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KITGURU SHORTLISTS: THE BEST PROCESSOR OF 2023

AMD and Intel both have their strengths. Budget will always be a limiting factor, but your apps will also dictate whether you should focus on cores or core speeds. And don't forget about power draw and thermals.

Intel Core i5-13600K

We were deeply impressed by the 12th Gen Alder Lake Core i5-12600K and have been eagerly anticipating the Raptor Lake Core i5-13600K. That can be a tricky frame of mind when you start a review as it means the Core i5-13600K might very easily have disappointed by merely being very good when we were hoping for absolutely stunning. Happily we are able to report the Core i5-13600K is indeed pretty darn special and has surpassed our expectations...

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AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D

AMD has carefully chosen a niche for the Ryzen 7 7800X3D as 'The Perfect Gaming Processor' and we struggle to argue with their thinking as it is very good indeed at its job. By contrast the Ryzen 9 7950X3D is described by AMD as 'The Ultimate Processor for Gamers and Creators' and we feel that is also a fair description.

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AMD Ryzen 9 7950X

You get outstanding multi-threaded performance across the board from the 7950X. The high number of well-designed Zen 4 cores run at incredibly lofty frequencies to deliver remarkable performance gains in rendering applications or video conversion or file manipulation. And if you want to do gaming on the same system during your downtime, the 7950X is generally up there with the best gaming processors on the market.

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AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D

Adding a 64MB chunk of extra L3 cache to the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D delivers some astonishing results in gaming, while also delivering solid performance in Cinebench and Blender.The downside is that AMD has had to work hard on the software stack for the chipset drivers to ensure your PC understands which tasks should be sent to which CCD. As we show in our video, it's a rather complex process with a number of variables, any of which could cause complications.

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Intel Core i9-13900K

The fact is that against all expectations Raptor Lake feels like a brand new CPU that absolutely stomps Alder Lake and ends up in a dead heat with AMD's Ryzen 9 7950X. We found the Core i9-13900K made more sense with power capped at 253W or even lower. While you will lose a few percentage points of performance, the end result is a gaming PC that delivers plenty of stomp but with considerably less fuss and drama.

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