Do you need help with choosing Intel K vs KS: Which processor variant is better? If so, it is essential to understand the functionality and compatibility of each variant according to your specific requirements. Intel K processors are “unlocked,” overclocking is possible with motherboards capable of overclocking, and graphics are integrated. These processors are the same as K processors in all respects except that they do not have integrated graphics. Intel KS CPUs are typically less expensive than the corresponding K CPUs with no integrated graphics.
Throughout the article, we cover the meanings of various suffixes, evaluate performance differences, and describe prices, and available factors that may affect your choice. By reading the article about K vs KS: which processor variant is better?, you will comprehend the difference between Intel K and KS processors, making determining which processors best suit your needs and preferences easier.
Intel K Processor:
First, let me explain Intel’s K processor. K means the chip has been unlocked and overclocked. In other words, it can bring out more performance and make it work harder. However, to do so, you need to use a motherboard designed for overclocking, such as a motherboard with a liquid cooling system. Overclocking can significantly strain the system and burn it to high temperatures. If you overclock the processor, you need to know the BIOS settings on your computer. Those who purchase K processors are trying to pull as much as possible from their computers. You will only need a K processor if you’re interested in overclocking computers.
Intel KS Processor:
What is an Intel KS processor? According to Engadget, this is a CPU with a higher bin than the K-series processor of the same class. Some CPUs can perform stably at different levels of performance due to the CPU production mechanism. The Intel processor’s “KS” suffix usually means a particular CPU with higher performance than non-KS. KS processors provide higher clock speeds and are often binned and selected to perform better under overclocking conditions. Simply put, a “KS” processor on the rig makes life a little exciting. For example, 12900K CPUs have higher performance and a better base clock speed than other 12900K CPUs. The higher performance is classified as KS, meaning a step up from the Intel K processor.
Intel K and KS: Which processor variant is better?
When comparing Intel K processors with KS processors, which is better depends on the purpose of use and the workload.
- The K suffix of the K processor indicates that it is an unlocked processor that enables higher performance.
- With 6GHz frequencies and superior performance, we recommend this variation if you prefer intense games.
- The KS variant is specifically designed for smooth multitasking and high performance. The main differences are price, clock speed, and base power.
- The K variant is the right choice for heavy computing tasks.
Ultimately, it should be determined based on individual needs and preferences.
What Elements Affect the Choice of K vs KS Processor?
When selecting a K vs KS processor, consider the following factors:
- Need for graphics: Evaluate whether the system needs integrated graphics or set up a dedicated GPU. The K-Series is suitable for integrated graphics, and the KS-Series is ideal for reliable GPU systems.
- Overclock: Both K and KS models have overclocking capabilities, so they are not different.
- Budget: KS Series CPUs are generally cheaper than K Series CPUs, so your budget may be the deciding factor if you don’t need integrated graphics.
- Use scenarios: Determine your usage requirements, such as games, content creation, and general computing needs, and determine which processor best suits your needs.
Intel K vs KS: Which should you buy?
If the name is the same except for the trailing “S,” the Intel K CPU and each KS CPU have the same number of cores and clock speed, which should support overclocking. The only difference is that the KS CPU has no integrated graphics. If you are confident in the stability of the graphics card and you are convinced that it will not be in the absence of a GPU that will die and supply the monitor with a game frame, or if you have a graphics card for backup at hand, you can save money by choosing Intel KS CPU over K CPU.
On the other hand, if you want peace of mind that even if the graphics card fails, you can work with integrated graphics for a while, you should choose the Intel K CPU over the KS CPU. Finally, consider whether you would likely use professional software requiring Intel-integrated graphics. For example, some Adobe software can use Intel Quick Sync for encoding, which requires Intel-integrated graphics.
Intel K vs KS for gaming
You may be wondering whether to turn the CPU on the Z690 motherboard into KS or K. If so, you should know that the KS CPU is lower than the K CPU. Both clock speed, number of cores, and other specifications are the same, but the KS CPU does not contain graphics cards. Combine graphics cards with Intel KS CPUs and expect the same performance as Intel K CPUs. The integrated graphics with Intel K CPU are a little redundant, but the integrated graphics card is convenient if the GPU is a lifetime. If your GPU is dead and you use a KS CPU, you cannot use your PC once you have a new GPU. KS CPU is inexpensive and works well with most calculations and game needs.
Price and Availability
At the time of this posting, 12900K has dropped from the original suggested retail price of $589 to between $500 and $550 and is available at around $500. It’s not cheap, and there are more bargain AMD and Intel processors, but that’s it. This kind of flagship does not, anyway, pursue cheap.
Given that the new CPU will be the de facto option at around $600, Core i9-12900K will gradually decline over the next few months. Core i9-12900K is available at most retailers, but Core i9-13900 KS will be sold out of stock for two to three weeks. However, this processor seems not out of stock so the price will return to the original soon after launch.
Looking at the specification table, it may have seemed that the 13900KS has greatly improved multi-threaded performance, but the single-threaded performance would not have improved so much, but it is correct. Our review found that 13900KS is 30% to 50% faster than normal R23 in multi-threaded applications like Handbrake and Cinebench 12900K.
Intel has promised that 13900KS will provide the “best gaming experience in the world,” but as far as we know, there is no significant improvement compared to the 12900K. 13900K has far more cache than 12900K, and adding a store is a great way to improve gaming performance. Since the additional clock speed is also suitable for the game, the performance of the 13900K is not much improved.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the main differences between Intel K processors and KS processors?
The integrated graphics feature is the main difference between Intel K and KS processors. Intel K-series processors have integrated GPUs, but KS-series processors do not have integrated GPUs.
Is there a difference between the overclock function in the K and KS models?
No, the overclocking capabilities of the K and KS models are similar. The main difference is that the Intel KS CPU has no integrated graphics card, either with or without integrated graphics.
Is there a cost difference between K CPU and KS CPU?
Yes, there are cost differences between K and KS processors. Since the KS series CPU does not have integrated graphics, it is slightly cheaper than the K series CPU. On the cost side, if you already have a dedicated GPU setup and don’t need integrated graphics, you can save some money by choosing a KS processor.
We have explored intel K vs KS. Know the difference, understand how it affects you, and consider the amount you can pay and the value of the processor you saw in the long term. The K-Series requires inexpensive processors, is not very interested in making gaming rigs, and is ideal for those who do essential computer work. The low-priced K-Series is a natural choice for such people. With a built-in GPU, the i5 version boasts even better performance and the i9 version is available at a lower budget. Try Intel Processor KS or K Series for heavier computer work or full-fledged games. The best is the i5-i9 option. These offer discrete GPUs, superior performance, and a processor capable of overclocking.