Intel Core i9-13900K Draws up to 431.7W Power Using Intel’s Official BIOS Profile

Following the failure of hundreds of Core i9-13900K/14900K/KS processors, Intel has asked its board partners to adhere to its official power spec. Unfortunately, the chipmaker has multiple power delivery profiles. In an official statement, the company has asked customers to use the highest power delivery profile compatible with their motherboards.

Intel PL1, PL2, PL4 and Unlimited Power Limits

The “Performance” and “Extreme” power profiles have a boost power limit of 253W (PL2), with ICCmax (maximum CPU current) values of 307A and 400A, respectively. 400A is the hard upper limit across all K and KS series processors. Igor’s Lab tested the Core i9-13900K on a Z690 board with the Baseline, Performance, and Extreme power profiles (using precision equipment) and got the following results in Cinebench R23 nT:

The 13900K draws an average of 350W using the Intel “Extreme power” profile, and about as much with the 4096W profile commonly used by board partners till now. The “Baseline” and ” Performance” profiles keep the average power consumption well below the 253W PL2 limit.

The peak power consumption was a whopping 492W using the 4096W profile, and a smidge lower (431.7W) using the “Extreme” profile. The Intel “Baseline” profile was the only one with a peak in line with the 253W PL2 limit, as the 13900K peaked at 332.58W using the “Extreme” power profile. It’s worth noting that while “Extreme” and “Insane” both crossed the PL4 value (380W), “Performance” and “Baseline” stayed well within it.

Thermals, Clocks, and Performance

The temperatures are directly proportional to the power consumption—the Core i9-13900K averages 58-59C with the Baseline and Performance profiles. The Extreme and Insane profiles push the chip to ~77C.

Modern processors leverage intricate boost algorithms that dynamically set the boost clock according to the real-time power consumption and thermals. The 13900K averages 3709MHz with the Baseline and Performance profiles, down from ~4240MHz using the Extreme and Insane power settings.

The Cinebench R23 multi-core score varies by more than 2000 points depending on the power profile. The Core i9-13900K scores 33018 points using Baseline, 35410 using Performance, 37755 using the Extreme, and 39463 points using the Insane power profiles.

The moral of this little activity is that the performance of contemporary Intel processors varies significantly, depending on the motherboard, power profile, and thermal solutions used. Consequently, with the upcoming Arrow Lake-S launch, we’ll see varying performance uplifts versus existing Raptor Lake parts, depending on your profile and motherboard.

Areej Syed

Processors, PC gaming, and the past. I have written about computer hardware for over seven years with over 5000 published articles. I started during engineering college and haven't stopped since. On the side, I play RPGs like Baldur's Gate, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Divinity, and Fallout. Contact: areejs12@hardwaretimes.com.
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