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.
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.
Join us as we build 4 PCs with industry experts and talk about the 12th Gen processor family features and its newest member!📅 April 5, 2022⌚ 12PM PT & 3PM ETTune in here: https://t.co/c2XGOm9PJC pic.twitter.com/Cs2Gl9oVQrMarch 26, 2022
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.