Intel Core i9-12900KS debuts as "world's fastest" desktop chip

The Intel logo on a white flag
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Intel has announced what it claims is the world's fastest desktop processor, the Intel Core i9-12900KS, aimed at gamers and overclocking enthusiasts.

The 12th-generation chip offers 16 cores, eight of which are tuned for efficiency and eight for performance, with 24 threads and a 30Mb cache.

Intel uses the KS label to designate flagship versions of its chips. This processor is a beefed-up version of its Core i9-12900K CPU, which features the same number of cores and the same cache. The difference comes in its clock speed and power usage.

Whereas the i9-29000K can reach 5.2GHz on performance cores in its turbo mode, The KS edition runs at 5.5GHz on up to two of its cores. It also draws 150W of base power, compared to 125W for the standard Core i9-2900K.

The new chip also nudges ahead of the efficiency cores, delivering 4GHz of speed in turbo mode compared to 3.9GHz. Both of the chips draw 241 W when running in turbo mode.

Intel Core i9-12900KS

(Image credit: Intel)

Intel Core i9-2900K users could get that chip to perform at these clock speeds, but as Intel points out, overclocking the chip may void its warranty. The KS model guarantees those speeds out of the box.

Intel has built support for DDR5 RAM running up to 4800 Megatransfers per second (MT/s) into the flagship CPU, along with 3200 MT/s DDR4. It also features support for PCIe 5 and PCIe 4.

The company begins shipping the processor on April 5 at $739.

Intel's 12-generation laptop processors are making their way into commercial product, with Lenovo and Dell among those recently refreshing their lines.

Danny Bradbury

Danny Bradbury has been a print journalist specialising in technology since 1989 and a freelance writer since 1994. He has written for national publications on both sides of the Atlantic and has won awards for his investigative cybersecurity journalism work and his arts and culture writing. 

Danny writes about many different technology issues for audiences ranging from consumers through to software developers and CIOs. He also ghostwrites articles for many C-suite business executives in the technology sector and has worked as a presenter for multiple webinars and podcasts.