Newegg, one of the major U.S. retailers, has started selling Intel's new top-of-the-range Alder Lake desktop processor, the Core i9-12900KS. The new CPU costs $799.99 (opens in new tab) (as noticed by @momomo_us), which is $185 higher than the price of Intel's Core i9-12900K. The key difference between this and the regular model are higher clocks and a new boost mode.
The new Intel Core i9-12900KS belongs to the Alder Lake family and has eight high-performance Golden Cove cores clocked at 3.40 GHz base frequency, eight energy-efficient Gracemont cores clocked at 2.50 GHz base frequency, Intel's UHD Graphics 770 integrated GPU, 14MB L2 cache, and 30MB L3 cache. The chip comes with unlocked multiplier and can be easily overclocked on Intel Z690 motherboards.
|Price||Cores | Threads||P-Core Base/All Core Boost/Max lBoost||E-Core Base/Boost||TDP / PBP / MTP||DDR4-3200||L3 Cache|
|Core i9-12900KS||$799 (?)||8P + 8E | 16 Cores / 24 Threads||3.4 / 5.2 / 5.5 GHz||2.5 / 4.0||150W / 241W||DDR4-3200 / DDR5-4800||30MB|
|Core i9-12900K / KF||$589 (K) - $564 (KF)||8P + 8E | 16 Cores / 24 Threads||3.2 / 5.1 / 5.2 GHz||2.4 / 3.9 GHz||125W / 241W||DDR4-3200 / DDR5-4800||30MB|
|Core i7-12700K / KF||$409 (K) - $384 (KF)||8P + 4E | 12 Cores / 20 Threads||3.6 / 4.9 / 5.0 GHz||2.7 / 3.8 GHz||125W / 190W||DDR4-3200 / DDR5-4800||25MB|
While general specifications of the Core i9-12900KS model have been known for weeks based on unofficial leaks, the listing at Newegg has all the information and even some bits that were missing (e.g., maximum boost clock for the energy-efficient cores). Furthermore, the listing also reveals that the Core i9-12900KS has a maximum thermal power (MTP) of 241W, not 260W as previously reported. Meanwhile, its base power is 150W, up from 125W used for the regular i9-12900K SKU.
It should be noted that while Intel's PBP (power level 1) and MTP (power level 2) are well known, the real power consumption of enthusiast-grade CPUs with premium motherboards may be significantly higher. In a bid to boost performance, platform makers set very high TDP limits for rather long periods, so as long as the CPU doesn't hit its TDP limit, it can work at increased frequencies and claim as much power as required. As a result, actual power consumption of such chips substantially exceeds their MTP rating. To that end, while it is important that formally the 12900KS has an MTP of 241W and not 260W, its real world power consumption will be higher.
In a bid to hit 5.20 GHz on all performance cores and 5.50 GHz on one performance core, Intel uses its exclusive Enhanced Thermal Velocity Boost (ETVB) technology, which is the company's sixth adaptive boost level for client chips. More information about this technology will be available in our review of the Core i9-12900KS, but for now we can speculate that the ETVB feature is a superset of the company's regular Thermal Velocity Boost (TVB) technology (which raises core frequencies when all cores are active and the CPU's temperature is below 70 Celsius). To support Intel's Core i9-12900KS processor and ETVB, motherboards will have to use the latest UEFI BIOS version.
At $799.99 in Newegg, Intel's Core i9-12900KS is $185 and $220 more expensive than Intel's Core i7-12900K and 12900KF sold by Newegg, respectively. Whether or not it makes sense to pay for the special edition processor is something that everyone decides for themselves, but it is not particularly surprising that Intel charges more for a CPU that promises to be the world's fastest desktop processor.