It is an exciting time to be building a new PC. AMD's new Ryzen 7000 series processors are out, and Intel has released the new Raptor Lake processors, now known as the 13th Generation Core Processors, which have hit the streets. There are currently three SKUs available, the Core i9 13900K, the Core i7 13700K, and the Core i5 13600K. The new Intel chips range in price from about $320 to $589 retail, though the Core i9 is in limited stock and running higher.
The Raptor Lake chips absolutely blow away both the Alder Lake chips from Intel (12th Generation Core) as well as the Ryzen 7000 chips in terms of both gaming and productivity. This is definitely bad news for AMD, who has been keeping ahead of Intel for the last few generations and has done it for less money. Speaking of costs, unfortunately, AMD is failing there, as well.
Ryzen 7000 series chips are much faster than the 5000 series, which is the predecessor, and faster than Intel's 12th Gen in most cases. The new chips also added support for DDR5 RAM and PCIe 5 SSDs (which aren't really out yet), for the first time. But, AMD's new chips do not perform as well as Intel's 13th Generation chips, cost more money, and the rest of the computer is way more expensive, too.
For the processors themselves, Intel is less expensive than AMD. The top AMD chip is the Ryzen 9 7950X which has an MSRP of $699. Compare that with the Intel Core i9 13900K which has an MSRP of $589. Even with the increased price due to stock issues, it still comes in under the AMD equivalent.
For the new Intel chips, you can choose between DDR4 and DDR5 RAM. In fact, the processors work with many older motherboards that are already on the market. Sure, you won't have the latest and greatest on all of your components, but if you want the best processor on a budget, you can pull it off.
With AMD, however, everything is shiny and new, meaning it is more expensive. DDR5 RAM, as of right now, is significantly more expensive. However, with the 7000 series processors, you don't have a choice - it's DDR5 or nothing. Because of this and the new chipset, only the newest boards work. And those boards are not inexpensive. As of this episode, the least expensive board is close to $300 - and they go up steeply from there. Of course, it will not always be this way, but for now, this is our reality.
Now, the cost difference could be justified, if the new and shiny features of the Ryzen 7000 chips were significantly better than the 13th Generation Core processors, but that is also not the case. On the Tom's Hardware Windows 11 test suite, which plays the same games on the same graphics card and system setup, the top chip is the Intel 13900K. AMD's 7000 series chips do not appear on the list until #5, coming in behind all of Intel's new processors and one of their own previous models, the Ryzen 7 5800X 3D, which takes the #2 slot. So, the $699 chip from AMD does not perform as well as Intel's $320 chip. Yikes.
For a company that has made its name on being the powerful, inexpensive competitor, this is not a great place for AMD to be.
Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLUGHITZ Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the rhythm game community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and helping with ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors, currently housed at AMRoC Fab Lab.
Avram's been in love with PCs since he played original Castle Wolfenstein on an Apple II+. Before joining Tom's Hardware, for 10 years, he served as Online Editorial Director for sister sites Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag, where he programmed the CMS and many of the benchmarks. When he's not editing, writing or stumbling around trade show halls, you'll find him building Arduino robots with his son and watching every single superhero show on the CW.