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Intel Core i9-12900K Spotted in the Wild With Flashy Retail Packaging

Intel Core i9-12900K
(Image credit: Seby9123)

Intel's Alder Lake family hasn't officially launched yet, but that isn't stopping CPUs from showing up on the market ahead of time. Such is the case with the flagship Core i9-12900K, which Redditor Seby9123 received early and decided to put on display for the whole world to see. 

Plenty of images were provided to confirm this early Core i9-12900K delivery, with shots of the exterior/interior of the box and the golden CPU wafer mockup that is included. Interestingly enough, Seby9123 claims to have received not one but two Core i9-12900K processors, for which he paid $610 each. Seby9123 didn't say where they purchased the processors and only indicated that they reside in the United States. 

Intel Core i9-12900K

(Image credit: Seby9123)

Unfortunately, Seby9123 doesn't yet have a motherboard to install the processor in, so they could not provide any early benchmark data. However, we know that Intel's hardware partners will launch motherboards that support the best DDR4 memory and the newer, faster DDR5 standard. But remember that MSI projects DDR5 prices could come in at a 40-60% premium over DDR4 at launch. MSI went on to add, "It typically takes around 2 years to reach price parity with previous generations, and we expect trends to remain similar with DDR5 modules as well."

As for the Core i9-12900K (SRL4H S-Spec), it is an LGA 1700 processor with eight performance cores (Golden Cove) and eight efficiency cores (Gracemont). Only the performance cores have Hyper-Threading enabled, which explains why the Core i9-12900K features a total of 16 physical cores but can only execute 24 threads (instead of 32). 

Intel Core i9-12900K

(Image credit: Seby9123)

The performance cores operate at a frequency range of 3.60 GHz to 5.0 GHz, while the power-sipping efficiency cores hover between 2.70 GHz and 3.80 GHz. In addition, Intel lists the Thermal Design Power (TDP) of the Core i9-12900K at 125 watts.

Preliminary benchmarks for the Core i9-12900K have come in at a furious pace, and yesterday we learned that Intel's flagship was overclocked to 5.2 GHz by a Chinese enthusiast. That 5.2 GHz clock was maintained across all eight performance cores; however, it also meant that power consumption saw a massive uptick from its default 125W to 330W (at 1.385 volts).

Intel will reportedly announce the Alder Lake family -- which consists of the Core i9-12900K, Core i7-12700K, and Core i5-12600K -- next week during a virtual keynote. Current rumors point to a November 4th on-sale date, although we'll have to see how supplies hold up once retailers open their digital doors to customers.

Brandon Hill

Brandon Hill is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware. He has written about PC and Mac tech since the late 1990s with bylines at AnandTech, DailyTech, and Hot Hardware. When he is not consuming copious amounts of tech news, he can be found enjoying the NC mountains or the beach with his wife and two sons.

  • TerryLaze
    Nice, $610 including the pre release tax and probably VAT is very promising for the actual MSRP.
    Reply
  • JamesJones44
    How are they getting these? I've seen a few such reports around in the last couple of days. I guess this means suckers who wait till launch are SOL for getting these anywhere but ebay at 3x MSRP
    Reply
  • korekan
    $610 is it MSRP?
    i kinda missed when MSRP is $300, but when we see at the online store it actually $249 with $10 discount.
    Reply
  • BILL1957
    Until the issue of Alder Lake not being compatible with many older non current game titles due to DRM conflict issues is sorted out to not require an update from each game title to work with these processors I can see many in the gaming community avoiding these CPU's
    Pricing looks reasonable, preliminary benches look good but the game compatibility issue is a deal breaker.
    Reply