A large effort to check and kind Intel Raptor Lake CPUs by their overclocking potential has led to some shocking outcomes. Igor’s Lab, with the assistance of MIFCOM, has examined over 500 of Intel’s latest (opens in new tab) thirteenth Gen processors to search out out whether or not they’re overclocking naturals or silicon saps. From this information, it is drawn the conclusion that, surprisingly, the Core i9 13900KF is likely to be probably the greatest overclockers this technology. Even beating the pricier Core i9 13900K (opens in new tab).
The extremely complicated lithographic course of that etches immensely complicated designs onto silicon is extraordinarily correct these days, however it’s nonetheless not excellent. Minuscule variations between particular person dies can see one CPU performing higher than one other on the subject of overclocking. In brief, some CPUs are merely made higher than others.
Admittedly, the times of near-perfect CPUs operating tons of, if not hundreds, of megahertz quicker than one other of the identical mannequin are lengthy gone. However there are nonetheless so-called ‘golden samples’—CPUs that take to overclocking higher than others. Whether or not you get one is basically based mostly on luck of the draw, although you’ll be able to play the percentages in your favour, as Igor’s Lab reviews (through Tom’s Hardware (opens in new tab)).
The primary batch of check outcomes to be posted compares the Core i9 13900K and the Core i9 13900KF—the latter being the marginally stripped again variant of the Core i9 13900K with none onboard graphics (iGPU). The outcomes examine these two chips utilizing Asus’s personal Silicon Prediction (SP) perform on its motherboards. That is primarily a ranking of any given chip’s overclocking potential, largely based mostly on a voltage curve set for every CPU on the manufacturing unit.
The upper the SP worth, the higher a chip’s overclocking potential.
The outcomes from the big batch check are fairly shocking. The iGPU-less Core i9 13900KF is usually extra more likely to have the next mixed SP worth (each P-core and E-core values mixed) than the dearer Core i9 13900K, at 101.1 to 99.6, respectively.
This is not the end result I used to be anticipating, however I suppose it does make sense why this is likely to be the case. Intel is binning its CPUs to make sure that the most effective dies go into the costliest chips, however maybe what we’re seeing right here is the product of eradicating the iGPU from the equation.
Take, for instance, a Raptor Lake CPU die recent off the wafer at Intel’s fab facility in Israel (opens in new tab). The max configuration for Raptor Lake is in an 8+16 (P-cores and E-cores), which suggests solely the superbly useful dies find yourself within the Core i9 13900K. If some E-cores do not perform on the die, it is destined for a Core i7 or under processor. If some P-cores aren’t working, it is probably headed to a Core i5 or under. If all is working effectively, it is probably going to be caught right into a Core i9.
But for the Core i9 13900K, Intel additionally wants a completely useful iGPU on board. With out that working as supposed, the die results in the Core i9 13900KF. You would have a wildly spectacular CPU element on a die but no working GPU and it will find yourself within the Core i9 13900KF.
The opposite factor to contemplate is that the completely finest Raptor Lake dies, those with all of the cores working and a functioning GPU, can be binned not just for the Core i9 13900K but additionally the just lately launched Core i9 13900KS (opens in new tab). That chip hasn’t been factored into these outcomes because it solely simply launched final week, however successfully the Core i9 13900KS is made up of the most effective dies out of the Raptor Lake manufacturing line.
Primarily, Intel’s skimming the most effective dies off the highest of the Core i9 13900K stack for the Core i9 13900KS. It is that binning course of that you just’re paying an additional $100 for.
That might be once more why we see the Core i9 13900KF find yourself with greater SP scores, and thus the chance of higher overclocking potential. The Core i9 13900KF is the top of the highway for some CPU dies, whereas the Core i9 13900K is just not.
Within the second wave of results (opens in new tab), Igor’s Lab compares the Core i7 13700K and Core i7 13700KF, and the Core i5 13600K and Core i5 13600KF.
And once more, there’s lots happening to speak about.
For starters, the Core i7 13700K really has a decrease common SP worth at 82.9 than the Core i7 13700KF at 83.5. Nevertheless, the Ok-series chip information reveals a a lot wider unfold of efficiency, each above and under the common worth. A handful of chips present a price above 90, whereas many sit under 80.
The Core i7 13700KF is much extra more likely to have a middling SP worth. Not a single chip examined supplied an SP worth above 90, and by far the most typical worth was 86. There have been fewer decrease scoring chips too.
The place issues get much more fascinating is the Core i5 13600K (the most effective gaming CPU (opens in new tab), in our opinion) versus the Core i5 13600KF. Right here the precise reverse is true; the Core i5 13600K has the next common SP worth at 81.8 and there is much less variance in scores chip-to-chip. The Core i5 13600KF has, on common, an SP worth of 78.5. Nevertheless, some golden samples supplied particular person SP values a lot greater than the most effective Core i5 13600K samples, and a few scores far decrease, too.
Overclocking is just not as massively impactful to real-world efficiency because it as soon as was, and it is unlikely that a few SP factors will web you any acquire in your PC. However for the diehard hobbyist overclocker, it isn’t typically you get a lot information as this. Which CPU stands a greater likelihood of successful the so-called silicon lottery is usually based mostly on anecdotal reviews from different overclockers. To get this a lot information, which kind of lays out the easiest way to win the silicon lottery, is a superb glimpse into how the binning course of at Intel features to separate out a technology’s value of processor dies.