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Four months later, Intel CPU stability points stay

Intel's 14900K CPU socketed in a motherboard.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

It’s been over 4 months for the reason that first reports of instability in Intel’s top CPUs began cropping up, and we’re but to see a repair. Although Intel has been working with its companions on delivering updates that may tackle the issue, the corporate itself needed to admit in a latest neighborhood publish that it nonetheless hasn’t discovered the basis trigger.

Meanwhile, {hardware} testers are discovering that even utilizing Intel’s beneficial workarounds nonetheless results in crashes and unstable efficiency — and the one options that appear to work are issues that you just’ll must accept.

Ever since Intel admitted to the issue, there have been many whispers in regards to the potential trigger and repair. It beneficial that customers, alongside motherboard distributors, stick with its baseline energy supply profile (though there’s been some confusion about which profile that ought to be, precisely). However, Hardware Times discovered that even utilizing the Intel Baseline energy profile on a chip that’s by no means been utilized in one other energy setting doesn’t alleviate this downside.

The publication detailed its journey with Core i9-13900K chips, and it’s not been nice, what with three Raptor Lake chips that needed to be returned over the past two months. This consists of two Core i9-13900KF (a kind of was despatched in as a substitute for the primary one) chips and one Core i7-14700KF chip.

According to Hardware Times, the primary Core i9-13900KF chip solely ever ran on the Intel Baseline profile, however simply two months in, they began experiencing system crashes throughout gaming. Eventually, the PCIe Gen 5 lanes that have been related to the GPU malfunctioned, at which level the chip was RMA’d. Once the substitute arrived, it solely took every week for it to begin crashing with Blue Screens of Death (BSOD). The crashes have been no kind of frequent whatever the energy supply profile, be it the beneficial Intel Baseline or the MSI 4096W.

Intel’s recent announcement revealed that the investigation revealed that there’s a bug within the Enhanced Thermal Velocity Boost (eTVB) algorithm, and the bug has been patched. However, we’re not out of the woods but. Intel stated: “While this eTVB bug is potentially contributing to instability, it is not the root cause of the instability issue.”

Intel Core i9-13900K held between fingertips.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Hardware Times’ testing corroborates Intel’s assertion. Tests revealed that the brand new BIOS replace lowered the variety of crashes, however didn’t eradicate them totally. Although the system now skilled fewer BSODs, it began crashing to desktop (CTD) as a substitute — mostly in fast-paced video games.

Examining the efficiency earlier than the crash revealed some extra attention-grabbing tidbits. For starters, the Core i9-13900KF began underperforming a couple of minutes earlier than the crash, with the CPU energy dropping by as much as 40%, adopted by a drop in CPU utilization and clocks, however solely on effectivity cores. There was a decline in frames per second (fps), too, and an enormous one: About 20%. However, the sport nonetheless maintained over 100 fps.

The stability points largely have an effect on the Core i9-14900K and the Core i9-13900K, however folks have additionally reported issues with Core i7 chips, too. There’s quite a bit to complain about, starting from crashes throughout gaming to encountering BSODs. These issues reportedly led to an increase in customer returns on Intel’s 14th-gen and Thirteenth-gen CPUs, at the least in Korea, however this case is affecting customers on a worldwide scale, though it’s onerous to estimate simply how widespread it’s. It’s actually persistent, although.

What are you able to do should you presently personal a high-end Raptor Lake processor? Unfortunately, not a lot. Hardware Times finds that capping your body price at 60 fps might help. Playing at larger resolutions might be useful too, because the GPU shoulders nearly all of the load at 2K and above. Underclocking and undervolting the processor will also be useful, though Intel’s advice continues to be to make use of the Baseline Profile, which is what could be the most secure choice for now.

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