good to see. The Core i5 13600K did receive some uplift with the physics score sitting closer to the Ryzen 9 7900X. It is genuinely very impressive to see a mid-range CPU managing to come close to a top-end processor – well done Intel!
First off in our gaming benchmarks we decided to test out Apex Legends at 4K. Intel’s Core i5 13600K sat towards the top of the graph with an average framerate of 177. This is more than enough to enjoy a buttery smooth 144Hz refresh rate, which is ideal for this fast-paced title. Although the 13400F wasn’t quite able to offer the same framerate, we still saw very promising performance overall with 156FPS on average, which surpasses the 144FPS mark for a great gameplay experience.
In Battlefield 2042 we saw significantly lower framerates overall, but this is unfortunately down to how poorly optimised Battlefield 2042 is as a title. Regardless, the 13600K sat around the 96FPS mark which isn’t ideal, but more than enough to enjoy smooth gameplay, even during high high-intensity areas. The 13400F strangely offered very similar performance to the 13600K in this benchmark. We wanted to make sure this wasn’t an anomaly so we ran the benchmark a few times with the same settings and achieved similar framerates every time. Either way this is very strong performance from the 13400F in this title.
In F1 2022 we saw our framerates take a massive hit here, but we wanted to test a game with Ray-Tracing enabled to see which CPU would come out on top. Both the 13600K and 13400F offered rather similar performance with a 15FPS difference overall. However, the 13600K was one of the few CPUs to surpass the 60FPS mark which will affect how smooth the visual experience is. Ultimately, Ray-Tracing is always going to be a GPU-bound experience, which is why our frames weren’t able to go above 70FPS here. However, it will be interesting to see where performance lies with a better GPU that can handle Ray-Tracing such as the RTX 4090 or 4080.
Marvel’s Spiderman Remastered
For our final game we tested our Marvel’s Spiderman Remastered at 4K. Unfortunately, the 13400F didn’t do great here, sitting at the bottom of our performance graph with a framerate of 71FPS. This isn’t by any means bad performance, but this is much weaker compared to the 13600K which offered just over 25FPS extra bumping it up to the 100FPS mark. This is excellent performance from the 13600K, but the 13400F is demonstrating how the weaker clock speed will affect framerates in single threaded titles.
Looping back around to some of the questions that we’ve asked at the start of this article, what kind of performance can the 13400F and 13600K offer? And which is better when it comes to value? Unfortunately, the answer is a little bit complicated. Looking at performance metrics both in synthetic and gaming benchmarks, the Core i5 13600K is a clear winner. Time and time again it offered more points, or more frames than the 13400F at 4K and at 1080P making it the definitive choice for a multi-faceted PC.
The Core i5 13600K is also an incredibly well priced processor and will be the go-to option for the majority of users as has been the case for many generations now. However, despite the exceedingly strong metrics from the 13600K, the 13400F did hold its own! Keep in mind, the 13400F is a $200 processor (dependent on the vendor), and although it won’t be perfect for multi-threaded workstation applications, it really does hold up well at 4K when paired up with a GPU of a similar calibre.
Ultimately, the biggest decider for most consumers will be the price, and value. If we’re talking about price alone, the 13400F is the obvious answer. But if we’re talking about value, either of these CPUs is a great bet. The 13600K is ideal for users that want to work during the day, and game in the evening. But the 13400F offers an excellent starting point for 4K gaming, especially if you’re a more price-conscious buyer.