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Intel Core i9-11900K ‘golden’ CPUs now on sale at a price that’ll scare your wallet

Intel Core i9-11900K review
(Image credit: Future)

If you want a ‘golden sample’ of Intel’s Core i9-11900K, then it’ll set you back a rather eye-watering $880 (around £635 or AU$1,130) over in the US.

That’s if you buy the Rocket Lake flagship from Silicon Lottery, the supplier which resells cherry-picked CPUs that are guaranteed to reach certain speeds (known as pre-binned chips). All processors are made to a minimum spec, but some models – if you’re lucky – can run a sizeable chunk faster when you try to overclock them.

As mentioned, the fastest pre-binned CPU that Silicon Lottery offers guarantees that the 11900K will run at an all-core boost speed of 5.1GHz when overclocked (the default all-core clock speed is 4.8GHz, so that’s 300MHz faster).

Good as gold

Silicon Lottery notes that of the 11900K chips it has bought in, 29% of them were top-end overclockers capable of 5.1GHz. The retailer also sells 11900K CPUs which are guaranteed for 5GHz across all-cores for $700 (around £505 or AU$900), and 4.9GHz chips are $620 (around £445 or AU$800).

Most of the Rocket Lake flagship processors – 73% of them, almost three-quarters – are capable of a 5GHz all-core overclock, so that theoretically bodes well for folks taking their chances and simply buying a plain CPU from a normal retailer.

Silicon Lottery also offers Intel Core i5-11600K CPUs starting at $250 (around £180 or AU$320) for a 4.8GHz model, with 4.9GHz and 5GHz chips on sale too (you’ll pay $340 – which is around £245 or AU$440 – for the latter).

For the swiftest Core i9-11900K, you’ll fork out 63% more than the recommended price for that 300MHz increase in speed, which is a steep ask for the extra performance – but then again, folks with plenty of money to throw at their PC probably won’t bat an eyelid.

Silicon Lottery guarantees that CPUs will be stable at their advertised overclocked speed – with ‘rigorous’ stress testing applied before they go on sale – but with the caveats that certain specified settings must be used, as well as certain qualified components. You get a one-year warranty and a “one-time replacement for any defects or malfunctions that may develop over time” (but things like physical damage to the CPU aren’t covered, unsurprisingly).

Also worth noting is that Intel has discontinued its overclocking insurance (Performance Tuning Protection Plan) as of the launch of its Rocket Lake range, apparently due to its lack of popularity.

Via Tom’s Hardware