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Reports from users of Intel's 13th Gen unlocked K-series processors like the Core i9-13900K and i7-13700K indicate stability issues during gaming, even at default clock speeds. According to findings by Hassan Mujtaba of Wccftech and Tom's Hardware, these issues are linked to power limit unlocks. Many Z690 and Z790 chipset motherboards offer BIOS-level unlocks for power limits, specifically the Maximum Turbo Power (also known as PL2). The default PL2 value for the i9-13900K and i7-13700K is 253 W, but motherboards can unlock this to unlimited, essentially giving the processor access to 4096 W of power, making it no longer a "stock" configuration.

However, both the PSU and CPU VRM are not equipped to handle 4096 W, causing the processor to draw as much power as needed to maintain optimal P-core boost frequencies before hitting thermal limits. Testing shows that with unlocked power limits, the i9-13900K can draw up to 373 W under heavy loads, compared to 283 W with power limits in place. Unlocking power limits can lead to stability issues with gaming workloads over time, in addition to increased electricity costs.

Hassan Mujtaba suggests undervolting the processor to restore gaming stability, while Tom's Hardware recommends reducing the P-core boost multiplier by 2.0x to improve performance stability for the i9-13900K and i7-13700K. Although there have been no confirmed reports of this issue with the newer 14th Gen chips, it is possible that the i9-14900K and i7-14700K could be affected. The reason why this issue does not impact 12th Gen chips, despite similar power designs, remains unknown.