Intel's Core i9-9900KS Special Edition launches this week for $513

Although it produces up to 33 percent more heat, every single core will boost up to 5GHz.

Credit: Intel

Intel’s 5GHz Core i9-9900KS Special Edition will set you back a cool $513 when it goes on sale in two days, the company said Monday.

The 8-core Core i9-9900KS Special Edition is being pitched as the “world’s best for gaming,” and somewhat similar to the special edition status of the company’s Core i7-8086K. 

The 14nm-based Core i9-9900KS features a base clock of 4GHz, which is about 400MHz higher than the current Core i9-9900K’s 3.6GHz. But what makes the Core i9-9900KS so special is its all-core Turbo Boost clocks of 5GHz. While the Core i9-9900K could technically push a single core at 5GHz, with maybe a couple of others occasionally coming along too, the Core i9-9900KS Special Edition is rated to Turbo all eight cores up to 5GHz.

Intel’s trick? Heat production. While the Core i9-9900K has a TDP rating of 95 watts, the special edition Core i9-9900KS has a TDP rating of 127 watts. That’s about a 33-percent increase in heat the CPU will dissipate at its highest clock speeds.

The 5GHz Core i9-9900KS has been a long time coming, as Intel first introduced it at Computex in May of this year. The landscape has drastically changed since then. While the Core i9-9900K easily outboxed AMD’s top Ryzen 7 2700X when introduced and claimed the “best gaming CPU” title, AMD has since introduced its 2nd-generation Ryzen series, including its phenomenal 12-core Ryzen 9 3900X that’s built on a 7nm process.

Too much, too late?

So, yes, the headwinds for the Core i9-9900KS are considerably stiffer. That may be why Intel’s $513 price of the CPU comes as a mild surprise to some and a mild disappointment to others. The Core i9-9900K launched just a year ago at $489 but was mostly pegged at a street price of $550. Post-Ryzen 3000 launch, the Core i9-9900K has moderated to $450 on the street. In any case it’s a fairly small markup for what is arguably a faster CPU that can hit 5GHz on all cores.

To some, though, that won’t be enough. Many were likely hoping for price slashing along the lines of what happened with Intel's recently announced Cascade Lake X chips, when prices for previous models were cut by up to 50 percent.

i9 9900ks 3 Intel

Intel’s all-core 5GHz Turbo Boost Core i9-9900KS Special Edition goes on sale for a price lower than expected.

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Gordon Mah Ung

Gordon Mah Ung

PC World (US online)
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