Intel CEO Confirms 6-GHz Stock Raptor Lake 13th Gen CPU Is Coming
Speaking excitedly at Intel's Innovation event this morning, CEO Pat Gelsinger announced Intel's 13th-generation Core processors, codenamed "Raptor Lake." We've already covered the chips at large, but as a separate part of the announcement, Pat confirmed that Intel will be releasing a 6-GHz version of Raptor Lake early next year.
We first heard about these plans two weeks ago, but it wasn't the same as today's announcement. The hot-clocked chip will probably be named something like "Core i9-13900KS," as this is really ultimately the same thing that Intel did with the 12900KS which boosted clocks to 5.5 GHz from the 12900K's 5.2 GHz. Pat said it will come along sometime at the beginning of next year, likely to go head-to-head against the 3D V-Cache models of AMD's just-released Ryzen 7000 series processors, which are expected to hit in the same time frame.
Despite that Raptor Lake (by Intel's own admission) is a "stopgap" between Alder Lake and Meteor Lake, it has significant changes to its design while carrying forward much of Alder Lake. It's a given that the vaunted 6-GHz clock rate will only be on the processor's P-cores, but if you're buying a 6-GHz CPU, you're looking for the highest single-threaded performance, and the P-cores are where you'll find it.
Pat declined to give any details on pricing for the new processor, but you can expect it to be in the northern part of three digits or possibly even the early part of four digits. Intel has sold a $1000 consumer CPU in the past, and it wouldn't surprise us if this true halo product also gets such a lofty price tag. That said, Intel struck deep at the high prices of NVIDIA's Ada GPUs with its remarks on Arc, and the Core i9-13900K is surprisingly cheap at just $589. The world's first 6-GHz CPU could end up being cheaper than you think.
As far as availability goes, well, it'll probably be tight. We suspect that there won't be too many Raptor Lake dice that can hit 6 GHz without needing excessive amounts of voltage. If you're after what will surely be the highest stock-clocked CPU in the foreseeable future, you'd better jump on it as soon as it's available.