Intel Core i9-12900KS announced, and it is the "world's fastest desktop processor"

Intel Core i9-12900KS
(Image credit: Intel)

Intel has announced the Intel Core i9-12900KS, billed as the "world's most powerful processor", with a launch date of April 5 and an MSRP of $739. 

According to Intel's press release, the "unlocked i9-12900KS processor is the ultimate processor for enthusiasts and gamers who want the fastest processor available."

The Intel Core i9-12900KS features 16 cores (24 threads) with up to 5.5 GHz max turbo frequency with Intel Thermal Velocity Boost. Also of note, this special edition of the flagship CPU features a processor base power of 150 W. 

Akin to the first iteration of the CPU, the Intel Core i9-12900KS will be compatible with up to DDR5 4800 MT/s and DDR4 3200 MT/s support. 

Who is the Intel Core i9-12900KS for? 

The new processor is no doubt going to be up there as one of the best CPUs for gaming from a raw power perspective. Keep in mind, though, at $739, it's substantially more expensive than the standard Intel Core i9-12900K (which tends to retail commonly for around the $620 mark), there's certainly a premium to pay for all that power.

Having a fully unlocked version of an already incredibly fast CPU is going to prove advantageous for PC gamers wanting to push their rigs to the absolute limit. Though on paper it's only looking like a 0.3 GHz clock boost, that bump up in turbo frequency spells out a significant potential performance boost when dialing everything up to 11. If you want to build one of the best gaming PCs possible, this processor is one that you'll want to be considering at the heart of it. 

The Intel Core i9-12900KS boasts some incredible performance figures and will no doubt be the item of longing for many prospective PC gamers in 2022. The actual potential of such a fast processor, though, is geared primarily toward the enthusiasts with the highest-end components available, such as the best RAM for gaming and the best SSD for gaming.

It remains to be seen how effective the Deep Link technology between Intel Arc Alchemist and this high-end processor will be from a gaming perspective, though we're anticipating that some of the best graphics cards could be rivaled should the desktop GPUs impress later in the year. 

Today's best CPU deals 

With the Intel Core i9-12900KS still a week away from release, our price comparison software has you covered with stellar CPU deals to take advantage of on both sides of the power spectrum. 

Gear up for the Intel Core i9-12900KS with the best PC cases, best gaming desks, and best gaming monitors

Aleksha McLoughlin
Hardware Editor

Aleksha McLoughlin served as the Hardware Editor for GamesRadar from June 2021 until August 2022. Her main area of expertise was the PC gaming platform, which comprised buying guides, features, reviews, and news coverage on components and prebuilt machines. She was also responsible for gaming chairs and storage. She now works on a freelance basis while studying to become a university lecturer specializing in English for foreign territories. Prior to joining GamesRadar, she wrote for the likes of Expert Reviews, The Rory Peck Trust, No Clean Singing, Vinyl Chapters, and Tech Spark while also working with the BBC.