Core i9-12900KS Evaluation: Intel’s Quickest Alder Lake CPU Examined

Over the previous couple of generations of its mainstream desktop processors, Intel has launched “Particular Version” fashions, that are functionally just like that era’s flagship CPU, however with goosed clock speeds to spice up efficiency. The identical is true of the Alder Lake-based twelfth Gen Core processors. When Alder Lake initially hit the scene, we had the chance to guage the then top-end Core i9-12900K and its little brother, the excellently environment friendly Core i5-12600K. Quick ahead just a few months although, and Intel took the 12900K, injected slightly adrenaline, cranked up the clocks, and the Core i9-12900KS was born.

Intel payments the Core i9-12900KS as “the final word processor for fans and players”. And Intel can actually make that case. Alder Lake has proved to be a wonderful performer, with class-leading single-threaded efficiency and responsiveness, with highly-competitive multi-threaded efficiency throughout quite a lot of workloads. The remainder of the platform and its companion 600-series chipsets additional improve the story, with modern IO and connectivity choices abound.

intel 12900ks chip bottom

What Makes The Core i9-12900KS Completely different?

At its basis, the Core i9-12900KS is equivalent to the Core i9-12900K. It has 16 cores (eight Efficiency-cores and eight Environment friendly-cores) and assist for twenty-four threads. The chip has a 150W base energy and 30MB of shared Intel Sensible Cache. The 12900KS’ clock frequencies are totally different, nevertheless. The entire breakdown is as follows…

CPU Specs Core i9-12900K Core i9-12900KS
Complete Cores 16 16
# of Efficiency-cores 8 8
# of Environment friendly-cores 8 8
Complete Threads 24 24
Max Turbo Frequency 5.2GHz 5.5GHz
Intel Thermal Velocity Increase Frequency 5.5GHz
Intel Turbo Increase Max Expertise 3.0 Frequency 5.2GHz 5.3GHz
Efficiency-core Max Turbo Frequency 5.1GHz 5.2GHz
Environment friendly-core Max Turbo Frequency 3.9GHz 4GHz
Efficiency-core Base Frequency 3.2GHz 3.4GHz
Environment friendly-core Base Frequency 2.4GHz 2.5GHz
Intel Sensible Cache 30MB 30MB
Complete L2 Cache 14MB 14MB
Processor Base Energy 125W 125W
Most Turbo Energy 241W 241W

Along with having larger clocks throughout the board, the Core i9-12900KS additionally gives a 5.5GHz max turbo frequency when leveraging Intel Thermal Velocity Increase, which permits for larger multi-core turbo frequencies when there’s thermal headroom accessible. Aside from these clocks although, there isn’t something to distinguish the Core i9-12900K and 12900KS. They’re each unlocked Okay-SKUS, they usually each supply official assist for as much as DDR5 4800MT/s or DDR4 3200MT/s reminiscence speeds (or a lot larger with overclocking), PCIe Gen 5.0 and 4.0, work in the identical platforms / socket, and so on.

Intel Core i9-12900KS In Retail Packaging

intel 12900ks box

Retail variations of the Core i9-12900KS ship in some attention-grabbing packaging. The field is clearly designated ‘Particular Version’, and options all the typical branding we’ve come to count on, just like the mannequin quantity and household.

intel 12900ks wafer 1

The field folds open to disclose a pretend gold wafer inside. That gold wafer is sort of a flattened cookie-tin; pop it open and the Core i9-12900KS is revealed inside.

intel 12900ks wafer open

The Core i9-12900KS doesn’t embody any cooling and particular equipment. It drops into the identical socket and motherboards at different twelfth Gen Core collection processors, supplied the motherboard has a suitable BIOS. Clearly, since that is the highest-clocked, best-performing twelfth Gen Core processor primarily based on the Alder Lake structure, it’s best suited to high-end, enthusiast-class motherboards primarily based on the Z690 chipset, with sturdy energy supply and complete overclocking instruments to wring probably the most efficiency from the chip.

Intel Core i9-12900KS CPU-Z Particulars

12900ks cpuz 1 12900ks cpuz 2

CPU-Z doesn’t reveal any surprises right here. The Core i9-12900KS is predicated on the identical stepping and revision as different twelfth Gen Core i9 processors. The L1, L2, and L3 cache configuration can be the identical. Once more, the one actual variations are associated to frequency. Right here, you may see the Core i9-12900K loaded with a single-thread (left), and multi-threaded (proper). When thermally saturated, as was the case on this take a look at, clocks will usually hover on the P-cores’ max turbo frequency (5.2GHz), although it can increase larger, energy and thermals allowing.

We’ll decide what the means for efficiency subsequent…

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