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Purported Alder Lake Core i9-12900KS could hit 5 GHz on all cores, but 5 percent clockspeed boost may not be enough to tackle AMD's 3D V-Cache Ryzens

The Core i9-12900KS will likely run 200 MHz higher than the vanilla i9-12900K, right out of the box (Image source: Intel)
The Core i9-12900KS will likely run 200 MHz higher than the vanilla i9-12900K, right out of the box (Image source: Intel)
According to sources close to Videocardz, Intel is reportedly working on a pre-binned high-performance variant of the Core i9-12900K. The Core i9-12900KS could hit 5 GHz on all cores, right out of the box. It remains to be seen if this is enough to take on AMD's upcoming 3D V-Cache-refreshed Ryzen parts.

Intel is working on a performance-tuned version of its flagship Alder Lake part, the Core i9-12900K, according to sources close to Videocardz. The upcoming CPU, the Core i9-12900KS, is reportedly a pre-binned variant of the 12900K, guaranteed to run 200 MHz faster, out of the box. This would mean that the 12900KS should achieve a 5 GHz clock across all performance cores, without any additional tuning required. 

In real world terms, we're talking about a fairly marginal increase to performance here. Standard Core i9-12900K SKUs hit 4.8 GHz on all performance cores, and can manage 5.2 GHz in lightly threaded workloads. The binned i9-12900KS will likely tack on an extra 5 percent.

Performance in gaming and other applications doesn't tend to scale linearly with clockspeed, so we could be talking about a 2-3 percent boost to real world performance at best.

In contrast, AMD's planning a more substantial update to Zen 3 hardware, courtesy of its 3D V-Cache technology. Vertical stacking will allow AMD to add 256 MB to 512 MB of additional Infinity Cache to its Zen 3 chips, with an expected performance uplift of around 15 percent.

Even now, the standard Core i9-12900K is only around 9 percent ahead of the Ryzen 9 5900X in gaming workloads. 3D V-Cache could push Zen 3 past Alder Lake, and it remains to be seen whether the 12900KS' minor clock speed bump will be enough to make a difference. 

Check out the Core i9-12900K here on Amazon.

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Arjun Krishna Lal
Arjun Krishna Lal - Tech Writer - 600 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2019
I've had a passion for PC gaming since 1996, when I watched my dad score frags in Quake as a 1 year-old. I've gone on to become a Penguin-published author and tech journalist. Apart from working as an editor at Notebookcheck, I write for outlets including TechSpot and Gamingbolt. I’m the Director of Content at Flying V Group, one of the top 5 digital marketing agencies in Orange County. When I'm not traveling the world, gathering stories for my next book, you can find me tinkering with my PC.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 12 > Purported Alder Lake Core i9-12900KS could hit 5 GHz on all cores, but 5 percent clockspeed boost may not be enough to tackle AMD's 3D V-Cache Ryzens
Arjun Krishna Lal, 2021-12-17 (Update: 2021-12-17)