Would you pay for the privilege of a guarantee that your new CPU can overclock to a certain level? Intel is betting you would with its new Intel Core i9-9900KS, a 9900K with a factory overclock of 5GHz on all cores. But you can go even further. Case King now offers a $1,100 9900KS that it guarantees can hit 5.3GHz on all cores. Famed overclocker Roman “der8auer” Hartung has tested it himself and made some performance-enhancing alterations.
While there is a generally accepted range of overclocks that most CPUs can achieve, there is very real variation among even CPUs of the same type and model. In some cases, by several hundred megahertz. For many, the joy of overclocking is finding the limit of their particular hardware, but others just want the absolute bleeding edge of performance. That’s where services like Case King’s come in.
The new “Overclocked Intel Core i9-9900KS Advanced Edition” CPU has been “delidded” — that is, the metal integrated heatspreader (IHS) has been temporarily removed, and the stock soldered interface material replaced with Thermal Grizzly’s Conductonaut liquid metal solution. This, we’re told, contributes to a reduction in overall load temperatures of the CPU of as much as 8 degrees Celsius.
That’s important because the 5.3GHz all-core overclock leads to an increase in the power demands and temperature output of the 9900KS. Caseking recommends at least a 280mm watercooler, and preferably a 360mm. It also strongly recommends using a Z390 motherboard, rather than the more mainstream Z370, though it will work on the latter.
Each CPU comes with a laser engraving of Der8auer and CaseKing, with the recommended voltage and other BIOS settings for the 5.3GHz overclock included in the box. Each chip loses its Intel warranty due to delidding and overclocking, so Caseking offers a two-year warranty of its own to ensure you’re getting a working chip that will last.
Case King isn’t the only company offering this kind of service, though. Silicon Lottery has some guaranteed overclockers of its own, but they are more expensive. Its guaranteed 5.1GHz overclockable 9900KS will set you back $750, while its 5.2GHz guaranteed overclockable 9900KS is priced at $1,200, although at the time of writing they are almost all sold out.
- Intel Core i7 vs. i9: What’s the difference?
- The best processors for gaming
- AMD Ryzen 9 3900X vs. Intel Core i9-9900K
- Intel Core i5 vs. i7 processors
- AMD Ryzen 5900X vs. Intel Core i9 10900K: Revenge of the underdog?