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
|Processor||Pricing||Configuration||Cores / Threads||P-Core All-Core Boost (GHz)||P-Core Base / Boost (GHz)||L3 Cache (MB)||Graphics||PBP / PBP (W)||Part Number|
|Core i9-12900KS*||?||8P + 8E||16 / 24||5.2||? / ?||30||UHD Graphics 770||? / ?||?|
|Core i9-12900K||$599||8P + 8E||16 / 24||5.0||3.2 / 5.2||30||UHD Graphics 770||125 / 241||BX8071512900K|
|Core i9-12900KF||$574||8P + 8E||16 / 24||5.0||3.2 / 5.2||30||N/A||125 / 241||BX8071512900KF|
|Core i9-12900||$529.99||8P + 8E||16 / 24||?||2.4 / 5.1||30||UHD Graphics 770||65 / ?||BX8071512900|
|Core i9-12900F||$509.99||8P + 8E||16 / 24||?||2.4 / 5.1||30||N/A||65 / ?||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.