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There “won’t be many” Intel Core i9-14900KS CPUs

Intel is also reportedly weighing up whether to allow delidding the new processor under warranty, in a bid to appeal to overclockers.

Intel Core i9-14900KS CPU mockup

Intel’s forthcoming flagship CPU is only going to be available in very limited quantities, according to the latest rumors. The Intel Core i9-14900KS is currently one of the worst kept secrets in the industry, with several recent leaks apparently revealing its price and clock speed, as well as its power draw.

The new Intel chip looks set to be a clocked up Core i9-14900K, which currently has a place on our best gaming CPU guide, but it’s going to have a very niche market. The Core i9-14900KS power draw is over 400W at peak load, according to benchmarks, and the 14900K already eats power supplies for breakfast, while also outputting a lot of heat.

This latest rumor comes from tech gossip stirrer Moore’s Law is Dead (in the video below, whose industry source says that the eventual release date of the new CPU will largely depend on “how many of these golden samples they [Intel] can set aside (which won’t be many).”

The phrase “golden sample” refers to a chip that’s capable of running well beyond its standard rated clock speeds while still remaining stable, and you sometimes see these chips being sold by specialist retailers for overclockers. Some manufacturers, such as Gainward, used to advertise graphics cards as being “golden sample” to make them appeal to overclockers as well.

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In this case, Intel would be selecting Core i9-14900K dies from its factories that can stably boost to 6.2GHz without causing any trouble (a process known as binning), and badging them as Core i9-14900KS CPUs. However, given that Intel’s 10nm Raptor Lake architecture is already arguably being pushed to its limit by the 6GHz boost clock of the 14900K, it looks as though Intel won’t be able to bin many chips that can make the 14900KS grade. Moore’s Law is Dead predicts that it will be an “extremely low volume product.”

So much so, in fact, that Intel is reportedly also considering covering delidding under warranty for overclockers. Delidding refers to the process of removing the big metal heatspreader on top of your CPU, and then either replacing the stock thermal paste with a superior material before replacing the heatspreader (so it runs cooler), or leaving the CPU die bare, so it can make direct contact with the contact plate of your CPU cooler.

Either way, it’s a specialist activity with a fair amount of risk involved, and I’m very surprised to learn that Intel may be considering covering it under warranty. We’ll have to wait and see for the truth of this when the CPU is eventually released, but it may be that the product will only be available in such limited quantities that Intel can afford to make this warranty commitment, as the number of CPUs being returned will be so small.

The Core i9-14900KS has reportedly had a rocky time in development, with a previous Moore’s Law is Dead video citing a source as saying that “there is a lot of internal pressure inside Intel right now to not release it. A faction inside the company is arguing that it could only make us look bad.” If all the rumors about the Core i9-14900KS price, power draw, and limited quantities are true, then it’s certainly going to have very niche appeal, and you’ll need some serious cooling power to keep it in check.

In the meantime, if you like your CPUs a little more on the sensible side, check out our Core i5-14600K review, as well as our Ryzen 7 7800X3D review. Both these CPUs will be ideal if you plan to build a gaming PC that hits the spot for a reasonable price.