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Core i9-12900KS with 5.2 GHz All-Core Boost Allegedly Incoming

Alder Lake
Alder Lake (Image credit: Intel)

The latest version of popular hardware monitoring software AIDA64 (via HXL) supports Intel's Core i9-12900KS. The new update lends credibility to the recent rumor that the chipmaker is preparing a highly-binned Core i9-12900K.

It's been a couple of generations since Intel released a KS-series processor. We last saw one in the Coffee Lake days with the Core i9-9900KS. However, Intel is willing to give the current Alder Lake flagship a similar treatment, which seems fitting since the microarchitecture has put the chipmaker back on the map again and on the best CPUs list.

The Core i9-12900KS will most likely retain the same 8 + 8 configuration as the Core i9-12900K with eight Golden Cove cores and eight Gracemont cores. As the "S" suffix implies, the Core i9-12900KS is a special-edition SKU, meaning it'll come with higher clock speeds than the vanilla Core i9-12900K. The previous Core i9-9900KS boosted to 5 GHz on all cores, 300 MHz higher than the typical all-core boost clock speed for the regular Core i9-9900K. We can expect the Core i9-12900KS to arrive with a similar uplift.

Intel Core i9-12900KS Specifications

ProcessorPricingConfigurationCores / ThreadsP-Core All-Core Boost (GHz)P-Core Base / Boost (GHz)L3 Cache (MB)GraphicsPBP / PBP (W)Part Number
Core i9-12900KS*?8P + 8E16 / 245.2? / ?30UHD Graphics 770? / ??
Core i9-12900K$5998P + 8E16 / 245.03.2 / 5.230UHD Graphics 770125 / 241BX8071512900K
Core i9-12900KF$5748P + 8E16 / 245.03.2 / 5.230N/A125 / 241BX8071512900KF
Core i9-12900$529.998P + 8E16 / 24?2.4 / 5.130UHD Graphics 77065 / ?BX8071512900
Core i9-12900F$509.998P + 8E16 / 24?2.4 / 5.130N/A65 / ?BX8071512900F

*Specifications are unconfirmed.

According to VideoCardz's sources, the Core i9-12900KS reportedly features a 5.2 GHz boost clock across all eight Golden Cove cores. Depending on the workload, that's approximately a 200 MHz increase over the standard Core i9-12900K with a 5 GHz all-core boost clock. The Core i9-12900K often boosts to between 4.8 GHz and 4.9 GHz, whether the workload includes AVX or AVX2 or just SSE. So it's feasible that the Core i9-12900KS will have no problems breaking the 5 GHz barrier right off the bat.

A higher boost clock speed also means higher power consumption. The Core i9-12900K already has a 241W PBP (Processor Boost Power) rating, Intel's fancy term for PL2. The Core i9-12900KS may push this value closer to the 300W range.

Being a "KS" chip, the Core i9-12900KS will unquestionably present a slight premium over the Core i9-12900K. The Core i9-9900KS costs 5% more than the Core i9-9900K at launch time. If we use the same margin, the Core i9-12900KS may end up selling for around $629 since the Core i9-12900K already retails for $599.

Of course, it's arguable that you can overclock the Core i9-12900KS to match the Core i9-12900K regarding the all-core boost clock. However, not everyone likes overclocking, and mileage varies from chip to chip. Therefore, the Core i9-12900KS will be a suitable option for consumers who want the fastest Alder Lake processor out of the box.