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 already have gotten a bunch of benchmarks, one of which was a Cinebench test that we covered earlier, today the first-ever listings for the CPU was spotted by Videocardz. The listings not only reveal a possible launch date but also the price of the i9-12900KS and they come courtesy US-based retailer, ShopBLT. The retailer’s website has now opened pre-orders for the chip through these listings.
The first listing contains the processor in a tray-package for $780 USD whereas the second one is meant for an unspecified “P5” model which is priced at $792 USD. Both Intel and AMD are customary to selling their chips in just their trays instead of the retail boxes, but this is usually only done for OEM and system-integrators who order these chips in bulk and don’t need the extra packaging.
The $780 listing says that the Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) on the i9-12900KS is 3rd March, 2022 while the other, “P5” listing show us an ETA of 3 weeks. Which means that the chip’s longest ETA is three weeks away so that’s the most it should take before releasing. Intel may even make a formal announcement between now and then to let everyone know.
The silicon lottery
Apart from that, popular leaker @momomo_us also outlined the base and boost clock speeds of the Core i9-12900KS against its non-S sibling and the different in power limits. We already knew that the chip would boost to 5.5Ghz, 300Mhz higher than the standard 12900K but now we learn that the base clock, set at 3.4Ghz is also 200Mhz higher than the i9-12900K.
— 188号 (@momomo_us) February 17, 2022
The power limits have also seen a generous increase here. The base power of the i9-12900KS (PBP/PL1) will be increased by 25W, from 12900K’s 125W to now 150W. Moreover, the maximum power (MTP/PL2) will be set at 260W on the 12900KS, a full 19W more than the non-S sibling chip. But more importantly, according to the leaker, the chip will be officially priced at $750 USD.
Even for a pre-binned chip, the i9-12900KS is expensive. It’s essentially equivalent to buying the normal i9-12900K and winning the silicon lottery with the only difference being that the performance you get here out of the box is on the same level as what you’d get out of a really overclocked Core i9-12900K. Overclocking voids the warranty on Intel CPUs so if your plans were to do exactly that with your 12900K, consider getting a 12900KS if you want to keep your warranty intact.