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New Intel Core i9-12900KS beats AMD’s best by almost 30%

Intel’s upcoming latest and greatest, the Core i9-12900KS, is still unreleased — but a lucky user already received their chip and benchmarked it.

A comparison of the CPU to other high-end chips shows that Intel’s new processor may be the best CPU on the market upon release, beating AMD’s Ryzen 9 5950X by up to 30%.

The Intel Core i9-12900KS processor in its packaging.
Image source: Seby9123

We’re not far off from the release of the Core i9-12900KS, Intel’s new high-end chip, but some retailers jumped the gun and shipped the orders ahead of time. As a result, some customers were able to receive their CPUs before the official release date. One such user, Seby9123, tested the processor thoroughly in a Cinebench R23 benchmark.

On the surface, the Core i9-12900KS is very similar to its predecessor, featuring a total of 16 cores (eight performance cores, eight efficiency cores) and 24 threads. However, it has higher base and boost clock speeds, reaching 3.4GHz and 5.5GHz respectively on its performance cores. It’s worth noting that the 5.5GHz result applies to just two of its performance cores, while the CPU hit 5.2GHz across all eight cores. The benchmark has confirmed this, and also showed us that the efficient cores hit up to 4.0GHz when boosted, but there is no mention of a base clock speed for those cores.

Seby shared the benchmark results, and Tom’s Hardware compared them against its internal database of high-end CPU tests. It’s important to note, however, that Seby’s setup had an advantage over that of Tom’s Hardware — faster DDR5 memory. The Reddit user had a PC running DDR5-6200 at 32-38-38-76, while the Tom’s Hardware computer had DDR5-4400 memory with timings set to 36-36-36-72. Some of the tests involved a platform with DDR4-3200 memory and 14-14-14-36 timings. All three platforms ran Windows 10.

A chart showing Intel Core i9-12900KS benchmark results.
Image source: Tom’s Hardware

Comparing the Core i9-12900KS to its predecessor, the Core i9-12900K, shows a 6.7% improvement in single-core performance and a 5.7% improvement in multi-core, when running DDR5 memory. When it comes to AMD’s current top processor, the Ryzen 9 5950X, Intel’s domination is much more apparent. The Core i9-12900KS wins against the Ryzen 9 5950X in multi-core operations by 9.2% and by a whopping 29.6% in single-core tasks.

CPU-Z data for the chip confirms that the PL1 processor base power (PBP) has been ramped up to 150 watts, marking a 25-watt increase over the Core i9-12900K. Intel also seems to have removed AVX-512 instructions from the chip.

The benchmark results bode well for the Intel Core i9-12900KS, but we’d expect no less from a high-end processor. The fact that Intel Alder Lake outpaces the Ryzen 9 5950X is not strange at all, considering that AMD is still one generation behind. However, AMD has a new card up its sleeve, the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, which is set to launch on April 20 with its brand-new 3D V-Cache. Once we get our hands on the official benchmarks for both the Core i9-12900KS and the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, things might get interesting, as AMD expects a marked improvement in performance from its new (still Zen 3-based) chip.

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Monica J. White
Monica is a UK-based freelance writer and self-proclaimed geek. A firm believer in the "PC building is just like expensive…
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