Intel Core i9-9900KS CPUs Binned At 5.1GHz, 5.2GHz On All-Cores Hit Silicon Lottery
An online retailer is selling cherry picked Intel Core i9-9900KS Special Edition processors that have been pre-tested to hit certain overclocked frequencies. The highest clocked one is guaranteed to run stable at 5.2GHz with certain settings in the BIOS (1.325V being one of them), and is also the priciest at $1,199.99, which is more than double Intel's recommended customer price (RCP) of $513.
The Core i9-9900KS Special Edition processor is already a cherry picked part, as it is basically a binned Core i9-9900K that Intel has validated to run at higher frequencies, including up to a 5.0GHz all-core boost clock. Intel also raised the TDP to 127W (from 95W), but otherwise, the specs are the same—both the Core i9-9900KS and Core i9-9900K boast 8 cores and 16 threads, along with 16MB of L3 cache.
What's for sale at Silicon Lottery, however, are the best of the best. The retailer pre-tests its inventory and then guarantees certain overclocked frequencies when using a specific set of parameters. For the Core i9-9900KS, it's offering three tiers of guaranteed overclocking performance...
- Core i9-9900KS @ 5.2GHz: $1,199.99
- Core i9-9900KS @ 5.1GHz: $749.99
- Core i9-9900KS @ 5.0GHz: $599.99
That last one may seem puzzling at first glance, since the Core i9-9900KS is already rated to boost up to 5GHz on all cores. What Silicon Lottery is selling, however, is one that can run overclocked at 5GHz all the time, versus the stock settings that call for a 4GHz base frequency.
According to the retailer, only the top 3 percent of Core i9-9900KS CPUs tested were able to hit 5.2GHz or higher, whereas 31 percent were able to hit 5.1GHz or higher, and 100 percent were able to hit at least 5GHz. If you want the retailer to de-lid the processor (which means removing the integrated heatspreader, or IHS, that sits on top of the CPU die), it will happily do so for a $49.99 up-charge.
"Peak core temperatures under a heavy overclocked load typically decrease anywhere from 3C to 7C for Intel 9th generation CPUs. De-lidding may take up to one business day to complete, depending on current pre-delidded inventory available," the site says.
At these price points, it's hard to recommend buying one. The fastest of the bunch is sold out anyway, but regardless, if you are interested in the Core i9-9900KS, it makes more sense to try your luck buying from a vendor that has not already sorted out the best of the bunch.