Skip to main content

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 (opens in new tab)) 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 (opens in new tab), 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.

Zhiye Liu
RAM Reviewer and News Editor

Zhiye Liu is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Although he loves everything that’s hardware, he has a soft spot for CPUs, GPUs, and RAM.

  • NightHawkRMX
    I can smell the burning from here
    Reply
  • tamalero
    NightHawkRMX said:
    I can smell the burning from here
    Agree, if the current offerings churn 200+ Watts in stock.
    I imagine these will be above the 250Watts, rivaling a high end Threadripper and harder to cool.
    Reply
  • alceryes
    @Admin You're missing a couple "S"s when talking about the 12900KS chips.
    Reply
  • HyperMatrix
    Guys...come the freak on...what's with all the errors and lack of clarity in your articles...

    "The Core i9-12900K will most likely retain the same 8 + 8 configuration as the Core i9-12900K "

    "As the "S" suffix implies, the Core i9-12900K is a special-edition SKU, meaning it'll come with higher clock speeds than the vanilla Core i9-12900K. "

    "The previous Core i9-9900K boosted to 5 GHz on all cores, 300 MHz higher than the typical all-core boost clock speed for the regular Core i9-9900K. "

    "According to VideoCardz's sources, the Core i9-12900KF reportedly features a 5.2 GHz boost clock across all eight Golden Cove cores."

    "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. "

    Highlighted Red text is a mistake.
    Reply
  • spongiemaster
    tamalero said:
    Agree, if the current offerings churn 200+ Watts in stock.
    I imagine these will be above the 250Watts, rivaling a high end Threadripper and harder to cool.
    Depends on how well the chips are binned. I believe it was the 9900KS that was significantly more efficient than the standard 9900K.
    Reply
  • Co BIY
    I think this release indicates good news for the process and yields.

    Also that later production 12600K /12700K processors might overclock very well even if they don't bin them out as a 12600KS.
    Reply
  • jacob249358
    literally just a space heater that happens to destroy cinebench
    Reply
  • Alvar "Miles" Udell
    100w higher power consumption to get you 100 more points in benchmarks!
    Reply
  • VforV
    Not only Alder Lake does not sell amazing, but with this move intel proves it feels the fire burning under it's *** with Zen3D approaching... #intelScaredofZen3D. :LOL:
    Reply
  • watzupken
    spongiemaster said:
    Depends on how well the chips are binned. I believe it was the 9900KS that was significantly more efficient than the standard 9900K.
    While I agree this is true, but it is not easy pushing another 300 Mhz all core turbo even with a good bin. If the usual 12900K have power spike to 270W or higher, pushing that from 4.9 to 5.2 is not going to come without a cost in power. Having said that, this chip will likely only interest those who are extreme overclockers or for hardcore enthusiast due to the pricing and also the need for some high end motherboard and cooling solution.
    Reply