Author: Blue Aura Computers
February 24, 2023
For 2023 Intel’s flagship processors are the 13900K and 13900KS. They are both very close in overall performance, the 13900KS is essentially a 13900K that is clocked a bit higher. KS processors are marketed by Intel towards gamers and customers that need maximum performance. The 13900KS is essentially a carefully selected 13900K chip where the silicone can handle higher 6.0 GHZ clock speeds (no need to overclock further to achieve these speeds). Let’s look at a comparison of all the features and we’ll investigate whether the KS variant is really worth the extra cost over the K for a trading computer or any other computer we sell.
|Core i9 13900K||Core i9 13900KS|
|# of Performance-cores||8||8|
|# of Efficient-cores||16||16|
|Max Turbo Frequency||5.80 GHz||6.0 GHz|
|Intel Thermal Velocity Boost Frequency||5.80 GHz||6.0 GHz|
|Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 Frequency||5.70 GHz||5.80 GHz|
|Performance-core Max Turbo Frequency||5.40 GHz||5.40 GHz|
|Efficient-core Max Turbo Frequency||4.30 GHz||4.30 GHz|
|Performance-core Base Frequency||3.00 GHz||3.20 GHz|
|Efficient-core Base Frequency||2.20 GHz||2.40 GHz|
|Intel Smart Cache||36 MB||36 MB|
|Total L2 Cache||32 MB||32 MB|
|Processor Base Power||125 W||150 W|
|Maximum Turbo Power||253 W||253 W|
|Max # of PCI Express Lanes||20||20|
As you can see from the chart, Intel basically bumped up the performance slightly across the board. For the 13900KS the Max Turbo Frequency increased from 5.8 GHz to 6.0 GHz. The base frequency for the Performance Cores and Efficient Cores both increased 0.2 GHz. Interestingly the Performance and Efficient Core Max Turbo Frequency remained unchanged. Intel Thermal Velocity Boost Frequency was bumped to 6.0 GHz and Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 Frequency is up slightly to 5.8 GHz from 5.7 GHz.
Using benchmarking software such as Cinebench, the 13900KS is around 5% to 6% faster than the 13900K, the testing results will vary slightly based on the DDR5 memory speed used. Gaming results are similar with around 4% to 5% difference, this will depend on the screen resolution used in testing.
Comparing with AMD the 13900KS dominates all the current 7000 series chips including the Ryzen 7 7700X and Ryzen 9 7950X. We’re looking at around 3% to 5% faster performance than the 7700X and 6% to 8% faster than the 7950X. It’s important to note here that the 13900KS is the more expensive than all the other chips mentions, by a long shot. We’ve seen the 7700X as much as $300 or more cheaper at retail than the 13900KS. The pricing evens out a bit though depending on the motherboard used, at Blue Aura Computers we use some of the more expensive motherboards such as the ASUS ProArt X670E Creator.
The 13900KS is the first 13th Gen Intel processor that we are requiring liquid cooling. Not only are we requiring liquid cooling but we specifically require a larger 360mm AIO liquid cooler vs a smaller 240mm or 280mm. The main reason is the processor base power goes from 125W with the 13900K to 150W with the 13900KS. That 25W extra might not seem like a lot, but 125W is already quite high for modern processors.
We remember way back when the thermal design power for a processor was 90W or less. Current gen chips from both Intel and AMD are really pushing the limits of power consumption. All that power generates heat and that has to be delt with. Our Noctua NH-U12A handles the 13900K just fine if set up properly in the BIOS. Both chips have a Junction Temperature of 100 degrees Celcius, this is the maximum temperature allowed at the processor die. The chips will automatically throttle down if you get close to 100 C so no long term harm will come to the chip but performance will be impacted when it has to downclock.
The “Long Duration Package Power Limit” at 150 W can easily be handled by a high performance 360mm AIO liquid cooler. We use coolers from Corsair and Fractal Design.
For most traders, the Intel Core i9 13900KS isn’t going to be worth the extra cost over the 13900K. In real world usage most users will not notice a significant difference in performance. We’re looking at 3% to 6% on the high end, and closer to 1% difference on the low end.
For those customers where spending extra on the processor and upgrading to liquid cooling is well within your budget, the 13900KS will make your system top of the line and will edge out the same system with a 13900K. If money is tight, and you’re looking at another upgrade such upgrading the RAM from 32GB to 64GB or getting the 13900KS we feel the RAM upgrade would be more worth the money.
The bottom line here is if you are looking for a powerhouse of a system and are doing very CPU intensive tasks, then spending extra on the 13900KS to maximize performance is a no-brainer. This, of course is only if money is not a concern and your looking at getting the best of the best trading computer that money can buy.
If you’re ready to buy a 13900K or 13900KS trading computer take a look at our Trader 9000 Elite or Trader 9000 Extreme models. As always, look at the publication date of this article. If it’s been a year or two since this article was published we’ve moved on to Intel’s next latest and greatest CPU and the trading computers we mentioned will have different selections available.. The 13900KS should remain the top processor on the market for most of 2023.