The Lake Raptor spreads its wingspan to 6.0 GHz

Initially mentioned during the Innovation 2022 inaugural keynote by Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, Intel has unveiled its highly anticipated 6GHz processor, the Core i9-13900KS. The Core i9-13900KS packs 24 cores (8P + 16E) within its hybrid architecture for performance and efficiency, with the exact core specs of the Core i9-13900K, but with an impressive P-core turbo clocked at 6GHz.

Based on Intel’s Raptor Lake-S series of desktops, Intel claims the Core i9-13900KS is the first desktop processor to reach 6GHz out of the box without overclocking. Available as of today, the Core i9-13900KS has a slightly higher base TDP of 150W (versus 125 in the 13900K), 36MB of Intel L3 Smart Cache, and is pre-buffered through a unique selection process to ensure Core i9 – The 13900KS Special Edition case for the highest frequency level of 6GHz in a desktop chip out of the box, without the need for manual overclocking.

Intel Core i9-13900KS: 6GHz P-Core Turbo for $699

The Core i9-13900KS has been a long-awaited entrant in Intel’s Raptor Lake-S for its desktop series, with earlier reports from Intel during its Innovation 2022 keynote that a 6GHz out-of-the-box processor was on the horizon for this year. As Intel highlights, the Core i9-13900KS marks an important milestone for desktop PCs, with its P-Core turbo frequency of 6GHz. This makes it one of the fastest x86 desktop processors, at least from the perspective that users don’t need to overclock anything to reach those ridiculous core frequencies.

This screenshot is taken directly from Intel Core i9-13900KS promotional video

from Video sneak peek at Intel on YouTube Posted Jan 10, Core i9-13900KS appears to hit 6GHz on two of its eight performance (P) cores, with a clock speed of 5.6GHz on the remaining six cores, which is pretty impressive. One of the tweaks that Intel needed to make to the power constraints to achieve these frequencies is a bit fuzzy.

Intel hasn’t determined if the Core i9-13900KS is a deprecated proprietary part, but from previous KS launches this has been the case, and this is expected to be the case. Reports of Core i9-13900K chipsets being overclocked to 6GHz in ambient are few and far between, with only the best examples and those with very powerful, premium ambient cooling solutions capable of this.

While we know the Core i9-13900KS has a base TDP of 150W, up 25W from the Core i9-13900K (125W base TDP). Interestingly, from their promotional video, Intel Technical Marketing Engineer Jason Zeh stated that everything was in the stock settings in Intel’s Extreme Tuning Utility (XTU). While watching the video, we noticed a brisk breeze blowing across the XTU screen itself, emphasizing that the PL1 and PL2 had their limits set to 300 watts.

Intel has released PL1 and PL2 power ratings, which are 320W. That’s a very large turbo TDP, so users can expect the Core i9-13900KS to be a power-hungry chip and likely to get very hot under full load. The 320W figure is actually what Intel calls the MTP (Maximum Turbo Power) rating with a specific maximum power delivery profile that enables the chip to go up to 320W with ICCMax 400 A. According to Intel, the processor has a full warranty at MTP rating of 320W.

The Intel Core i9 Series 13th Gen Core family stands as follows (as of 01/12/23):

13th Gen Intel Core i9 series: Raptor Lake-S (as of 01/12)
Anand Tech cores
L3 Cache
igp base
i9-13900 KB 8 + 16/32 3200 6000 2400 4300 36 770 150 253/320 $699
i9-13900K 8 + 16/32 3000 5800 2200 4300 36 770 125 253 $589
i9-13900KF 8 + 16/32 3300 5800 2200 4300 36 125 253 $564
i9-13900 8 + 16/32 2000 5600 1500 4200 36 770 65 219 $549
i9-13900F 8 + 16/32 2000 5600 1500 4200 36 65 219 $524
i9-13900T 8 + 16/32 1100 5300 800 3900 36 770 35 106 $549

Comparing the Core i9-13900KS special edition processor directly to the regular Core i9-13900K, it has a 200MHz boost over the P-core turbo to achieve Intel’s 6GHz target for its Raptor Lake-S special edition chip. Other specs, such as the base E-core and turbo clock speeds, remain at 2.2 and 4.3GHz, respectively. The Core i9-13900KS also benefits from 36MB of L3 cache and includes an integrated Intel UHD 770 graphics processor.

Intel did not say how many Core i9-13900KS parts will be available during the Raptor Lake-S lifecycle. As we’ve seen with previous iterations of the KS version of the SKU (the S stands for Special Edition), there are usually a limited number of processors produced. Whether it is because of sampling pooling to ensure that the 6GHz P-core turbo frequency can be achieved or if Intel has a more precise set of pooling methods.

Marcus Kennedy, Director of Intel’s Customer Computing Group (CCG) stated that “The Core i9-13900KS continues the distinction of the 13th Generation Intel Core desktop processor family, showcasing new performance heights made possible by its hybrid performance architecture.He also said, “Gamers and extreme enthusiasts can now push their daily performance further than ever before with the PC industry’s first desktop processor delivering speeds of up to 6.0GHz at stock”.

The Intel Core i9-13900KS is available for purchase now at most retailers, with an MSRP of $699. That’s $40 cheaper than the previous Core i9-12900KS ($739) that launched last year. Based on current MSRP prices, the Core i9-13900KS is $110 more than the current Core i9-13900K.

Source: Intel

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