What just happened? It's only been a few days since the Core i9-13900K was released but Swedish overclocker Elmor has already used it to break the record for the highest clock speed ever reached (and validated): an incredible 8812.85 MHz.
According to HWBot, the record last changed hands eight years ago when an AMD FX-8370 was pushed to 8722 MHz. CPU-Z says that the record has been held by an AMD FX-8350 clocked at 8794 MHz for even longer than that, but both sites agree that the 13900K was the first CPU to pass 8.8 GHz and is the current champion.
It's also the first Intel CPU to wrest the record away from AMD in recent memory -- at least a decade.
At default settings, the 13900K will clock in at 5.8 GHz on as many P-cores as the program can use before winding down to 5.0-5.5 GHz as it heats up. It could probably sustain those higher clocks if it could keep cool but even large AIOs seem to struggle to contain its ~300 W package. At least it's an excellent candidate for home heating and overclocking with exotic cooling.
Elmor used LN2 (liquid nitrogen) to chill the CPU during the record attempt at a pre-release overclocking event held by Asus. They poured the LN2 into their own homegrown ElmorLabs Volcano pot, which looks like it uses an unusual amount of copper, judging from their photo.
Rounding out their system was an Asus Z790 ROG Maximus Apex motherboard and 32 GB of DDR5-4800. Their photo shows a Lepa G1600 power supply off to the side. And, of course, they stuck with Windows 7.
In terms of the CPU configuration, the overclock was based on a 100.15 MHz bus clock and used an x88.0 multiplier applied to the sixth P-core. The remainder of the P-cores were left at the 3 GHz base clock and the 16 E-cores were disabled. Elmor didn't share the voltages or temperatures, but perhaps a future record attempt shared to YouTube will have those details.
Even more impressive than just the record is that it was achieved with an engineering sample. It's likely that the clock speed record will edge upwards as other extreme overclockers get their hands on binned 13900K production samples that can be pushed that little bit further.