Intel has only just revealed the new top-of-the-line Core i9-13900KS CPU, but Newegg would already like to sell you one. The online retailer has Intel’s latest chip available for purchase, and although it’s priced a little higher than the $699 MSRP, this is the only way to hit 6GHz on a desktop CPU without overclocking — at least for now.
The i9-13900KS is not an entirely new chip. It’s a Raptor Lake chip with the same hardware setup as the Core i9-13900K, featuring eight P-cores and sixteen E-cores, adding up to 24 cores and 32 threads. The 13900KS claim to fame is its slightly increased clock speed. Whereas the Core i9-13900K P-cores top out at 5.8GHz, the 13900KS can hit 6GHz.
Intel says this special edition CPU is binned at higher quality than the 13900K, which allows it to eke out that extra 200MHz. The 150W base power requirement is 25W higher, and there’s a new Extreme Power Delivery Profile that enables that up to 320W with an ICCMax at 400A. That’s a lot of power for a modest increase in clock speed.
It’s also worth noting the max 6GHz speed is only for boost mode — the CPU will be able to reach that speed on two cores, and then only for a few seconds. Any performance increase is going to be negligible at best. Still, there are some people who will get the most capable hardware, no matter the price. After all, Nvidia’s ludicrously high $1,600 MSRP didn’t stop people from lining up to buy the GeForce RTX 4090 a few months ago.
If you have the hardware and cash reserves to handle this CPU, you’ll just have to find one. That’s easier said than done right now, but Newegg is proudly proclaiming it has stock. The $699 MSRP is already a substantial $110 premium over the lower-binned Core i9-13900K, and Newegg’s pricing is even higher at $729.
That’s a big ask for a desktop CPU, and this is just the chip by itself. It is up to you to attach a sufficiently powerful cooler, and that might take some doing. Hardware Unboxed had a chance to test the 13900KS and found it hits almost 100 degrees Celsius with a 360mm AIO liquid cooler. If you value efficiency or low noise, you should pass on this one.