Intel’s Core i9-13900KS surpasses the 6GHz barrier

Intel's Core i9-13900KS

Intel’s Core i9-13900KS:

Until the Core-i9 13900KS was introduced, the 6 GHz milestone was elusive.

The mid-2000s put a stop to increasing clock speed, which had been very simple for much of computing history. Since then, increasing the clock speed of CPUs and other processors has been increasingly challenging; the first 5GHz CPU in the world debuted in 2013, and by the end of 2022, the fastest CPU had a boost frequency of 5.8GHz. But with the release of the Core i9-13900KS, which is now sold in stores, Intel has finally breached the 6GHz barrier.


Intel's Core i9-13900KS
increased frequency gains

Intel’s Core i9-13900KS offers an additional 200MHz max turbo over the ordinary 13900K, which isn’t a significant advantage, and at $700 (a $100 premium over the 13900K), it’s not exactly a ground-breaking product. The 13900KS, on the other hand, heralds both a huge advance in technology and the return of generation-to-generation clock speed improvements, which have been hard to come by for some time. In actuality, AMD’s FX-9590 crossed the 5GHz barrier almost ten years ago, making it the most recent GHz barrier to be broken.

Core i9-13900KS Core i9-13900K Core i9-12900KS
Cores/Threads 24/32 24/32 16/24
Boost/Base Frequency 6.0/3.2GHz 5.8/3.0GHz 5.5/3.4GHz
Cache (L2+L3) 36MB 36MB 30MB
PCIe Lanes 20 20 20
Maximum Turbo Power 253W 253W 241W

What then made it so difficult for Intel to reach 6GHz? Although there are many elements that affect a processor’s frequency capability, one of the most crucial ones is the manufacturing node or method that the chip is created using. Dennard scaling, a phenomenon, allowed new nodes to rapidly increase clock speeds until the middle of the 2000s. Dennard Scaling, however, ceased to exist around the time the 65nm and 45nm nodes were released, and frequency improvements saw dramatic slowdowns. For a while, 5GHz appeared to be the realistic upper limit.

Intel found itself in a fairly excellent position with the 10nm node and the Alder Lake architecture that launched in 2021. The 10nm process had a lot of production and development problems, but 12th Gen CPUs were still able to achieve incredibly high clock rates, although at the cost of a lot of power. An overclocked Core i9-13900K was able to reach the highest frequency ever observed on a CPU and was absolutely necessary for the 13900KS to reach its historical boost clock speed because of its capacity to consume additional power and actually convert it into greater frequency well past the 5GHz threshold.
Intel was able to achieve 6GHz on the 13900KS with a little bit of improvement on the 10nm node, an updated architecture, and some tactical binning to catch the highest quality chips. Of course, using 6GHz on the 13900KS costs money because it uses up to 253 watts. The Core i9-13900KS is a device with both advantages and disadvantages. It is the fastest CPU you can buy, reaching 6GHz, but it costs $700 and uses a lot of electricity. However, it has accomplished a very significant feat and will always be remembered as the first 6GHz CPU in the world.

Intel’s Core i9-13900KS. Intel’s Core i9-13900KS. Intel’s Core i9-13900KS. Intel’s Core i9-13900KS. Intel’s Core i9-13900KS. Intel’s Core i9-13900KS.

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Written by Nauman

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