Here Is Intel's Official Statement On 14th And 13th Gen CPU Stability Issues

hero intel ceo confirms 6ghz stock raptor lake news

Intel has finally released an official statement about the ongoing stability issues affecting its Raptor Lake processors. In sort of a fascinating development, Intel's statement doesn't really address the cause of the issue, and unlike the private memo leaked before by Igor's Lab, it doesn't attempt to cast blame, either.

Instead, the new Intel statement on this issue is primarily an explanation of how to avoid it. This includes advising users NOT to use the new "Intel Baseline Profile" settings added with recent BIOS updates to many Z790 motherboards. Intel says that these settings "appear to be based on power delivery guidance previously provided by Intel to manufacturers," but doesn't actually explain why it recommends against them.

uniko cyberpunk benchmarks
Cyberpunk 2077 benchmarks by Uniko's Hardware show significant performance drops.

We can infer why, though: it's because these settings can tank performance in both multi-core workloads and games, with performance drops of over 10% very possible. Worse, some of these profiles seem to set extremely high core voltages, which is certainly one way to make sure the chip doesn't crash. However, it will also reduce the lifespan of your processor.

intel default settings recommendations
This is hard to read, so click it.

Intel recommends what it calls "Intel Default Settings", and these appear to essentially be the same settings that Falcon Northwest shared with us as part of its original investigation into this issue. They're the same recommended settings that have been bandied about, with high-end "K" processors seeing a 253W power limit while "KS" processors get a 320W power limit. Intel says that users should "use the highest power delivery profile compatible with [their] motherboard."

This is, obviously, so that users will get something akin to the performance that they expected from their CPU, but the end result still may not match up with what users see in reviews. That's because, as we've reported a couple of times before, most Z790 motherboards automatically flip that "ICCMAX Unlimited" bit when a K- or KS-series processor is installed. This is ultimately the problem behind the crashes: CPU voltage isn't scaling with power draw in a way that accounts for the thermal load, causing insufficient voltage and thus crashes.

hardwareluxx intel statement
Intel's full statement, provided to HardwareLUXX.

It's easy to blame motherboard vendors for these failures. After all, it's ultimately the motherboard firmware that configures these values. However, we really think Intel needs to step up here. You'll note that nowhere in its statement does Intel use the term "required" or "mandated." Intel doesn't require motherboard vendors to implement sane power limits on its high-end processors, wanting users to get the best performance, and that's how we ended up where we are now.

If you're having issues with your Intel CPU even after setting these recommended values, you should probably contact Intel for a replacement. There hasn't been any hard evidence that the CPUs are actively degrading under the default settings, but it has been a worry of many users, and given that the oldest Raptor Lake CPUs should still be under warranty, we expect Intel will make it right. Just check your motherboard's power limit settings when you get the new chip.