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 (opens in new tab) 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.
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).
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.