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AMD Ryzen 9 7900X3D review: a fantastic premium performer, but its price holds it back
8:17 pm | September 13, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

AMD Ryzen 9 7900X3D: One-minute review

The AMD Ryzen 9 7900X3D is the middle child of the current 3D V-Cache processors from Team Red alongside the 7800X3D and the 7950X3D. It launched alongside the rest of the line back in February of this year and offers heightened gaming performance, but comes at a price. 

Without a doubt, it is one of the best processors for gaming on the market. But even as gamers are going to be able to get the most out of this chip, it's productivity performance isn't too bad either. 

Armed with a significantly lower TDP than the rest of the current AMD Zen 4 lineup, the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X3D packs in 12 cores and 24 threads on a 120W TDP with a base clock speed of 4.4 GHz out of the box, and that's honestly the core appeal of this chip. 

It's more power efficient and offers better raw gaming performance than its non-3D counterpart, but the addition of AMD's 3D V-cache means it can hold up with far pricier processors as well. 

It should be stated that overall, you're falling into one of two camps with the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X3D, as it is impressive for gaming, but won't necessarily set the world on fire with the creativity or productivity side of things at the higher end of the spectrum. 

The raw gaming performance at its $599 / £479.99 / AU$859.99 price point is decent, but chances are if you're spending this much on a CPU purely for gaming, you could argue that an extra $100 / £130 / AU$279 for the top-end 7950X3D could be a better bet instead. 

AMD Ryzen 9 7900X3D: Price and availability

  • Comparable price to the Intel Core i9-13900K
  • $50 /  £50 / AU$64 more than base 7900X

The AMD Ryzen 9 7900X3D was released on February 28, 2023, and currently retails for $599 / £479.99 / AU$859.99. 

That's around $100 / £130 / AU$279 less than the flagship AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D which features 16 cores and 32 threads. As a point of comparison, this AMD processor comes in a little cheaper than the Intel Core i9-13900K in the UK and Australia, where it currently sells at £699 / AU$929, and is just $10 more expensive in the US. 

That is only one side of the story, though. That's because the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X3D requires an upgrade to the latest AM5 socket, which means an entirely new motherboard as well as the exclusive use of DDR5 RAM, and the best DDR5 RAM isn't cheap (even if it has come down in price). 

Essentially, you'll be building an entirely new system around the chip as there's no more backward compatibility with AM4 as we saw with the two previous Ryzen processor generations (though the best CPU coolers for AM4 processors will still work with the new AMD chips). 

This is owing to AMD's transition from a PGA to LGA socket, which just means that the processor no longer has pins the way previous generations did, much like with the best Intel processors

  • Price score: 3.5 / 5

AMD Ryzen 9 7900X3D: Chipset & features

Close up on the Ryzen 9 7900X3D

(Image credit: Future)
  • Improved power efficiency 
  • Zen 4 3D V-cache for under $600 / £500 / AU$900

The AMD Ryzen 9 7900X3D features a lot of the same broad strokes as its non-3D variant. You're getting the same 12 cores and 24 threads on the AM5 socket with a total boost clock of up to 5.6GHz. The core difference here, however, is the 3D V-Cache which doubles the stock version's 64MB L3 Cache for a total of 128MB. 

The higher the L3 cache is, the better gaming or intensive processing workloads can perform, that's because it's the largest level of cache available on a processor.

Added cache aside, the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X3D is also significantly more power-efficient than any current non-3D Zen 4 processors available, as it clocks in with a Thermal Design Power (TDP) of 120W, which is much lower than the substantially higher 170W of its stock variant. 

While a higher TDP usually relates to higher performance, the inclusion of the added 3D V-cache means that the processor can access a larger pool of superfast cache memory, which is even more useful when gaming than just throwing raw power at the problem. With its own dedicated extra cache, there are fewer fetch operations to the PC's main memory, so the chip runs more efficiently, and potentially cooler under load. 

This is reflected when contrasted against the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X's core clock speed of 4.7 GHz to the 3D variant's 4.4 GHz. It's a little slower out of the box despite the overclocking potential being the same, however, the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X3D is still far faster than any of the current Alder Lake or Raptor Lake processors in terms of the raw speed. 

Ultimately, the reduced memory latency means that you're getting a chip that runs cooler, draws less power, and performs better thanks to the addition of the second generation of AMD's V-cache. 

  • Design & features score: 4 / 5

AMD Ryzen 9 7900X3D: Performance

AMD Ryzen 9 7900X3D up close

(Image credit: Future)

You won't be shocked to hear that the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X3D is one of the most capable CPUs for gaming that I've ever used, holding its own against the flagship 7950X and the Intel Core i9-13900K. 

This is evidenced by some of the most impressive synthetic scores to date in industry-standard programs such as GeekBench 6, PCMark10, and Cinebench R23, among others, and you can see how the Ryzen 9 7900X3D compares to competing high-end processors below. 

Where the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X3D falls behind the Intel Core i9-13900K and the 7950X3D in terms of the productivity benchmarks, the gap is greatly closed with the raw gaming performance. Turning to the gaming benchmarks, this chip's 3D V-cache makes all the difference in demanding titles such as F1 2022, Returnal, and Total War: Warhammer 3

As with our other CPU reviews, the games tested in the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X3D review are tested at 1080p at the lowest graphics settings in order to isolate the processor's contribution to gaming performance. Below, you can see how this chipset compares to the best AMD processor and best Intel processor respectively. 

Compared to the more expensive chipsets, the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X3D absolutely holds its own with the 7950X3D and the 13900K, with the largest gap visible seen with how AMD's flagship handles Returnal. This is likely due to the fact that the 7950X3D utilizes an additional four cores and eight threads, and Total War series has always been Intel's strongest gaming benchmark, which remains the case here. 

Still, with the Ryzen 9 7900X3D, we're still talking about an absolute powerhouse of a CPU, with framerates well above 100fps in demanding games, and upwards of 400fps in tamer titles. Realistically, you can expect this chip to be an absolute behemoth for 1080p, though you'll get diminishing returns at 1440p and 4K if you don't have the beefiest video card in your rig that can keep up with the processor. 

Overall, the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X3D is an impressive processor for the money which is definitely geared more toward gaming than productivity or creativity tasks. If you're purely interested in playing games then this processor offers strong price-to-performance at the $600 / £480 / AU$860 mark, but with the Ryzen 9 7950X3D so close in price, a lot of buyers out there are likely to be torn. 

  • Performance score: 4 / 5

Should you buy the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X3D?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also Consider

If my AMD Ryzen 9 7900X3D review has you considering other options, here are two more processors to consider.

Intel Core i9-13900K
There's very little that we can fault the Raptor Lake flagship on with its performance. That's due to the excellent Raptor Cove and Gracemont cores with its hybrid architecture that makes it a processor that's difficult to beat outside of its expensive price point. 

Read the full 5-star Intel Core i9-13900K review

How I tested the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X3D

  • Used in main gaming PC rig for almost a month 
  • Played a variety of titles including those benchmarked 
  • Industry standard synthetic benchmark tests 
Test system specs

CPU cooler: NZXT Kraken Elite 360
GPU: Nvidia RTX 4090
DDR5 RAM: 32GB (2 x 16GB) Kingston Fury Beast RGB @ 6,000 MHz
Motherboard: Gigabyte X670 Aorus Elite AX
SSD: Seagate FireCuda 530 2TB
PSU: Corsair RM1000x
Case: NZXT H9 Flow

I tested the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X3D inside of a newly built machine utilizing Kingston Fury Beast DDR5 RAM, an Nvidia RTX 4090, and a brand new RM1000X PSU. The chip was utilized heavily for gaming in the benchmarked titles as well as in games such as Mortal Kombat 11, Cyberpunk 2077, and Tekken 7.

I've also been using the machine as my main computer for both work and play and have racked up dozens of hours word processing as well as with media playback. Through the real-world testing, the benchmarking, and the stress testing, I came to my four-star conclusion on the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X3D as a recommended CPU for gaming.

We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed September 2023

Intel Core i5-13600K: the best everyday CPU around
1:00 am | May 6, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

Intel Core i5-13600K: Two-minute review

The Intel Core i5-13600K follows up one of the top budget chips ever and manages to improve on just about everything across the board, except for the price.

When Intel announced its Raptor Lake processors, a lot of us were a bit dismayed that the price of the Core i5 went up by nearly 15% over the Intel Core i5-12600K that preceded it. That chip was arguably the best processor ever made for budget gaming PCs and those who need good performance without a whole lot of extras at a fair price.

At $329 (about £280 / AU$475), the Intel Core i5-13600K puts itself just outside of the budget class of processors. And that's a shame because otherwise, this is the best processor for the vast majority of people and even for a lot of those who tell themselves that they absolutely must have something more powerful like the Intel Core i7-13700K.

Across the general lineup of performance tests I threw at this chip, it pretty much came out on top in every one of them, beating out the competing AMD Ryzen 5 7600X and substantially outperforming the Core i5-12600K. Getting into the nitty-gritty, the Ryzen 5 7600X puts up a much better fight against the i5-13600K than I was expecting, beating the 13600K to a rough draw by the end.

That does mean that if you're looking for a budget gaming CPU, you're probably going to be better off with the Ryzen 5 7600X since you can save a bit of money in the process. But that savings can easily be gobbled up and then some by the extra cost to upgrade to DDR5 RAM, which the i5-13600K still lets you skip in favor of the aging DDR4 RAM that most people still have. So there is definitely a trade-off to be made in either case.

Ultimately though, there's just no denying that the Intel Core i5-13600K has better specs and performance at this price range, give or take a little spare change. So this is a very easy processor to recommend to just about anybody who isn't a gamer or creative professional.

Intel Core i5-13600K: Price & availability

An Intel Core i5-13600K

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
  • MSRP: $329 (about £280 / AU$475)
  • More expensive than competing Ryzen 5 7600X

The Intel Core i5-13600K is on sale now for $329 (about £280 / AU$475). This puts it at about 10% more expensive than the competing AMD Ryzen 5 7600X and about 14% more expensive than the Core i5-12600K.

Considering that the Intel Core i9-13900K didn't get a price increase over its 12th-gen counterpart, the price hike here is probably the biggest disappointment with this chip. Enthusiast users are used to spending the extra money to have the best right out the gate, so they could absorb some of the price inflation rather than let it fall squarely on the one chip that most people are going to use.

This is especially bad considering that AMD's competing chip is right there for a good bit less. There are performance considerations here, obviously, and we'll get to those soon. Still, at this level, the performance difference is not so great as to really justify taking the best Intel processor in the budget class and pushing it into the lower mid-range for a few extra bucks.

  • Price score: 3.5 / 5

Intel Core i5-13600K: Chipset & features

An Intel Core i5-13600K

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
  • Overclockable
  • Supports DDR4 and DDR5

The Intel Core i5-13600K is Intel's second-gen big.LITTLE mainstream processor, following up the i5-12600K, and there have been some big improvements on the architecture side.

My test bench specs

These are the systems I used to test desktop CPU performance for both AMD and Intel systems in this review:

CPU Cooler: Cougar Poseidon GT 360 AIO
Graphics card:
Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090
Samsung 980 Pro SSD @ 1TB
Power Supply:
Corsair AX1000 80-Plus Titanium (1000W)
Praxis Wetbench

Intel motherboard and RAM:
MSI MPG Z690 Carbon Wifi
DDR5 RAM: 32GB Corsair Dominator Platinum @ 5,200MHz & 32GB Kingston Fury Beast @ 5,200MHz 

AMD motherboard and RAM:
ASRock X670E Taichi
DDR5 RAM: 32GB Corsair Dominator Platinum @ 5,200MHz & 32GB G.Skill Trident Z5 Neo @ 5,200MHz

While Intel Meteor Lake chips still use the same 10nm "Intel 7" process as the previous 12th-gen Alder Lake chips, the 13th-gen chips improve on the previous architecture in a number of key ways. 

In addition to more cache memory, there have been some improved clock speeds on the high-end, so that the i5-13600K runs slightly slower at base frequency while boosts slightly higher than the 12600K — though both Intel chips have a lower base and boost frequency than the competing AMD Ryzen 5 7600X.

In terms of core counts, the i5-13600K doubles the efficiency cores over the i5-12600K, for a total of 14 cores and 20 threads to the i5-12600K's 10 cores and 16 thread. This is also substantially more than the Ryzen 5 7600X, which is a straight six-core/12-thread chip with all its cores being full-power performance cores.

And while the rated 125W TDP for the i5-13600K remains the same as with the 12600K, it pulls substantially more power under load than its predecessor in my tests, so plan your build accordingly.

Finally, like its predecessor, the Core i5-13600K supports both PCIe 5.0 and DDR4 and DDR5 RAM, so you can either upgrade to new DDR5 RAM or stick with the best RAM of the DDR4 generation, which definitely helps defray the cost of an upgrade.  

  • Chipset & features score: 4 / 5

Intel Core i5-13600K: Performance

An Intel Core i5-13600K

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
  • Fantastic all around performance
  • Decent gaming chip
  • Low performance per watt rating

The Intel Core i5-13600K is the best processor all-around for most people right now, though that does come with a number of caveats.

Generally, the Core i5-13600K outperforms both the Core i5-12600K and Ryzen 5 7600X by a substantial amount, and while the Ryzen 5 7600X holds its own against the i5-13600K, it's a qualified success rather than a straightforward win.

When it comes to synthetic performance, the Intel Core i5-13600K simply overpowers both chips with a larger number of cores, faster clocks, and raw power wattage. Overall, the Core i5-13600K performs about 42% better than the Ryzen 5 7600X and about 26% better than the Core i5-12600K.

In creative workloads, the Core i5-13600K is a great option for folks on a budget who want to dabble in some creative work like 3D rendering or photo editing. But with only six performance cores, using the best graphics card possible will be far more determinative in most cases. That said, the Core i5-13600K outperforms the Ryzen 5 7600X by about 21% and the 12600K by about 12%.

In my gaming performance tests, the Ryzen 5 7600X actually scores a technical win here, chalking up an extra 2 fps on average over the 13600K, but this might as well be a wash. The 13600K does manage a very solid improvement over its predecessor though, getting as much as 34% higher fps, but landing a solid 20% average performance improvement.

In the end, the Core i5-13600K outperforms the Ryzen 5 7600X by about 40%, while improving on the Core i5-12600K's performance by about 25%. As far as bottom line results go, this would make this processor a slam dunk, but one thing keeps this chip from true greatness: its power consumption.

While the 13600K has the lowest minimum power draw of the three chips tested with 1.973W (an 18% lower power consumption than the 12600K's minimum of 2.415W), it also maxes out at an astonishing 204.634W, which is about 83% more power to achieve a roughly 40% better performance.

This chip also draws 65% more power than the Core i5-12600K for a roughly 25% better performance. These are hardly signs of efficiency, and it continues the exact wrong trend we saw with Intel Alder Lake. For comparison, the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X has a max power draw of 211.483W, and its 3D V-Cache variant has an incredibly tight 136.414W power draw in my AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D review

So yeah, it's not hard to put up the kind of numbers that the Core i5-13600K does when Intel turns the electron firehose to full on its processor. Considering how this is the ideal chip for a budget build, that build will now have to factor in a bigger PSU than it should account for a burst of power demand from a chip "rated" for 125W. 

Is this a dealbreaker? Not yet, but if Intel thinks it can keep the top spot by just keeping its foot on the gas while AMD is making real investments in power efficiency within a single generation of processors, this won't be good for Intel in the long run.

  • Performance: 4 / 5

Should you buy the Intel Core i5-13600K?

An Intel Core i5-13600K

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also Consider

If my Intel Core i5-13600K review has you considering other options, here are two processors to consider... 

How I tested the Intel Core i5-13600K

  • I spent nearly two weeks testing the Intel Core i5-13600K
  • I ran comparable benchmarks between this chip and rival processors
  • I gamed with this chip for several days

I spent an extensive amount of time testing the Core i5-13600K over the past two weeks, including using the processor in my primary work and gaming machine at home.

In addition to general work tasks and gaming, I used the processor extensively for content creation work like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Blender 3D modeling.

I also ran an extensive battery of benchmark tests on this chip and rival CPUs a customer might consider, using as close to identical hardware as possible in order to gather sufficient comparable data to determine how the chips performed in real-life and simulated workloads.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed May 2023

Intel Core i7-13700K review: Raptor Lake for the midrange
11:30 pm | April 6, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , | Comments: Off

Intel Core i7-13700K: Two-minute review

While the Intel Core i9-13900K gets all the tech accolades, the Intel Core i7-13700K is truly the shoulders of Intel Raptor Lake's success, and it's not hard to see why.

For starters, the Intel Core i7-13700K, like the rest of the Raptor Lake launch lineup, offers a fair degree of versatility when it comes to your hardware. Specifically, the ability to continue to use DDR4 RAM, unlike archrival AMD's Zen 4, which forces you to buy the more expensive memory and toss your old memory sticks in the responsibly-recycle-your-electronics bin.

Like its launch siblings, the i7-13700K is also a pretty thirsty chip, and while it doesn't raise to the level of the frankly scandalous power consumption of the i9-13900K, the i7-13700K is far from a teetotaler when it comes to electrons. 

The corollary is obviously the issue of heat management, which is a recurring problem with Intel chips since the launch of Alder Lake back in 2021. These problems remain, and while they aren't as severe as they were with Alder Lake, don't expect to skate by with anything less than a solid power supply unit and one of the best CPU coolers you can get your hands on.

Leaving that aside, probably the most important point in the i7-13700K's column is its price. With an MSRP of $419 / £399 / AU$669, you're getting a very solid bargain for a chip of this quality, and it's a great value proposition since this chip will likely carry you pretty far down the road while grinding out some serious work in the process.

And even as AMD is making some truly impressive moves with its 3D V-Cache technology (check out my AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D review or AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D review for more details on that innovation), Intel is charting its own course with its spin on Arm's big.LITTLE architecture, with some truly impressive results.

As such, the i7-13700K is an absolute workhorse of a CPU that will get you through every task you throw at it with a fair amount of ease, even if it doesn't do any one thing especially well. Instead, it will give you more than satisfying performance across the board so you don't have to worry that you are making too much of a compromise in gaming performance for some better productivity workflows. 

It's the kind of chip that you can quite easily build just about any kind of system around so long as you're serious about getting stuff done, but want to leave room for flexibility and doing a lot of everything reasonably well. If that's what you're after, the Intel Core i7-13700K is the best processor for the job. 

Intel Core i7-13700K: Price & availability

An Intel Core i7-13700K against its retail packaging

(Image credit: Future/John Loeffler)
  • Recommended retail price: $419 / £399 / AU$669
  • Between Ryzen 7 7700X and Ryzen 7 7800X3D in price

The Intel Core i7-13700K is available now in the US, UK, and Australia for a suggested retail price of $419, £399, and AU$669, respectively. This puts it about 29% cheaper than the Core i9-13900K, about 6.6% cheaper than AMD's Ryzen 7 7800X3D, and about 5% more expensive than AMD's non-3D Ryzen 7 7700X.

This is also a drop in price over the previous generation i7-12700K, which has an official MSRP of $460, or about £395 or AU$667, so it's a boon to get some price deflation for a change.

Of course, if you haven't already upgraded to Intel Alder Lake, the cost of the processor will also have to factor in the cost of the motherboard since Raptor Lake runs on the LGA 1700 platform introduced with Intel's 12th-gen chips.

By now, CPU coolers should have all the hardware you need to fit your old cooler onto the new chip. However, there have been some issues with this in the past, and improper cooling is going to lead your brand-new processor to get throttled pretty quickly, tanking its performance and defeating its purpose altogether.

How much that will all add up to in your shopping basket is a hard one to answer, but it won't be as simple as just paying for the chip if you're upgrading from an AMD system or an 11th-gen Intel system or older.

  • Price score: 4 / 5

Intel Core i7-13700K: Chipset & features

An Intel Core i7-13700K inserted into a motherboard

(Image credit: Future/John Loeffler)
  • Overclockable
  • Supports DDR4 and DDR5

The Intel Core i7-13700K is Team Blue's second major attempt at a higher-performant big.LITTLE chip, and there have been some very solid improvements in the architecture to be sure.

My test bench specs

These are the systems I used to test desktop CPU performance for both AMD and Intel chips in this review:

CPU Cooler:
Cougar Poseidon GT 360 AIO
Graphics card:
Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090
32GB Corsair Dominator Platinum @ 5,200MHz & 32GB Kingston Fury Beast @ 5,200MHz
MSI MPG Z690 Carbon Wifi
Samsung 980 Pro SSD @ 1TB
Power Supply:
Corsair AX1000 80-Plus Titanium (1000W)
Praxis Wetbench

CPU Cooler:
Cougar Poseidon GT 360 AIO Cooler
Graphics card: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090
DDR5 RAM: 32GB Corsair Dominator Platinum @ 5,200MHz & 32GB G.Skill Trident Z5 Neo @ 5,200MHz
Motherboard: ASRock X670E Taichi
SSD: Samsung 980 Pro SSD @ 1TB
Power Supply: Corsair AX1000 80-Plus Titanium (1000W) Case: Praxis Wetbench

Raptor Lake is fabbed on Intel's "Intel 7" node, which is the company's new branding for its 10nm Enhanced SuperFin process, which Intel maintains performs equivalent to a 7nm chip fabbed by TSMC. Given the performance scores posted by Intel 7 versus, say, AMD Zen 4's TSMC 7nm chips, you can't exactly call Intel a liar here. To be clear, it is still a 10nm chip at its core, but the i7-13700K is as fast or faster than comparable 7nm chips for sure.

It also has a deceptively low "base" TDP of just 125W, which is a wattage you will rarely see while this chip is under load. It can max out at 253W in Turbo mode, which is what you'll be in when you play the PC games or render a complex 3D scene, so expect numbers that high on the regular.

Like the rest of the Raptor Lake lineup, the i7-13700K supports DDR5 RAM (up to 128GB) and has a max memory bandwidth of 89.6GB/s. It can also support DDR4 RAM as well for all those holdouts out there who are waiting til the last minute to get aboard the DDR5 bandwagon.

There's a 24MB main L2 cache, along with an additional 30MB "smart cache" to bring the total up to 54MB. This is fully 50MB lower than what the Ryzen 7 7800X3D is offering, so cache-intensive workloads like 1080p gaming are going to bottleneck quicker on the i7-13700K than on the Ryzen 7 7800X3D.

The i7-13700K also comes with integrated Intel UHD graphics and DirectX12 support. And while it can push up to 8K@60Hz, don't expect to game or anything on this chip. It's absolutely not a full APU that can power a cheap gaming PC on its own.

Finally, the Intel Core i7-13700K is fully overclockable, something that AMD's 7800X3D or Ryzen 9 7950X3D can't boast (though limited overclocking through presets on AMD Ryzen 7000-series 3D V-Cache chips is possible).

  • Chipset & features score: 4 / 5

Intel Core i7-13700K: Performance

An Intel Core i7-13700K inserted into a motherboard

(Image credit: Future/John Loeffler)
  • Fantastic all around performance
  • Excels at productivity and creative work
  • Competent gaming chip

The performance of the Core i7-13700K is among its best selling points, though not because it's breaking any real records. What makes the i7-13700K so attractive is that it does everything well enough that you really won't find anything to complain about, especially if you're not comparing a dozen chips side by side like I've been doing all month.

Across general CPU benchmark tests, the i7-13700K consistently outperforms the AMD Ryzen 7 7700X, including nearly 55% better multicore performance in CinebenchR23, and almost 43.5% better multicore performance in Geekbench 5. It also racks up 35.11% better 3DMark Timespy CPU performance and 30.28% better V-Ray 5 CPU performance. 

The closest the Ryzen 7 7700X comes to the Core i7-13700K is in Geekbench single-core performance, where it effectively ties the Intel chip, though CinebenchR23's single-core scores show the 13700K with a healthy lead.

Similarly, against the Ryzen 7 7800X3D, the Core i7-13700K puts up very strong numbers in synthetic tests, including a nearly 71% better multicore performance in CinebenchR23 and a nearly 49% better multicore performance in Geekbench 5. Like with the 7700X, the single core performance is closer, with the i7-13700K coming up with a roughly 7.5% better score in Geekbench 5, but the i7-13700K pulls clearly into the lead with a nearly 22% better CinebenchR23 single core score. 

In creative workflows, the Core i7-13700K outperforms both of AMD's midrange Ryzen 7 offerings to a fairly substantial degree. There isn't much difference between the two Ryzen 7 chips in terms of creative performance, and whether its rendering performance in Blender, Adobe Photoshop and Premiere performance, or video encoding, the i7-13700K averages about 13-18% better creative workload performance than the competing Ryzen 7 chips.

For gaming, the Core i7-13700K comes out on top in nearly every title we tested against the Ryzen 7 7700X. The only game where it lagged behind was in F1 2022, but that was only its minimum fps, with the 13700K bottoming out at 329 fps compared to the 7700X's 375 fps, for a roughly 12% slower fps floor. The 13700K still came out on top with an average fps of 454, compared to the 7700X's 423 fps, or about 7.5% better average fps. 

Everywhere else, the 13700K is the clear winner over the Ryzen 7700X, with 10.57% higher fps floor on average and a 13.53% higher average fps overall.

But the Ryzen 7700X isn't AMD's gaming-focused chip. That would be the Ryzen 7 7800X3D, and here the Core i7-13700K has some very real competition. Only in our Total War: Warhammer III Battle benchmark tests did the i7-13700K score a win. The 13700K achieves a floor of 527 fps and an average of 605 fps compared to Ryzen 7 7800X3D's 464 minimum fps and 552 average fps for a 13.77% and 9.7% higher minimum and average frame rate, respectively.

Everywhere else though, the i7-13700K comes up short, sometimes by nearly 25%. Overall, the i7-13700K is about 9% slower than the Ryzen 7 7800X3D, in both minimum fps and average fps tests.

Overall, there's no question that the Intel Core i7-13700K is the best processor in its class, especially for those who need a CPU that can do a lot of things and do them very well. While it might not have the unbridled horsepower of the Core i9-13900K, it's definitely more than enough for most users who need a certain degree of performance without going overboard. And while the Ryzen 7 7800X3D is the best gaming processor of the three midrange chips on offer, it's not so much better than the Core i7-13700K needs to be ashamed of itself, especially when it is so much better at everything else than the competition.

That level of performance has to come from somewhere though, and if there's a serious defect in the i7-13700K it's its power consumption. Boy howdy does this chip absolutely binge on electricity. It's not as bad as the Core i9-13900K's peak 332W power draw, but it's not far behind with a 282.028W peak recorded during testing.

On the plus side, its minimum power draw is just 8.227W, compared to the 7700X's 17.341W and the 7800X3D's 16.783W, so this chip is going to use a lot less power when it's idling than the competition. If you're going to be using this chip for extended periods though, the 7700X only maxes out at 143.910W, while the 7800X3D is downright temperate with just 75.652W max power draw during our tests.

This pretty much locks the i7-13700K out of the running as a low-profile, low-power system processor unless you undervolted it to keep it within a smaller PSU's power rating. That will ultimately defeat the purpose of this chip though, and if you're looking to go for a low-power build, you're best bet is the Ryzen 7 7800X3D.

  • Performance: 4.5 / 5

Should you buy the Intel Core i7-13700K?

An Intel Core i7-13700K in a man's hand

(Image credit: Future/John Loeffler)

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also Consider

If my Intel Core i7-13700K review has you considering other options, here are two processors to consider... 

How I tested the Intel Core i7-13700K

An Intel Core i7-13700K inserted into a motherboard

(Image credit: Future/John Loeffler)
  • I spent nearly two weeks testing the Intel Core i7-13700K
  • I ran comparable benchmarks between this chip and rival processors
  • I gamed with this chip for several days

I spent an extensive amount of time testing the Core i7-13700K over the past two weeks, including using the processor in my primary work and gaming machine at home.

In addition to general work tasks and gaming, I used the processor extensively for content creation work like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Blender 3D modeling.

I also ran an extensive battery of benchmark tests on this chip and rival CPUs a customer might consider, using as close to identical hardware as possible in order to gather sufficient comparable data to determine how the chips performed in real-life and simulated workloads.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed April 2023

Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition review: my new favorite Chromebook
8:00 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , , | Comments: Off

Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition: Two-minute review

Honestly, I wish I was allowed to put more items in that ‘Pros’ list up there. The Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition (which, I will admit, is something of a mouthful) genuinely might be the best Chromebook I’ve ever reviewed. It’s beautiful. It’s perfect. It’s, uh… wait, it’s a thousand bucks?

Yes, the entry price is sure to make some folks’ wallets shrivel in horror, but don’t run for the hills just yet. That $999 price tag is still less than the HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook that currently sits at the top of our carefully-curated best Chromebooks list - and while Framework’s entry doesn’t quite offer the same level of performance, it does plenty to justify the cost.

For those unfamiliar with Framework, it’s a company that specializes in ‘fixing’ consumer electronics - not physically repairing them but fixing the broken nature of our transient, wasteful consumption of technological goods. Hardware - in particular, laptops - is becoming less and less repairable and long-lasting. Planned obsolescence is a huge problem, with kit designed to essentially become redundant after just a few years so you’re forced to drop more cash on a newer model.

To hell with all that, says Framework - and I couldn’t agree more. Laptops should be user-repairable and user-upgradable; I should be able to crack open my MacBook Air to slap in a bigger drive, faster memory, or a new battery, not be beholden to the whims (and fees) of a teenaged Apple store ‘genius’.

The Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition photographed on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)

Back when we reviewed the original Windows-powered ‘DIY edition’ of the Framework Laptop, we praised its design, repairability, and performance - and I fully believe that Chrome OS is the perfect home for this sort of device.

Since it relies mainly on web apps and cloud computing, Chrome OS demands less system resources from your laptop, allowing Framework to outfit this Chromebook with a relatively tame Intel Core i5 CPU and 8GB of RAM. On a Windows laptop, I might look at those specs with that price tag and scoff; here, it makes a lot more sense. Sure, you’re still paying a hearty sum, but the Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition’s solid performance and unique features make it more than worth the money in my eyes.

In keeping with previous non-Chrome models (and Framework’s overall design ethos), this Chromebook is constructed and packaged using recycled materials, contains easily replaceable internal components, and - best of all - features hot-swappable ‘expansion cards’ that enable you to customize your laptop’s port selection in seconds.

I’m gonna say it: this is the future of laptops. Buy one, buy your kid one, buy your grandma one. I want Framework to succeed so badly; because we’re in a downward spiral of tech hardware consumption that’s only going to get worse for us all.

I don’t like doomsaying, but the numbers don’t lie. We now produce 50 million metric tons of e-waste annually - and a lot of that is down to laptops, tablets, and phones that (by design!) can’t be repaired by consumers. I hope that one day, all the best laptops will be like this one. It’s time for change. It’s time for Framework.

Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition review: Price and availability

  • Base price of $999 (around £800 / AU$1,500)
  • Expansion cards range from $9 to $149
  • Only available in the US at time of writing

I’m not going to claim that the Framework Chromebook is one of the best cheap laptops, although it does offer a lot for the asking price. $999 is fairly expensive for a Chromebook, no doubt. But with a 12th-gen Intel processor, 2K display, and generally solid construction, it’s already well on the way to marking itself as solid value for money.

Customizability is a big selling point here. I’ll get more into it later, but the upshot of the ‘expansion card’ system is that the Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition effectively has four Thunderbolt 4 ports - something that’s still missing from plenty of Chromebooks.

These cards vary in price from $9 for a simple USB-A or USB-C port to $149 for a hefty 1TB slot-in drive, which can be easily removed to take with you. You can buy them from Framework’s own online marketplace, along with a variety of other components for replacing or upgrading your laptop’s internals.

The Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition photographed on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)

As you’ll learn in the Design section further down, Framework hasn’t skimped on quality. In addition to Thunderbolt 4 support, we’ve got a Full HD webcam, the latest Wi-Fi 6E connectivity, and a robust brushed aluminum outer casing. It certainly feels the way a premium Chromebook should.

It’s worth noting that the Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition isn’t available outside the US at present, hence the pricing estimates provided above for the UK and Australia. There’s currently no news on whether this model will make it to other regions, but if you opt to import one you can purchase regional keyboards - since that’s user-replaceable too!

  • Price: 4 / 5

Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition review: Specs

There's only one configuration of the Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition available for you to buy - but due to the nature of the laptop, you can upgrade and customize it to an impressive degree.

The default configuration uses a 12th-gen Intel Core i5-1240P with 8GB of DDR4 and a 256GB SSD. The laptop essentially has four Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports, but these are hidden beneath the casing for you to slot the expansion cards into them, letting you decide exactly which ports you want and how you want them positioned.

While the SSDs, RAM, keyboard, screen bezel, and obviously the expansion cards are available to purchase and upgrade individually, you can't buy a specific CPU for Framework's laptops. Instead, the company sells integrated mainboards that incorporate a processor, motherboard, and cooling solution. You can now get 13th-gen Intel models, as Framework has started to make new configurations for its Windows laptops - and those are fully backwards-compatible with this version.

The Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition photographed on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)

Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition review: Design

  • Almost unmatched build quality for a Chromebook
  • Comfortable keyboard and touchpad
  • Swappable ports are amazing

Not content with just making a Chromebook that was sustainably designed and user-friendly, Framework also had to flex a little, didn’t they? This is one of the best Chromebooks out there in terms of physical design, mirroring the best aspects of the regular Framework Laptop but with a few Google-inspired twists.

The outer shell is clean, brushed aluminum with the Framework logo stamped in black on the lid along with the ubiquitous Chromebook logo in the top corner - though here it’s in greyscale, so as not to detract from the laptop’s straightforward aesthetic. Opening it up, we’ve got a pleasingly large trackpad and a black keyboard with soft white LED backlighting. 

The keys themselves are a good size and well-spaced, making typing on the Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition feel nice and comfortable even for extended periods. The Chromebook keyboard layout may feel a little alien to Windows users at first, with the caps lock and Esc key replaced by the ‘Everything Button’ and lock key, but it’s an otherwise easy adjustment.

The Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition photographed on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)

The display is frankly far beyond what I’ve seen in the vast majority of Chromebooks I’ve tested, a 3:2 aspect ratio ‘productivity screen’ with a 2K resolution that matches the great display on the aforementioned HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook. The maximum brightness is great at over 400 nits, and 100% sRGB gamut means bright colors look vibrant.

Google already touts improved digital security as a key selling point of Chrome OS, and we’ve got some decent physical security features here too. The square power button doubles as a fingerprint scanner, while the excellent 1080p 60fps webcam and dual microphone array both feature dedicated kill switches on the top bezel of the screen - a nice touch that far too many laptops forgo.

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The Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition photographed on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)
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The Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition photographed on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)
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The Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition photographed on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)

Of course, I couldn’t not talk about the expansion cards here. They’re phenomenally easy to slot in and remove, with a simple button on the underside of the laptop to release them so they’ll never fall out while the laptop is in your bag.

Framework was kind enough to send us a selection of cards featuring USB-A, USB-C, MicroSD, and HDMI outputs, but you can also get Ethernet, DisplayPort, and 3.5mm jack adaptors (though the latter is already included separately to the card slots).

Continuing the theme of customizability, Framework also sells swappable keyboard covers and screen bezels, and the fully-recyclable box also comes with a small Torx driver to open up the laptop and swap out the memory, storage, or even the entire mainboard. Like the look of this Chromebook, but wish it came with a more powerful 13th-gen Intel Core i7 CPU and 32GB of DDR5 RAM instead? You can make that a reality. I can’t stress this enough: that’s cool as hell.

  • Design: 5 / 5

Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition review: Performance

  • Intel Core i5-1240P is a solid CPU
  • Doesn’t get as noisy as its Windows counterpart
  • Chrome OS is still limited in some areas

Here's how the Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

TechRadar Battery Life Test: 9 hours and 2 minutes
Chromium Github Octane Benchmark: 81,533
Browserbench Jetstream Benchmark: 238.96
Kraken Benchmark: 470ms
WebGL Aquarium (30,000 fish): 42 fps 

If those specs up above were for a $999 Windows laptop, I’d be a tad concerned. But Chrome OS has always been able to do more with less compared to Microsoft’s nigh-omnipresent operating system, able to run smoothly on far less powerful hardware than what’s on offer here.

So that Core i5-1240P processor and 8GB of RAM found in my review model is more than enough: Chrome OS runs buttery-smooth here, with no slowdown whatsoever through my entire testing process. Opening a ton of Chrome tabs? No problem. Running games from the Google Play Store? You’ve got it.

In fact, the graphical performance on offer here is impressive. Sure, you won’t be playing all of the best PC games here, but WebGL performance was strong, and when I downloaded some Play Store games to give the integrated Iris Xe graphics more of a workout, I got an impressively steady framerate north of 30fps. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: iGPUs are the future of gaming. Who needs a graphics card, right?

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The Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition photographed on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)
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The Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition photographed on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)
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The Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition photographed on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)

General CPU performance is also fairly strong, providing speedy operating in just about every area and giving solid results across the rest of our benchmark suite. The Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition also runs very cool and quiet; in our review of the original Framework Laptop, we critiqued the noisy fans, but they rarely kicked in here - only while downloading Genshin Impact’s massive update pack and after running a hardware stress test for several minutes.

One of the best things about the Framework Chromebook is still the fact that if you’re ever even remotely dissatisfied with the performance, you can just go ahead and upgrade it!

A simple bump up to 16GB of RAM (if you happen to be running more memory-intensive software) will only cost you $30, while an SSD upgrade to a healthy terabyte of storage will run you $99. As someone who got his start in tech journalism by building custom computers, I have to say that Framework’s pricing is pretty damn reasonable.

Of course, this is a Chrome OS system, so you’ll want to be mindful if you’re switching over from Windows or MacOS. While it’s lighter on system requirements and offers better child safety and data security features, it’s also limited in terms of which apps it can run. If you’re aiming to use a specific piece of software that isn’t on the Play Store (or otherwise downloadable for Chrome OS), consider yourself warned.

  • Performance: 4.5 / 5

The Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition photographed on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)

Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition review: Battery life

  • Decent all-day battery life
  • Doesn’t quite measure up given the price
  • Does charge fast, however

Our default Chromebook battery test, which sees us looping a 720p video at 50% brightness and letting the battery run down to empty from a full charge, turned up a respectable but not amazing nine hours of runtime. It also charges fast via USB-C, and you can change which side the charge port is thanks to the slottable expansion cards.

If you’re using the Framework Chromebook for more demanding work, it’ll be less; if you opt to turn on the battery-saver mode and lower the brightness, it’ll be more. Framework has previously noted that there’s a known bug with the battery involving certain expansion cards (including the HDMI output, which I was using during my testing process) so it’s possible that with some future firmware updates, the longevity could be improved.

It’s worth noting here that 50% brightness on this particular Chromebook is actually a fair bit brighter than many cheaper options. Nonetheless, this is still a very middle-of-the-road score. Nine hours of battery life is good and should see you through a full day of work, but we’ve seen plenty of Chromebooks that surpass it - most recently the similarly eco-friendly Acer Chromebook Vero 514, which managed a solid 10+ hours. 

  • Battery life: 4 / 5

Should you buy the Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition?

Buy it if...

You’re eco-conscious
If you’re worried about e-waste and want to make an impact, this is the laptop to buy. Framework’s ethos is unquestionably the best around right now when it comes to sustainable hardware.

You want future-proof
The durability and repairability of the Framework Laptop Chromework Edition are simply a cut above the competition, meaning this laptop will last you for years with some periodic upgrades.

You need an office laptop
With its bright 3:2 display, the Framework Chromebook offers plenty of vertical screen real estate for scrolling through web pages and documents, making it great for office work. It’s also compact and light enough to easily take on your commute.

Don't buy it if...

You’re a serious gamer
The Intel Core i5-1240P inside this laptop actually offers decent graphical performance, but it’s not going to measure up to the power of a dedicated graphics card in a proper gaming laptop.

You want ultra-long battery life
The battery life here isn’t terrible, comfortably eclipsing many Windows laptops, but it’s still decidedly average compared as far as Chromebooks go - and it doesn’t even come close to the MacBook Air

You’re on a tight budget
Yes, $999 is a lot of money for a Chromebook. I’m sticking to my guns; I still maintain that the price is fair for what you get, especially since Framework’s products are so unique, but it’s an entry price that may be simply too high for some people.

Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition review: Also consider

If our Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition review has you considering other options, here are two more laptops to consider...  

How I tested the Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition

The Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition photographed on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)
  • Used it for everyday work
  • Watched Netflix in bed in the evenings
  • Ran some games as well as our standard suite of benchmark tests

As is custom for my laptop reviews, I incorporated the Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition into my daily routine to properly get to grips with it - using it for my everyday work as well as personal activities (mostly watching Netflix and scrolling through Reddit in bed) in the evenings.

I naturally used it to write most of this review, and found it very comfortable for long typing sessions, which was nice to see - I've typed some negative reviews on some pretty crummy laptop keyboards.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed April 2023

MSI GT77 Titan (2023) review: a gaming laptop that lives up to its name
12:01 am | March 15, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

MSI GT77 Titan (2023): Two-minute review

The MSI GT77 Titan (2023) is the first laptop I've gotten my hands on that features Nvidia's latest mobile RTX 4000-series GPUs and Intel's latest 13th-gen Core i9 HX processor, and I can confirm that the hype around this hardware is very, very justified. If anything, the media buzz can't even prepare you for how powerful this laptop actually is in practice, especially the RTX 4090 mobile GPU.

To start, the GT77 Titan can be configured with either an Nvidia RTX 4080 or Nvidia RTX 4090 mobile with the Intel Core i9-13980HX. There are no options for a Core i7 or lower, because that's for peasants, probably. There will be no scrimping with this laptop.

Obviously, the specs are the reason you are buying this gaming laptop. There is nothing all that compelling about its design, which is the same standard black stealth-bomber-car-transformer looking thing with twinkly RGB lighting that gaming laptops have been sporting for a very long time now. 

Yes, it's a stale design, but if you're worried that someone might see it and roll their eyes, this thing is never leaving your desk because it weighs close to 7.5 lbs / 3.5kg. This is strictly a desktop replacement. 

In terms of ports and other features, this is a very solid laptop, with just about every port you could ask for with a gorgeous 4K display running at 144Hz and seemingly as bright as a headlight on a car when turned all the way up. There's even a privacy shutter over the webcam, which is something you just don't see on too many gaming laptops out there.

Finally, when it comes to performance, there are some slips in terms of CPU performance (which is still generally outstanding) and the RTX 4090 GPU offers best-in-class gaming performance, but the premium you're paying for that performance might be too much for some to stomach.

MSI GT77 Titan (2023): Price & availability

An MSI GT77 Titan on a pink desktop mat

(Image credit: Future)
  • Starts obscenely expensive and goes up from there
  • More or less in line with competitors running the same hardware

Ok, so you will need to understand that the MSI GT77 Titan (2023) is more like a Ferrari than it is a Ford Focus or Dodge Neon. This is a top-tier kit, but you will be paying a very high price for entry, or about as much or more as the best gaming PC with comparable performance, and in terms of value, I don't very much that this laptop will compare well to the latest crop of gaming laptops set to start coming out in the first half of 2023.

The GT77 Titan is available in the US for $4,299.99 (about £3,570 / AU$6,240) as its starting price. This will get you an RTX 4080 GPU, 64GB DDR5 RAM, and a 2TB NVMe SSD. For $4,699.99 (about £3,905 / AU$6,820), you can get it with an RTX 4090 GPU, while a $5,299.99 (about £4,400 / AU$7,690) configuration can get you an RTX 4090, 128GB DDR5, and 4TB of storage. All three models come with the Intel Core i9-13980HX CPU.

I can (and I will) argue that this is possibly the best gaming laptop I have ever come across, performance-wise. But it is also something that most of us will only ever look at online and go "That's wild, man!" before going for something far more affordable, like the model in our Lenovo Legion Pro 7i review

If you're in the position of hitting the "Buy it now" button, then this is probably one of a small handful of laptops you should consider. But if that isn't you, the Legion Pro 7i is about half the price and is still going to give you outstanding performance.

As always with tech this premium, availability outside the US is also a bit of an issue, and we've reached out to MSI about when the GT77 Titan will be available in the UK and Australia and at what price. We'll update this review if and when we hear back from the manufacturer.

  • Price score: 2 / 5

MSI GT77 Titan (2023): Specs

  • Latest Nvidia RTX 4000-series GPUs
  • Intel Core i9-13980HX processor
  • Bright, 144Hz refresh 4K mini-LED display 

The MSI GT77 Titan features the latest and greatest both Intel and Nvidia have to offer, with every model of GT77 Titan for purchase coming with the latest Intel Core-i9 13980HX CPU, which is as good as it gets for mobile processors this generation. 

Pair that with the new Nvidia RTX 4080 and RTX 4090 mobile GPUs, and you've got about as powerful a machine as you're going to find. You also start out with 64GB DDR5 RAM and can get as much as 128GB DDR5, with either 2TB or 4TB of storage space.

The display is one of the biggest draws here beyond the incredible hardware under the hood. The mini LED IPS panel is 144Hz at 4K resolution, so this is not only as crisp and fast a laptop display as you're going to get, but also makes it possible to get HDR 1000 as well as one of the brightest laptop displays I've seen outside of a MacBook or OLED panel.

Finally, it's packing a 99.9WHr battery, managing a decent amount of battery life for what it's packing. Though that also means it's absolutely huge and weighs a metaphorical ton at 7.28 lbs (3.30 kg). This is purely a desktop replacement-level kit.

  • Specs score: 5 / 5

MSI GT77 Titan (2023): Design

An MSI GT77 Titan on a pink desktop mat

(Image credit: Future)
  • Plenty of ports
  • Full-sized keyboard
  • Physical webcam privacy shutter
Spec Sheet

Here is the MSI GT77 Titan (2023) configuration sent to TechRadar for review:

CPU: Intel Core i9-13950HX Processor
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090
RAM: 64GB DDR5 (32GB x 2)
Screen: 17.3-inch IPS, mini LED, 4K, 144hz
Storage: 2TB SSD
Ports: 3 x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 2 x Thunderbolt 4 w/ DP, 1 x HDMI 2.1, 1 x Mini DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x 3.5mm combo jack, 1 x SD card slot, 1 x RJ45
Camera: IR 720p HD w/shutter
Weight: 7.28 lbs | 3.30 kg
Size: 15.63 x 12.99 x 0.91 inches | 397 x 329.95 x 23.11 mm

Since this laptop is largely going to sit on your desk and nowhere else, we'll start with its rather massive footprint. At nearly 16 inches wide and over a foot deep, even the best backpack around isn't going to fit this laptop unless it's one of those massive hiking ones you see at Machu Pichu or something. 

And God help you if you try to carry this thing up the block, much less up a mountain. At 7.28 lbs (3.30kg), not including its brick of a power supply, only the strongest backs can support carrying this thing around anywhere.

Still, for something that's going to sit on your desk, it's the standard MSI sports car hood aesthetic. To its credit, it's about the pinnacle of the form, even if that form is getting a bit old. 

Open the lid, and you're looking at a per-key RGB backlit mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX switches for a very satisfying experience. Is it overkill for a gaming keyboard? Absolutely, but this entire laptop is overkill, and to its credit, the GT77 Titan leaves everything on the field.

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An MSI GT77 Titan on a pink desktop mat

(Image credit: Future)
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An MSI GT77 Titan on a pink desktop mat

(Image credit: Future)
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An MSI GT77 Titan on a pink desktop mat

(Image credit: Future)

There are plenty of ports, which we would expect from something this huge, and there really isn't a need for a dock. With three USB 3.2 Gen 2, two Thunderbolt 4 (w/ display output), one HDMI 2.1, and one Mini DisplayPort 1.4 port — as well as a 3.5mm combo jack — you're not going to be left wanting. There's even an SD card slot and an ethernet port to round everything out.

Finally, I want to shout out the physical privacy switch on the webcam, which slides over to close the lens. It has been just over three years since the first Covid-19 lockdowns and everyone has been using the webcam on their laptops for just about everything, but not enough laptop makers have been including this essential privacy function. It's not hard, but it's not ubiquitous, so good on MSI for making sure this laptop is up to speed with the times.

  • Design score: 4 / 5

MSI GT77 Titan (2023): Performance

An MSI GT77 Titan on a pink desktop mat

(Image credit: Future)
  • Best-in-class gaming performance
  • Sounds like a jet engine under load
  • Solid sound out of a laptop

It's still the early days of the new Intel and Nvidia mobile kit, so we don't have a whole lot to fairly compare the latest MSI GT77 Titan to. But it absolutely blows last year's Titan out of the water in our benchmark tests, and the model we tested is less powerful than the i9-13980HX that you would actually buy (though not that much less powerful).

In terms of gaming performance, both processors are fairly close in our Cyberpunk 2077 test on the low end of the resolution spectrum, with the GT Titan (2023) pulling out a solid gain of 9.09% over the previous year's model. Push that up to ultra settings at 1080p, however, and you get a 74.62% jump for 2023's GT77 Titan over the 2022 model.

Similarly, in Total War: Warhammer III, we get a much larger gain with the GT77 Titan (2023) over the 2022 model at low resolution (about a 75% improvement), while it doubles the frame rates at ultra resolution and 1080p. 

Things get somewhat more complicated when looking at the GT77 Titan (2023) against the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i (2023). These two gaming laptops aren't even in the same class really, with the Legion Pro 7i sporting a Core i9-13900HX and an RTX 4080. But the Legion Pro 7i still outperforms the GT77 Titan in processor performance by a decent amount.

The i9-13900HX is only slightly slower (5.4GHz boost compared to the i9-13950HX's 5.5GHz), but it can score anywhere from 12% to 15% better on processor benchmarks than the GT77 Titan's i9-13950HX. These advantages extend to gaming performance on low settings where processor speeds are more determinative, but all these differences fall away when the GPU comes into play, such as when playing on ultra settings or using features like ray tracing and DLSS. 

Now there are a lot of reasons for why this might be the case. If I had to pick, I'd argue that Lenovo is a much better system integrator than MSI, and so Lenovo is better able to squeeze some extra performance out of the same specs. But it could also be a matter of the settings used, the cooling, etc. Still, the difference is there, even though you're likely not going to see the same kind of performance I did since the only chips that will be going into the GT77 Titans to hit the shelves will be the faster i9-13980HX.

Another thing to note about gaming performance here is that we don't benchmark using DLSS or ray tracing generally, since not all hardware is capable of those features - though I will say that DLSS 3 is the 2023 GT77 Titan's secret weapon here. 

An MSI GT77 Titan on a pink desktop mat

(Image credit: Future)

DLSS has been far more of a revolutionary graphics technology than even ray tracing, and DLSS 3 is absolutely next-level incredible in terms of the performance gains you can get.

Turn on DLSS 3 with Frame Generation, and you can get an average fps of 167 in Cyberpunk 2077 with ultra settings at 1080p, which is better than a lot of desktop PCs, and 30 fps better than the Legion Pro 7i with DLSS 3 turned on.

Turn things up to max settings with full ray tracing and DLSS 3 set to ultra performance with Frame Generation, and the GT77 Titan can get an average of 131fps, with a minimum of 100fps. Boost the resolution to 1440p, and you can get an average fps of 126 (59fps minimum), and at 4K, you can get an average of 110fps, with a minimum of 35fps.

To say these numbers are phenomenal is an understatement. These are high-performance desktop numbers, and the RTX 4090 mobile pushes out performance akin to an RTX 4070 Ti desktop card, which is the best graphics card most people can get right now. All of this is to say that the MSI GT77 Titan (2023) is a top-tier desktop-replacement gaming laptop, and few laptops are going to effectively compete at this level of graphics performance.

Something like the Legion Pro 7i might be configurable with an RTX 4090 at some point as well, and so it could theoretically get this kind of performance. Sadly, right now, you can't buy one with an RTX 4090 mobile in the US so the point is a bit moot.

  • Performance score: 5 / 5

MSI GT77 Titan (2023): battery life

An MSI GT77 Titan on a pink desktop mat

(Image credit: Future)
  • Pretty decent given the hardware
  • Charges reasonably fast

The MSI GT77 Titan isn't a laptop in name only, thanks to its 99.9WHr, as-large-as-legally-allowable-in-the-US battery. While you might think that the Nvidia RTX 4090 mobile chip would be the energy hog here, it's actually pretty decent. It's the Intel CPU that's really going to cut into that battery life if you're using this laptop for any length of time.

Still, it's good enough to get four hours and 30 minutes of video playback, though its PCMark 10 battery life test result is actually a smidge worse than its predecessor, coming in at three hours and one minute.

It charged from empty to full in about two hours, which is impressive given the enormous size of the battery that needs to be recharged. But considering the 330W power adapter you plug into this thing, it damn well better charge that fast.

  • Battery Score: 3 / 5

Should you buy the MSI GT77 Titan (2023)?

Buy it if...

You want the best gaming performance around
With an Intel Core i9-13980HX and an Nvidia RTX 4090 mobile GPU and DLSS 3, no game will put up much of a fight here, even at 4K.

You want an absolutely gorgeous display
This is the best-looking gaming laptop display I've seen that wasn't a high-end OLED panel.

You want lots of customization options
With per-key, lid-logo, and accent RGB, you can really get that gamer twinkly light look exactly to your liking.

Don't buy it if...

You want something affordable
The price of this laptop puts it out of reach of just about everyone reading this review.

You want something portable
Lulz. Better get a donkey if you want to cart this one around.

MSI GT77 Titan (2023): Also consider

If my MSI GT77 Titan review has you considering other options, here's another laptop to consider...

How I tested the MSI GT77 Titan (2023)

An MSI GT77 Titan on a pink desktop mat

(Image credit: Future)
  • I spent about a month testing the GT77 Titan
  • I used it as my main PC gaming machine for several weeks as well as creative work
  • I used in-game benchmarks from titles like Cyberpunk 2077 in addition to 3D Mark, CineBench R23 and others.

To review the MSI GT77 Titan (2023) I set the Titan up at home as my main PC gaming and content creation workstation (Lightroom, Photoshop, etc). I used it extensively for over a month to get a true sense of how well it performed.

This is ultimately a gaming laptop, so I focused most of my efforts in that direction, but with 100% DCI-P3 coverage, I also tested out its creative chops by editing photos and videos. 

I've reviewed dozens of laptops in this class over the years, including high-end desktop replacements and professional creative workstations, so I'm very keen on the subtleties of HDR 100 vs HDR 400 and what it means to have proper color coverage. As a lifelong gamer, I am also very sensitive to performance issues that can trip up PC games.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed March 2023

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D review: Team Red retakes the lead with its best CPU ever
5:00 pm | February 27, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , | Comments: Off

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D: Two-minute review

The AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D is finally here, and it is worth the wait.

First introduced back in early 2022 with the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D, AMD's 3D V-Cache technology has proven itself to be an incredible value-add for Team Red that makes AMD's chips seriously competitive against even the best Intel processors.

Even with the non-3D V-Cache variant of AMD's flagship processor, the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X, you were getting a seriously powerful chip that made a worthy rival for the i9-13900K, but the extra gaming performance that 3D V-Cache brings to the table is something to see in action, and it really is AMD's not-so-secret weapon here — especially if you're playing esports titles at 1080p where the speed of the processor is far more important than having the best graphics card.

Even more surprising was the improved creative performance that 3D V-Cache brings to the 7950X3D. I had to retest the 7950X3D's video encoding performance three times to confirm my results because they were so unexpectedly excellent, making it the best processor for video editing work not called Threadripper.

To top it all off, AMD pulls a rabbit out of the hat with the 7950X3D and manages to squeeze significantly better performance at a lower TDP than either the 7950X or the 13900K.

Still, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D is an expensive chip, clocking in at $699 (about £650/AU$1,150). That's the same price as the base Ryzen 9 7950X when it launched back in September 2022, so on the plus side, you're not pay more for the added features in the 7950X3D. Like the 7950X, though, you're still going to have to upgrade to a new AM5 motherboard and DDR5 RAM if you haven't already, which can make this a prohibitively expensive upgrade for some.

Still, when you look at everything on balance, this is arguably the best processor available right now, especially if you're a PC gamer, and it's one that I simply can't see Intel rivaling this generation — 3D V-Cache is just that good.

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D: Price & availability

An AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D inside its retail packaging

(Image credit: Future)
  • Same price as the Ryzen 9 7950X
  • Intel Core i9-13900K is still cheaper
  • Upgrade to AM5 might be very expensive

The AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D is available globally as of February 28, 2023, and will cost you $699 in the US. We don't have UK and Australia pricing yet, but it will likely run about the same as the MSRP for the Ryzen 9 7950X, which is £649 / AU$1,139. This also makes it more expensive than the Intel Core i9-13900K, which has an MSRP of $589 / £699 / AU$929. 

When you factor in the cost of upgrading to the new AM5 platform, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D only makes sense if you are upgrading from an AMD Zen 3 or 11th-gen Intel processor or earlier, since you'll need to buy a whole new setup to get a newer processor from either brand. If you've got a 12th-gen Intel chip, though, making the jump to the AM5 platform for this processor alone is going to be a pricey upgrade.

  • Price score: 3.5 / 5

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D: Chipset & features

  • 3D V-Cache comes to Zen 4
  • Better power efficiency

As far as the chip itself, there isn't a whole lot of difference between this processor and its non-3D sibling in terms of architecture, so if you want more of a deep dive into AMD Zen 4, definitely check out my AMD Ryzen 9 7950X review for further info. 

For brevity's sake, I'll keep things to the three major differences between the two chips. For starters, there is obviously 3D V-Cache on the 7950X3D, which slaps a extra slab of cache memory across one of the compute dies in the chip package, adding 64MB L3 Cache to the already substantial 80MB that the 7950X had.

Cache is simply a very direct form of working memory that the processor keeps close by for instructions and data that it is using at that very moment. The more cache a processor has, the fewer trips to RAM it needs to make for data or instructions, which greatly improves performance for many common tasks. Generally, more cache is better, and the 7950X3D has more cache than any consumer processor available today.

The other difference in terms of those dies is that not every core has access to this additional V-Cache. The 16 cores are split between two dies: one eight-core die with access to 3D V-Cache at a lower clock frequency, and another eight-core die without the extra cache but with a fully enabled clock speed. 

AMD's chip drivers automatically detect if a program or game will benefit from having a faster clock frequency or access to more cache and assigns the process to the cores best suited for the task. In practice, this seems to work very well behind the scenes without any adjustments from the user beyond installing the upgraded drivers when you install the chip, but there still might be some optimizations that need to be worked out, especially when it comes to benchmark tests, but we'll get to that in a minute.

Finally, the last major difference is the lower TDP on the 7950X3D compared to the 7950X (120W to 125W). This is mostly from the lower frequency on the 3D V-Cache cores (as well as some other optimizations), meaning that the 7950X3D can use less power overall to get the same or better performance.

  • Chipset & features score: 5 / 5

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D: Performance

An AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D sloted into a motherboard

(Image credit: Future)
  • Best-in-class gaming performance
  • Outstanding performance-per-Watt
  • Runs behind 7950X and 13900K on synthetic tests, but trounces everywhere else

Speaking of performance — boy howdy, this is a hell of a processor. It doesn't always hit the highest score on a given test, and it can often lag 5% to 10% behind the 7950X or i9-13900K on a few synthetic CPU benchmarks like CineBench R23 or Geekbench 5, but that could be chalked up to the pre-release BIOS and chipset drivers I used for testing. Even if that isn't the case, nobody buys a processor to run artificial test suites on it.

When it comes to the real-world performance of the 7950X3D, it will either hold its own against the other two flagship chips in tests like PCMark 10 or it will absolutely wallop its rivals thanks to its considerably bigger cache when gaming or encoding video.

When it comes to the synthetic benchmarks, there's very little difference between the 7950X3D and the 7950X. Both chips are phenomenal multitaskers, and though the 7950X has consistently stronger single core scores than the 7950X3D, the 7950X3D performs better with multi core performance than its non-3D V-Cache counterpart. 

When it comes to the Intel Core i9-13900K, it too outperforms the 7950X3D in single core performance, with the 7950X3D running about 12% slower than the 13900K on average. The difference between the two tightens on multicore performance, with the 7950X3D running about 5% slower in multicore on average.

It's a bit of a wash on the more "general" performance tests like PCMark 10, and 3DMark's Time Spy CPU test and PassMark's CPU tests have pretty divergent scores in opposite directions, so are more likely to be outliers than anything. 

Going off these numbers alone, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the 7950X3D is on the ropes, but the entire picture changes when moving off the straight synthetic tests into creative and gaming performance.

The Ryzen 9 7950X3D pretty much matches the 7950X in Blender and Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premiere tests, though it lags a bit in VRay 5 (though not by that much). Where it really shines though is with HandBrake 1.6. This is one of the creative tests we use where we get to measure it's true real-world performance on a creative workload, especially one that is highly CPU dependent.

Here, the 7950X3D encodes a 4K source video file into 1080p@30 at 124 frames per second, which is the fastest I have ever seen any chip other than an AMD Threadripper accomplish. It is nearly 35% faster than the Intel Core i9-13900K, widely considered the best consumer processor for creatives out there, and 36% faster than the Ryzen 9 7950X. This latter comparison is the most fascinating since it shows very clearly how much that extra cache memory alone can impact performance.

This difference is even more telling when it comes to gaming performance. Compared to the 7950X, the 7950X3D performs like it is fully one to two generations ahead of its non-3D V-Cache counterpart with roughly 20% to 25% better gaming performance at 1080p. Likewise, when it comes to the Intel Core i9-13900K, the 7950X3D lands about 16% to 19% faster on average, but some games will perform substantially better, and the 7950X3D is never that far behind the 13900K when it does occasionally lose out.

Obviously, the CPU is only one component in the equation of PC gaming performance, and these test results are based on games running at the lowest graphics quality at 1080p with an extremely overpowered graphics card (an RTX 4090) to reduce any fps bottleneck you'll get from the GPU.

Increase the graphics quality to max settings and the resolution to 4K and even the RTX 4090 won't be able to keep up with any of these processors, and the advantage of 3D V-Cache shrinks considerably and eventually you'll find yourself GPU-locked regardless of what CPU you're using. 

So, it's important to understand that it is not the only element that matters for your gaming performance, and for a lot of gamers, it might not even be the most important one. But, it's there nonetheless, and its impact can be substantial. Esports players especially will love the 7950X3D, as this chip performs best under the exact conditions most commonly used in competitive esports titles.

An AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D on its retail packaging

(Image credit: Future)

What's also so notable about the 7950X3D is that while Intel's latest processors have been outstanding, that performance is far more a function of just throwing power at the problem, literally, than it is some kind of technological magic behind the scenes.

In terms of power draw, the minimum I recorded for the 13900K is a meager 2.882W, and it could hover around this for hours if you're not using your computer thanks to its energy efficient big.LITTLE design. Meanwhile, the 7950X3D is still slurping up just over eight times as much power as a baseline.

On the other hand, when a game like Total War: Warhammer III is running, energy efficiency on the 13900K goes right out the window and you start getting power draw above 330W just for the processor. This allows the 13900K to eek out up to 68 more fps than the 7950X3D (or 532 minimum fps for the 13900K to the 7950X3D's 464 minimum fps), but it literally needs almost 2.5 times as much power to accomplish this.

And that's for the best gaming performance the 13900K scored against the 7950X3D among the games we tested. In a game like Returnal, which is a sophisticated bullet-hell rouge-like with lots of projectile physics needing to be calculated every frame, the 7950X3D can outperform the 13900K by as much as 61% and do so with substantially less power.

When trying to come to an overall assessment of these chips' relative performance, it's better to look at the measurable performance gains between chips across different tests. This makes for a much more sensible average when all is said and done than averaging absolute scores where one CPU test with one very large result can badly skew a final average. 

By this measure, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D outperforms the 7950X by about 10% and the 13900K by about 6% when I average out all of the degrees of difference between the three chips, across every test. But even then, the demonstrably better performance of the 7950X3D can be somewhat obscured, since Intel especially benefits from much higher synthetic benchmark scores that don't really translate cleanly into actual real-world performance where the 7950X3D is simply the better processor overall.

You also really can't discount the performance-per-watt that you're getting with the Ryzen 9 7950X3D, which is at least twice what you'd get with the Intel Core i9-13900K and about 55% better than the 7950X.

Quite simply, AMD does so much more with far less power than either of the competing flagship processors, and you don't have to accept lower performance as a tradeoff. Much more often than not, you're getting a substantially faster processor in practice — especially for gaming — making it very hard to deny the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D its due. 

It's simply the best gaming CPU by performance you can buy on the consumer market and that's not likely to change for the rest of this processor generation, at the very least.

  • Performance: 5 / 5

Should you buy the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also Consider

If my AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D review has you considering other options, here are two processors to consider... 

How I tested the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D

An AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D slotted into a motherboard

(Image credit: Future)
  • I spent nearly two weeks testing the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D
  • I ran comparable benchmarks between this chip and rival flagship processors
  • I gamed with this chip extensively

Testing a processor is arguably one of the most involved processes of any component I review because there are so many things to measure and quantify.

Thanks to my extensive computer science background, I have a very clear sense of what is happening inside of a processor and how it is supposed to respond and perform, as well as which tools are best suited to measure these kinds of metrics since this is what I have been doing for nearly a decade now in one form or another.

I use the following tests to measure specific facets of a processor's performance, as described.

  • Synthetic single and multi-core benchmarks test the performance of specific instruction sets and processor operations like floating-point calculations using benchmark tools like GeekBench, Cinebench, and PassMark.
  • Creative performance is a measure of how well the processor performs in several popular creative workloads like Handbrake, Blender, and Adobe Photoshop. Where possible, I explicitly disable GPU accelerated operations or test rendering using the CPU by itself.
  • Gaming performance measures how well the processor calculates gaming operations like in-game physics by running several games' integrated benchmark tools like Returnal, Total War: Warhammer III, and F1 2022. In all cases, I run the benchmarks on the lowest graphics settings available at 1080p and using the most powerful graphics card I have available (in this case, an Nvidia RTX 4090) and with 32GB DDR5 RAM to isolate the actual CPU operations I am testing without having to worry about inteference from excessive memory or graphics management.
  • Stress testing tools like Cinebench R23 push the processor to its engineered limits in terms of power use and operating temperature, and I use these to make sure that every chip is pushed to full 100% CPU utilization under load to determine the minimum and maximum amount of power the processor uses (measured in watts) and the minimum and maximum temperature recorded (measured in Celsius). 

All of these tests are conducted using the same hardware test bench with the same components as much as possible, including the same RAM modules, graphics card, CPU cooler, and M.2 SSD, to ensure that test results are reflective of differences in a processor architecture and performance, rather than reflecting a bottleneck in a different graphics card or SSD, making scores for different processors comparable.

Finally, I make sure that for every processor, I retest competing processors I have already tested and reviewed and I use the latest motherboard BIOS, Windows updates, and driver updates available. This ensures that there havn't been any optimizations, fixes, or security patches that might significantly change a given test's result and I always use the most up-to-date test results when making comparisons.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed February 2023

Review: Gelid Black Edition
3:00 am | April 11, 2013

Author: admin | Category: Cameras | Tags: , , , | Comments: None

Review: Gelid Black Edition

Another month, another humongous CPU cooler. Gelid’s Black Edition is certainly impressive in stature, but thankfully for something this size it’s mor[……]

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Review: Cooler Master Seidon 240M
3:00 am | April 10, 2013

Author: admin | Category: Cameras | Tags: , , , | Comments: None

Review: Cooler Master Seidon 240M

They all look the same. That’s the danger with the factory-sealed, ready-to-roll water-cooling kits such as the Cooler Master Seidon 240M. Superficial[……]

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Review: Enermax ELC240
3:11 am | April 9, 2013

Author: admin | Category: Cameras | Tags: , , , | Comments: None

Review: Enermax ELC240

Sometimes the things that really get our dander up as hardware reviewers can be a distraction. They don’t matter too much in the real world, but usual[……]

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Review: Acer Iconia W700
3:00 am | February 7, 2013

Author: admin | Category: Cameras | Tags: , , , | Comments: None

Review: Acer Iconia W700


Windows 8 has seen a host of fresh designs for tablets and laptops, with many manufacturers trying their hardest to build a device that’s[……]

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