Saturday, June 22, 2024

It just became the perfect time to buy a last-gen Intel CPU

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Intel Core i9-13900K held between fingertips.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

In a surprising twist, Intel has just decided to discontinue its entire lineup of 13th-generation Raptor Lake CPUs, and it’s happening faster than anyone might have expected. Who would have thought that Intel would bid farewell to some of its best processors so soon? While today is a sad day for Raptor Lake, the news is good for those wanting to buy a CPU — while supplies last, that is.

The discontinuance applies to Intel’s lineup of overclockable Raptor Lake processors, bar the 14th-gen refresh, of course. This means that CPUs like the Core i5-13600K are no longer in production and vendors will no longer be able to restock them as of May 24, 2024. This comes from an official product change notification document from Intel, which was spotted by Tom’s Hardware. The full list of affected processors is as follows:

  • Core i5-13600K
  • Core i5-13600KF
  • Core i7-13700K
  • Core i7-13700KF
  • Core i9-13900K
  • Core i9-13900KF
  • Core i9-13900KS

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That still leaves some 13th-gen Raptor Lake chips up for grabs, but the overclockable versions — which tend to be the most popular — are going away. Of course, this doesn’t mean that they’ll disappear from the shelves instantly. Intel’s product change notification states that the final product discontinuance shipment date is June 28.

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After that, retailers won’t be able to procure any new K-series chips — but everything that’s still currently in stock will remain so until it’s eventually all sold out.

Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Intel’s 13th-gen processors aren’t the latest generation anymore now that the 14th-gen refresh is out in full swing. However, the Raptor Lake refresh only introduces very subtle adjustments, which still makes the 13th-gen chips better in terms of value. In fact, the Core i5-13600K is arguably the best value pick out of those two generations.

If you’ve been thinking of building a PC based on Raptor Lake, now is a good time to go for it. The CPUs have received multiple discounts since their launch, which is why they’re now much more affordable, all the while still being easy to find in stores. It’s unlikely that they’ll vanish within the next few months, but given that they’re a better deal than their 14th-gen siblings, you never know what might happen to some of the favorites. As it is now, 14th-gen alternatives are still pricier; things might even out as availability drops for the base models of Raptor Lake, however.

Curiously, Intel’s 12th-gen Alder Lake CPUs don’t appear to be discontinued yet. This could be due to Intel wanting to push for more sales of the Raptor Lake refresh chips, as the 13th-gen and 14th-gen processors are so similar that going for the last-gen option is an easy choice for prospective buyers. However, until the refresh processors come down in price, it’s best to snap up those 13th-gen CPUs while they’re still available

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