Industry-fastest 13th Gen "Raptor Lake" Intel Core i5 / i7 / i9 CPUs!
Stratosphere Express Z2 is our best-selling affordable workstation PC supporting two monitors. It offers the best performance for the dollar in our lineup, and is a great choice for anyone on a limited budget who wants the fastest key performance features (CPU, RAM, SSD, graphics) to fit their budget.
Stratosphere Express Z2 offers your choice of five Intel CPU options. Among the CPU upgrade options are three ultra-fast performance models from Intel's new 13th Gen "Raptor Lake" CPU series, first shipping on October 20, 2022. The three upgrade CPUs deliver up to 106% faster total system performance compared to the standard Intel Core i5-12400 CPU and 40% faster performance compared to the prior 12th Gen Intel Core CPUs at the same price class.
With these new CPUs, Intel has retaken the lead for CPU performance, edging ahead of AMD's new Ryzen 7000 desktop CPUs in benchmark tests* while trumping AMD with an Intel-exclusive called Intel Thread Director, which significantly boosts multitasking performance. (*Cinebench R23 benchmark test, reported by Anandtech on October 20.)
Intel Thread Director is a workload management controller on the CPU that works directly with the operating system to ensure that top-priority tasks are executed first and with the highest performance. Intel worked together with Microsoft to implement the new technology, and currently only Windows 11 is able to take advantage of Intel Thread Director. For this reason, we recommend Windows 11 for Stratosphere Express Z-series. We also offer Windows 10, but Windows 10 cannot take advantage of Intel Thread Director.
Intel's 12th Gen and 13th Gen processors employ an innovative hybrid architecture combining high-performance CPU cores (Performance cores, or P-cores) and high-efficiency CPU cores (Efficient cores, or E-cores) on the same chip. Intel Thread Director segregates background operations on high-efficiency E-cores, while promoting foreground priority tasks to the high-performance cores (P-cores). The least important tasks are assigned to virtual cores, which use free cycles on P-cores through a method known as Hyper-threading or simultaneous multithreading.
The result is the first CPU optimized for multitasking and responsive computing, in which your high-priority work gets the CPU's top focus. Now your top-priority work is far less likely to suffer from intermittent slowdowns and stalls caused by background tasks grabbing the focus of the same CPU cores being used your top-priority tasks. Priority is determined by Windows 11, which monitors which applications are visible to the user, with particular priority given to the application that has the user's current focus, as well as processes that are assigned high process priority in Windows.
Intel Thread Director requires Windows 11, which is uniquely optimized to work with this on-chip Intel microcontroller to manage competing workloads on 12th Gen and 13th Gen Intel CPUs.
Intel 13th Gen hybrid architecture (Core i7-13700K example)
Five Intel CPU options – including four new 13th Gen CPUs!
Stratosphere Express Z2 features the 12th Gen Intel Core i5-12400 CPU standard, with 6 CPU cores. For best performance, you can configure your system with one of four faster Intel CPUs, which feature 10 - 24 CPU cores and include Intel's important Thread Director feature. All CPUs are available for immediate build and shipment of your customized performance workstation.
- Standard CPU: Intel Core i5-12400 (12th Gen)
- 6 CPU cores · processes 12 simultaneous software threads
- 6× Performance-cores (P-cores), 3.7 - 4.9 GHz, for priority tasks
- 6× virtual cores (Hyper-threading), for low-priority operations
- No E-cores and no Intel Thread Director
- Power-efficient: consumes only 65W - 117W power and uses standard Intel CPU cooler
- Affordable 13th Gen upgrade: Intel Core i5-13400
- 10 CPU cores · processes 16 simultaneous software threads
- 6× Performance-cores (P-cores), 2.5 - 4.6 GHz, for priority tasks
- 4× Efficient-cores (E-cores): 1.8 - 3.3 GHz, for background operations
- 6× virtual cores, for low-priority operations
- Most affordable Intel desktop CPU with Intel Thread Director feature
- Upgrade price: $7500 USD
- High-value 13th Gen upgrade: Intel Core i5-13600K
- 14 CPU cores · processes 20 simultaneous software threads
- 6× Performance-cores (P-cores), 3.5 - 5.1 GHz, for priority tasks
- 8× Efficient-cores (E-cores): 2.6 - 3.9 GHz, for background operations
- 6× virtual cores (Hyper-threading), for lowest-priority operations
- Best value from 13th Gen Intel "Raptor Lake" CPU generation
- 96% faster* than Core i5-12400 for multi-core operations: ≈2X performance!
- Upgrade price: $19500 USD + cost of upgraded CPU cooler
- High-performance 13th Gen CPU: Intel Core i7-13700K
- 16 CPU cores · processes 24 simultaneous software threads
- 8× Performance-cores (P-cores), 3.4 - 5.4 GHz, for priority tasks
- 8× Efficient-cores (E-cores): 2.5 - 4.2 GHz, for background operations
- 8× virtual cores (Hyper-threading), for lowest-priority operations
- 149% faster* than Core i5-12400 for multi-core operations: ≈2.5X performance!
- Upgrade price: $34900 USD + cost of upgraded CPU cooler
- Top-of-line 13th Gen CPU: Intel Core i9-13900K
- 24 CPU cores · processes 32 simultaneous software threads
- 8× Performance-cores (P-cores), 3.0 - 5.8 GHz, for priority tasks
- 16× Efficient-cores (E-cores): 2.2 - 4.3 GHz, for background operations
- 8× virtual cores (Hyper-threading), for lowest-priority operations
- 209% faster* than Core i5-12400 for multi-core operations: ≈3X performance!
- Upgrade price: $57500 USD + cost of upgraded CPU cooler
*Cinebench R23 Multi-Core benchmark test scores via cpu-monkey.com, 2023-01-08.
Configure / quote / buy your Stratosphere Express Z2 workstation PC now
13th Gen Intel CPUs: Industry-best performance, reliability and value
Performance: 41% faster + industry-best user experience & multitasking
13th Gen Intel CPUs deliver industry-best performance by combining excellent raw performance (41% faster multi-core performance than prior generation in only 11 months, measured by benchmark tests) and greatly improved multitasking smoothness and responsiveness (perceptual performance). Responsiveness is achieved via Intel's exclusive Intel Thread Director feature, which works with Windows 11 to give priority to the user's currently focused task / active window. High-priority software threads are directed to the CPU's "performance" cores (P-cores), while background processes are sent to the "efficient" cores (E-cores), which are 1/4 the size of P-cores and demand less power. When there is any contention from different software tasks for the CPU's attention (as is common), this solution ensures that the user experience is always the top priority. AMD has no equivalent capability in any of its CPUs.
Intel Thread Director and the hybrid P-core / E-core design debuted in November 2021 with Intel's 12th Gen Alder Lake CPU series and the new Windows 11 operating system, which is required to enable Intel Thread Director. Now in October 2022, the new 13th Gen Intel Raptor Lake CPUs have added 4 or 8 additional E-cores, giving Intel Thread Director greater ability to offload low-priority background tasks to the E-cores to enable the P-cores to be even more responsive to user demands in foreground apps. What's more, the new Windows 11 2H22 update has further optimized thread management by the OS when working with Intel's hybrid architecture, and Intel Thread Director itself has been tweaked to improve thread management.
As a result, Intel's 13th Gen CPUs deliver a highly refined, responsive experience for the user that current industry benchmark tests can't measure. In sum, Intel Thread Director working with Windows 11 is the "secret ingredient" enabling Intel's new CPUs to outperform AMD's newest Ryzen 7000 desktop CPUs for a superior user experience and the smoothest multitasking ever delivered. (See video demo of Intel Thread Director at work in the 13th Gen Intel Core i9-13900K CPU, handling huge CPU multitasking contention without disrupting the user experience.).
Reliability: 30X higher Intel CPU reliability than AMD CPUs (our experience)
Additionally, Intel CPUs have demonstrated a marked reliability edge over AMD Ryzen CPUs, and they are backed with much faster replacement service. In the last five years, we've had only one Intel CPU fail under warranty (a 2017 CPU that failed in 2020), while shipping many more Intel CPUs than AMD CPUs during that span. Previously we saw a similar low rate of Intel CPU failures under warranty (about one every five years, or under 0.1% failure rate) in our 17 years building computers. Intel has also turned around replacements quickly: normally same-day or next-day shipment + overnight shipping + advance replacement. (AMD offers none of these warranty service features.)
In the three years since we began shipping AMD Ryzen CPUs (2019), we and other system builders have observed a sharply higher failure rate for AMD Ryzen CPUs, with approximately 3% failing within AMD's three-year warranty term and an unknown additional percentage failing out of warranty. Our AMD CPU failure rate is more than 30 times our Intel CPU failure rate, which is almost too close to zero to estimate properly. Additionally, AMD commonly takes between 10 days to a month to replace a CPU under warranty. In one RMA case, an AMD rep required a photo of the CPU installed in our customer system before agreeing to accept a shipment of the CPU for replacement.
Additionally, motherboards with AMD chipsets have failed under warranty at a higher rate than peer-level motherboards with Intel chipsets, in our experience. We've seen only one Intel motherboard fail in the past five years. The fault for motherboard failures might be the partner motherboard manufacturer, but these still count as disruptive failures of AMD systems that have not occurred for our Intel-based systems for most of the past 17 years. While AMD system failures remain relatively rare, they are a notable impediment to our commitment to mission-critical system reliability, which means delivering systems that simply never fail.
Value: more affordable top performance
Finally, 13th Gen Intel CPUs deliver superior value, both compared to prior generations and vs the competition. For example, Intel brands and prices the new Intel Core i5-13600K as an entry-level CPU, but it actually performs about 5% faster than the prior-gen midrange CPU, Intel Core i7-12700K – a best-selling and acclaimed CPU introduced less than one year ago (November 2021). Our current wholesale cost for the new "entry-level" Core i5-13600K CPU is about 16% less than our current cost for that reining Core i7 midrange champ. This is an impressive and welcome value victory by Intel in an era of rampant high inflation and chip shortages! Additionally, this value victory stands on the shoulders of Intel's prior Alder Lake CPU generation, which was Intel's biggest leap forward in performance and innovation in more than a decade.
As for competitive value, the CPU price share of a system equipped with AMD's latest flagship desktop CPU is at least $200 higher than the system selling price share borne by Intel's new top-of-line Core i9-13900K CPU. Both CPUs deliver about the same multi-core performance benchmark results (raw performance). Additionally, 13th Gen Intel CPUs deliver higher perceptual performance than peer-level AMD CPUs for a typical multitasking user, thanks to the benefits of Intel Thread Director in tandem with Windows 11. Finally, AMD AM5 motherboards cost more than equivalent motherboards using Intel chipsets, presumably because AMD currently charges motherboard makers more for its chipsets. As a result of these factors, 13th Gen Intel CPUs and supporting motherboards have a decided value advantage (performance per dollar) over the latest AMD Ryzen 7000 CPUs and motherboards.
It's rare to see one company deliver superior performance and reliability and value (performance per dollar) vs its top competitor, but currently Intel demonstrates all three of these advantages over AMD for their latest performance CPUs and motherboards, as well as for the prior Intel "Alder Lake" generation. From July 2019 through October 2021, AMD did lead Intel for performance and value, if not reliability. For over a decade prior to 2019, Intel led AMD in all three categories, earning itself tremendously high customer goodwill and brand value.
Up to 128GB DDR4-3200 RAM
- Base memory: 16GB DDR4-3200
- Memory capacity: 128GB (4 DIMM slots)
- Typical configuration: 32GB or 64B
Ultra-fast SSD storage
Samsung 980 PRO: PCIe Gen4
- Capacities: 250GB - 2TB
- PCI Express Gen 4, M.2 NVMe
- Up to 7000 MB/s read
- Up to 5100 MB/s write
- Up to 1 million IOPS (I/O Operations Per Second)
- Dual SSD option
PCI Express SSDs connect directly to the CPU or chipset via an M.2 NVMe socket on the motherboard with four dedicated PCIe lanes. PCIe Gen 4 SSDs double the maximum bandwidth of these lanes, compared to PCIe Gen 3 SSDs. The result is up to 12.7X the performance of older SATA SSDs for sequential reads and writes, and up to 8X the I/O operations per second.
In 2009, Digital Tigers was first in the industry to ship SSD drives standard in desktop workstations. We've shipped thousands of systems since with Intel and Samsung SSDs, and only one has ever failed in customer hands.
Standard / optional operating systems
- Windows 11 Home 64-bit (standard)
- Windows 11 Pro 64-bit (optional)
- Windows 10 Home 64-bit (optional)
- Windows 10 Pro 64-bit (optional)
Industry-leading multi-monitor software
UltraView Desktop Manager 3.0 software:
14 industry-leading features for power users
- Now updated for Windows 11!
- See feature list on right column of this page
Optional sound-dampened tower cases and silent fans
- Silent operation with sound-dampened side panels, ultra-quiet fans
- Choice of three award-winning tower cases with minimalist design (see right column)
- Define 7: premium silent mid-tower case: includes front drive bay for DVD drive or card reader behind door; 5 front USB ports including USB-C
- Define 7 Compact: 32% smaller; no front drive bay; 5 front USB ports including USB-C
- Mini C: 46% smaller; no front drive bay; 2 front USB 3.0 ports
Updated model! $1,22500 USD
- Qty 2: $1,16400 USD each
- Qty 3+: $1,13900 USD each
- Quick Build & Ship: Yes!
Order today, ships ~ October 18!
e-commerce price: Prefer
U.S. dollars? 1,225.00
Configure options as you prefer,
and buy online today!|
Call 800.844.3721 for expert technical sales assistance!
- Intel Gold Partner: Digital Tigers has Intel's gold partner designation based on
sales volume and ongoing technical training.
- Expert Support: Support includes direct troubleshooting, where our technicians log into customer systems,
and resolve issues while on the phone with customers.
- Beyond Rocket Science™ Service Commitment
- Junk-Free Guarantee: We install neither adware nor promotional software on any workstation
- Complete system integration combining Stratosphere workstation with Zenview
and UltraFlex multi-screen monitors
D I G I T A L T I G E R S C U S T O M E R S
Updated! UltraView Desktop Manager 3.0 software
Advanced software for managing multiple monitors and creating a personal productivity dashboard via virtual monitors
- All-new Digital Tigers software suite, updated for Windows 11!
- Supports splitting monitors into smaller virtual monitors
- Create a personal productivity and awareness dashboard out of large, high-resolution monitors and 4K TVs
- Use larger virtual monitors for primary workspace and supporting documents, websites and work email
- Use micro-size virtual monitors for task managers, time management, personal email, instant messaging, social media, Bloomberg TV, streaming media, newsfeeds, security cameras and more
- Never miss anyting important for lack of timely awareness
- Designed for Windows 11, Windows 10 and Windows 7
- $9900 USD · Free with Stratosphere Express Z2
- Learn more: tab on this page · product page
The future of 4K: a personal productivity and awareness dashboard, balancing work and life together
Above: UltraView 4K UHD curved display (55″ size)
Above: Five virtual monitors created from single 4K UHD monitor, using UltraView Desktop Manager 3.0
To see more examples of what you can now do with a single 4K UHD monitor, see the Virtual Monitors: Example Layouts tab on this page, which shows 55 ways you can carve up a 4K monitor with UltraView Desktop Manager 3.0.
Top productivity features:
Top personalization features:
Mid-tower case options
Below: open-front mid-tower case (H21, standard)
SPCC black case with mesh front and top grill for improved airflow and cooling; 3× 5.25″ front bay for DVD drive, removovable drive or devices, no sound damping; 16.9 × 8.2 × 18.9in (HWD)
Below: silent mini-tower case (Fractal Design Mini C, optional)
Highly recommended for silent operation; noise-damped side panels, 2 silent fans, premium materials; no front bay for DVD drive; 2 front USB 3.0 ports plus audio jacks; 16.2 x 8.3 x 16.3in (HWD)
Below: silent compact mid-tower case (Fractal Define 7 Compact, optional)
Highly recommended for silent operation; noise-damped side panels, 2 silent fans, premium materials; no front bay for DVD drive; 5 front USB ports including USB-C, plus headphone and mic jacks; 32% less volume than deluxe Fractal Define 7 case, 18.66 x 8.27 x 16.81in (HWD)
Below: deluxe mid-tower case (Fractal Define 7, optional)
Highly recommended for silent operation; noise-damped side panels and front door; reversible front door with anodized aluminum cover; front 5.25in bay for DVD / removable drive; 5 front USB ports including USB-C; front audio jacks; 18.70 x 9.45 x 21.54in (HWD)
- Supports 2 simultaneous monitors with sharp digital connections
- Digital display ports:
- 2 × HDMI 2.1 ports (up to 3840 × 2160 @60Hz resolution)
- 2 × DisplayPort 1.4 ports (up to 7680 × 4320 @60Hz resolution)
- Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 730 / 770 (all screens)
- Popular graphics card upgrade option(s) — see Customize tab:
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER 6GB
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 8GB
- Solid-State Drive (SSD) drive certified for 1 million hours
- Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF): 1,000,000 hours
- Operating shock resistance: 1,500 G (0.5 ms)
- No moving parts; silent operation
- Optional internal bootable backup SSD
- Configured for automated daily backup of system drive
- Serves as system drive in case of primary drive failure.
the computer and select the alternate boot drive.
- Option to configure for daily + monthly archival backup
- Option to back up secondary drive automatically as well
- Ultra-quiet 750W semi-modular power supply with 5-year warranty
- Corsair CX750M (2021)
- 750W capacity for expansion, silent cooling and longevity.
- Combines quiet cooling, rock-solid performance, high reliability and high value..
- Inaudible < 15 dB(A) cooling fan through 449W DC power output, per independent power supply tests (Cybenetics). Most systems we ship consume much less than 430W power even under peak demands. We over-spec our power supplies to enable silent operation and to extend their longivity.
- Tested to deliver 80 PLUS SILVER efficiency (Cybenetics); certified by Corsair for 80 PLUS BRONZE efficiency; saves energy bills, reduces system heat.
- 5-year Corsair warranty; 105°C Japanese capacitors
- Semi-modular cables (all peripheral cables are modular) for better airflow and easier replacement.
- Active PFC, accepts 100 - 240VAC input power
- Ships with appropriate AC power cable for your country
- Upgradable in configurator to Corsair RM750x (2021) for 80 PLUS Gold efficiency, 10-year warranty and fully modular cabling. Also upgradable to Corsair RM850x and RM1000x for these features plus extra capacity.
Options and accessories
Recommended: 1000VA UPS battery backup power
- Keeps you running through power flickering and brief outages, while giving you time to save your work during longer outages
- CyberPower UPS series is proven by Digital Tigers long-term reliability study to extend the life of systems
- In 15 years, less than 0.2% of Digital Tigers customers have encountered power supply problems / dead system while connected to certified UPS
- Automatic voltage regulation (AVR) corrects for under / over voltage conditions, improving long-term system reliability
- LCD and software status monitoring for load, voltage, alerts