Intel's Core i9 12900KS carries a hefty price premium

Intel's 12th Gen Core i9 12900K retail box on a blue background
(Image credit: Intel)

It appears as though the launch of Intel’s new flagship Core i9 12900KS CPU is getting closer. US based tech reseller Bottom Line Telecommunications (via Tom’s Hardware) has listed the upcoming CPU for $791 on its website. The base 12900K is listed for $628, meaning the higher binned KS model carries a fairly hefty 26% price premium.

The Core i9 12900KS comes with a pretty amazing 5.5GHz single-core boost clock, which is 300MHz higher than the Core i9 12900K. That indicates that Intel’s process technology is working very well. No more 10nm memes, thank you! In addition to that boost clock, the KS can boost to up to 5.2GHz across all cores. This is an increase of 200MHz over the 5.0GHz boost clock of the 12900K.

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Significant clock speed increases such as these mean the TDP of the 12900KS is higher by necessity. The standard 12900K comes with a base power (or PL1) of 125W, whereas the 12900KS increases this to 150W. The maximum turbo power isn’t disclosed in the listing, but we can be sure that it will be higher than the 241W rating of the 12900K. It’s unlikely Intel would want to rate it at 300W, but at least 270W would seem likely.

As the 12900KS is an unlocked chip, you can overclock it even further with a capable Z690 motherboard, though it remains to be seen just how much headroom there is on a chip that’s already clocked to such levels. One thing is for sure. You’ll need to have very good cooling to keep the 12900KS tamed.

A release date hasn’t yet been revealed, though once listings like the one from BLT appear, we’re surely looking at just a few weeks before you can get your hands on this powerful CPU. It's set to go up against the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D in the battle for the gaming performance crown.

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.