Core i5-14600K: Intel’s newest mid-range CPU.

Core i5-14600K: Intel's newest mid-range CPU.

Intel’s 14th generation of processors is now a reality, and they go by the codename “Raptor Lake Refresh.” From the name alone, it becomes evident that there won’t be any significant technological advancements or notable architectural changes. Essentially, this represents Intel’s attempt to rejuvenate the market with a lineup of processors that don’t introduce anything groundbreaking but rather build upon the existing 13th generation Raptor Lake design. Many prospective buyers, including myself, approach these “new” processors with caution. The reasons behind our skepticism are quite clear and well-founded. While the increased clock frequencies and core counts may initially seem enticing, the rapid surge in power consumption and heat generation presents a major deterrent to their adoption. At the top end of this range is the flagship Core i9-14900K, which we discussed in a previous article. However, in this article, we’ll focus on the mid-range CPU, the Core i5-14600K, and explore whether it can genuinely offer a meaningful upgrade.

Core i5-14600K Specifications.

Let’s take a brief look at the features of Intel’s newest mid-range processor:

CPU Specifications:

  • Total Cores: 14
  • # of Performance-cores: 6
  • # of Efficient-cores: 8
  • Total Threads: 20
  • Max Turbo Frequency: 5.3 GHz
  • Performance-core Max Turbo Frequency: 5.3 GHz
  • Efficient-core Max Turbo Frequency: 4 GHz
  • Performance-core Base Frequency: 3.5 GHz
  • Efficient-core Base Frequency: 2.6 GHz
  • Cache: 24 MB Intel® Smart Cache
  • Total L2 Cache: 20 MB
  • Processor Base Power: 125 W
  • Maximum Turbo Power: 181 W

Supplemental Information:

  • Marketing Status: Launched
  • Launch Date: Q4’23
  • Embedded Options Available: No

Memory Specifications:

  • Max Memory Size (dependent on memory type): 192 GB
  • Memory Types: Up to DDR5 5600 MT/s
    Up to DDR4 3200 MT/s
  • Max # of Memory Channels: 2
  • Max Memory Bandwidth: 89.6 GB/s
  • ECC Memory Supported: Yes

GPU Specifications:

  • Processor Graphics: Intel® UHD Graphics 770
  • Graphics Base Frequency:300 MHz
  • Graphics Max Dynamic Frequency: 1.55 GHz
  • Graphics Outpute: DP 1.4b, DP 1.4a, HDMI 2.1
  • Execution Units: 32
  • Max Resolution (HDMI): 4096 x 2160 @ 60Hz
  • Max Resolution (DP): ‡7680 x 4320 @ 60Hz
  • Max Resolution (eDP – Integrated Flat Panel): ‡5120 x 3200 @ 120Hz
  • DirectX* Support: 12
  • OpenGL* Support: 4.5
  • OpenCL* Support: 3.0
  • Multi-Format Codec Engines: 2
  • Intel® Quick Sync Video: Yes
  • Intel® Clear Video HD Technology: Yes
  • # of Displays Supported: 4
  • Device ID: 0xA780

Expansion Options:

  • Direct Media Interface (DMI) Revision: 4.0
  • Max # of DMI Lanes: 8
  • Scalability: 1S Only
  • PCI Express Revision: 5.0 and 4.0
  • PCI Express Configurations: Up to 1×16+4, 2×8+4
  • Max # of PCI Express Lanes: 20

Package Specifications:

  • Sockets Supported: FCLGA1700
  • Max CPU Configuration: 1
  • Thermal Solution Specification: PCG 2020A
  • TJUNCTION: 100°C
  • Package Size: 45.0 mm x 37.5 mm

The sole noteworthy distinction between the Core i5-13600K and the 14600K is a 200MHz increase in the Performance-core Max Turbo Frequency. In the 13600K, we have 5.1GHz, while the 14600K boasts 5.3GHz. Furthermore, the new chip retains the same number of cores and threads as its predecessor, failing to provide any additional incentive for purchase.

Price and Availability of the i5-14600K.

The Core i5-14600K was launched on October 17, 2023, and was initially priced at $319, matching the cost of its predecessor, the i5-13600K. Nevertheless, the latter can currently be found at a slightly reduced price, available through various retailers and on platforms such as Amazon and BestPrice.

Core i5-14600K Benchmarks.

Intel chips are renowned for their efficiency in the realm of productivity. Even though this processor falls into the mid-range category and has fewer cores compared to an i7 or i9, I anticipate it will deliver a commendable performance when it comes to core processes and productivity tasks.

Core i5-14600K UL Procyon Video Editiong Benchmark.

As evident from a platform like Adobe Premiere (on which UL Procyon is based), which is a substantial measure of a chip’s productivity efficiency, we witness outstanding outcomes. The Core i5-14600K outperforms even AMD’s flagship Ryzen 9 7900X, solidifying its excellence in this aspect. However, if productivity is your primary concern, you might also explore alternative efficient options, like the remarkable Core i9-12900K, albeit from a previous generation.

Core i5-14600K – Gaming Performance.

Most gamers typically aim for a mid-range CPU, and this choice is quite rational. They often allocate the majority of their budget towards acquiring a more powerful graphics card and other essential hardware components to build a reliable and fast gaming system for their favorite titles. The Core i5-14600K is precisely that – a mid-range processor that fits well within the budget most gamers are willing to invest.

However, if your primary concern is purely gaming, there are other competitive options to consider, such as the Ryzen 7 5800X3D or the newer R7 7800X3D. These alternatives excel in gaming performance. Nonetheless, they may fall short in terms of productivity tasks. In summary, the Core i5-14600K offers a well-rounded solution capable of handling a variety of tasks, including gaming, making it a more comprehensive choice for most users.

I believe that in the coming years, the 6-core configuration will likely become less common. This expectation arises from the fact that new video games, along with various applications and software, will increasingly demand higher processing power. Perhaps it’s a feature I’d like to see in the Core i5-14600K as well – an increase in the number of cores.

Core i5-14600K Hitman 3 Benchmarks.
Core i5-14600K Borderlands 3 Benchmarks.
Core i5-14600K Red Dead Redemption 2 Benchmarks.

Without a doubt, the Core i5-14600K is a processor capable of handling a wide range of tasks, including gaming, to a satisfying degree. It’s clear that there is good value in acquiring it, especially considering its price falls within the same range as its predecessor. At the moment, I can’t identify any drawbacks or reasons not to consider owning it.

Power Consumtpion.

Another critical factor to consider when contemplating the purchase of a new CPU is its power consumption level. In recent times, we’ve witnessed a notable increase in power consumption with new chips, making it prudent to assess this aspect before making our ultimate decision. It’s intriguing to determine whether the boost in clock frequencies has a substantial impact on power consumption, potentially making it more sensible to stick with the previous i5-13600K, or if it has minimal effect on the chip’s overall power efficiency.

Core i5-14600K Power Consumption

The Core i5-14600K excels in terms of power consumption, offering efficiency and effectiveness in this regard. It holds its own when compared to Ryzen processors, renowned for their energy-efficient performance. Therefore, there’s no doubt that this processor represents an excellent all-around choice, and I’m inclined to believe it’s one of the top Raptor Lake Refresh chips that’s certainly worth considering.

Final Thoughts.

My initial skepticism towards Intel’s Raptor Lake Refresh series and the 14th generation CPUs was dispelled when I came across this specific chip. The Core i5-14600K is a versatile processor capable of delivering exceptional performance in both gaming and productivity tasks. I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone looking to make a wise investment, especially considering its mid-range pricing. It’s a pleasant surprise that it maintains low power consumption levels, and I’m confident that, for all these compelling reasons, it will soon become one of Intel’s top-selling chips.

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