Intel unveils i9-12900KS

Intel Core i9-12900KS looks to be fastest for CAD

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The Intel Core i9-12900KS, a special edition of the 12th Gen Intel Core ‘Alder Lake’ family of desktop CPUs, has launched.

With frequencies of up to 5.5 GHz on up to two of its ‘Performance’ cores, Intel claims it is the world’s fastest desktop processor’.

The new processor features the same underlying silicon configuration as the Core i9-12900K we reviewed last month —8 Performance cores (P-cores), 8 Efficient cores (E-cores), for a total of 16 physical cores and 24 threads.

However, at 5.5 GHz, the chip’s peak max turbo frequency is a full 0.3 GHz higher than the Core i9-12900K (5.2 GHz). The lead in other specs, including the base frequency of the P-cores and E-cores is smaller.

Intel is billing the i9-12900KS as the ultimate processor for enthusiasts and gamers. This should also extend to users of CAD software, which is largely single threaded.

But how will it stack up against AMD Ryzen? Based on our testing of the Core i9-12900K, we expect the i9-12900KS will have a lead over the 16-core AMD Ryzen 9 5950X in single threaded workflows. However, AMD’s chip will still probably win out in highly threaded workflows like ray trace rendering.

The Intel Core i9-12900KS will be available beginning April 5 with a recommended customer price starting at $739.

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Other features and specifications include a 150W processor base power, 30MB Intel Smart Cache, support for PCIe Gen 5.0 and 4.0, and support of up to DDR5 4800 MT/s and DDR4 3200 MT/s memory.

We expect the CPU will be available in workstations from smaller manufacturers, as opposed to Tier One OEMs like HP, Dell, Lenovo and Fujitsu.