Core i9-13900KF CPUs Overclock Best, Binning Stats Reveal

13th Generation Raptor Lake CPU
13th Generation Raptor Lake CPU (Image credit: Intel)

Intel's 13th Generation Raptor Lake processors are some of the best CPUs for gaming. There's no doubt about it. However, have you ever wondered which chips overclock the best? German publication Igor's Lab (opens in new tab) has tested up to 480 Raptor Lake processors and published the binning data on the silicon quality you can expect from each processor tier.

Intel does its bit of binning before sending the Raptor Lake processors off to the retail market. During production, the chipmaker evaluates each chip and implants a unique V/F curve into each one of them. 

The V/F curve houses the data for each core regarding the minimum voltage corresponding to each frequency. The V/F curve, different for each SKU, tells the motherboard how much voltage is needed for a particular frequency. Some motherboard manufacturers, such as Asus, utilize these V/F curves to determine the quality of the processor and the chip's overclocking potential.

Asus built a feature into the brand's ROG Maximus-and Strix-branded motherboards called Silicon Prediction (SP), which uses a mathematical formula to assess silicon quality based on the processor's V/F curve. It results in a simple number that tells you how good the processor is. 

Logically, the higher the number the better since it correlates to a better processor. Igor's Lab's methodology is simple. The news outlet sticks the Raptor Lake processor inside the Maximus Z790 Hero, boots up the system, goes inside the BIOS, and records the SP value for each sample.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Average SPMedian SPBest SPWorst SPCPUs Tested
Core i9-13900K99.69911481132
Core i9-13900KF101.110211191164
Core i7-13700K82.983967542
Core i7-13700KF83.584907543
Core i5-13600K81.881917651
Core i5-13600KF78.578965848

The data shows that the Core i9 models contain the best quality silicon out of all the Raptor Lake K-series chips. The Core i9-13900KF was the best overclocker, with an average SP of 101.1 out of 164 tested samples. Even the worst Core i9-13900KF had a score of 91 points. The Core i9-13900K, which comes with the iGPU, was just a hairline behind the KF counterpart. The processor had an average SP of 99.6 points, less than 2% behind the Core i9-13900KF. What’s interesting, though, is that the Core i9-13900K had the best SP score out of the lot, with 114 points.

The Core i7-13700K and Core i7-13700KF were pretty close regarding silicon quality. The delta between the two average SPs was less than 1%. Similar to the case of the Core i9-13900K and Core i9-13900KF, the KF variant of the Core i7-13700K has a slight edge regarding overclocking.

When it comes to the Core i5-13600K and Core i5-13600KF, it was the complete opposite. The regular K-series model had a higher average SP (81.8) when compared to the KF model (78.5). So we’re looking at a 4% difference. Surprisingly, the Core i5-13600KF also had the worst sample out of all the tested Raptor Lake parts, with a particular sample scoring just 58 points.

For the average consumer, silicon quality isn’t a big selling point since you typically pick up a processor according to your needs. For example, if you need integrated graphics, you’d buy a $599 Core i9-13900K, or if you don’t want the iGPU, the Core i9-13900KF sells for $574, saving you $25 that you can put into another component for your build. However, for serious enthusiasts, the Core i9-13900KF has greater chances of hitting a higher overclock, such as 6 GHz, like Intel’s soon-to-be-released Core i9-13900KS, which will retail for $699.

Zhiye Liu
RAM Reviewer and News Editor

Zhiye Liu is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Although he loves everything that’s hardware, he has a soft spot for CPUs, GPUs, and RAM.

  • gamr
    so you can buy a 13900kf for $100 less than the ks, have a good cooler, and get more performance?
    Reply
  • kkthebeast
    Yep it's been the same since the i9-9900KF. No new news here.
    Reply
  • TerryLaze
    gamr said:
    so you can buy a 13900kf for $100 less than the ks, have a good cooler, and get more performance?
    Inside of specs -- outside of specs.
    Warranty , or out-of-the-box as the trolls keep pointing out, is a big deal for many people.
    Reply
  • criticaloftom
    I mean is it even a statistically significant leap in performance (greater then 1.5%). I mean yeah for sure an overclocking enthusiast would like a great bin; but they probably already understand the concept of the chip lottery; unless this article is meant to imply intel is running their own version of the store silicon lottery where they price better performing silicon within the same tier for a higher markup like a scalper.
    I mean otherwise your article is a great big 'thank you captain obvious'; with manufacturers selling better stuff for more money.
    Reply
  • jp7189
    I miss siliconlottery.com and their stats page. It seems like there's room for an aftermarket seller to sell procs based on their sp. The right person would pay a lot for a known sp114 instead of digging through 150 cpus to find one.
    Reply
  • bolweval
    gamr said:
    so you can buy a 13900kf for $100 less than the ks, have a good cooler, and get more performance?

    Would be cool if Igor could have tested the ks as well, curious to see those numbers.
    Reply
  • TerryLaze
    criticaloftom said:
    I mean is it even a statistically significant leap in performance (greater then 1.5%). I mean yeah for sure an overclocking enthusiast would like a great bin; but they probably already understand the concept of the chip lottery; unless this article is meant to imply intel is running their own version of the store silicon lottery where they price better performing silicon within the same tier for a higher markup like a scalper.
    I mean otherwise your article is a great big 'thank you captain obvious'; with manufacturers selling better stuff for more money.
    That's the whole product stack of every company ever...
    Look at all of intel and amd CPUs, many of the times the tiers are only separated by a few hundred Mhz, that's the whole concept of the X vs non-X lineup of AMD and intel has a few i3 ,i5 and i7 that are completely the same other than a few hundred Mhz.

    The easier it is to make the cheaper they sell it to you.
    Reply
  • helper800
    This all seems within margin of error if you include silicon lottery. It could just so happen, with this sample size, that the F skus performed slightly better.
    Reply
  • UWguy
    I would love to know the SP of the new 13900KS. Are these really golden chips or are they marginally better chips with boosted TDPs?
    Reply
  • CerianK
    Column headers in table are shifted to the left because the CPU Name header is missing.
    Reply