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How Many Cores Do Intel Core i9-13900KF CPUs Have?

Find out how many cores Intel's 13th generation Core i9 13900KF processors have.

Intel Core CPU Box Kevin Jones / TechReviewer

Last Updated: February 1, 2023

Written by Kevin Jones

In addition to discussing the number of cores in the 13900KF, this article will discuss recommendations for compatible motherboards, CPU coolers, and memory.

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How Many Cores Do 13900KF CPUs Have?

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Intel's Core i9-13900KF CPUs have 8 Performance (P) cores and 16 Efficiency (E) cores for a total of 24 cores.

The P cores are comparable to previous generation cores. They support Hyper-Threading, which means they provide two threads each.

E cores are focused on adding additional threads in an energy-efficient manner. They take up much less room on the CPU and generate less heat. However, their smaller cache and minimal interconnect capabilities make them more appropriate for offloading background tasks.

The Intel Thread Director handles scheduling between the types of cores. Running a game will primarily use P cores. At the same time, the Intel Thread Director may offload operating system tasks and low priority periodic events to E cores.

Check out our Recommended Motherboards for the 13th Gen 13900KF below.

Which Operating Systems Can Make Optimal Use of the E Cores?

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The Intel Thread Director is used to help operating systems determine onto which cores to schedule work.

At least Windows 11 or Linux kernel 5.18 are required to make optimal use of the Intel Thread Director.

Linux support for the Intel Thread Director is included in version 5.18 of the kernel. Some improvements have been backported to earlier releases. Ubuntu 22.04 users can get backported performance improvements in the 5.15.35 kernel.

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How Many Threads Does the 13900KF Have?

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Hyper-Threading is only available on Performance cores. One thread for each of the 16 Efficiency cores plus two threads for each of the 8 Performance cores results in a total of 32 threads.

At What Frequency Does the 13900KF Run?

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Prior to Intel's 12th generation of processors, CPUs had a single base frequency and max turbo frequency. With Intel's 12th and 13th generation processors, the Efficiency and Performance cores use two individual sets of frequency values.

The 8 Performance cores have a 3.00 GHz base frequency and support a 5.40 GHz max turbo frequency.

The 16 Efficiency cores have a 2.20 GHz base frequency and support a 4.30 GHz max turbo frequency.

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What Does the KF Suffix in 13900KF Mean?

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Processor Name SuffixMeaning
K"K" means it's an unlocked CPU. Unlocked CPUs have configurable frequencies and thus support overclocking. Your "motherboard" must support overclocking to overclock unlocked CPUs. Motherboards with Z-series chipsets typically support overclocking. Learn more about what each chipset supports in my article Which Chipsets Work With Intel's Core i9-13900KF CPU?.
F"F" means it requires discrete graphics. In other words, it doesn't have integrated graphics (basically a GPU built into the processor), thus requiring a standalone graphics card.

The 13900KF model name has an F suffix. F-suffixed CPUs do not contain integrated graphics, and a separate graphics card is required.

The 13900KF model name has a K suffix. K-suffixed CPUs can be overclocked with a compatible motherboard.

Motherboards with a Z-series chipset typically support overclocking. For example, motherboards with the Z690 or Z790 chipset usually support overclocking Intel's 12th and 13th Gen Core CPUs. Learn more about what each chipset supports in my article Which Chipsets Work With Intel's Core i9-13900KF CPU?.

CPU Cooling for the 13900KF

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A CPU cooler's TDP (Thermal Design Power) rating indicates how much heat it can dissipate in watts. If the cooler can't keep your CPU cool enough, your CPU may throttle (slow down), and your cooler will constantly run at full speed.

Intel CPU specifications indicate this power dissipation number as "Processor Base Power" and "Maximum Turbo Power."

The Core i9-13900KF has a base TDP of 125 watts and a max turbo TDP of 253 watts.

A CPU cooler can still work with a lower TDP rating than the TDP of a CPU. However, the CPU will eventually throttle itself to a lower frequency to allow itself to cool.

The CPU may not achieve or maintain maximum turbo speeds without adequate cooling.

Learn more in Choosing the Best CPU Cooler for Intel's Core i9-13900KF.

The distance between heatsink screw holes for the LGA 1700 socket increased to 78x78 mm from the 75x75 mm spacing typical of recent sockets. This new spacing means you'll need a new cooler/heatsink or upgrade kit that supports the new configuration.

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Motherboard Requirements for Core i9-13900KF Processors

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For Intel's 13th generation Core i9 13900KF processor, you'll need a motherboard with an LGA 1700 socket and a compatible 700-series or 600-series chipset. However, 600-series chipsets were designed for the 12th generations Core processors and may limit the capabilities of your system.

Motherboards for Intel processors are made with chipsets provided by Intel. Each chipset offers a unique set of capabilities. However, motherboards must explicitly support features and capabilities for you to use them. Verify that a motherboard supports the features and capabilities you desire.

The "K" in the model name 13900KF means it's an unlocked processor that supports overclocking. You will need a motherboard with overclocking support to overclock this CPU. Motherboards with the Z690 or Z790 chipsets typically support CPU overclocking. If you don't want to use the overclocking functionality at this time, you can use a motherboard with Intel's other 700-series or 600-series desktop chipsets (e.g., H770, B760, H670, B660, H610).

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The W680 and Q670 chipsets are intended for workstation and business use cases; their availability in stand-alone motherboards is limited.

To use 13th Gen Intel Core CPUs with the 600-series chipsets, you'll need an updated BIOS. You either need to purchase one with an updated BIOS, perform the update with a 12th Gen CPU installed, or use the USB BIOS Flashback feature (if available).

Products that ship with a compatible BIOS are typically marked as "Ready" for 13th Gen Intel processors.

For a detailed comparison of these chipsets, check out my article Which Chipsets Work With Intel's Core i9-13900KF CPU?.

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Best Feature Motherboard

  • Our recommended feature-rich motherboard to pair with the Core i9-13900KF: MSI MEG Z790 ACE Gaming Motherboard MSI MEG Z790 ACE Gaming Motherboard Check Price on Amazon Amazon Affiliate Link
    • PCIe 5.0 support
    • It supports up to 128 GB of DDR5 memory (DDR5 provides the fastest memory speeds)!
    • 2.5 Gbps Ethernet port is faster than any home Internet speed available with tons of room to spare for file transfers.
    • Wi-Fi 6E makes it easy to reach the fastest speeds and future-proof your Wi-Fi system.
    • Bluetooth 5.3 is great for streaming music to Bluetooth headphones.
    • Five x4 NVMe M.2 slots, which is fantastic! One of these supports PCIe 5.0 speeds, and the rest run at PCIe 4.0 speeds.
    • USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 offers 20 Gbps USB speeds!
    • Check the latest price of the MSI MEG Z790 ACE Gaming Motherboard on Amazon (affiliate link).

Runner-Up Motherboard

  • Our recommended runner-up motherboard to pair with the Core i9-13900KF: ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming WiFi 6E ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming WiFi 6E Check Price on Amazon Amazon Affiliate Link
    • PCIe 5.0 support
    • It supports up to 128 GB of DDR5 memory (DDR5 provides the fastest memory speeds)!
    • 2.5 Gbps Ethernet port is faster than any home Internet speed available with tons of room to spare for file transfers.
    • Wi-Fi 6E makes it easy to reach the fastest speeds and future-proof your Wi-Fi system.
    • Bluetooth 5.3 is great for streaming music to Bluetooth headphones.
    • Five x4 NVMe M.2 slots, which is fantastic! One of these supports PCIe 5.0 speeds, and the rest run at PCIe 4.0 speeds.
    • USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 offers 20 Gbps USB speeds!
    • Check the latest price of the ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming WiFi 6E on Amazon (affiliate link).

Best Value Motherboard

  • Our recommended Value motherboard to pair with the Core i9-13900KF: MSI MAG B760 Tomahawk WiFi DDR4 Gaming Motherboard MSI MAG B760 Tomahawk WiFi DDR4 Gaming Motherboard Check Price on Amazon Amazon Affiliate Link
    • PCIe 5.0 support
    • It supports up to 128 GB of DDR4 memory.
    • 2.5 Gbps Ethernet port is faster than any home Internet speed available with tons of room to spare for file transfers.
    • Wi-Fi 6E makes it easy to reach the fastest speeds and future-proof your Wi-Fi system.
    • Bluetooth 5.3 is great for streaming music to Bluetooth headphones.
    • Three x4 NVMe M.2 slots, which is fantastic! These slots all support PCIe 4.0 speeds.
    • USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 offers 20 Gbps USB speeds!
    • Check the latest price of the MSI MAG B760 Tomahawk WiFi DDR4 on Amazon (affiliate link).
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The LGA 1700 socket will require a CPU cooler that supports the new socket size. Some manufacturers are releasing upgrade kits for LGA 1200 heatsinks to support the new size.

Best AIO Liquid Cooler: Enermax Liqmax III 360

Best Dual-Fan Air CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D15

  • Dual 140 mm fans provide 220-watt TDP (183 NSPR) of cooling capability.
  • Supports a variety of CPU sockets, including Intel LGA 1700, 1200, 1156, 1155, 1151, 1150, 2011, 2066 and AMD AM4, AM3, AM3+, AM2, AM2+, FM2, FM2+.
  • Quiet operation at 24.6 dBA. Noctua NH-D15, Premium CPU Cooler Noctua NH-D15, Premium CPU Cooler Check Price on Amazon Amazon Affiliate Link

Runner-Up - Dual-Fan Air CPU Cooler: Thermaltake TOUGHAIR 510

  • This CPU cooler doesn't have any fancy LED lights, but the dual 120 mm fans do a great job of cooling LGA 1700 CPUs.
  • Suppose you think this cooler will take up too much space. In that case, Thermaltake has a few single-fan TOUGHAIR variants which use different orientations.
  • This CPU cooler has a 2000 RPM max speed for optimal cooling.
  • 180-watt TDP (Thermal Design Power). Thermaltake TOUGHAIR 510 Thermaltake TOUGHAIR 510 Check Price on Amazon Amazon Affiliate Link
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Before purchasing memory, review your motherboard specification to verify which speeds are supported. For example, if a DDR4 motherboard stated that it supports "DDR4 3400(O.C.) / 3333(O.C.) / 3300(O.C.) / 3200 / 3000," that would mean that it could support DDR4-3400, DDR4-3333, and DDR4-3300 with memory overclocking, and DDR4-3200 and DDR4-3000 at stock speeds. Motherboard specifications also indicate the maximum capacity per stick of RAM (DIMM) and across all slots.

Learn More About the Intel Core i9-13900KF

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You can find detailed 13900KF specifications on Intel's site.

Other Considerations When Building a PC

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Want to brush up on other new technologies to consider when building a computer? Check out these articles: