Maingear Is Selling Delidded Core i9-14900KS Gaming PCs And Yes, With A Warranty

Maingear MG-1 gaming desktop with lights in the background.
Intel's latest flagship processor, the Core i9-14900KS, is a beastly slice of silicon as we discovered in our review. It also needs ample cooling to take full advantage of the binned chip's full potential. To help with that, boutique builder Maingear is offering a delidded option on some of its desktops when configuring them with Intel's top consumer processor.

Let's get some baseline specs out of the way, shall we? The Core i9-14900KS is a 24-core/32-thread processor with 8 P-cores clocked up to 6.2GHz, 16 E-cores maxing out at 4.6GHz, and 36MB of L3 cache. As with past 'Special Edition' SKUs in Intel's lineup, the 14900KS is essentially the cream of the crop that's been validated to handle a higher power envelope, hence the 200MHz higher top speed compared to the Core i9-14900K/KF.

As you might expect, boutique builders are wasting no time deploying new builds based on the Core i9-14900KS. That includes Maingear, which is offering the part in most of its custom builds, including the MG-1 desktop (which earned our Editor's Choice award a little over a year ago), North (based on Fractal Design's gorgeous North XL chassis), Rush, Apex Rush, and workstation series. The only custom build that appears to be uninvited to the party is the more compact Revolt, though you can configure it with up to a Core i9-14900K. Likewise, preconfigured PCs like the excellent Zero we recently reviewed do not have a 14900KS option, with or without a lid.

Offering a top-of-the-line processor is not unique, of course. However, for an added fee, Maingear will strip the Core i9-14900KS of its integrated heatspreader (IHS) for a presumable bump in cooling performance—it allows the cooler to make direct contact with the CPU die.

Delidding is a risky procedure in the DIY space. While there are tools and kits that make it safer than it used to be, ripping the IHS off is not on the same level as, say, removing a cooling shroud from your graphics card or swapping the cooler on your CPU. One wrong move and your chip is toast.

It also voids the warranty with Intel. That's something to consider in the longer-term, though as far as the boutique builder goes, Maingear is offer the same standard 1-year warranty and lifetime support for its delidded CPU option as it does for its non-delidded CPUs.

Angled view of Maingear's North XL gaming desktop on a black background.

Whether or not it's worth the money, you'll have to decide for yourself. Looking at the customizable North series, for example, upgrading from the baseline Core i5-14400F to a Core i9-14900KS costs $645. For the delidded option, that's another $200, and it requires upgrading from the base Hyper 212 air cooler to Maingear's 360mm Epic RGB 360 all-in-one liquid cooler for $47. So it's really a $247 upgrade over the non-delidded CPU.

Interestingly, the options to extend the base 1-year warranty to 2 years or 3 years disappear with the delidded CPU selection. That's something to keep in mind, though it's nice that Maingear is keeping the standard warranty intact, which gives buyers plenty of time to stress test and make sure the delidded chip is working as it should.

Interested buyers can head to Maingear's site and configured a delidded Core i9-14900KS PC now.