One of the many Intel documents indicates that the 13th core generation uses the previous Alder Lake dies to a not insignificant extent (as predicted by the rumor mill this August). The relevant line is highlighted in the slide below, and it offers a bigger Level3 cache only from the Core i5 and a larger Level2 cache only from the Core i5 K.Because the key technological difference between “Alder Lake” and “Raptor Lake” is the (much) bigger Level2 cache per CPU core, Intel conceals the fact that the smaller versions of the 13th core generation eventually only exist as “relabeled” Alder Lake processors, as 3d center discovered.

Intel’s statement is even worded with extreme caution because technically, despite the Alder Lake pedigree, the Core i5 non-K of the 13th Core generation still have more Level2 cache: but this “only” results from their higher core Number, which does not correspond to a larger Level2 cache per CPU core. That’s what Intel was going for with this comment: only the Core i5K and all Core i7 and i9 models have more Level2 cache per CPU core, making them really “Raptor Lake” in terms of architecture. As I said, the rest is just an Alder Lake refresh under a new sales name. There are undoubtedly fascinating developments here as well: the Core i5 non-K versions are gaining E cores for the first time, which implies that the quantity of Level 2 and Level 3 caches in these CPUs automatically rises.

It has to be determined to what degree this will have further consequences. The Intel documentation talks a lot about the advantages of the 13th core generation. It is hoped that various footnotes restricting it to individual CPU models will not have to be added later. Of fact, many of the benefits stated might be software-based or already present at Alder Lake; Intel does not differentiate between the two.

In actuality, the sole difference between the Core i5-13600K and non-K is a slightly bigger Level2 cache, which can be seen clearly in the cache difference between the Core i5-13600K and non-K: 20 to 7.5 MB. The remainder are (currently) minor differences, such as DDR5/4800 official memory support for all Alder Lake-based machines against a maximum of DDR5/5600 for all Raptor Lake-based variants (bridgeable through memory overclocking, of course). On the other hand, if the 13th core generation had been produced entirely on the basis of new Raptor Lake dies, Intel might have provided changes in the number of cores and the Level3 cache. Because nothing is known about genuine design variations, IPC disparities can only be seen in benchmarks that use the greater Level2 cache per CPU core.

The lower Level2 cache is unlikely to determine the fate of the Core i5 non-K models of the 13th core generation, since the E cores provided for the first time in this model class are more intriguing. With this, 10 and 14 cores may be readily configured in the mainstream region, which can clearly compete with AMD’s six and eight cores—at least with the power restriction enabled, as is currently achievable on Alder Lake mainboards.

Unfortunately, this total image of the 13th core generation will not be known until January 2023, when the non-K variants will be available and Intel will publish their list pricing. One of the remaining topics of contention is whatever pricing or price hikes Intel will release with its 13th core generation.


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