Back at CES 2022, Intel announced the Core i9-12900KS, with the “S” standing for “special edition“. Intel has released these types of CPUs in the past as well. They’re basically cherry-picked pre-binned processors that have the best silicone possible for maximum overclocking potential. For the unaware, “binning” is a process in which the the top units extracted from the fab get separated from the rest, and the company then sells them for extra.
Intel said that their i9-12900KS boosts up to 5.5Ghz on a single–core with an all-core boost of 5.2Ghz, both of which are pretty crazy numbers. Essentially, this is the kind of performance you’d get if you overclocked your standard i9-12900K to its absolute limits with the best cooling possible. That being said, the company did not give us any info on pricing or release dates plus no real-world benchmarks were shown either.
While we still don’t have word on when the CPU releases and how much it will cost, we do have our first benchmark leak pertaining to the Core i9-12900KS and it’s pretty much as expected. Twitter-user HXL (@9550pro) discovered a new Cinebench R23 benchmark posted over at the Taobao marketplace. On top of that, we also have memory overclocking numbers to look at.
— HXL (@9550pro) January 30, 2022
The Core i9-12900KS that was tested had an all-core boost of 5.4Ghz, which is nearly as much as the single-core frequency Intel advertised, so that’s a really good sign. The chip scored 29,519 points in the Cinebench R23 multi-core test and the leaker didn’t share the single-core scores, unfortunately. That score is neck-in-neck with the score for the standard i9-12900K which averages at around 29,000+ points and below 30,000 points.
The second screenshot shows the DDR5 memory running at 7398Mhz, further showing off the chip’s overclocking potential. We also learn that the motherboard being used for this test is the MSI Unify Z690, a high-end offering from the company. That being said, one user on Twitter has pointed out that this second screenshot might be forged through Photoshop, so we obviously advise to all of this information with a grain of salt.
2 screenshot – photoshop. The original is this one. pic.twitter.com/OLU6OJEd1d
— arh angel (@arhange15737383) January 30, 2022
According to reports, the 12900KS is rumored to launch by the end of this quarter, so before April begins. Board partners have already started preparing for this launch by adding “Enhanced Thermal Velocity Boost” in the BIOS of their motherboards to support the 12900KS. This special boosting feature is not available to any other (non-KS) Alder Lake processor.
As for the Taobao listing, the chip was listed at 29,999 RMB which works out to around $4,716 US. That’s a hefty price but don’t worry, it’s not indicative of what this CPU will actually retail at. This chip in particular is likely an engineering sample, one of many that board partners had access to early on, and now it has made its way over to the second-hand market. The actual price of the Core i9-12900KS should be a little over $600 if all goes well.