Speak of the devil and he shall appear – Intel’s Core i9 9900KS processor has shown up on a US retailer with a price tag of $604. It’s an odd amount to charge, and certainly not the final MSRP, but it does offer us a ballpark idea of the price bracket Intel will be aiming at for with its 5GHz, 8-core CPU expected in October.
Announced at Computex 2019, seemingly to take the wind out of AMD’s sails a little, the Intel Core i9 9900KS is a binned variant of the ($475) i9 9900K. While underneath it’s the same 14nm Coffee Lake architecture as its carbon copy, the i9 9900KS will clock up to 5GHz all-core Turbo from the i9 9900K’s single-core boost of 5GHz – or thereabouts.
How much of a difference that clock speed bump will make in games we don’t yet know. Game engines downright refuse to make use of more than a couple threads, and it’s often a case of diminishing returns with ultra high core-count CPUs. That extra clock speed could offer a decent performance boost in some multithreaded and multitasking applications, however.
With an announcement so many moons ago, and an ongoing 14nm shortage over at Intel’s fabs, we started to suspect that this chip may never show up on the shelves – even despite Intel insisting it would. We now know the company aims to launch this chip (likely in limited numbers) come October.
The latest find by Momomo_US on Twitter would suggest a retail price around the $600 mark, which would put this chip cheaper than AMD’s Ryzen 9 3950X at $749.
— 188号 (@momomo_us) September 26, 2019
Where that leaves the 10-core Comet Lake desktop processors is a mystery. Intel usually launches a vanguard of unlocked gaming processors ahead of a full generational refresh sometime around October/November. But with the i9 9900KS supposedly on track for next month, it feels unlikely Chipzilla will ditch its “world’s best gaming desktop processor” immediately following its launch.