Here Is The World’s First 6 GHz 320W CPU (Intel Core i9-13900KS)

The $699 Core i9-13900KS Special Edition is the fastest gaming chip in the world with its record-setting 6 GHz peak turbo clock, but the costly chip’s relatively small performance advantage over the vanilla 13900K isn’t worth the eye-watering upcharge.


  • +Record-setting 6 GHz Turbo
  • +Leading gaming and single-thread performance
  • +Strong multi-thread performance
  • +Premium binned silicon
  • +Overclocking


  • -Price
  • -Power consumption
  • -Minimal gains over the standard model
  • -Requires pricey accommodations

The 24-core Intel Core i9-13900KS Special Edition processor carries an eye-watering $699 price tag, but it has a feature that Intel feels warrants the price tag — this is the first consumer PC chip to run at 6 GHz without overclocking, extending Intel’s lead over AMD’s fastest Ryzen 7000 processors. However, with a whopping 250W base power specification, this 13th-Gen Raptor Lake chip is also now officially the most power-hungry desktop CPU in history — its voracious appetite even peaks at 320W in a new Extreme Power Delivery Profile.

Intel’s Raptor Lake processors have taken the lead in gaming, productivity, and value over AMD’s Zen 4 Ryzen 7000 processors, but the competition remains stiff. The relatively low-profile 13900KS launch comes as AMD preps three new Ryzen 7000X3D processors with its disruptive 3D V-Cache tech that delivers explosive gains in gaming performance.

The 3D V-Cache tech’s first iteration, AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800X3D, overtook Intel’s Alder Lake as the best CPU for gaming, but Intel later retook the crown with Raptor Lake. AMD’s Ryzen 7000X3D chips are poised to come to market in mere weeks, and the Core i9-13900KS is meant to keep Intel’s silicon entrenched at the top of the CPU benchmark charts when AMD’s new chips arrive.

MSRP Cores / Threads (P+E) P-Core Base / Boost (GHz) E-Core Base / Boost (GHz) Cache (L2/L3) TDP / PBP / MTP Memory
Core i9-13900KS $699 24 / 32 (8+16) 3.0 / 6.0 2.2 / 4.3 68MB (32+36) 150W / 253W / 320W DDR4-3200 / DDR5-5600
Core i9-13900K / KF $589 (K) – $564 (KF) 24 / 32 (8+16) 3.0 / 5.8 2.2 / 4.3 68MB (32+36) 125W / 253W DDR4-3200 / DDR5-5600

That might be a tall order — the Ryzen 7000X3D chips look exceptionally promising due to their exotic performance-enhancing tech. In contrast, the 13900KS is built on the same architecture as the 13900K, just with a higher speed binning to accommodate 200 MHz faster clock rates. Otherwise, it uses the same fundamental design as its standard counterpart, but it comes with a hefty upcharge that destroys any hint of a value proposition for all but the extreme overclocking crowd.


Naturally, if you’re looking to buy a $699 chip, price considerations go out of the window — this is a pure speed play for those with deep pockets. For now, we don’t know if the Core i9-13900KS will keep Intel in the top spot when the Ryzen 7000X3D chips arrive next month, but it looks like it will be close. Here’s how the Core i9-13900KS stacks up against the current competition.

Intel Core i9-13900KS Specifications and Pricing

MSRP Cores / Threads (P+E) P-Core Base / Boost (GHz) E-Core Base / Boost (GHz) Cache (L2/L3) TDP / PBP / MTP Memory
Core i9-13900KS $699 24 / 32 (8+16) 3.0 / 6.0 2.2 / 4.3 68MB (32+36) 150W / 253W / 320W DDR4-3200 / DDR5-5600
Core i9-13900K / KF $589 (K) – $564 (KF) 24 / 32 (8+16) 3.0 / 5.8 2.2 / 4.3 68MB (32+36) 125W / 253W DDR4-3200 / DDR5-5600
Ryzen 9 7950X3D ? 16 / 32 4.2 / 5.7 144MB (16+128) 120W / 162W DDR5-5200
Core i7-13700K / KF $409 (K) – $384 (KF) 16 / 24 (8+8) 3.4 / 5.4 2.5 / 4.2 54MB (24+30) 125W / 253W DDR4-3200 / DDR5-5600
Ryzen 9 7900X3D ? 12 / 24 4.4 / 5.6 140MB (12+132) 120W / 162W DDR5-5200
Ryzen 7 7800X3D ? 8 /16 4.x / 5.0 104MB (8+96) 120W / 162W DDR5-5200
Ryzen 7 5800X3D $358 ($449) 8 /16 3.4 / 4.5 104MB (8+96) 105W DDR4-3200

The 13900KS is the fastest Intel desktop PC chip, and even at stock settings, it drew up to 328W and ran at 100C to scrape out every last bit of performance. Because the 13900KS is a Special Edition, the company will only produce a limited (but unspecified) number of these processors — hence the $699 price tag. Despite the high pricing, Intel has actually lowered the ceiling for access to its most premium silicon: The previous-gen 12900KS debuted at $739, but Intel later increased the pricing of all its 12th-Gen chips, bringing it to $823 today.

Intel selects its premium-binned 13900K silicon for the 13900KS, so it is guaranteed to be among the very best silicon the company has to offer. That will make the chips very attractive to overclockers, as paying the extra $110 for the KS model improves your odds in the silicon lottery, essentially assuring you’re getting a cherry chip. Here’s a video that describes Intel’s binning process:

As with the Core i9-13900K, the KS model comes with eight hyperthreaded p-cores and 16 single-threaded e-cores, for a total of 24 cores and 32 threads. The KS model’s p-cores have a 3 GHz base clock and reach up to 6 GHz on two cores via Thermal Velocity Boost (TVB) tech. This allows the processor to shift into slightly higher frequencies if it remains under a certain temperature threshold (70C for desktop chips). Meanwhile, the standard Turbo Boost 3.0 clock rates reach 5.8 GHz. We found that the chip easily peaks at 6 GHz, though the impact on workloads can vary.

The e-cores kick in for background and multi-threaded tasks with a 2.2 GHz base and  4.3 GHz boost, identical to the 13900K. Most other features, like the supported DDR4-3200 and DDR5-5600 transfer rates, 32MB of L2, and 36MB of L3 cache, remain the same.

As before, the LGA 1700 chip is compatible with 600-series motherboards, but you’ll want one of the best-equipped Z-series boards to quench the 13900KS’ thirst for power. However, selecting the right motherboard is a bit more complicated for the 13900KS due to the new 320W “Extreme Power Profile.”

13900K / KS Performance Power Delivery Profile PL1 (PBP) PL2 (MTP) ICCMax
13900K and KS Default Profile 253W 253W 307A
13900K Extreme Power Profile 253W 253W 400A
13900KS Extreme Power Profile 320W 320W 400A

Intel’s power profiles have a few key variables. The PL1 power spec quantifies extended use at base clocks and is also known as the Processor Base Power (PBP). In contrast, PL2 power quantifies when the chip is under full load for short periods (boost) and is also known as the Maximum Turbo Power (MTP). ICCMax denotes the maximum current the chip can pull when under heavy load.

Intel also used to define a Tau variable that specified the duration of the boost/PL2 state before the chip dropped back into PL1. Intel has since stopped defining Tau for K-series models because it assigns PL1 and PL2 as the same value for Alder Lake and following gens in the reference BIOSes that it sends to OEMs — a first. This means the chip always operates in a boosted/PL2 state.

Intel’s new policy of sending reference BIOSes with PL1=PL2 settings basically invalidates even having a PL1 value, and the fact that it still exists on the spec sheet as a “Processor Base Power (PBP)” setting — the lower of the two power specs — is misleading.

Intel defined an Extreme Power Profile for its regular 13900K — the 253W PL1/PL2 values remain the same for both the standard and extreme profile, but the extreme profile’s ICCMax reaches 400A (up from 307A).

The KS model has the same default profile as the 13900K but also has its own new Extreme Power Profile that allows for a 320W PL1/PL2 and 400A ceiling. You’ll need to ensure that your motherboard can deliver the peak current if you want to unleash the full power of the KS, as not all motherboards can for a long period of time. Motherboard vendors allow assigning a higher ICCMax value in the BIOS, typically under settings like “Core/CPU Current Limit” (the name varies by mobo maker), but that doesn’t mean the motherboard can actually deliver that amount of current. Obviously, B- and H-series boards don’t make the cut.

Intel defines these recommended power profiles but allows motherboard vendors to ignore them completely, and exceeding the default values doesn’t void the warranty. Thus, by default, most motherboard makers completely ignore the limits and assign the maximum values for PL1, PL2, and ICCMax, resulting in higher performance and more heat.

2 Responses

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *