Intel teases a highly binned Core i9 12900K CPU

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

Intel has taken to Twitter to tease a higher clocked Core i9 12900K processor. If past precedent is anything to go by, the chip in question should receive Core i9 12900KS branding. With a boost clock of up to 5.5 GHz, such a chip would definitely indicate that Intel’s 10nm (Sorry, Intel 7) process is now working very well, and those years of 10nm memes are well and truly in the past. 

See more

Intel’s tweet includes a screenshot that shows one of the CPU cores clocked at 5.5 GHz with the rest of the P cores clocked at 5.2 GHz. The E cores appear to be clocked at 4.0 GHz. This compares to the standard Core i9 12900K, which is able to boost to 5.2 GHz on one or two cores and up to 5.0 on all cores, with its E cores coming in at 3.9 GHz.

It’s important to note that the screenshot only shows the current CPU clocks. Although the 7-zip benchmark that’s being used is active and loading up the CPU, a pinch of salt is still required, at least until we see how the chip behaves over a complete longer term benchmark run, and not just one snapshot of it.

While the 12900K is a powerful chip, it's not known for stunning power efficiency when under an all core load. It carries a PL2 power rating of 241W, so we can expect the 12900KS to surpass this. If it’s a highly binned die, the difference may not be a lot, but if Intel is just brute forcing non binned dies to reach higher clocks, then that PL2 reading could push closer to 300W. We’ll have to test this for ourselves if we can get one into our hot little hands.

Your next upgrade

(Image credit: Future)

Best CPU for gaming: the top chips from Intel and AMD
Best graphics card: your perfect pixel-pusher awaits
Best SSD for gaming: get into the game ahead of the rest

Power aside, a 12900KS would be a mega gaming CPU and if you’re building a top shelf gaming rig with something like a RTX 3090 Ti Kingpin, then the 12900KS is probably going to be the CPU that you’d use to power your rig, probably with a custom water loop to keep it all humming along. Overclocked of course!

This isn’t the first time we’ve had a tease of the 12900KS. The developers of the AIDA64 software suite included a specific mention of the chip in the changelog for its Dec 22 beta.

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.