Intel’s incoming Core i9-13900KS, which will be a new version of the Raptor Lake flagship CPU – one capable of boost to 6GHz right out of the box, no overclocking needed – could be over 20% more expensive than the current 13900K.
As VideoCardz highlighted, this is going by a tweet from hardware leaker @momomo_us who picked up on the 13900KS – and other inbound Raptor Lake processors – being listed at retailer PC Canada (keep your skeptical head firmly on, naturally).
🤔 https://t.co/iglVxe5zQm pic.twitter.com/wjZofzLaF7November 26, 2022
The 13900KS is priced at $927 Canadian Dollars, and comparing that to the price of the existing 13900K at the same retailer, that’s a 22% markup.
A bunch of other Raptor Lake processors are listed and priced here, models which have already been leaked previously (by Microsoft in fact). They include the Core i3-13100 at the other end of the spectrum from the 13900KS, a quad-core processor marked up at $207 Canadian Dollars (or $170 for the 13100F which is the variant that drops the integrated GPU to keep the cost down more).
Analysis: Beware the dangers of placeholder pricing
Intel is set to reveal these new Raptor Lake processors at CES 2023, which isn’t far off now. The Core i9-13900KS and other 13th-gen models turning up at this Canadian retailer is a tantalizing suggestion that they could hit shelves pretty soon after the initial reveal of the CPUs. Typically, we’ll see new models unveiled a while before they actually go on sale – but this is a hint that the wait for additional Raptor Lake silicon won’t be long.
Regarding the actual pricing, these are likely to be placeholders as is often the case when pre-release chips pop up early at retailers, so don’t put too much stock in the price tags shown.
That said, this could be a reasonable rough indication of the kind of premium to expect for the 13900KS compared to the 13900K. At the high-end, you’re always going to be looking at a big dent in your wallet, especially when a chip like the ‘KS’ version of an Intel flagship comes out, so 20% extra may not be an unrealistic proposition. Given that the 13900K is still retailing at up towards the $700 mark in the US, though – albeit Black Friday discounts have chopped it down a bit with some retailers – that could leave the 13900KS at a pretty eye-watering level.
Assuming this is the kind of additional outlay in the cards, will it be worth paying that for what is essentially an extra 200MHz of boost compared to the 13900K? Well, that’s arguable certainly, and it remains to be seen how the 13900KS will perform in terms of the raw grunt it can muster and how that’ll be affected by temperatures and throttling (though the cooling solution used will come into play here, too, obviously).
However, enthusiasts who want the absolute best – the niche market that the KS model is aimed at – will likely stretch to any extra expense without too much difficulty. Let’s face it, these are the folks buying Nvidia’s new Lovelace GPUs which are way, way more expensive than even the 13900KS will be.
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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).