Intel’s Core i9-13900K has set a new world overclock record for a desktop processor, breaking the 9GHz mark for the first time.
Tom’s Hardware (opens in new tab) found that a team of overclocking experts from Asus (opens in new tab) managed to get the Raptor Lake flagship to 9.008 GHz. Naturally, this was with exotic cooling (liquid nitrogen and liquid helium, in this case) with the CPU mounted on an Asus ROG Maximus Z790 Apex motherboard (and a ROG Thor 1600W Titanium as a power supply).
There was some tension in the 9GHz record-breaking shot, with the team hitting 8.9GHz and coming up just short – and encountering obstacles such as a frozen USB port that disabled the keyboard and lost time. In the end, there was only enough liquid helium left for a final shot – which clocked in at 9.008 GHz.
The overclocking session also set a couple of other world records for the 13900K processor, namely PiFast which completed in 6.85 seconds and SuperPI 32M which completed in 3 minutes and 3.788 seconds.
Analysis: Broken psychological barrier
This is a big deal for Intel in the overclocking realm, because for the longest time before the arrival of Raptor Lake, AMD dominated the top of the overclocking CPU rankings. AMD’s FX 8370 was the champion, to be exact, clocked at 8.722GHz, but its long reign was recently ended by Elmor (who participated in this new overclock) reaching just over 8.8GHz and now has overcome the 9 GHz barrier.
The 9 GHz signal is one of those psychological landmarks that makes you think it might not be very long before we see a processor that can exceed 10 GHz. who knows? Sure, there could be room for the 13900K to push further, though it won’t go anywhere that high, of course.
Overclocking like this is not relevant to the average user, given all the caveats that include not only ridiculous cooling, but also CPU modifications to disable performance cores and hyper-threading (so it’s only running 8 bare cores performance , with 8 threads). However, it does show that Raptor Lake and the Core i9-13900K in particular have great overclocking potential, even for those using more conventional liquid or air cooling systems.
Don’t forget that Intel also has the 13900KS waiting in the wings, the special edition of the flagship, which the chip giant has already told us boosts 6GHz out of the box, without the need for overclocking. We might see it next month or definitely in early 2023 as Intel promised.