Intel’s Core i9-13900K has set a new world record overclock for a desktop processor, breaking the 9GHz mark for the first time ever.
Tom’s Hardware spotted that a team of overclocking experts from Asus managed to get the Raptor Lake flagship to reach 9.008GHz. Naturally, that was with exotic cooling (liquid nitrogen and liquid helium, in this case) with the CPU nestled in an Asus ROG Maximus Z790 Apex motherboard (and a ROG Thor 1600W Titanium as the power supply).
There was some tension in the record-breaking shot at 9GHz, with the team hitting 8.9GHz and coming up a bit short – and running into hurdles such as a frozen USB port that disabled the keyboard and wasted time. In the end, there was only enough liquid helium left for a final shot – which saw the 9.008GHz speed achieved.
The overclocking session also produced a couple of other world records for the 13900K processor, namely PiFast being finished in 6.85 seconds, and SuperPI 32M being completed in 3 minutes 3.788 seconds.
Analysis: Psychological barrier broken
This is a big deal for Intel in the overclocking sphere because for the longest time before Raptor Lake arrived, AMD ruled the roost at the top of the supercharged CPU rankings. AMD’s FX 8370 was the champ, to be precise, with an overclock of 8.722GHz, but its long reign was ended recently by Elmor (who was involved in this new overclock) who hit just over 8.8GHz, and has now pushed past the 9GHz barrier.
The 9GHz mark is one of those psychological milestones that make you think it might not be too long before we see a processor that can actually top 10GHz; who knows? Certainly, there could be room for the 13900K to be pushed further, though it won’t get anywhere near that high, of course.
Overclocking like this is not relevant to the average user, given all the caveats which don’t just include ridiculous cooling, but also tweaking the CPU to turn off the efficiency cores and hyper-threading (so all that’s running is just 8 bare performance cores, with 8 threads). However, it does show that Raptor Lake and the Core i9-13900K in particular have some great overclocking potential, even for those using more mundane liquid or air cooling systems.
Don’t forget that Intel has the 13900KS waiting in the wings too, the special edition of the flagship, which the chip giant has already told us boosts to 6GHz out of the box, with no overclocking needed. We might see this as soon as next month, or certainly early in 2023 as promised by Intel.