Benchmarks - Overclocked
As with all of our reviews, we pit the default speed system against the overclocked one in a head-to-head byte match. The effective overclock for these tests is 5.5Ghz @ 55x multiplier and I cheated a little by setting the Gamer profile in the UEFI.
I did use the auto overclocking utility (OC Robot) which will only adjusts the Performance cores allowing the efficiency cores to operate as they normally would. The resulting frequency was 5.8Ghz but was not very stable when it came to running the benchmark suite. For me this indicates that I have a pretty good CPU and with proper subzero cooling I should be able to hit 6Ghz without too much trouble.
In addition to the CPU overclock I set the XMP profile on the memory which bumped the memory frequency up to 5600Mhz with fairly relaxed timings. Of course, the Z790 Dark is designed for memory overclocking and I wanted to save those tests for when I can dedicate some LN2 time with some actual high-speed modules. (Unlike these Crucial sticks)
To maximize system performance, you have a couple options and neither of those will do much unless you have proper cooling and monitor your voltage input. With the Core i9 Raptor Lake 13900k the processor is pretty much maxed out from the factory. The maximum boost clock is 5.8Ghz and you will hit that out of the box. However, once you put a load on the CPU that frequency will drop to 5.2Ghz and sometimes bounce up to 5.4Ghz.
This rapid jumping between frequencies does nothing for increasing performance but does make the results repeatable even when you try forcing the clocks to run at 5.5Ghz. The system accepts it because it already runs that fast and when then throttle down to match whatever your cooling method will support.
I find it interesting that Intel has finally killed off overclocking by doing a factory overclock using their boost technology and the internal temperature sensors to throttle the clocks down so the CPU doesn’t burn up. BOOST killed casual overclocking and anyone who tells you otherwise doesn’t know what they are talking about. The results in this section of the review reaffirm my statement that your Raptor Lake K series CPU is already tuned for the best performance and any tuning available is done by making the chip colder.