Intel Raptor Lake flagship CPU hits a huge 8.2GHz overclock

Intel’s Raptor Lake flagship applies another impressive overclock, even faster than the leaked 8GHz feat we witnessed last month.

The difference this time is that this is the official overclock of the Core i9-13900K by “Splave” (Allen Golibersuch), an expert in the field, who managed to get the CPU to run at 8.2GHz.

As reported by Tom’s Hardware (opens in new tab), which is part of the Intel Creators Challenge, as you might imagine Splav doesn’t use traditional cooling, but liquid nitrogen (always, or something bizarre like that) Cooling cannot be done at home and is only suitable for brief operations).

Splave managed to push its Alder Lake counterpart, the 12900K, to 7.6GHz, so after overclocking to 8.2GHz, the Raptor Lake flagship was 8% faster even before launch.


Analysis: A tempting proposition for the PC speed demon

Well, these are exciting times for PC tinkerers and enthusiasts. The overclocking potential of Raptor Lake is the strongest in a line of Core processors over the years, with Intel chips last breaking the 8GHz mark more than a decade ago.

The fastest in recent memory is the Core i9-10900K hitting 7.7GHz, which is clearly well beaten. What needs to be remembered is that after the 13900K is released, it will inevitably be pushed to higher heights. For example, the 12900K was overclockable at up to 6.8GHz when it was first released, but was later beaten by the aforementioned 7.6GHz.

In theory, then, we’re likely to see the 13900K Storm eventually move into the 8.5GHz-plus realm, eventually in the hands of experts working with liquid nitrogen. At that point, CPUs will challenge the fastest desktop processors have ever reached (over 8.7GHz, and those fastest chips are AMD’s older models, notably).

While the average PC owner obviously won’t see performance like this, it suggests that a more normal overclock — perhaps using liquid cooling, or a good air cooler — would also yield impressive results. There are indeed leaks showing the 13900K allegedly running at a potent 6.5GHz (on a single core) with a standard liquid cooling solution (add your own salt, maybe give it a few shakes here, just like the rumors).

All signs point to Raptor Lake’s very promising overclocking performance, which could be a powerful lure for enthusiasts and a factor that could worry AMD. So far, the new Zen 4 flagship AMD’s Ryzen 9 7950X is close to 7.5GHz (using liquid nitrogen again), so the 13900K is almost 10% better than this point in the overclocking wars. Of course, this gap is unlikely to close over time…