Intel Core i9-14900KS With Boosted Clocks Smiles For The Camera But Is It Real?

Partially redacted Intel Core i9-14900KS processor on top of packaging for a Samsung 990 Pro SSD.
It was right around this time last year when Intel trotted out its 13th Gen Core i9-13900KS at the Consumer Electronics Show, which it called a "milestone moment for the PC industry." That's because it was the first CPU to ship with a 6GHz clock speed out of the box (via Thermal Velocity Boost). Will we see a 14th Gen Core i9-14900KS at this year's CES event? There's been a spattering of leaks to suggest we might, the latest of which is a photograph purporting to show the unannounced part.

Prominent tipster and X/Twitter user @9550pro (HXL) shared the image, which they sourced from Tencent QQ, a Chinese instant messaging software service and web portal. The photo shows a partially redacted processor plopped on top of a retail package for a 1TB Samsung 990 Pro solid state drive. Assuming the CPU is real, it would be quite the performant combo.

Therein lies the question, though—is it actually real? The tipster is uncertain, stating on X/Twitter, "I don't know if it's fake or not and I don't know if it will be [sic] launch."

While there's a bit of fading on the heatspreader's imprinted text, it's clearly labeled a Core i9-14900KS. However, the image redacts key details, namely the QR code and PCB designation. There are legitimate reasons for doing this on unreleased and unannounced hardware, primarily to conceal the source so as not to get anyone in hot water. Or, as @9550pro acknowledges, it could be fake.

Intel's "KS" chips are essentially special edition CPUs. You can think of them as hyper-binned silicon that's been qualified to handle higher clocks than the regular "K" variant of the same model, which in this case would be the Core i9-14900K. For reference, the Core i9-14900K is a 24-core/32-thread processor with 8 P-cores capable of ramping to 6GHz via Thermal Velocity Boost.

Desktop listings showing Intel's unannounced Core i9-14900KS.

Just a few weeks, the Core i9-14900KS appeared in prebuilt desktop listings at PC-Online, an online shop in Israel. Those listings are still live and point to a boosted 6.2GHz clock speed for special edition SKU, along with 36MB of L3 cache, the later of which is the same as the Core i9-14900K.

If Intel decides to launch a Core i9-14900KS at CES, and should it boast a 6.2GHz top clock speed, it will qualify as the fastest stock-clocked x86 CPU around. That would likely come by way of a higher TDP, which in turn means you would need some beefy cooling to get the most out of the CPU. We'll know soon enough, as CES is just around the corner.