Intel’s mid-range Raptor Lake CPU looks like an AMD Ryzen 7000 killer

intel Alder Lake, processors on motherboard and on table
(Image credit: Future)

Intel’s Raptor Lake processors have appeared in a fresh set of leaked benchmarks which show promising levels of performance, particularly for the mid-range Core i5-13600K that’ll likely be a popular CPU in terms of its pricing – certainly if these results are anything to go by.

The benchmarks were shared on Twitter by regular hardware leaker HXL, and they’re drawn from Blender, which measures the powers of a processor in terms of more serious tasks like 3D rendering or modeling.

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Intel’s flagship Core i9-13900K achieved a score of 558, which falls somewhat short of the Zen 4 flagship, AMD’s Ryzen 9 7950X, that managed 608, so is appreciably faster. Team Blue’s flagship is however – as you might expect – faster than the 7900X, with the latter scoring 462.

Away from the top-end, Intel’s Core i7-13700K hit 430, and the Core i5-13600K scored 358, which compares to the Ryzen 7700X on 306 and Ryzen 7600X which managed 235.

As Tom’s Hardware, which flagged this, notes, there’s a minor caveat for the 13700K here in that it’s running a different (slightly earlier) version of Blender, which essentially means that its score should be a little higher – though likely not by much.

Analysis: Worrying times ahead for AMD?

As ever, we need to be careful around reading too much into results from a single benchmarking source, and take an appropriate amount of seasoning with any leak on top of that. But this spillage certainly produces some interesting talking points, the most prominent of which is mid-range performance.

Intel’s Core i5-13600K is about 17% faster than the Ryzen 7700X and just over 50% quicker than the 7600X, with Team Blue’s price tag on that mid-range CPU weighing in at $319 versus $399 and $299 (in the US) for those AMD processors respectively. So it’s barely any more expensive than the 7600X while being 50% faster, at least in this benchmark – which is seriously eye-opening.

At the high-end, AMD’s 7950X does easily take the crown for speed here, being 9% faster than the 13900K, but the catch is the AMD chip is 18% more costly (going by US MSRPs in all cases here). While the Raptor Lake flagship is 7% more expensive than the 7900X, it outstrips that CPU by 20% in terms of performance here.

Also, if we compare the 13700K to the 7900X, the AMD processor may not be much more than 5% quicker (if we bear in mind the Intel CPU is likely to be a touch faster than the stated result, obtained on an older version of Blender as mentioned), yet the 7900X is in excess of 30% pricier.

All of this leaves Raptor Lake looking pretty compelling, at least when paired with this kind of heavyweight software in taxing multi-core workloads. And that surely must be a worry for AMD, and could maybe leave Team Red looking at adjusting relative pricing here in the longer-term, perhaps – we can only hope for a competitive environment to help on the cost front.

With all that said, what many folks are going to want to see is relative gaming performance, which we’ll know much more about very soon – Raptor Lake launches on October 20.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).