Intel is launching its fastest desktop processor to date, breaking the 6GHz barrier at stock speeds for the first time. The new Core i9-13900KS is based on the 13th Gen Core i9-13900K that came close to the 6GHz barrier with its 5.8GHz turbo frequency last year. The new i9-13900KS will be available in stores today, priced at $699.
The 13900KS is the first CPU to reach 6GHz without overclocking, using Intel’s Thermal Velocity Boost technology to reach that 6GHz barrier and improve PC gaming performance. It does it by using more electricity, though. The base power of the 13900K was 125 watts, and Intel has bumped this up to 150 watts on the 13900KS. At max turbo power, it will hit slightly above 250 watts — just like the 13900K.
Other than the power and turbo frequencies, the 13900KS is almost identical to the 13900K. The performance core base frequencies have been bumped up to 3.2GHz, up from the 3GHz on the 13900K, but it has the same 24 cores (eight performance and 16 efficiency cores), 32 threads, 36MB of Intel Smart Cache, and 20 PCIe lanes (16 PCIe 5 and four PCIe 4 lanes).
Z790 and Z690 motherboards will support the 13900KS with a BIOS update, and retailers will start stocking the CPU boxed on shelves today and inside OEM systems, too. The recommended starting price is $699.
Intel’s latest CPU arrives just weeks before AMD launches its Ryzen 7000 X3D CPUs. AMD claims its flagship Ryzen 9 7950X3D chip will be the “ultimate processor for gamers and creators,” with promises of between 15 and 25 percent better performance in games that are CPU bound at 1080p.
Update, January 12th 12PM ET: Article updated with more specifications for the 13900KS.