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Intel Core i9-14900KS Review: The Fastest Desktop CPU Yet

Intel Core i9-14900KS Review: The Fastest Desktop CPU Yet

The Intel Core i9-14900KS stands as the pinnacle in Intel's 14th generation series, specifically engineered for overclockers and gamers seeking unparalleled gaming performance at a premium. Positioned as Intel's potential final flagship desktop processor, it signifies a shift towards monolithic silicon with the upcoming Arrow Lake architecture, transitioning from the current Foveros tiles. As a Special Edition product, the Core i9-14900KS boasts unique characteristics denoted by its distinguished packaging, ensuring exclusivity over its regular counterpart, the i9-14900K, and necessitating specific conditions to unlock its full capabilities.

Utilizing the Raptor Lake Refresh microarchitecture akin to its 14th Gen counterparts, the i9-14900KS maintains an 8P+16E core configuration akin to the i9-14900K. Setting itself apart, it offers not only marginally higher clock speeds but also enhanced overclocking potential, utilizing the highest-performing silicon bins available.

Compatible with Socket LGA1700, the i9-14900KS theoretically supports Intel 600-series or 700-series chipset motherboards, contingent upon receiving UEFI firmware updates. Intel delineates three CPU power delivery profiles, with the Performance Power Delivery Profile catering to the i9-14900KS, allowing for a base power of 253 W and a maximum turbo power of 307 A. Notably, the i9-14900KS introduces an Extreme Power Delivery profile, necessitating careful motherboard selection to ensure compatibility.

Clock speed-wise, the i9-14900KS impresses with its stock specifications. With a base frequency akin to the i9-14900K, it boasts boosted frequencies up to 6.20 GHz for select P-cores, a notable increase over its predecessor. The introduction of Turbo Boost Max 3.0 further enhances performance, particularly evident in the increased boost frequency of the E-cores.

The Raptor Lake Refresh microarchitecture mirrors its predecessor with incremental clock speed improvements and introduces features like Intel Application Optimization (APO), enhancing power management for optimized application-specific performance. While initially limited to a select few titles, APO support has steadily expanded, with plans for further integration across multiple processor generations.

Priced at £690, the i9-14900KS commands a premium over its predecessor, reflecting its top-tier positioning within Intel's lineup. Despite the increase, it remains competitively priced compared to previous iterations, offering exceptional value for enthusiasts seeking unparalleled performance.

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