Core i9-14900K Vs Core i9-13900K. Which Intel CPU should you choose?

Core i9-14900K Vs Core i9-13900K. Which Intel CPU should you choose?

Intel’s new Raptor Lake Refresh processors have become a reality and are now available since October 2023. To clarify, these are not entirely new processors but rather a refresh of the 13th generation CPUs, hence the name Raptor Lake Refresh. The refresh brings slight improvements such as higher core clock speeds, frequency increases, and in some cases, a bump in core count. However, it comes at the cost of increased power consumption to achieve these enhancements.

The question arises: Are the Raptor Lake Refresh processors truly a value for money option, or are they more of a strategic move by the company to rejuvenate the market with a pre-existing product, buying time for something more innovative? In this article, we compare the flagship Raptor Lake and Raptor Lake Refresh processors, namely the Core i9-14900K and Core i9-13900K, to assess whether there are any significant changes and if the upgrade is worthwhile.

A few words about the Core i9-13900K.

The Core i9-13900K stands at the pinnacle of the Raptor Lake series, representing the 13th generation of Intel CPUs. Exceptionally, the Core i9-13900KS, a limited edition variant, holds a special place in this lineup. Among both Intel’s and AMD’s Ryzen offerings, the 13900K asserts dominance in overall performance. However, a noteworthy aspect that sets this processor apart is its relatively high power consumption. Yet, as is often the case, peak performance comes with an associated cost.

On the technical front, the Intel Core i9-13900K, a desktop processor with 24 cores, was launched in September 2022 at an MSRP of $589. As a member of the Core i9 lineup, it utilizes the Raptor Lake architecture with Socket 1700 and features Intel Hyper-Threading technology, effectively doubling the core count of the P-Cores, yielding a total of 32 threads. The Core i9-13900K is equipped with 36 MB of L3 cache and operates at a default speed of 3 GHz, with the ability to boost up to 5.8 GHz while built on a 10 nm production process.

With a TDP of 125 W, it demands robust cooling to manage its power consumption effectively. Supporting both DDR4 and DDR5 memory with a dual-channel interface, the processor also accommodates ECC memory—an essential feature for mission-critical systems to prevent data corruption. Communication with other components is facilitated through a PCI-Express Gen 5 connection, and it features the UHD Graphics 770 integrated graphics solution.

Nevertheless, the CPU does have its drawbacks, including a high price tag, relatively lower energy efficiency, and the utilization of a 10nm architecture. From a personal perspective, it seems imperative for Intel to transition swiftly to a 5nm architecture, not only to keep pace with the competition but also to provide buyers with more compelling and efficient options.

Introducing the Core i9-14900K.

Until recently, the performance lead was held by the Core i9-13900K, but today, there is a new king in town—the Core i9-14900K. This processor boasts outstanding performance, featuring the highest clock frequency seen to date and the capability to effortlessly handle any work challenge. However, if we deemed the Core i9-13900K an energy bomb, the Core i9-14900K manages to raise the bar in this area as well, consuming more power than its predecessor.

On the technical side, the Core i9-14900K is a desktop processor with a core count of 24 cores, released in October 2023, and priced at the same $589 MSRP as its predecessor. Belonging to the Raptor Lake Refresh generation, it has a compatible LGA 1700 socket. Featuring hybrid technology with P-cores and E-cores, the processor reaches a thread count of 32. The Core i9-14900K is equipped with 36 MB of L3 cache, operating at a default speed of 3.2 GHz but capable of boosting up to 6 GHz.

It supports both DDR4 and DDR5 RAM, includes integrated Intel UHD 770 Graphics, all while maintaining the 10nm architecture.

You can read a full review of the Core i9-14900K, “Core i9-14900K: Intel’s 14th gen top CPU.

Core i9-14900K Vs Core i9-13900K: Specs Comparison.

Let’s examine the feature differences between the Core i9-14900K and the Core i9-13900K.

Core i9-13900KCore i9-14900K
24 Cores & 32 Threads
3 GHz P-Core Clock Speed
5.8 GHz Turbo Boost Max Frequency
LGA 1700 Socket
36MB Cache Memory
Dual-Channel DDR5-5600 ECC Memory
Integrated Intel UHD 770 Graphics
Hybrid Core Architecture
Unlocked for Overclocking
125W
13th Generation (Raptor Lake)
24 Cores & 32 Threads
3.2 GHz P-Core Clock Speed
6.0 GHz Maximum Turbo Boost Frequency
LGA 1700 Socket
36MB Cache Memory
Dual-Channel DDR5-5600 ECC Memory
Integrated Intel UHD 770 Graphics
Hybrid Core Architecture
Unlocked for Overclocking
125W
14th Generation (Raptor Lake-S Refresh)

As you may observe, the differences are subtle and closely matched. Essentially, it is the same processor, with the only distinction being a 200MHz higher core frequency and increased power consumption in the case of the Core i9-14900K.

Gaming Performance.

A key metric that will provide us with insights into the performance of the aforementioned processors is their performance in AAA titles. In theory, the Intel Core i9-14900K is expected to marginally outperform its counterparts due to the increased core frequency. However, we shouldn’t anticipate dramatic differences when compared to the Core i9-13900K.

Core i9-14900K Vs Core i9-13900K Borderlands 3 1440p & 4K Benchmarks
Core i9-14900K Vs Core i9-13900K Red dead Redemption 2 1440p & 4K Benchmarks
Core i9-14900K Vs Core i9-13900K Hitman 3 1440p & 4K Benchmarks

In gaming, we observe no discernible difference between the Core i9-14900K and the 13900K. Instead, due to thermal throttling, the Core i9-13900K performs slightly better in certain cases. This makes the Core i9-13900K a better choice for gaming.

Productivity.

What many people might find intriguing is how the Core i9-13900K and Core i9-14900K perform in the productivity arena. While the rise in core frequency in this scenario could have an impact, it remains compelling to determine whether it holds significance and adds tangible value.

Core i9-14900K Vs Core i9-13900K Cinebench R.23 Multi Core Benchmarks
Core i9-14900K Vs Core i9-13900K Cinebench R.23 Single Core Benchmarks

In the multi-threaded measurement, a noticeable difference will be evident, but in single-core performance, there are no discernible variations.

A metric that enables us to gauge a processor’s productivity is UL Procyon, which is built on Adobe Premiere.

Core i9-14900K Vs Core i9-13900K UL Procyon Video Editing Benchmarks

In the video editing measurement, there are no discernible differences, rendering the two cores equal in this aspect. Even the slightest variation between them remains imperceptible to users.

Core i9-14900K Vs Core i9-13900K: Power consumption.

The two processors exhibit comparable performance across a wide range of tasks and applications. Of significant interest is the minimal performance boost provided by the Core i9-14900K and how it translates into power consumption.

Core i9-14900K vs 13900K Power consumption.

As evident, the Core i9-14900K has a maximum power consumption almost 100W higher than the Core i9-13900K. Regarding overall performance, the Core i9-13900K takes the lead, blending superior performance, high frequencies, and maintaining elevated yet acceptable power consumption. Undoubtedly, the Core i9-13900K offers better overall value.

Final thoughts.

It’s evident that the Core i9-14900K doesn’t provide any meaningful upgrade value. I believe the Core i9-13900K retains its position at the pinnacle of Intel processors, even with the introduction of the Raptor Lake Refresh. The elevated power consumption of the 14900K, coupled with its comparable performance to its predecessor, leads me to forgo this CPU—a decision likely shared by many users. However, it’s crucial to note that this CPU caters to a specific audience: extreme overclockers, who can push the CPU beyond its limits to achieve unprecedented speeds and frequencies on its cores.

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