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Intel Core i5-13600K vs Core i5-12600K 

Are you struggling to choose between these two CPU generations? We’re comparing the 13600K with the 12600K to see which one is better.

Updated: Dec 6, 2022 8:25 am
Intel Core i5-13600K vs Core i5-12600K 

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Intel released its 13th-generation CPUs on the 20th of October 2022. The 13th generation Raptor Lake CPUs were said to be a significant step up from Alder Lake, but by how much exactly? How do the specifications of both CPUs compare? This is our Intel Core i5-13600K vs i5-12600K article. 

Buy a 13th-generation CPU here:

But is the new 13th generation worth it?

We aim to find out just how well the 13600K stacks up against its predecessor, the 12600K. We’re going to take a look at both CPUs comparatively, to see which is the best on paper. Obviously, different people have different use cases.

Core i5-13600K vs i5-12600K: Specifications 

Here we will take look at each of the CPU’s specifications, and decide which one would be a better choice based on just specifications alone


The i5-13600K is designed to be a budget CPU offering gamers great single-core performance at the expense of a few extra CPU cores. This isn’t a strong CPU in the multi-core performance realm. But still offer more than enough single-core performance. 

The specifications of the 13600K are as follows: 

  • Cores: P-cores 6 / E-cores 8
  • Threads: 20
  • Base clock frequency: P-cores 3.5 GHz / E-cores 2.6 GHz
  • Boost clock frequency: P-cores 5.1 GHz / E-cores 3.9 GHz
  • L3 cache: 20MB
  • Default TDP: 125 W / 181 W boost.
  • iGPU: Intel UHD graphics 770


Intel Core i5-12600KF


Boost clock speed (single core)

4.9 GHz

Total Cores / Threads







LGA 1700



The i5-12600K is a strong contender in the budget gaming CPU space, it quickly became a favorite of the last generation thanks to its price-to-performance ratio, but is it enough to hold up against the 13600K? 

The specifications of the 12600K are as follows: 

  • Cores: P-cores 6 / E-cores 4
  • Threads: 16
  • Base clock frequency: P-cores 3.7 GHz / E-cores 2.8 GHz
  • Boost clock frequency: P-cores 4.9 GHz / E-cores 3.6 GHz
  • L3 cache: 20MB
  • Default TDP: 125 W / 150 W boost.
  • iGPU: Intel UHD graphics 770

Intel Core i5-13600K vs i5-12600K: Specification Comparison 

Here we will compare the specification of the Intel Core i5-13600K with the 12600K to see how they stack up against each other on paper. 

Cores and threads 

The 13600K has more cores and threads at its disposal. 

The number of cores a CPU has is a great indicator of how well it will do in Multi-threaded workloads. A CPU with more cores will be better at multitasking natively, this is good for workloads like content creation and streaming. As you have more sources of processing power to delegate tasks to. 

Threads are different from cores, in the sense that they don’t actually exist. Multithreading gives a CPU core the ability to process two instructions simultaneously as opposed to one, this secondary instruction has been named a thread. 

Because threads aren’t real, they have to share resources with CPU cores. Because CPU cores are real, they have a priority, so threads don’t double a CPU output as you’d expect. They are slightly slower than CPU cores as a result. 

Core speed 

The 13600K has a much faster boost core speed. 

Core speed is what matters most for gamers. While the number of cores governs a CPUs multi-core performance, core speed governs a CPU’s single-core performance. 

Core speed is the measurement of how many times a CPU can complete the CPU instruction cycle, the CPU instruction cycle is comprised of three main actions, Fetch, Decode, and Execute. This cycle equates to one instruction executed and completed. So the more times per second a CPU core can do this, the faster that CPU is considered to be. 


The 13600K has a higher cache capacity than the 12600K

A CPU cache is a type of volatile memory constructed close to CPU cores, on the CPU die itself. This helps to facilitate a swift communication speed between the cache and the CPUs cores. 

Low latency is the name of the game for CPU cache, as it’s where the CPU stores it’s computations and instructions it has yet to process. The faster you can feed a CPU with instructions the better the CPU will be, as you’re eliminating the bottleneck that a slower cache speed causes. This is why the cache is fast, much faster than your system memory.

Larger caches can also store and queue more information, meaning there’s less chance the CPU is going to have to wait for new information. You want a larger cache capacity, and if you can, faster too. 


The 12600K has a lower TDP, on both base and boost frequencies. 

TDP thanks for thermal design power, and it’s the maximum amount of thermal energy a component can give off, under normal conditions. Intel CPUs now have a rates base and boost TDP. 

These values are pretty simple to understand, the base TDP is the amount of energy given off at base core frequencies, and the boost TDP is the energy given off from the CPU at boost CPU frequencies. TDP is measured in Watts. 

You need a CPU cooler to counteract this TDP and keep the CPU cool. A lower CPU is better for efficiency, but a higher TDP in this day and age is usually indicative of a better “more powerful” CPU. 

13600K vs 12600K: Performance

Although we don’t have the 13th gen CPUs just yet. We do have some information given to us by Intel CEO, Pat Gelsinger at Intel’s latest Innovation event. 

During the event, Pat went on to discuss the 13th generation as a whole, stating that Intel is reporting 15% increases in single-core performance, and up to 42% increases in multi-core performance. That’s a rather substantial increase in performance. 

Where to buy Intel 13th generation CPUs

Sold on the latest Intel 13th generation CPUs? here’s where to buy the entire 13th-generation CPU lineup!

Final Word 

Although we don’t have all the facts yet, we have to pick the 13600K as our winner today. The superior core performance, coupled with the greater number of cores and threads make for an incredible CPU. 

If what Intel is saying is true, then we expect to see a massive performance improvement over the 12600K. And after all, we do know that the 12600K was praised relentlessly for its price-to-performance ratio and its affordability. Hopefully, the 13600K can follow in the 12600K’s footsteps. 

Jack is a Tech and News Writer who has a vast and proficient knowledge of CPUs, Motherboards, and Computer technology.

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