Intel Launches Intel Core 14th Gen Desktop Processors for Enthusiasts

Intel’s 14th-gen desktop CPUs don’t look very next-gen

By Jacob Roach October 16, 2023 6:00AM

Intel's 14900K CPU socketed in a motherboard.

Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Intel’s 14th-gen desktop processors are official, following months of rumors and leaks, and they’re gunning for a top slot among the best processors. The Raptor Lake refresh, as enthusiasts have called it, delivers three new processors to Intel’s lineup: the Core i9-14900K, Core i7-14700K, and Core i5-14600K.

This is just the start, according to Intel, and more 14th-gen desktop processors will roll out throughout the rest of 2023 and into 2024. Intel says the new range can hit up to 6GHz out of the box, as well as offer up to 23% better gaming performance than the Ryzen 9 7950X3D and 54% better creator performance compared to the Ryzen 9 7950X.

Here’s a breakdown of the specs:

Core i9-14900K/KF Core i7-14700K/KF Core i5-14600K/KF
Cores/Threads 24 (8+16) / 32 20 (8+12) / 28 14(6+8) / 20
L3/L2 Cache 36MB / 32MB 33MB / 28MB 24MB / 20MB
Max turbo frequency 6GHz 5.6GHz 5.3GHz
Base/Turbo power 125W / 253W 125W / 253W 125W / 181W
Recommended price $590 $410 $320


Not much has changed from last-gen’s chips. If you look at the Core i9-13900K and Core i5-13600K, they boast the same core count, same power requirements, same cache amount, and only slightly lower clock speeds. The Core i7-14700K is the only one that’s significantly different, as it now packs an extra four efficiency cores for a total of 20 cores.

Unlike rumors suggested, the chips don’t come with a price increase. The recommended price from Intel is the same as the previous generation. Keep in mind, however, that these prices likely aren’t what you’ll pay. You may spend slightly more or less depending on demand. We expect that prices will be slightly higher when the CPUs first release.

From the specs, these chips look identical to their last-gen counterparts in all but name. Not only do they carry mostly the same core counts and clock speeds, they’re also using the same architecture as 13th-gen processors. Despite that, Intel is claiming performance improvements. Gen-on-gen, Intel says its new Core i7-14700K can deliver upwards of a 15% improvement over the last-gen part.

Generational improvements for Intel's Core i7-14700K.


Compared to the competition from AMD, Intel says the Core i9-14900K is upwards of 23% faster in Starfield and Metro Exodus, though it still loses significantly in games like Cyberpunk 2077 and Dota 2.

Gaming performance for Intel's Core i9-14900K CPU.


Where are the improvements coming from? Intel points to a couple of areas. First is Intel Application Optimization. The company says 14th-gen chips use a new policy within Intel Dynamic Tuning to optimize performance in games, leading to a 13% boost in Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege and a 16% boost in Metro Exodus. Intel is also boasting of higher clock speeds. The Core i9-14900K will be the first chip to leverage Intel’s new AI-assisted Extreme Tuning Utility, which will automatically overclock your processor with AI. Intel says this won’t be coming to older components.

Intel's Application Optimization feature for 14th-gen processors.


Although there are clearly some improvements, Intel hasn’t shared other key performance metrics. For starters, the company didn’t show any generational improvements outside of the Core i7-14700K — the only chip in the lineup that has a significant spec difference. It also shared no data regarding generational improvements in gaming performance.

Those generational improvements, if they exist, are very important. Prices on Intel’s 13th-gen processors are already dropping, and they’ll likely drop even more once 14th-gen chips arrive. There’s definitely the possibility that 13th-gen chips will be the better buy for most people.

Thankfully, we won’t have to wait long to know for sure. We have the processors in hand, and we’ll be releasing our review tomorrow detailing the capabilities of these new processors.

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