Intel suggests you avoid the baseline profiles on i9 CPUs

It Wasn't Me.

Intel Core i9-13900K with a red filter over it.
Image: Club386

Motherboard manufacturers have released Baseline profiles to combat 13th and 14th-Gen Core i9 CPU stability issues. While reports suggested Intel gave the mandate to partners, Team Blue has gone on record to deny these claims, stating the complete opposite.

Speaking with PCWorld, a spokesperson says: “Several motherboard manufacturers have released BIOS profiles labelled ‘Intel Baseline Profile’. However, these BIOS profiles are not the same as the ‘Intel Default Settings’ recommendations that Intel has recently shared with its partners regarding the instability issues reported on 13th and 14th gen K SKU processors.

“These ‘Intel Baseline Profile’ BIOS settings appear to be based on power delivery guidance previously provided by Intel to manufacturers describing the various power delivery options for 13th and 14th Generation K SKU processors based on motherboard capabilities. Intel is not recommending motherboard manufacturers to use ‘baseline’ power delivery settings on boards capable of higher values.”

Sadly, the company doesn’t go into detail on what’s causing the problems or potential fixes, but it’s cut and dry that isn’t what it had in mind. In a nutshell, baseline BIOS settings simply reduce power targets. Far from a silver bullet, the reality is that just half of Intel’s i9-13900K CPUs run correctly using the profile. Those on Gigabyte’s implementation even suffer horrendous performance drops of up to 28%. Adding insult to injury, while the brand originally shone a spotlight on the profile, it’s since pulled the press release.

Intel Default Settings profiles in a table.
Image: IDG via Intel.

‘Intel Default Settings’, however, combine thermal and power delivery ideals bespoke to each board model. According to Team Blue, it “recommends customers to implement the highest power delivery profile compatible with each individual motherboard design as noted in the table.”

There are still question marks surrounding which implementations fall into which profile, but Intel is still working on filling out the details. Unfortunately, we’re still clueless as to when we can expect a fix, how widespread the issues are, or whether warranties cover those affected. For now, you’re best speaking to your retailer if you’re angling for a refund.