Intel 13th Gen i9-13900KS – 6GHz On A Tight Leash

Intel 13th Generation Raptor Lake electric blue motherboard


Today, Intel launched the newest 13th generation processor, boasting clock speeds up to 6GHz. The i9-13900KS max thermal velocity will clock speeds up to 6Ghz, the fastest out-of-the-box speed, to date. The second iteration of 13th generation i9 processor has 24 cores, 8 performance cores and 16 efficient cores, with base clocks at 3.2GHz and 2.4GHz respectively. The base clocks are only 200MHz faster than the previously launched i9-13900KF and the Max Performance-Core Turbo frequencies are both at 5.40GHz.

Not exactly 6GHz Computing & Gaming

The i9-13900KS may run at 6GHz (Intel® Thermal Velocity Boost Frequency) before being throttled back when the CPU gets too hot. To further complicate things, the specs for the i9-13900KS indicate another frequency maximum of 5.8GHz (Intel® Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 Frequency). Which appears to throttle the frequencies the same way the 6GHz Intel® Thermal Velocity Boost Frequency max boost does; based on thermal headroom and workloads. If both Max Turbo Boosts are based on thermals, why the two frequencies?

i9-13900KS processor 13th Gen Intel cpu motherboard
(Credit: Intel Corporation)

Intel’s specifications seem a little fluffy since there are 3 different Max Turbo Frequencies and 2 different Max Boost Turbo Frequencies. The latter 2 boost frequencies only occur when there is enough thermal headroom on one or more of the cores. So, most of the time, the majority of the i9-13900KS cores will operate well below 6GHz and the 5.8GHz (Intel® Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 Frequency). We predict the speed will vary between 5275MHz to 5650MHz, contending with the newly announced Ryzen 9 7950X3D, with Base Clock 4.2GHz and a straightforward Max Boost Clock up to 5.7GHz. Perhaps the 6GHz statement is marketing hype but, we won’t know until some testing is done.

We will report back once the test results are in. The Intel i9-13900KS launched earlier today, Newegg price of $729.00 US with free delivery by January 16th. Read about Intel 14th Generation Meteor Lake Rumors.

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