Intel says its new 5.5GHz i9-12900KS is the world's fastest desktop processor

It arrives on April 5th, but isn't cheap at $739.


Intel has unveiled the Core i9-12900KS "Special Edition" CPU claiming it's "the world's fastest desktop processor." Like the Core i9-12900K, it comes with 16-cores, including eight Performance cores and eight Efficient cores, along with 24 threads and 30MB of L3 cache. However, Intel boosted the clock speed from 5.2GHz to 5.5GHz (on up to two cores) by bumping the power from 125 to 150 watts.

AMD recently said that its $449 Ryzen 7 5800X3D was the world's fastest gaming processor, claiming that its 3D V-Cache would allow it to beat the Core i9-12900K. However, Intel has a good case that its latest model is now on top, as it has a much higher maximum clock speed (5.5GHz compared to 4.5GHz).

We'll have to wait for benchmark tests to see whether Intel is right, and the lead might change hands again when AMD releases its much anticipated Zen 4 Ryzen 7000 desktop chips in the second half of 2022. It would be a bit of a pyrrhic victory for end users, however, as the Core i9-12900KS will cost (at least) $739 when it arrives on April 5th — nearly $300 more than the AMD model. That's a pretty high price to pay for bragging rights, particularly when they could be short lived.

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