Intel Core i9 14900KS shows up at multiple EU retailers, indicating its launch is imminent

 Intel Core i9 13900K Raptor Lake chip on a promotional box.
Intel Core i9 13900K Raptor Lake chip on a promotional box.

The upcoming Core i9 14900KS CPU has shown up at several European retailers. Intel's latest binned KS model is sure to be its fastest gaming chip. Though it's likely to use a lot of power and pump out volcanic amounts of heat, the price looks to be within expectations, if only going by i9 13900KS pricing.

The listings were spotted by the ever-sleuthing @momomo_us. They show both boxed and tray versions of the monster chip at French retailer PC21 for €768 and €752 respectively. That's likely on the high side, but with a roughly 1:1 USD to Euro price conversion plus tax, a price tag of $699 for the 14900KS seems plausible.

Just a few days ago, our man Jacob wrote about some leaked performance numbers and speculated the 14900KS would launch sometime in the next few months. But with retailer listings starting to pop up, it's looking more like weeks at this point. Some grain-of-salty rumors suggest a launch as soon as mid-March. That's firming up now, as stocks have to be shipped out to distributors and retailers ahead of a hard launch.

Given we know the 14900KS is a binned 14900K, there won't be any surprises in store. It'll have higher clocks, higher power consumption, and a little more performance for its premium price.

According to the leak last week, the 14900KS will have a maximum boost clock of 6.2GHz and a base power of 150W—25W higher than that of the 14900K. But when all the P-cores are loaded up, peak power can reach above 400W. That's crazy innit? Good luck with that on some of the cheaper LGA 1700 boards.

Top CPU coolers

The best liquid coolers on a two-tone grey background
The best liquid coolers on a two-tone grey background

Best AIO cooler for CPUs: Keep your chip chill.
Best air cooler for CPUs: Classic, quiet cooling.

KS chips aren't aimed at mainstream buyers. They're limited-edition binned chips aimed at overclockers and enthusiasts who care about the best performance above all else. These buyers will have high-end motherboards and cooling to match. If you don't, you'll see a lot of throttling and end up with performance that's worse than that of a 14900K.

I wouldn't pay the premium for a 14900KS or accept the increased loaded power consumption and higher heat output over a 14900K, but I do understand why KS chips exist. I have no beef with Intel offering the option for those that want it.

The 14900KS might need to be fast too, as AMD is reportedly readying its Zen 5 CPU family for launch in the second quarter of 2024. A Computex launch would be logical.