Intel Silently Launches the 6GHz i9-13900KS for $699

Just 2 days ago, Intel showcased its 4th Generation of Xeon Scalable Processors. In that presentation, many expected a full-fledged reveal of the 13900KS. Actually, Intel did show us the 13900KS, but it was less of a reveal and more of a tease. Today, corresponding with previous leaks, Intel has officially launched the i9-13900KS offering a 6GHz frequency out-of-the-box.

Meet the Fastest Desktop Processor

The i9-13900KS is undoubtedly the fastest desktop processor due to its blazing-fast 6GHz clock speed. It outpaces AMD’s best but does so while consuming much more power. The CPU was actually demoed a few days ago, then again Intel did not explicitly state that this is the i9-13900KS. In any case, the 13900KS is now available to purchase for $699, making it almost 25% more expensive than the base 13900K.

Specifications

The i9-13900KS ships with 24 cores / 32 threads with frequencies much higher than 6.0GHz with a capable motherboard. Packed with 68MB of cache (36MB of L3 + 32MB of L2), this CPU is almost on par with AMD’s 7950X (80MB) in terms of cache. The power consumption will be 150W as a base TDP, which can go as high as 253W.

Performance

While we do not have a sample at our disposal, various YouTube channels and independent reviews have published their benchmarks of the 13900KS. The data and benchmark credit go to Hardware Unboxed.

Productivity

Starting off with productivity, the i9-13900KS smokes everything put in its way and takes the spot as the fastest desktop CPU. The multi-core score stands at 41001 points, so Intel has finally breached the 40k barrier. Though, you could already do so with a slightly overclocked 13900K or even the 7950X.

i9-13900KS Cinebench R23 Multi-Core | Hardware Unboxed

In terms of single-core performance, we are pleasantly surprised that the 13900KS is 5-6% faster than its little brother. AMD’s offerings are out of the equation in this test, but that’s partly due to the 13900KS having such an insane clock speed.

i9-13900KS Cinebench R23 Single-Core | Hardware Unboxed

In Adobe Photoshop, the 13900KS is only marginally better than the 13900K. The faster DDR5 memory surprisingly doesn’t offer a considerable increase as well. 

i9-13900KS Adobe Photoshop 2022 | Hardware Unboxed

AMD still holds the performance crown in Blender where even the 13900KS could not manage to outperform Zen4. The 7950X is in just a league of its own. Interestingly, faster memory does help the 13900KS retain its position somewhat, but in the end, a 3% difference is probably not worth the extra money.

i9-13900KS Blender | Hardware Unboxed

Gaming

Across a suite of 11 games, the 13900KS is not much faster than the 13900K. However, if you do pair this CPU with high-speed memory, the value it offers does increase. We are still not sure how this CPU will hold up against Zen4-X3D, but the pricing may give an edge to Intel. Things may go one way or the other, so let’s wait for the actual announcement instead of making speculations. 

i9-13900KS Gaming | Hardware Unboxed

The Good

Surprise surprise, the i9-13900KS consumes just a couple of watts more than the stock 13900K. That is a huge feat to achieve, considering you can get 6GHz (provided you have the necessary cooling) out of the box. Let it be clear that this CPU still draws a lot of power which can be concerning if electricity prices are high in your region. The 7950X powered system consumes, let’s see, 150W less than the 13900KS while providing nearly identical performance. Though, in a way, this is a good point regarding the 13900KS because we might have seen that difference jump to 200250W.

i9-13900KS Power Consumption | Hardware Unboxed

The Bad

In Cinbench R23, when tested using the multi-core stress test, the 13900KS reached a peak power consumption of 300W, yikes! Similarly, the temperatures hover around 90C. All the performance cores are in the range of 5.4-5.6GHz which is not terrible. For reference, the 13900K’s 8P cores clock in at 5.25.3GHz. The worst part is that as soon as the multi-core test is conducted, the temperature spikes to 100C triggering thermal throttling. This causes the power to drop from 300W260W which reduces the performance by quite a bit.

i9-13900KS Thermals & Clock Behavior (Multi Core) | Hardware Unboxed

In the single-core benchmark, the i9-13900KS sits at a maximum of 63C which is much cooler than what we saw above. So, do the clocks go higher than 6GHz? Sadly, they average at around 5.58GHz with very random spikes as mentioned by Hardware Unboxed to 5.985GHz.  

i9-13900KS Thermals & Clock Behavior (Single Core) | Hardware Unboxed

World Record Incoming

Just as a small update, the i9-13900KS (an Engineering Sample) has been tested using Liquid Nitrogen and we’ve got some news for you. This CPU scores 54913 points at 8.3GHz, which is literally, insane. The 13900K and 7950X score around 39K, going as high as 4243K. A world record above 10GHz is likely incoming.

13900KS with Liquid Nitrogen | 清水貴裕

In CPU-Z, the CPU reaches 8.3GHz but does so at a voltage of 1.74V which is unsafe for any CPU. But for the sake of a world record, this is breathtaking. Of course, one advantage the 13900KS has is better binning. The performance cores can go much higher than the base 13900K. 

13900KS with Liquid Nitrogen| 清水貴裕

Conclusion

Should you buy the i9-13900KS? Well, if you’re an enthusiast and want to break world records, go ahead. However, the average consumer doesn’t need the 13900KS due to its complex nature. Firstly, you’d require a beefy cooling solution. That combined with the power consumption makes it unfavorable for the average Joe. For e-sports gamers needing the fastest there is, we recommend waiting for AMD’s Ryzen 7000 X3D offerings. 

Data/Benchmark Source: Hardware Unboxed 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Abdullah Faisal


With a love for computers since the age of give, Abdullah has always sought to delve into the depths of information, and uses it as his guiding light. He believes success is of utmost importance as history is written by the victor.
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