In characteristically cagey fashion, Intel has posted a YouTube sneak peak (opens in new tab) of its upcoming 6GHz CPU. Intel says the new chip will hit 6GHz “out of the box” and “without the need of being overclocked”.
Almost certainly, this new CPU model will be known as the Core i9 13900KS and mirror the existing 13900K (opens in new tab) in all but peak Turbo Boost Max clock speed, upping the ante from the plain old “K” model’s 5.8GHz to the symbolically significant 6GHz figure. But Intel still won’t actually name the chip.
Intel demo’ed the chip using an off the shelf Corsair CPU cooler, running a 7-Zip benchmark and then Hardware Info to track the CPU frequency. Even in Intel’s carefully curated video, the chip doesn’t manage a sustained 6GHz.
Jason Xie, technical marketing engineer for Intel, explains that “staying on that 6GHz really depends on the environment. A lot of factors come into play — power budget, thermals, the software itself, Windows may not be allocating to the right cores.”
The chip has been teased on numerous occasions previously. So, at this point we’d kind of like to just see the thing released and available to buy, even if the 200MHz frequency boost is not something that you’re ever actually going to feel, in-game.
As for pricing, we dare not ask. With the Core i9 13900K going for about $600 / £600, this new 6GHz is only going to be more expensive. Still, it’ll likely be less money than a mid-range GPU, eh?
Anyway, as we mentioned late last year (opens in new tab) there was a time when Intel was predicting 10GHz CPUs courtesy of its NetBurst Pentium 4 processors. Over 20 years later, it hasn’t got anywhere near delivering on that.
But in this era when shrinking transistors seems to be increasingly difficult, it’s interesting to speculate whether clock speed might make a return as a primary driver of performance.