Over the previous couple of generations of its mainstream desktop processors, Intel has launched “Special Edition” fashions, that are functionally just like that technology’s flagship CPU, however with goosed clock speeds to spice up efficiency. The similar is true of the Alder Lake-based twelfth Gen Core processors. When Alder Lake initially hit the scene, we had the chance to guage the then top-end Core i9-12900K and its little brother, the excellently environment friendly Core i5-12600K. Fast ahead a couple of months although, and Intel took the 12900K, injected slightly adrenaline, cranked up the clocks, and the Core i9-12900KS was born.

Intel payments the Core i9-12900KS as “the ultimate processor for enthusiasts and gamers”. And Intel can definitely make that case. Alder Lake has proved to be a wonderful performer, with class-leading single-threaded efficiency and responsiveness, with highly-competitive multi-threaded efficiency throughout a wide range of workloads. The remainder of the platform and its companion 600-series chipsets additional improve the story, with modern IO and connectivity choices abound.

What Makes The Core i9-12900KS Different?

At its basis, the Core i9-12900KS is similar to the Core i9-12900K. It has 16 cores (eight Performance-cores and eight Efficient-cores) and help for twenty-four threads. The chip has a 150W base energy and 30MB of shared Intel Smart Cache. The 12900KS’ clock frequencies are totally different, nevertheless. The full breakdown is as follows…

CPU Specifications Core i9-12900K Core i9-12900KS
Total Cores 16 16
# of Performance-cores 8 8
# of Efficient-cores 8 8
Total Threads 24 24
Max Turbo Frequency 5.2GHz 5.5GHz
Intel Thermal Velocity Boost Frequency 5.5GHz
Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 Frequency 5.2GHz 5.3GHz
Performance-core Max Turbo Frequency 5.1GHz 5.2GHz
Efficient-core Max Turbo Frequency 3.9GHz 4GHz
Performance-core Base Frequency 3.2GHz 3.4GHz
Efficient-core Base Frequency 2.4GHz 2.5GHz
Intel Smart Cache 30MB 30MB
Total L2 Cache 14MB 14MB
Processor Base Power 125W 125W
Maximum Turbo Power 241W 241W
Find The Core i9-12900KS @ Amazon

In addition to having greater clocks throughout the board, the Core i9-12900KS additionally affords a 5.5GHz max turbo frequency when leveraging Intel Thermal Velocity Boost, which permits for greater multi-core turbo frequencies when there may be thermal headroom accessible. Other than these clocks although, there isn’t something to distinguish the Core i9-12900K and 12900KS. They are each unlocked Ok-SKUS, they usually each provide official help for as much as DDR5 4800MT/s or DDR4 3200MT/s reminiscence speeds (or a lot greater with overclocking), PCIe Gen 5.0 and 4.0, work in the identical platforms / socket, and so forth.

Intel Core i9-12900KS In Retail Packaging

Retail variations of the Core i9-12900KS ship in some attention-grabbing packaging. The field is clearly designated ‘Special Edition’, and options the entire typical branding we’ve come to anticipate, just like the mannequin quantity and household.

The field folds open to disclose a fake gold wafer inside. That gold wafer is sort of a flattened cookie-tin; pop it open and the Core i9-12900KS is revealed inside.

The Core i9-12900KS doesn’t embody any cooling and particular equipment. It drops into the identical socket and motherboards at different twelfth Gen Core collection processors, offered the motherboard has a appropriate BIOS. Obviously, since that is the highest-clocked, best-performing twelfth Gen Core processor primarily based on the Alder Lake structure, it’s best suited to high-end, enthusiast-class motherboards primarily based on the Z690 chipset, with sturdy energy supply and complete overclocking instruments to wring essentially the most efficiency from the chip.

Intel Core i9-12900KS CPU-Z Details


CPU-Z doesn’t reveal any surprises right here. The Core i9-12900KS is predicated on the identical stepping and revision as different twelfth Gen Core i9 processors. The L1, L2, and L3 cache configuration can also be the identical. Again, the one actual variations are associated to frequency. Here, you may see the Core i9-12900K loaded with a single-thread (left), and multi-threaded (right). When thermally saturated, as was the case on this check, clocks will sometimes hover on the P-cores’ max turbo frequency (5.2GHz), although it’ll enhance greater, energy and thermals allowing.

We’ll decide what the means for efficiency subsequent…