Intel’s Core i9-12900KS processor is set to launch on April 5, just over a week away.
The 12900KS will debut at the Intel Talking Tech event which will be streamed on Twitch at 12pm PT in the US (that’s 8pm UK time), during which expert PC builders will show off their skills putting together a number of machines, presumably around the new Alder Lake chip.
Join us as we build 4 PCs with industry experts and talk about the 12th Gen processor family features and its newest member!📅 April 5, 2022⌚ 12PM PT & 3PM ETTune in here: https://t.co/c2XGOm9PJC pic.twitter.com/Cs2Gl9oVQrMarch 26, 2022
Intel bills the ‘KS’ version of its flagship – which essentially uses the best-performing 12900K silicon, capable of being pushed to higher clock speeds – as the ‘world’s fastest desktop processor’ based on the fact that it’s capable of boosting up to 5.5GHz.
That’s impressive, of course, but that speed can only be hit on a single-core over a limited period of time, with the rumor mill asserting that the all-core boost will be 5.2GHz (which again, is still impressive over the full 8 performance cores of this CPU).
Analysis: Top dog CPUs to battle it out in April
It’s no great surprise to hear that the launch of Intel’s Core i9-12900KS is so close, given that we’ve already seen the incoming flagship listed at some retailers complete with pre-release pricing, and indeed one report contends that someone has already bought one of the CPUs.
While Intel’s assertion that this is the ‘world’s fastest’ desktop CPU based on clocks is one thing, what PC owners will really be interested in is how well the 12900KS performs in real-world apps and games.
What makes this a really interesting launch is the incoming rival Ryzen 7 5800X3D due to arrive on April 20, as AMD has claimed this refreshed processor beats out the vanilla 12900K, and so should come close to the KS version, at least in terms of gaming. Outside of games, the 5800X3D won’t be so competitive with the Alder Lake top dogs, but for hardcore PC gamers who aren’t bothered about other apps in the main, that may not matter.
The crucial point will be the pricing here, and we already know that the new Ryzen processor will cost $449 (around £340, AU$625), or at least that’s the recommended price. We don’t know how the Core i9-12900KS will be priced yet, but pre-release leaks suggest it could go as high as $800 in the US (around £610, AU$1,070). If that’s the case, the relative value proposition is clearly going to be pretty heavily tilted in favor of Team Red. (Remember, the 12900K currently sells for around $600 or so in the US, so we can certainly expect KS pricing to be higher than that).
Ultimately, though, we can’t judge the relative merits of these high-end CPUs until we’ve tested them both, and taken into account whatever the final price tags end up as (at retailers, not MSRPs – and the latter could be quite different depending on demand and availability).