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Why your i9-13900KS might not hit 6GHz core speed

The 13900KS is a different beast all together, but we better be sure it's going to deliver on performance.

Updated: Jan 13, 2023 1:47 pm
why the 13900KS might not hit 6GHz

Intel has done the unthinkable and managed to produce the world’s first 6GHz out-of-the-box CPU, a feat achievable only in dreams just a few short years ago. For comparison, the top-spec Ryzen 7000 series, the 7950X, only manages 5.85GHz. Close, but not quite the same. There is a snag with the Intel CPU, however. Here’s why your core i9-13900KS might not hit 6GHz core speed.

Now Read: Best motherboard for Core i9-13900KS

Intel has packed its last few CPU generations full of technology, we have LITTLE.big, TVB, Adaptive Boost, and more. It’s TVB we have our sights set on today because this is the technology that makes the 6GHz core speed possible.

What is Intel TVB?

Intel TVB or Thermal Velocity Boost is a boosting technology baked into most Intel CPUs since the 8th Gen. This technology opportunistically increases core speeds on the two fastest CPU cores if the thermal and power thresholds are not exceeded. Intel TVB is not a sustainable increase, and will likely drop once the temperature threshold is exceeded.

TVB dynamically allows you to make the most out of your CPU, without the hassle and danger imposed by manual overclocking. As TVB can be enabled and disabled in the motherboard BIOS.

What are the Intel TVB temperature thresholds?

The temperature thresholds for Thermal Velocity Boosting are a little different depending on the CPU. For most desktop CPUs, the temperature limit is 70°C. But for mobile CPUs, the temperature limit is 65°C.

Is it just us, or do those threshold temperatures seem a little low? 70°C is not an uncommon temperature for a CPU to be at during heavy workloads or gaming. In fact, we’d say that’s a fairly normal temperature.

Why your 13900KS might not hit 6GHz core speed

The promise that the 13900KS would hit 6GHz out-of-the-box wasn’t a lie, it’s simply very conditional. Whether or not the 13900KS hits 6GHz is dependent on TVB entirely, if TVB isn’t happy, it’s not happening.

Your 13900KS has to be under 70°C and have a turbo power budget available simultaneously for TVB to kick in, and hopefully get the 13900KS to 6GHz. As we have seen from our 13900K review, the 13th generation of CPUs are very hot and require a large cooling solution, or custom loop to keep cool.

because of this, the chances of your 13900KS being under 70°C are slim, especially if you’re gaming intensely. Even if it is, and TVB kicks in to boost the 13900KS to 6GHz, it won’t stay under 70°C for long.

The issue is that unless you have a full custom loop, you won’t be able to stay under the 70° threshold to take advantage of the 6GHz core speeds that intel promised. TVB is a very conditional technology and users should be aware of that before Intel plasterers “6GHz CPU” on the promotional material.

This differs from Ryzen’s Precision Boost Overdrive (PBO) as this is pretty much active until the CPU throttles. You may get a slightly lesser speed, but you get it all the time, not just for a few quick seconds.

Final word

Invest in the best cooling you can for the 13900KS, as the 13th gen CPUs run very hot regardless of TVB. You can always manually overclock your 13900KS to push it to 6GHz all the time, but then you’ll need a prayer that you don’t cook it, alongside beefy cooling.

We’re not trying to take away from Intel or the 13900KS here, it’s a marvelous CPU with a lot of potentials to be the fastest gaming CPU we have ever seen. We just urge you to look into things before you believe everything you hear. This is why your i9-13900KS might not hit 6GHz core speed.

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