Intel confirms the i9 12900KS CPU

Intel's 12th Gen Core i9 12900K retail box with shadow
(Image credit: Intel)

Intel has confirmed that it will release its new flagship Core i9 12900KS during its CES 2022 presentation. We recently reported on its likely introduction, based on Intel's teaser tweet, and now it's confirmed.

The 12900KS is capable of boosting up to 5.5GHz on a single P core and up to 5.2 GHz on all P cores. Intel stated that it can sustain 5GHz boost clocks long term, which is pretty impressive and goes to show that Intel's manufacturing really is up and firing.

(Image credit: Intel)

The chip was shown running Hitman 3 alongside the HWiNFO monitoring utility. It shows all eight P cores running at the advertised 5.2GHz and the eight E cores running at 4.0GHz, a small 100MHz bump over the 12900K. The 12900K is already an excellent gaming processor, and once DDR5 stocks stabilise, we're sure that well-to-do gamers will be seeking them out for their high-end rigs.

The 12900KS may have a challenger though. It will have to contend with AMD's Ryzen X3D CPUs with their stacked L3 cache. The 12900KS is likely Intel's hold-my-beer response to combat AMD's claims that the upcoming 5800X3D can match or beat the 12900K.

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The 12900KS isn't Intel's first high bin chip, though they have tended to be limited editions. We saw the 40th anniversary Core i7 8086K in 2018, followed by the i9 9900KS in late 2019. There weren't any released for the 10th and 11th generations. As 13th Gen CPUs are looking like a late 2022 proposition, Intel may opt to continue production in the longer term to see off the threat of AMD's X3D CPUs.

Information including availability and pricing wasn't revealed. AMD's X3D chips are due in the spring (autumn for those at the bottom of the world) so it's safe to say that Intel will have stocks ready by then. Additionally, Intel didn't mention the type of cooling it used during its demonstration. Given that a 12900K can throttle without high-end cooling, it's likely that you’ll want to use 360mm AIO cooling, if not custom water to get the best out of it.

We'll keep on top of 12900KS news, and we hope we'll have a sample for review in due course.

Chris Szewczyk
Hardware Writer

Chris' gaming experiences go back to the mid-nineties when he conned his parents into buying an 'educational PC' that was conveniently overpowered to play Doom and Tie Fighter. He developed a love of extreme overclocking that destroyed his savings despite the cheaper hardware on offer via his job at a PC store. To afford more LN2 he began moonlighting as a reviewer for VR-Zone before jumping the fence to work for MSI Australia. Since then, he's gone back to journalism, enthusiastically reviewing the latest and greatest components for PC & Tech Authority, PC Powerplay and currently Australian Personal Computer magazine and PC Gamer. Chris still puts far too many hours into Borderlands 3, always striving to become a more efficient killer.