New Intel Core i9-14900KS photo fuels speculation of upcoming launch

An Intel Core i9-14900K with its promotional packaging
(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

The Intel Core i9-14900KS processor may have just been spotted online thanks to a leaked photo, indicating that Intel might not be quite done with its 14th-gen Core lineup just yet. 

With Intel understandably focused on the launch of its new Meteor Lake processors, not a lot of attention has been paid to its Raptor Lake Refresh chips since they launched late last year. But a new photo posted to Twitter (or X, if you insist) by user 9550pro appears to show a rather pristine-looking production version of the i9-14900KS processor, rather than a more cryptic engineering sample. Since Intel hasn't officially disclosed any details about its potential flagship chip, there's no way to tell if the chip is genuine, something 9550pro acknowledges in their post. 

A purported Intel Core i9-14900KS chip against a pink background

(Image credit: 9550pro / X)

However, as PCGamesN points out, recent developments suggest that more information may emerge soon. If the Core i9-14900KS is on the horizon, it is poised to become Intel's best processor for gaming, though whether it will be capable of dethroning the AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D remains to be seen.

The 14900KS is expected to follow the pattern of previous KS processors, offering similar specifications to the Core i9-14900K but with higher clock speeds. Current speculation suggests it could achieve clock speeds of up to 6.20GHz out of the box, but with the Intel Core i9-14900K falling behind the best AMD processor for gaming, this chip is probably better off with the enthusiast crowd and creative pros who can better leverage that extra 200MHz.

And, if past is prologue, the higher price of the i9-14900KS will likely mean enthusiasts are going to be the only ones willing to shell out the cash necessary to pick one up if it does launch.

Enthusiasts' last hurrah before Arrow Lake?

With Meteor Lake seemingly restricted to laptops and all-in-one PCs for the moment (it's still uncertain whether a Meteor Lake desktop processor will sell on its own), the Intel Core i9-14900KS might be the last high-end desktop processor to go on sale for several months. 

Intel says it is still committed to releasing both Arrow Lake and Lunar Lake in 2024, which means the Core i9-14900KS won't be the last Intel processor we see go on sale this year. 

Still, it might be just enough to hold the enthusiast crowd over until the new chips are released later this year, and given the somewhat lackluster gen-on-gen performance gain of the Intel Core i9-14900K, having that extra clock speed that the KS label brings with it might offer performance more in line with gamers and enthusiasts' expectations.

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John Loeffler
Components Editor

John (He/Him) is the Components Editor here at TechRadar and he is also a programmer, gamer, activist, and Brooklyn College alum currently living in Brooklyn, NY. 

Named by the CTA as a CES 2020 Media Trailblazer for his science and technology reporting, John specializes in all areas of computer science, including industry news, hardware reviews, PC gaming, as well as general science writing and the social impact of the tech industry.

You can find him online on Threads @johnloeffler.

Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 (just like everyone else).