Intel launches Core i9-12900KS as the top-end offering from its 12th gen CPU lineup and calls it the world’s fastest desktop processor. It is armed with 16 cores (8+8), 24 threads, up to 5.5 GHz max clock speed. It is also power-hungry with up to 150W Processor Base Power (PBP). So, Intel is aiming to take on the likes of AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D in raw performance by chugging more power. The Intel chip is also unlocked and capable of hitting 241W Maximum Turbo Power (MTP).
Intel Core i9-12900KS Specs and Features
As already mentioned, Core i9-12900KS comes from the Intel Alder Lake 12th gen processor series. It is equipped with 16 cores (8 performance cores plus 8 efficiency cores), 24 threads, and can clock a max turbo speed of up to 5.5GHz. This is 300MHz over the max frequency of Core i9-12900K.
Intel achieves this level of speed thanks to i9-12900KS’ 150W PBP. This is again higher than the 125W PBP of the Core i9-12900K. That said, the maximum power ceiling is still 241W MTP.
To entice the gamers and power-users amongst you, this chipset is overclock-friendly and Intel has added solutions like Intel Thermal Velocity Boost, Intel Adaptive Boost Technology.
There is also 30MB Intel Smart Cache, UHD Graphics 770 integrated GPU, PCIe Gen 5.0 and 4.0 support, up to DDR5 4800 MT/s RAM, and DDR4 3200 MT/s RAM support.
The company also mentions the i9-12900KS will be supported by current Z690 motherboards with the latest BIOS update.
Intel Core i9-12900KS Price and Availability
Intel Core i9-12900KS will be available from April 5 at a beginning price of $739 (~₹56,252). It would be out in the form of a boxed processor and integrated into systems from the company’s channel and OEM partners.
Not to be outdone by the upcoming release of AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800X3D, Intel is placing one more Alder Lake desktop CPU at the top of its 12th-generation Core desktop lineup. The Core i9-12900KS (the “S” is for “special edition”) is a 16-core, 24-thread chip (eight P-cores and eight E-cores) with a rated top speed of 5.5 GHz, 300 MHz faster than the existing i9-12900K.
But as with many of the high-end Alder Lake chips, Intel is bumping up power usage in the interest of wringing a bit more performance out of its processors. The chip’s base power—roughly the amount of power it will consume when running at full tilt with Intel’s stock limits in place—is 150 W, up from 125 W for the i9-12900K.
We’ve explored this issue in some depth in our reviews of the Core i7-12700 and Apple’s Mac Studio. All the P- and E-cores in Intel’s CPUs are great at handling labor-intensive rendering and video encoding tests that use all your cores at once, but to get their best performance, you need to let them consume a lot more power (and generate more heat) than competitors from AMD or Apple. And for tasks like gaming, where single-threaded CPU performance is more important, it’s cheaper and more efficient to go for a chip with fewer cores, like Intel’s own Core i5-12400 or the Ryzen 7 5800X3D.
The i9-12900KS launches on April 5 for $739. Existing motherboards may need a BIOS update to support the new chip.