The clock speed wars are back as Intel boasts of hitting 6GHz with 13th Gen CPUs.


The clock speed wars are back as Intel boasts of hitting 6GHz with 13th Gen CPUs.


Intel is preparing to launch the first products in its 13th generation Core processor family, codenamed Raptor Lake. Among the main facts that the company announced on its Intel Technology Tour is that at least one member of the Raptor Lake family will be capable of reaching 6 GHz out of the box (via Tom’s Hardware). Core count and architectural enhancements are generally more important than clock speed when it comes to boosting a CPU’s performance these days, but after many years in the 5GHz range, it’s great to hit the next digit.

As for what this means for performance, Intel says Raptor Lake will perform about 15 percent better on single-threaded tasks and 41 percent better on multi-threaded workloads than current 12-core Alder Lake chips. .th generation. Clock speed is more important for increasing single-threaded performance, while adding more cores is often the best way to improve multi-threaded speeds.

It is not clear which of the CPUs will be capable of reaching 6GHz or under what circumstances or for how long. A chart of Intel SKUs published by Igor’s lab it suggests the Core i9-13900K will max out at 5.8GHz, though it’s possible it’ll be capable of boosting beyond that.

A purported SKU table for 13th-gen chips doesn't mention the 6GHz cap, but the boost works in mysterious ways.
Enlarge / A purported SKU table for 13th-gen chips doesn’t mention the 6GHz cap, but the boost works in mysterious ways.

The SKU box also confirms what we’ve heard from other leaks—despite the architectural similarity to current Alder Lake CPUs, Intel is boosting performance by doubling the maximum number of E-cores on its top-tier CPUs, from eight to 16. The i5-12600K, which included four E -cores, it will also be replaced by a Core i5-13600K which includes eight. And if the rest of that leaked desktop CPU lineup is true, some lower-end Core i5 processors that shipped with No The 12th gen e-cores will get four or eight in the 13th gen.

This SKU chart also indicates that these higher-end Raptor Lake CPUs will include other changes, including more available L2 and L3 cache. It also seems that the maximum Turbo Power consumption of all chips will increase between 12 W and 63 W: from 241 W to 253 W for the Core i9, from 190 W to 253 W for the Core i7 and from 150 W to 181 W for the Core i5. The base power for all chips remains level, at 125 W.

Those maximum power consumption numbers don’t necessarily mean that all Raptor Lake CPUs will draw more power than their Alder Lake counterparts, that will depend on the specific power settings the motherboard or PC manufacturer chooses to use. However, it does mean that a Raptor Lake CPU with high power limits and adequate cooling will need more power and better cooling than a similarly configured Alder Lake CPU when running sustained workloads.

People old enough to remember installing Windows 98 will remember that clock speed bragging rights were a big deal in the early 2000s. Intel planned to push its Pentium 4 CPUs from the mid-1GHz range all the way up to 10 GHz for 2005, but the architecture could barely reach 4 GHz before heat and power consumption became so high that further increases became unsustainable (the company the first attempt at a 4 GHz CPU never saw the light of day).


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