Intel just unveiled the 'world's fastest' desktop processor

Intel takes the covers off its new 5.5GHz 12th generation i9-12900KS processor.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Intel has announced it will be releasing a new 5.5GHz 12th generation i9-12900KS processor beginning April 5 – and while it's not cheap, it's very, very fast. 

Aimed at gamers and people who like to overclock CPUs, the unlocked i9-12900KS features 16 cores, which are evenly split between performance and efficiency cores, 24 threads on performance cores, 150W base power, a 30MB L3 cache, and up to 5.5 GHz max turbo frequency.   

Intel will host an event on April 5 but today revealed pricing will start at $739, and It's billing this CPU as "the world's fastest desktop processor".

SEE: How to talk about tech: Five ways to get people interested in your new project

"Based on Intel's 12th Gen performance hybrid architecture, this processor can hit 5.5 GHz on up to two cores for the first time," says Marcus Kennedy, general manager of Intel's gaming, creator and esports segment. 

The Core i9-12900KS is a special unlocked version of the Core i9-12900K, which it announced in October and costs around $610. 

Per AnandTech, the KS version slightly improves the frequencies available on the K version's efficiency and performance core. 

The CPU is likely to cost more when it arrives. Popular parts retailer Newegg last week leaked the pricing of the KS version as $799.99. 

One of its main rivals will be AMD's recently announced Ryzen 7 5800X3D desktop processor with 8 cores but 64MB of L3 cache. It will be available on April 20 for $449, according to AMD

Other features Intel has listed so far include PCIe Gen 5.0 and 4.0 support; support for up to DDR5-4800 and DDR4 3200, and integrated Intel UHD 770 graphics, and a chipset that's compatible with existing Z690 motherboards with latest BIOS.

Intel has published the full specs for the i9-12900KS here but will likely reveal more at its event on April 5. The event can be viewed online on its Twitch channel, Intel said on Twitter

The CPU will be sold in as a boxed product or integrated into computers. 

Editorial standards