Intel’s supercharged version of its flagship Raptor Lake – an updated CPU due to arrive in early 2023 – is the subject of a new leaked benchmark and shows a seriously fast processor.
As Tom’s Hardware (opens in new tab) detected, the Core i9-13900KS – note the additional ‘S’ that sets it apart from the 13900K, as a limited-edition variant – will boost to 6GHz out of the box, and now we get a glimpse of its supposed performance in an actual benchmark flagged by HXL on Twitter .
Before we go any further, the CPU-Z benchmark in question originates from the Chinese forum bile (opens in new tab) and there is certainly a possibility that the screenshot provided is fake. Therefore, we advise proceeding with more caution than usual with this particular rumor.
The results shown for the Core i9-13900KS pre-release sample are a single-thread score of 982 and 18,453 for multi-thread. Presumably these results were achieved using ‘turbo mode’ for Raptor Lake’s main update (which draws 350W of power, a pretty scary amount).
As Tom highlights, this compares to 893 and 16,877 respectively (in a previous leak) for the vanilla 13900K, and if we look at AMD’s new flagship, the Ryzen 9 7950X, it hits 787 and 15,663.
Analysis: A promising result indeed, but hold your horses for a second
With a little napkin math, this puts the 13900KS at something like 10% faster for single thread and 18% faster for multithread than the 13900K. This seems like too much of a leap for us, and indeed, there are some caveats here.
First of all, this is a sparse leak, and all we can see are the basic results, not knowing anything about the PC the processor is on or what is cooling it. Also, remember that this is just a single benchmark, and we should never read too much into a metric – CPU-Z is also far from our first choice when it comes to comparing performance levels. Also, we’ve seen faster leak results for the 13900K elsewhere, so the difference probably won’t be as big as indicated here.
That said, this new leak – if real – certainly points to impressive performance when compared to the Ryzen 9 7950X (showing the 13900KS as 25% and 18% faster for single and multi-thread). And the two processors probably won’t be that far apart in price, with the 13900KS perhaps being 5% to 10% more expensive in all likelihood. (Although it’s possible that Intel could push prices further if the company feels it can get away with a limited-edition CPU.)
So on the high end Intel could potentially have a winner here – albeit with a different price to pay in terms of very high power usage when running at full throttle – but as we said, we’ll need a much more than one leaked CPU-Z result to get the full picture. And of course, when it comes to gaming, what many people are waiting for is AMD’s 3D V-cache with Ryzen 7000 processors, with this innovative technology having the potential to make a big difference.
In fact, this is the reason Intel has the 13900KS gearing up for release in early 2023, by all accounts, as that’s when 3D V-cache is rumored to appear (a reveal from CES in January is considered the plan for Team Red). And crucially, speculation points to the existence of a 7950X3D (in other words, a new flagship with 3D V-cache), which would really make a pop at the top.
We would also do well to remember that the mid-range is where the real battle for high-end CPUs will take place, and that models like the 7950X and 13900K and KS are relatively niche propositions. In the middle of the pack, AMD’s 7700X is already on shelves and looks seriously tempting. As we noted in our review, this is an excellent CPU – with caveats regarding the cost of upgrade, mind.