Again at Intel’s Innovation 2022 occasion in September, the corporate let it’s recognized that it had plans to launch a ‘6 GHz’ processor primarily based on its Raptor Lake-S collection of processors. Although it did not include the identical diploma of fanfare that Intel’s extra imminently launching 13900K/13700K/13600K acquired, it put fanatics and trade watchers on discover that Intel nonetheless had another, even quicker Raptor Lake desktop chip ready within the wings.
Now just a few months later, Raptor Lake’s shining second has arrived. Intel has launched the Intel Core i9-13900KS, a 24-core (8x Perf + 16x Effectivity) half with turbo clock speeds of as much as 6 GHz. A mark, which till very lately, was unprecedented with out the usage of unique cooling strategies akin to liquid nitrogen (LN2).
In what’s more likely to be one of many final in a variety of Raptor Lake-S SKUs to be introduced, Intel has seemingly saved its finest for final. The Intel Core i9-13900KS is the quicker and unequivocal larger brother to the Core i9-13900K, with turbo clock speeds of as much as 6 GHz whereas sustaining its halo presence with a 200 MHz enhance on each P-core and E-core base frequencies.
Intel’s focus and technique on delivering halo-level processors in restricted provide is one thing that is turn out to be a daily a part of their product stack over the previous couple of years. We have beforehand seen the Core i9-9900KS (Espresso Lake) and i9-12900KS (Alder Lake), which had been relative successes in showcasing every Core structure at their best level. The Core i9-13900KS appears to be like to observe this development, though it comes as we have reached a time the place energy effectivity and prices are just some extensively shared issues globally.
Having the perfect of the perfect is considerably advantageous when there is a want for cutting-edge desktop efficiency, however at what value? Quicker cores require extra power, and extra power generates extra warmth; 6 GHz for the common shopper is lastly right here, however is it price taking the plunge? We intention to seek out out in our overview of the 6 GHz Core i9-13900KS.
The Intel Core i9-13900KS: Raptor Lake Goes to six GHz
AMD and Intel’s R&D groups have been working exhausting in the previous couple of years to maintain buying and selling blows in key areas akin to core rely, IPC efficiency, and, in fact, worth. In the case of specializing in what flagship CPUs are, some acquire their standing by providing giant numbers of cores and really respectable clock speeds to achieve that edge in efficiency over the competitors. Whereas getting the proper steadiness of extra cores with quicker speeds is advantageous, Intel and AMD have lately undoubtedly pushed their silicon to very close to their capacity and functionality limits.
The Intel Core i9-13900KS is a juxtaposition in combining excessive core rely with extremely excessive frequencies into one silicon package deal that may be slotted into an acceptable LGA1700 motherboard. It nonetheless has the identical 24 CPU cores that the Core i9-13900K has. Regarding specs, all are the identical aside from clock speeds and TDP. The Core i9-13900KS has eight Raptor Cove Efficiency (P) cores for the compute workloads potatoes, whereas sixteen are Effectivity (E) cores primarily based on the Gracemont structure to choose up different areas of slack.
Intel’s hybrid structure design of efficiency and effectivity cores, generally referred to as large/little, works properly. Nevertheless, it does require an appropriate working system (today, Home windows 11) to make the most of the Thread Director scheduling effectively and successfully.
|Intel thirteenth Gen Core i9 Sequence (Raptor Lake-S)|
What makes the Core i9-13900KS completely different from the remainder of the thirteenth Gen Core i9 collection line-up, except for the obvious will increase in P-core and E-core base frequencies and a 6 GHz turbo, is that may be a particular bin from present silicon. Experiences with the Core i9-13900K by way of overclocking capacity are blended, with few of those chips having the potential to run at 6 GHz with out unique cooling strategies akin to liquid nitrogen and dry ice.
Whereas matching batch numbers is normally the closest methodology to acquiring parity ranges in overclocking capacity, it isn’t an actual science. Speaking realistically, no two processors are the identical after they come out of the manufacturing facility. The good thing about having Intel bin their silicon in-house for its KS collection is useful for excessive overclockers, as its ensures that every i9-13900KS will hit turbo clock speeds of 6 GHz; on two of the P-cores, not less than. This additionally means the Core i9-13900KS, by default, will draw extra energy and run hotter – upwards of 320 Watts, to be exact.
Trying on the specs of the Core i9-13900KS, it has 24 cores (8P+16E) and 32 threads, with a most P-core turbo of as much as 6 GHz. This makes it the quickest desktop processor in the marketplace right this moment, contemplating out-of-the-box settings and automatic applied sciences carried out. Intel has additionally elevated P-core and E-core base frequencies by 200 MHz from the common 13900K, making the P-core base on the 13900KS 3.2 GHz and the E-core base 2.4 GHz. All of Intel’s thirteenth Core Sequence SKUs assist both DDR5-5600 or DDR4-3200 reminiscence, which advantages customers on a price range. Nevertheless, consumers of the Core i9 collection are more likely to go for DDR5 reminiscence as a result of additional ranges of efficiency.
The Core i9-13900KS hit 6 GHz on cores P4 and P5 through the XTU stress take a look at (albeit with thermal throttling)
Intel has additionally elevated the bottom TDP from 125 W to 150 W to account for the extra bump to P and E-core frequencies. What’s attention-grabbing is that Intel has supplied a most turbo energy specification of 253 W. The opposite worth Intel gives is its new Excessive Energy Supply (EPD) profile of 320 W. This makes it probably the most power-hungry processors out of the field, particularly when at full-load in a compute-heavy process.
Attaining 6 GHz
Outdoors of the 6 GHz capabilities that the Core i9-13900KS has and the will increase talked about above in base frequencies and energy nuances, it shares an identical specs to the Core i9-13900K. This consists of the identical 36 MB of shared L3 cache throughout the board, 2 MB of L2 cache per efficiency (P) core, with 4 MB of L2 cache per every quad effectivity (E) core cluster.
The Intel Core i9-13900KS retail packaging
Issues to Know Earlier than Decoding Our Check Outcomes: Excessive Supply Profile is 320 W (PL1/PL2)
Increasing into Intel’s new Excessive Supply Profile permits larger energy limits on the Core i9-13900KS. As per Turbo Increase Max 3.0, that is set to 253 W, the identical PL1/PL2 worth as on the Core i9-13900K. For the Core i9-13900KS, the Excessive Supply Profile permits a better profile, growing to 320 W for the PL1 and PL2 values. This permits the Core i9-13900KS extra energy headroom to allow larger frequencies on two cores, which for Turbo Increase Max 3.0 is 5.8 GHz, and Thermal Velocity Increase is 6.0 GHz.
|Intel Core i9-13900KS P-Core Turbo Frequencies
(With Thermal Velocity Increase Lively)
|AnandTech||1 Core||2 Cores||3 Cores||4 Cores||5 Cores||6 Cores||7 Cores||8 Cores|
|Max Frequency (GHz)||6.0||6.0||5.6||5.6||5.6||5.6||5.6||5.6|
This fully disregards Intel’s base TDP of 150 W, which by default, can be moot on the common Core i9-13900K as this chip additionally employs an Excessive Supply Profile of 253 W for the PL1 and PL2 values. After all, it must be acknowledged that motherboard distributors usually ignore PL1 and PL2 values via their implementation of Multi-Core Enhancement (MCE), and so they usually go for broke.
Relating to anticipated efficiency ranges, that is more likely to come down to at least one key space; warmth dissipation. The additional warmth from the frequency hikes would require extra aggressive cooling, and as we noticed from our overview of the Core i9-12900KS, the KS chips not solely run with heaps extra energy in comparison with the Okay-series counterparts, however they don’t seem to be the best to maintain cool both.
One factor that’s vital to think about is that the motherboard has to have a stable energy supply able to sustaining as much as 400 A (ICCMax) to permit the Core i9-13900KS. Whereas the Core i9-13900KS will work in any Z690 and Z790 motherboard, it does not imply it needs to be used simply because it really works. Search for a motherboard with an honest high quality energy supply and good VRM thermal capabilities earlier than contemplating this chip to function optimally.
Whereas the premise of the KS collection may be very favorable for some, it does require extra than simply putting in it right into a motherboard and any cooler to get optimum efficiency. Even with premium AIO coolers, customers are more likely to count on not less than some thermal throttling on the KS chips – 253mm2 is solely not quite a lot of floor space to be dissipating 320 Watts, even with the assistance of a warmth spreader. One of the best-case situation can be an inexpensive and well-thought-out customized water cooling loop with premium elements and competent cooling followers. This not solely provides a really hefty outlay to the associated fee, however attaining the perfect efficiency ranges has by no means been an affordable course of to intention for.
The Present CPU Check Suite
For our Intel Core i9-13900KS testing, we’re utilizing the next take a look at system:
|Intel thirteenth Gen Core System (DDR5)|
|CPU||Core i9-13900K ($589)
24 Cores, 32 Threads
125 W TDP
Core i5-13600K ($319)
|Motherboard||GIGABYTE Z690 Aorus Grasp*|
|Cooling||EKWB EK-AIO Elite 360 D-RGB 360mm|
|Storage||SK Hynix Platinum P41 2TB PCIe 4.0 x4|
|Energy Provide||Corsair HX1000|
|GPUs||AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT, 31.0.12019|
|Working Methods||Home windows 11 22H2|
*We modified the motherboard to the GIGABYTE Z690 Aorus Grasp because the MSI MPG Z790 Carbon WIFI we used for our earlier thirteenth Gen Core collection critiques refused to play ball. We do not wish to make these modifications evenly, however we weren’t in a position to supply one other Carbon in time for this overview
It needs to be famous that there are not any CPU efficiency variations between Z690 and Z790 motherboards; simply that the newer Z790 fashions profit from extra I/O choices. This was confirmed to us by Intel earlier than the discharge of the thirteenth Gen Core collection.
Our up to date CPU suite for 2023 consists of varied benchmarks, assessments, and workloads designed to indicate variance in efficiency between completely different processors and architectures. These embrace UL’s newest Procyon suite with each workplace and photograph enhancing workloads simulated to measure efficiency in these duties, CineBench R23, Dwarf Fortress, Blender 3.3, and C-Ray 1.1.
In the meantime, we have additionally carried over some older (however nonetheless related/enlightening) benchmarks from our CPU 2021 suite. This consists of benchmarks akin to Dwarf Fortress, Factorio, and Dr. Ian Cutress’s 3DPMv2 benchmark.
We have now additionally up to date our pool of video games going ahead into 2023 and past, together with the newest F1 2022 racing recreation, the CPU-intensive RTS Whole Battle: Warhammer 3, and the favored Hitman 3.
Resulting from varied points with Cyberpunk 2077 giving us odd outcomes, we have omitted this from future testing till we can establish the difficulty and apply a repair.