It's Official: Intel's Core i9-12900KS Will Finally Launch On April 5 (Updated)

Intel Core i9-12900KS
Intel Core i9-12900KS (Image credit: Seby9123/Imgur)

Update 3/28/2022 6:20am PT: Intel has now posted an official press release confirming that the 12900K will come to market on April 5 with a recommended price of $739. 

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Intel posted a tweet yesterday (opens in new tab) sharing the date for an upcoming live stream it is preparing that looks to be the launch event for the Core i9-12900KS. The primary discussion piece for the live stream will be the i9-12900KS, along with building four PCs during the live stream. The live stream will take place on April 5th at 12 PM PT, which happens to be next week.

If we had to guess, the four new PCs would be packing the Core i9-12900KS in celebration of the processor's release.

The Core i9-12900KS flaunts a boost clock speed of 5.5 GHz on two cores with an all-core turbo frequency of 5.2 GHz. Aside from the increased power consumption, that's the only difference between the "KS" and standard "K" models. These impressive core frequencies look amazing in early benchmark leaks, but the performance shouldn't be too much better than the 12900K.  

For instance, the additional core frequencies only give the Core i9-12900KS an 11% higher multi-threaded score in Geekbench 5, with an even worse 4% performance boost for the single-core results. Notably, this is likely due to an unoptimized BIOS. Nevertheless, the Core i9-12900KS continues to be faster than the Ryzen 9 5950X, at least in Cinebench R23.

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Pricing doesn't look that good either, the $739 recommended price tag represents a significant premium over the Core i9-12900K's $599 MSRP, and that isn't what we'll see at retail. Newegg briefly listed the Core i9-12900KS for $799.99, a steep price for such small performance gains.

But, perhaps the strangest thing surrounding the Core i9-12900KS right now is its availability. Technically, Intel has not officially released the new special edition SKU, but two weeks ago, we found reports showing some customers already receiving Core i9-12900KS in full retail format -- somehow.

Intel will finally launch the Core i9-12900KS on April 5th, and motherboard vendors have already laid the groundwork for the Core i9-12900K, so the special edition chip will drop into existing LGA1700 motherboards seamlessly when it hits the market.

Aaron Klotz
Freelance News Writer

Aaron Klotz is a freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US, covering news topics related to computer hardware such as CPUs, and graphics cards.

  • Alvar "Miles" Udell
    Is it worth the money? Well...$200 for a small percentage gain would say no, but in this age of record inflation, if you're financing it over 12 months, you could say that for the price of fast food twice a month (or even once a month in some places), you could instead have this processor, it puts it in a different light.
    Reply
  • -Fran-
    I'll say "no" preemptively. No matter how much of a "golden sample" this is the price difference is just too stupid. This being said, I'm sure it's just a "day one rip off" thing and MicroCenter will have it at the 12900K price within a week or so XD

    Regards.
    Reply
  • TerryLaze
    Of course it's not worth it, when has any luxury hobby ever been worth it, people pay a lot of money to be thrown out of a flying plane for pete's sake.
    It's not about the price difference it's about having the best or just the second best. Or being a budged gamer/user, if this where the only option it would be terrible but intel has CPUs starting at $40-50 you don't need to spend 12900ks money on a CPU if you don't want to.
    Reply
  • hotaru251
    Alvar Miles Udell said:
    Is it worth the money? Well...$200 for a small percentage gain would say no, but in this age of record inflation, if you're financing it over 12 months, you could say that for the price of fast food twice a month (or even once a month in some places), you could instead have this processor, it puts it in a different light.
    or save that $ for another yr & get the next gen cpu that has performance worth the extra cost.
    Reply
  • Karadjgne
    The 12900k made little sense for most consumers to begin with. Seriously minor gains in max fps over the 12700k. It's good for a select few that have the demand for the extra e-cores in heavy production usage. Kinda makes the extra expense for even fewer gains even more pointless. Given the 12900k e-cores can be oc'd, the extra expense of the 12900KS just bypasses sheer laziness.

    A 12700KS would make a ton more sense for most, as long as the price was more reflective of the performance gain.
    Reply
  • waltc3
    No one who is interested in PPW will find much of interest here...;) Intel's back to "Damn the power budget, full speed ahead!"
    Reply
  • TerryLaze
    waltc3 said:
    No one who is interested in PPW will find much of interest here...;) Intel's back to "Damn the power budget, full speed ahead!"
    Not really, these are extremely "cherry picked" CPUs and they will definitely do more work at less power than the other models.
    We can see this by looking at silicon lottery numbers for their previous KS model.

    You get more clocks for less Vcore ... until you hit the max clocks.
    At the lowest tier you got 100Mhz MORE for 0.050V LESS
    9900KF4.80GHz4.60GHz1.275V100%9900KF4.90GHz4.70GHz1.287VTop 92%9900KF5.00GHz4.80GHz1.300VTop 37%9900KF5.10GHz4.90GHz1.312VTop 8%



    9900KS4.90GHz4.70GHz1.225V100%9900KS5.00GHz4.80GHz1.250VTop 95%9900KS5.10GHz4.90GHz1.287VTop 28%9900KS5.20GHz5.0GHz1.325VTop 4%
    Reply
  • escksu
    If you think the price is crazy, wait till you see usd1000 z690 mainboards!!! This isnt even hedt and there are boards costing over usd1000!! Madness
    Reply
  • waltc3
    TerryLaze said:
    Not really, these are extremely "cherry picked" CPUs and they will definitely do more work at less power than the other models.
    We can see this by looking at silicon lottery numbers for their previous KS model.

    You get more clocks for less Vcore ... until you hit the max clocks.
    At the lowest tier you got 100Mhz MORE for 0.050V LESS

    You are of course free to believe that people will be paying a premium to buy these CPUs just so they can run them at lower MHz to conserve power if you like...;) I won't stop you. But if they don't want to run at 5.5GHz in order to conserve power, there are much better deals, even in the current Intel stack. So, I think it's fair to say that no one who is looking at PPW is going to be looking at one of these. I think that's a completely rational statement, as Intel isn't advertising this CPU as a 'power saver.' And as is true with all ultra-binned CPUs, YMMV as consistency will vary from chip to chip.
    Reply
  • Karadjgne
    PPW can be mitigated somewhat with a higher efficiency psu. A 5900x/5950x with a 80+/Bronze (yes that happens a lot) isnt really much different to a 12900k/s with a Platinum. When talking about pulling power from the wall.

    So honestly the only person who has to worry about using such a Big and Power hungry cpu is the guy with a tiny....

    Cooler.
    Reply