Intel’s new flagship Core i9-9900KS – a heavily binned variant of the 9900K which boosts to 5GHz across all eight-cores out of the box – can be overclocked to 5.2GHz according to Silicon Lottery, although only a very small percentage of the processors are capable of this feat.
If you’re not familiar with the company, Silicon Lottery sells CPUs which are pretested and guaranteed to reach a certain speed when overclocking, for folks who want to avoid the so-called ‘silicon lottery’ (whereby some chips have a greater tolerance for overclocking than others).
- Best PC games of 2019: all the must-play titles
- AMD vs Intel: which processors are better?
- How to get started with overclocking
And according to Silicon Lottery, only 3% of Core i9-9900KS processors can run at 5.2GHz (or potentially faster). As to how much you’ll pay for a Silicon Lottery guaranteed 5.2GHz Core i9-9900KS, it’s a pretty tidy sum: $1,199.99 (around £930, AU$1,740). More than double the asking price, in other words; although the company is out of stock right now anyway, in case that didn’t put you off.
Silicon Lottery also sells the CPU overclocked to 5.1GHz – 31% of the chips are apparently capable of this – and also at 5GHz. Yes, any of Intel’s Core i9-9900KS processors can hit 5GHz when boosting, but these are CPUs guaranteed to run overclocked at 5GHz constantly.
That said, the company found 100% of 9900KS chips could be overclocked to 5GHz (as you might expect). So it’s probably not worth paying extra to pick one of those up from Silicon Lottery, as it will run you to $599.99 (around £465, AU$870), rather than the recommended retail price which is just over $500 (around £390, AU$720).
A real lottery
The big picture here is that at least going by these statistics, your chances of getting a ‘golden’ sample which is capable of a 5.2GHz overclock without becoming unstable are pretty slim indeed.
However, Intel has obviously pushed these processors so hard already in achieving these clocks that it’s no real surprise there’s little extra headroom for overclocking.
We have previously seen an alleged example of a pre-release Core i9-9900KS hitting 5.2GHz on just air cooling, so it seems that denizen of Reddit got very lucky with the lottery.
- We’ve picked out the best laptops of 2019