Intel Raptor Lake flagship CPU leak shows an astonishing 8GHz overclock

Intel’s Raptor Lake flagship CPU has already hit 8GHz in pre-release overclocking, lending more weight to the notion that these 13th-gen processors are going to be seriously tempting for enthusiasts who like to get the most out of their silicon.

As Wccftech reports, the overclocked Core i9-13900K reached bang-on 8GHz as shown in a (slightly blurry) image, with all the usual possibilities to be careful around here, such as whether this is genuine.

The article contends that an anonymous overclocker managed the feat on a Z790 motherboard, and a high-end variant at that, but no names or brands are mentioned, so there’s pretty much a veil of secrecy around this one. Supposedly the voltage applied was 1.792V, and as you might guess, exotic cooling was required to achieve 8GHz (liquid nitrogen). Only the performance cores were running, with no efficiency cores active, and hyper-threading disabled.

Intel has not had a CPU cross beyond the 8GHz threshold for overclocks in a long time, as Wccftech points out – over a decade, in fact, though Comet Lake wasn’t too far off, with the flagship Core i9-10900K managing to achieve 7.7GHz. A mighty speed, but not all that close to 8GHz, which is where all the top all-time overclocking records sit (the fastest ever, going by HWBOT’s rankings, being 8.72GHz with an AMD FX-8370, an 8-core processor from 2014).

Analysis: Reasons to be cheerful (for overclockers)

This is particularly exciting for two reasons. Firstly, this is still very early days for overclocking attempts. Indeed, when a new processor comes out, the initial records set are always considerably outdone a little way down the road.

To give you some idea of the kind of progress that can be made, consider the current-gen flagship. When the Core i9-12900K was first released, expert overclocker Allen Golibersuch (known as ‘Splave’) pushed the CPU to 6.8GHz, before later driving the 12900K to 7.6GHz.

So as you can see, a pre-release baseline of 8GHz really does point to some serious overclocking chops for the Raptor Lake top dog. The anonymous overclocker in this case makes a firm assertion that we’ll see much higher clock speeds than 8GHz down the line.

The second thing which is exciting is that the evidence provided by recent leaks already suggests that Raptor Lake will be well-suited to overclocking. Witness the 13900K purportedly reaching 6.5GHz on a single-core using liquid cooling – albeit with considerable caveats there, as you might imagine – and previous rumors around Raptor Lake offering a good deal more for overclockers than Alder Lake did.

All of which means that enthusiasts in particular are going to be very keen to see Raptor Lake hit the shelves, and find out if these CPUs live up to this apparent promise of overclocking goodness.

Speculation has it that Raptor Lake will go on sale come October 20 (following an initial reveal on September 27), with AMD seemingly running interference with the latter unveiling, as its Ryzen 7000 chips will be available to buy on exactly that day.

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