Intel has announced that it will release a supercharged version of its Alder Lake flagship desktop CPU at CES 2022, and it’ll be available by the end of Q1 2022.
Previously, a leak claimed the existence of the Core i9-12900KS in late July, and then Team Blue released a teaser of a CPU that could attain a 5.5GHz boost—but now the chip has been unveiled.
The Core i9-9980HK is a modified variant of the existing Core i9-9980K, with a higher clock rate. The 12900KS, according to Intel’s numerous CES 2022 disclosures, will be able to go up to 5.5GHz on just one performance core. The 5.2GHz all-core boost is Intel’s claim, with the CPU capable of sustaining 5GHz speeds across all performance cores long-term.
According to PC Gamer, Intel showcased the Core i9-12900KS running Hitman 3 with HWiNFO displaying the 8 performance cores operating at 5.2GHz and efficiency cores operating at 4GHz (the latter is 100MHz faster than the vanilla 12900K).
CPU refresh wars: Intel’s answer to AMD’s 3D V-cache
The 12900K’s performance and the ‘KS’ flagship CPU – essentially a pre-binned (high-quality) 12900K able to reach higher clock speeds – are both leaves out of Intel’s standard playbook for keeping a generation of silicon powered up. But, in general, this isn’t the first time that we’ve seen a Core i9-9900K with eight cores and 16 threads. The Core i9-9900KS was two years ago, and there have been no such variants since (neither 10th nor 11th-gen chips received the KS treatment).
Intel may have felt the need to push for a power boost in light of AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800X3D announcement at CES, which is the first 8-core processor to use Team Red’s 3D V-cache technology to further improve performance with that 8-core CPU.
Surprisingly, AMD claimed in CES that the 5800X3D will be able to outperform the 12900K, a far-reaching statement given that game frame rates will vary from one game to the next, and we’ll need to test these chips for ourselves of course. When a CPU manufacturer conducts testing on its own chip, it must be considered with caution since it often paints the finest picture possible for obvious reasons when it comes to the major reveal.
AMD says the 5800X3D is ‘the world’s fastest gaming CPU,’ and it’ll release in spring 2022, so we’ll have a comparison between these top-end CPUs sooner rather than later.
Unfortunately, if you’re running either of them, you won’t be disappointed with the performance; and in terms of gaming frame rates, they’ll be very close.