Intel i9-12900K vs i9-12900KS 12th generation processors

Intel’s 12th generation processors from the i9 family of core processors are the latest processors from Intel. Intel i9-12900K and i9-12900KS are the two processors from the 12th generation. We discuss the main features and points of differences between the i9-12900K and i9-12900KS below. Remember, i9-12900K is one of the best gaming processors around with exceptional performance and frames per second. And, i9-12900KS is the special edition of the i9-12900K processor.

Similarities – i9-12900K vs i9-12900KS desktop processors

Both i9-12900K and i9-12900KS are 12th generation processors in the desktop series of processors. These processors share the core features. Some of the main core features of the i9-12900K and i9-12900KS are listed here.

  • i9-12900K and i9-12900KS have 16 total cores with 8 performance and 8 efficiency cores.
  • Both processors support multi-threading and have 24 threads each for multi-thread processing of tasks.
  • i9-12900K and i9-12900KS have 30 MB internal cache and 14 MB L2 cache. There is no difference in the cache capacity of both processors.
  • i9-12900K and i9-12900KS can support two RAM memory channels with total capacity of 128 GB.
  • Both processors are compatible with DDR4 and DDR5 RAM with data transmission speeds of 4800 MT/s and 3200 MT/s. The maximum memory bandwidth that can be pushed out is 76.8 GB per second.
  • I9-12900K and i9-12900KS support integrated graphics. Intel UHD 770 is the graphics chipset used on both processors with a base graphics frequency of 300 MHz and maximum frequency of 1.55 MHz.
  • Both these processors are compatible with DirectX 12 standards.
  • i9-12900K and i9-12900KS can support up to 4 display monitors.
  • Both processors are compatible with the PCI 5 and PCI 4 standards of data transfer between the processor and the motherboard. There are 20 PCI lanes on the i9-12900K and i9-12900KS processors.
  • Both processors use the same Intel socket with 1700 pins. The socket LGA1700 is used to house the processors.
  • The size of both processors is same – 45.0 mm x 37.5 mm.
  • The maximum HDMI port resolution for both processors is 4096 x 2160 @ 60Hz.
  • The maximum display port resolution for both processors is 7680 x 4320 @ 60Hz.
  • i9-12900K and i9-12900KS processors support ECC memory standards as well.
  • Each processor can support up to 32 graphic processing units for graphics rendering.

Aside from the similarities between i9-12900K and i9-12900KS, there are subtle differences between the two processors.

Differences between i9-12900K vs i9-12900KS desktop processors

i9-12900KS is a relatively better performing processor than the i9-12900K processor. There are some differences that you should be aware of. Some of these differences are not significant. But, the clock speed or frequency of the i9-12900KS is higher than the i9-12900K processor.

  • i9-12900KS was launched after the i9-12900K processor. i9-12900KS was released in Q1 of 2022 and i9-12900K was released in Q4 of 2021.
  • i9-12900KS is priced upwards of $739 and i9-12900K is priced upwards of $589.
  • The major difference between i9-12900K and i9-12900KS lies in the base and peak frequency of the processors.
  • i9-12900K efficient cores have a base frequency of 2.40 GHz and a maximum frequency of 3.90 GHz. i9-12900KS performance cores have a base frequency of 2.50 GHz and maximum frequency of 4 GHz.
  • i9-12900K performance cores have a base frequency of 3.20 GHz and maximum turbo frequency of 5.10 GHz. i9-12900KS performance cores have a base frequency of 3.40 GHz and maximum turbo frequency of 5.20 GHz.
  • The max turbo frequency for i9-12900K is 5.20 GHz and the max turbo frequency for i9-12900KS is 5.50 GHz.
  • The CPU benchmark score of i9-12900K is 41217 and the CPU benchmark score of i9-12900KS is 44510. The CPU Passmark benchmark scores tell us about 8 to 10 percent improvement in processor performance of i9-12900KS over the i9-12900K.
  • The processor base power of i9-12900K is 125 Watts and the processor base power of i9-12900KS is 150 Watts. This implies a slightly higher power consumption on the i9-12900KS processor.
  • The thermal standards for i9-12900K and i9-12900KS are different. i9-12900K follows the thermal standards PCG 2020A and the i9-12900KS follows the thermal standards of PCG 2022E.
  • i9-12900K has a T Junction value of 100 degree Celsius and the i9-12900KS has a T Junction value of 90 degree Celsius. The T Junction values tells us the maximum operating temperature of processors. Beyond the maximum operating temperature controls, the thermal control measures get activated.
  • i9-12900KS also supports the Intel Adaptive Boost Technology and the Intel Thermal Velocity Boost.


i9-12900KS is suitable for high performance gaming with 720 frame per seconds. It is definitely a notch higher than the i9-12900K CPU performance. i9-12900KS is the fastest gaming processor available from Intel core family of processors. Remember, i9-12900KS is a special edition of the i9-12900K processor. You are paying extra for gains on the processor speed and turbo frequency. Other features on the i9-12900KS are inherited from the i9-12900K range of Intel processors.

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Rajesh Dhawan

Rajesh Dhawan is a technology professional who loves to blog about smart wearables, Cloud computing and Microsoft technologies. He loves to break complex problems into manageable chunks of meaningful information.