Core i9-14900K: Intel’s 14th gen top CPU.

Core i9-14900K: Intel's 14th gen top CPU.

On October 17, 2023, Intel released the Core i9-14900K, and a new king now reigns on the performance throne. Arguably, this flagship processor is not for everyone. Its capabilities appeal to hardcore overclockers or those who require demanding tasks without much concern for the power consumption required to accomplish them. Let’s examine the availability, price, features, and capabilities of the 14900K.

Price and Availability.

As mentioned in the introduction of this article, the 14900K, which was released on October 17, 2023, is now readily available from various retailers, including Amazon and BestPrice. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) is set at $599, the same price as its predecessor, the 13900K. The advantage here is that Intel has maintained the pricing within the same range. Therefore, if you are planning to build a new system, you now have the opportunity to consider Intel’s top-of-the-line 14th generation CPU.

However, obtaining the 14900K comes with a cost, and I’m not referring to its price. Its energy consumption is the highest we’ve encountered, which may render it a less appealing choice. Nevertheless, we will delve into this issue further in the following sections.

Technical Specifications.

It is interesting to examine the characteristics of the processor:

The Intel Core i9-14900K is a desktop processor boasting 24 cores. It belongs to the Core i9 series and utilizes the Raptor Lake Refresh architecture with Socket 1700. Similar to its predecessors, it features Intel Hyper-Threading, effectively doubling the number of P-Cores to a total of 32 threads. Additionally, it comes equipped with 36 MB of concealed L3 memory and operates at a default clock speed of 3.2 GHz, with the ability to be boosted up to 6 GHz.

With a TDP of 125 W, it consumes a substantial amount of power, making efficient cooling essential. It is compatible with both DDR4 and DDR5 RAM and utilizes the PCI-Express Gen 5 protocol. Additionally, the processor is equipped with Intel UHD Graphics 770 integrated graphics.

In summary:

General Features

  • Year of Release: 2023
  • Family: Core i9
  • Micro-architecture:: Raptor Lake Refresh (14th Gen)
  • Socket: 1700
  • Chipset: B660, B760, H610, H770, Q670, W680, Z690, Z790

Performance

  • Cores: 24
  • Threads: 32
  • Base Frequency: 2,4 GHz
  • Max Frequency: 6 GHz
  • Cache: 36 MB
  • Unlocked: Yes
  • Thermal Design Power (TDP): 125 W

Features & Functions

  • Integrated Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 770
  • Includes Cooler: No

Power Consumption.

The most noteworthy point to mention, apart from its performance, is the high power consumption required by this chip. In fact, when you look at the big picture, Intel kept the same architecture and increased the core count and power consumption with their Raptor Lake Refresh, offering them as something new to consumers. To me, it’s not worth getting the Intel Core i9-14900K, but that’s my personal opinion.

It’s interesting to see how much of a difference the 14900K makes compared to other high-end processors and to understand the true cost.

Core i9-14900K Power Consumption Benchmark

In the graph above, we can observe that the 14900K exhibits a power consumption that is almost 100 W higher than its predecessor, the 13900K, a fact which I personally find excessive. Is it truly worth it, especially when considering that it may quickly reach thermal throttling, thereby diminishing its performance? We will delve into this below.

Single-Core and Multi-Core Performance.

The benchmarks that most people are interested in, which can show us the power of this chip, are the Cinebench R23 scores, both in single-core performance and multi-threaded performance. I’m very curious to see how much of a significant difference it has compared to the 13900K, and whether it’s worth choosing this chip over that or even considering it for a potential upgrade.

Of course, after that, we’ll evaluate its performance in demanding tasks, as well as in AAA game titles (for games, there might be more suitable chip options available).

Intel Core i9-14900K Cinebench R.23 SingleCore Performance Benchmark.
Intel Core i9-14900K Cinebench R.23 Multicore Performance Benchmark.

At a quick glance, I personally don’t see any value in purchasing the 14900K. Thus far, the negligible performance difference it provides is offset by its increased power consumption, and it, of course, falls short of one’s expectations. We still need to assess its performance in other areas to gain a more comprehensive perspective.

Gaming Performance.

First of all, if you’re a dedicated gamer, you might want to consider a different chip. There are many options available at a better price point with exceptional gaming performance. Prior to witnessing the results of the 14900K, my initial assessment is that it may not provide significant value in the realm of video games. The choices you have are diverse, including options such as the Ryzen 7 7800X3D, 7950X3D, Ryzen 7 5800X3D, and, from Intel, a variety of other chips like the i5-13600K, i7-13700K, or even the 12th generation i7-12700K. However, let’s refrain from discussing those chips and remain focused on the new flagship Raptor Lake Refresh CPU, 14900K.

Borderlands 1440p & 4K core i9-14900K benchmarks.
Red Dead Redemption 2 1440p & 4K benchmark core i9-14900K.
Hitman 3 1440p & 4K benchmarks i9-14900K

It’s quite evident that this processor isn’t ideal for gaming. There are undoubtedly superior alternatives with lower power consumption and similar, if not better, performance. Additionally, when comparing it to the 13900K, it’s challenging to discern why it was even released, as it seems to provide minimal advantages.

Notwithstanding these points, it remains the fastest processor currently available, if that holds any significant value for you.

The Ryzen 7 7800X3D is an octa-core CPU, yet it delivers superior gaming performance compared to any 14th generation Intel chip. Priced at approximately 369$, it also comes at a significantly lower cost than the 14900K. Furthermore, the 32-thread Ryzen 9 7950X3D consumes notably less power than this new Raptor Lake Refresh processor.

Productivity.

One of the areas where we anticipate the Core i9-14900K will excel in comparison to other CPUs is in terms of derivability. In fact, it currently stands as the fastest chip on the market. However, individuals engaged in video editing and rendering are well aware that many software applications place more reliance on the GPU than the CPU. For instance, software like Vegas Pro and DaVinci Resolve tends to heavily utilize the GPU, whereas others, particularly video editing software with less advanced features like Adobe Premiere, lean towards CPU utilization.

Adding 3D graphics typically demands a substantial amount of GPU resources. If you utilize hardware-accelerated encoding, the video encoding process will leverage your GPU; otherwise, it will rely on your CPU.

Examining benchmarks for the Core i9-14900K in this context is intriguing, helping us determine whether it’s a worthwhile choice.

The UL Procyon Video Editing Benchmark is designed to assess PC performance, primarily in relation to Adobe Premiere.

UL Procyon Video Editing Benchmark Core i9-14900K.

On the productivity side, I expected better results, although I suspected that the chip’s capabilities would be limited. Throttling is definitely an aspect you should seriously consider if you plan to buy this processor. Perhaps in other software, we might experience larger deviations in performance, but don’t expect anything remarkable.

Final Thoughts.

The Core i9-14900K is a processor that caters to a specialized audience rather than the broader market. Personally, I see substantial value in acquiring Intel’s initial hybrid chip, the 12900K, and even the most recent Raptor Lake offering, the 13900K. The disparity in performance between these chips and the i9-14900K is minimal, making it challenging for users, including professionals, to perceive the difference. The particular audience I’m alluding to comprises computer enthusiasts and hardcore overclockers. For these individuals, the 14900K holds allure due to its potential for pushing the boundaries with extreme overclocking. Naturally, they are prepared to invest significantly in high-performance cooling solutions.

For the rest of us, I believe it’s best to steer clear of Intel’s latest chip release, as it appears to be more about buying time than making a significant impact. The Core i9-14900K doesn’t offer any substantial advantages; it essentially belongs to the existing Raptor Lake technology, comes with a high price tag, and exhibits elevated power consumption. This can be quite disheartening for the average user, even for professionals.

Intel’s most commendable leap forward occurred with Alder Lake, introducing the innovative hybrid technology of P+E Cores. I’m eagerly anticipating Intel’s next groundbreaking move while still recognizing the value in Raptor Lake CPUs. As for the Refresh series, I’ll pass.

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