Let’s Talk 6 GHz Raptor Lake
I explain the main points of Raptor Lake tuning and talk a bit about my video and blog plans for Raptor Lake and beyond.
As you can see, I have not uploaded my traditional “What’s New” blog detailing how to overclock Raptor Lake processors. There are a couple of reasons for that. I will describe those in this blog as well as detail some of my early Raptor Lake testing.
August to October
So, what is up with the lack of the What’s New article? Well, it is pretty simple: I did not find the time to make a video. I run this channel in my spare time, and the months of August to October turned out to be extremely busy both in my professional and personal life.
As you know, I live in Taiwan. Unfortunately, the country has been closed off for travel for the past couple of years. Until recently, even residents had to go through a mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine upon returning to the island. So, obviously, I had to stay put for a while and not travel.
Recently, the country has started to open up again, and the mandatory hotel quarantine was lifted. So, I decided to travel back to Europe and visit family and friends for the first time in three years. It was terrific, but obviously, it kept me away from all the hardware in Taiwan. So, between mid-September and mid-October, there was no opportunity to prepare for Raptor Lake.
I had planned to wrap up all the testing before my travels. My initial idea was to wrap up all Raphael and Raptor Lake overclocking guides, plus Arc A380, in August. Obviously, that did not work out. Not only because Raphael’s testing took up all of the available time with new AGESAs and so many different tuning tactics to uncover. But also because, at the time, the Raptor Lake platform was not ready for daily overclocking strategies.
So, I gathered the equipment for Raptor Lake testing on Monday and Tuesday. That is a bit too late to prepare a comprehensive overclocking guide.
Raptor Lake Overclocking Plans
So, what do I have in the planning? Well, I intend to cover everything as I usually do. My current plan looks as follows:
- 13900K with Z790 Aorus Master and EK Velocity2
- 13700K with Z690 Torpedo EK X
- 13600K with Strix Z790-A Gaming D4 and EK Velocity2
- 13900K with Z790 Apex and EK Delta TEC
- UHD Graphics 770?
Each system will have a more comprehensive SkatterBencher guide, and the traditional 5-minute overclock.
As you can see, I am trying to cover as many angles of Raptor Lake overclocking as possible. That includes three different motherboard brands, both Z790 and Z690 chipsets, one setup that uses DDR4 memory, and one platform with Intel Cryo Cooling.
The UHD Graphics 770 video is still a question mark as the integrated graphics overclocking videos are not particularly popular. I’ve already covered overclocking this part with the Alder Lake 12900K. However, if the overclocking headroom differs from Alder Lake, I may still dig into it.
As the YouTube channel description states, a SkatterBencher is enticed to overclock every piece of hardware that passes through their hands.
Overclocking strategies will be remarkably similar to Alder Lake since the Raptor Lake overclocking toolset is not that different. So, the ultimate overclocking strategy will involve using tools like adjusting turbo ratios based on the active core count, per core ratio limits, advanced voltage frequency point tuning, and overclocking thermal velocity boost. And for those who want to lower the maximum allowed temperature, TjMax offset, of course.
I covered most of these overclocking technologies in my Alder Lake launch video. So, check that one out if you need more information.
Initial Raptor Lake Overclocking Results
By now, it should be evident that Raptor Lake is an overclocking beast with plenty of performance in the tank for those willing to search for it. Raptor Lake has dethroned Bulldozer in the all-time overclocking frequency leaderboards. We will surely see benchmark leaderboards dominated by liquid nitrogen-cooled 13th gen processors.
But also, for regular cooling, there is a lot of overclocking headroom. From the looks of it, 6 GHz and beyond will be attainable for traditional water cooling in actual workloads. Not within an all-core workload with cores at 100%, obviously, but in workloads where a couple of cores are active.
I have one system up and running with the Core i7-13700K and the Z690 Torpedo EK X. At default, the CPU will boost up to 5.4 GHz for two P-cores and up to 4.2 GHz for each E-core. The package power is limited to 253 watts. In an all-core Prime95 workload, that translates into a P-core frequency of 5.2 GHz and an E-core frequency of 4.2 GHz at 1.27V.
Surprisingly, the CPU package temperature is only 85 degrees Celsius under regular water cooling.
The default V/F curve for this 13700K is shown in this graph. As you can see, this 13700K can reach a 5.4 GHz boost with only 1.32V.
In my initial overclocking results, I can quickly get the CPU up to 5.9 GHz for each CPU core and up to 5.8 GHz when all cores are active. Though obviously, these frequencies are only attainable in light workloads.
I need about 1.4V for 5.9 GHz, which is only a 100mV voltage increase over stock for a 500 MHz frequency increase. Not too shabby!
By setting an adaptive voltage of 1.4V in the BIOS, we map it to the 59X ratio. So all ratios between 54X and 59X will have higher voltages.
In terms of performance, I get about +12% across the 3DMark CPU Profile test suite, +15% in Geekbench single core, and +19% in AI Benchmark. In an all-core Prime95 workload, that translates into a P-core frequency of 5.3 GHz and an E-core frequency of 4.3 GHz at 1.34V.
As I already pointed out, you’ll need to rely on the Intel overclocking toolkit for the more advanced manual tuning. I just started manually tuning this chip, and I’ve already got every P-core running at 6.0 GHz with a couple even at 6.1 GHz using slightly less than 1.5V.
Also, an all-core Prime95 non-AVX runs at 5.6 GHz P-core with about 1.28V. While the CPU Package Power hits 350W, the CPU temperature doesn’t immediately shoot up to the TjMax of 100 degrees Celsius.
Here are a couple of tricks to maximizing your overclock.
Firstly, tune the Turbo Ratio for active P-core counts. This allows you to set a high and aggressive overclock when a few cores are active without jeopardizing all core stability.
Secondly, use the Core Ratio Limit to prevent the weak P-cores from trying to run the highest ratios.
You can do the same with the E-cores, though remember that the E-cores are controlled in groups of four cores.
Thirdly, use the advanced V/F point offset to under and overvolt specific points on the V/F curve. You’ll need a good understanding of how adaptive voltage works on Intel platforms to accurately finetune the CPU. I did a lengthy explanation in SkatterBencher #34 with this exact Z690 Torpedo EK X motherboard.
As a quick side note, the V/F Points available for Raptor Lake appear to be better than Alder Lake. On this 13700K, there are V/F points for 54X, 53X, 52X, and 51X. That means it should be a lot easier to finetune the all-core voltage.
Lastly, you can rely on Overclocking Thermal Velocity Boost to squeeze the last bit of frequency out of your CPU. I also explained that in SkatterBencher #34, but I haven’t gotten around to trying it out on this system.
Beyond Raptor Lake
My current upload schedule has the first Raptor Lake overclocking guides planned for mid-November. I hope that is enough time to work through the ins and outs of finetuning Raptor Lake. According to the schedule, I should have the entire Raptor Lake catalogue wrapped up by the end of the year.
That is, of course, assuming there are no special overclocking situations like non-K overclocking, as with Alder Lake.
Beyond Raptor Lake, there is still a lot to come.
As you see from my uploads, SkatterBencher #44 is missing. That is the one reserved for Intel Arc A380, which I am eager to get back to. If you want to know the holdup, you can look at the update video I posted a while ago. I also purchased the Bykski water block and am interested in seeing what it will do to the VRM temperature under overclocked load.
On the CPU side, I expect that by year’s end, I will have begun preparations for new AMD and Intel CPUs. That may include the rumored AMD Ryzen 7000 X3D, AMD Zen 4 Threadripper Pro, and possibly Intel Sapphire Rapids.
It is a bit more unclear on the GPU side, as it is not my strength. Here is my current thinking:
For AMD desktop graphics, I may look at the Radeon 7000 series, but only if they are reasonably priced and I can actually get my hands on a card, and they’re less constrained than the Radeon 6000 series. While I enjoyed overclocking the Radeon RX 6500 XT, the artificially imposed overclocking constraints ultimately make AMD GPU overclocking a very unappealing proposition.
For Intel desktop graphics, there is, of course, the Arc 700 series with A750 and A770. Normally I would skip those since I already looked at the Arc A380, but I might reconsider if the overclocking challenges have been resolved
As for NVIDIA desktop graphics, I’ve yet to overclock an Ampere GPU. So, the RTX 3050 is pretty high on my list of projects. With GPU prices coming down, it might be reasonable to get around it sometime soon. On the contrary, the RTX 40 series are not high on my priority list, as I have no intention of buying an RTX 4090 just for overclocking. So, I’ll wait for the more affordable RTX 40 SKUs to become available in the coming quarters.
I’m also interested in uncovering the performance headroom potential for mobile processors and graphics, whether AMD, Intel, or NVIDIA. However, I hope you understand that I am not keen on spending too much money on a laptop that I inevitably void the warranty on. So, I will keep an eye out for any opportunity.
Of course, if you have any suggestions or ideas, feel free to drop them in the comment section below.
And that is it for this blog post. If you’re getting Raptor Lake, enjoy your overclocking journey! See you next time!