Intel Raptor Lake i9 CPU sneaks onto gaming PC black market

An Intel Raptor Lake i9 engineering sample briefly popped up on a Chinese auction site, selling for a surprising price ahead of the next-gen CPUs launch

Intel Raptor Lake: Core CPU wearing emoji hat and sunglasses on blue backdrop

Next-gen Intel Raptor Lake CPUs are expected to arrive later this year, but an engineering sample has already popped up on the black market. While the 13th gen pre-release chip should be heading back to team blue HQ, it was sitting pretty on a Chinese auction site, complete with a surprising price tag.

Spotted by Videocardz, the Intel Raptor Lake CPU in question is a Core i9-13900K. Packing eight performance cores, 16 efficiency cores, and 32 threads, the seller says the next-gen chip is fully functional. It’s allegedly playing nice with an Asus Z690 ROG APEX motherboard and it even supports overclocking.

As you’d perhaps expect, the seller has blanked out specific details relating to Intel’s next-gen gaming CPU, including its Spec and QR codes. As a result, it’s hard to tell whether this is a legit 13th gen i9. Nevertheless, a keen buyer has already snapped it up, and they seemingly only paid 2850 RMB for the chip (around $426 USD).

Providing the engineering sample is authentic, its new owner might share performance information ahead of its official release. Leaked benchmarks for the non-K i9 13900 hint that it could outperform its Alder Lake predecessor by up to 20%.

Whispers also suggest the new Raptor Lake contender will break the 5Ghz ceiling, something that would help bar AMD Ryzen 7000 chips from the CPU throne. That said, the red team has a few tricks up its sleeve when it comes to Zen 4, including boost clocks of up to 5.5GHz, support for PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 RAM.