AMD Ryzen 9 9950X vs Intel Core i9-14900K

AMD Ryzen 9 9950X vs Intel Core i9-14900K: Specs Compared

Can AMD’s new SKU beat Intel’s top-end model?

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With the AMD Ryzen 9 9950X launch expected imminently, custom PC enthusiasts are keen to get their hands on this new top CPU and see how it measures up to other options on the market. Though all we have to go on are the on-paper specs, the contest between AMD Ryzen 9 9950X and Intel Core i9-14900K seems to be a fairly even match.

We’ve compared these top AMD and Intel offerings, to see which will be the best option. The 9950X’s release date isn’t far away, and although the i9-14900K is nearly a year old now, it’s still one of the best Intel processors on the market. If you’re thinking of upgrading your PC parts, is it worth holding off for the latest AMD SKU, or picking up the Intel option today?

AMD Ryzen 9 9950X vs Intel Core i9-14900K: At A Glance

AMD Ryzen 9 9950XIntel Core i9-14900K
CPU ArchitectureZen 5Raptor Lake
Cores/Threads16C, 32T24C, 32T
Base Clock Speed4.3GHz3.2GHz
Boost Clock Speed5.7GHz6GHz
CPU SocketAM5Socket 1700
TDP170W125W

AMD Ryzen 9 9950X vs Intel Core i9-14900K: Specs Comparison

On paper, the initial outlook for the 9950X isn’t great when compared to the i9-14900K. With 24 cores to the 9950X’s 16, a higher boost clock speed, and a lower board power, the i9-14900K initially seems like the best option of the two. The i9-14900K is also impressively priced at $589, which would make it cheaper than the predicted prices for the 9950X – though not by hundreds.

However, there are some caveats that give the 9950X its edge: the AMD CPU runs on the new Zen 5 architecture, for AI-powered processing optimization of all processes and a more efficient SKU experience. Even without the stacked L3 cache of the X3D equivalent models, the processing performance on the 9950X is set to be very similar. The base clock speed is also improved by over 1000MHz, meaning that the general moment-to-moment performance of the 9950X could be faster.

Similarly, the i9-14900K’s higher core count is split between Performance Cores and Efficiency Cores in the Raptor Lake architecture, separating different logic processes between them. As we noted in our review, too, the i9-14900K runs quite hot when in action, and the TDP can rise to as much as 253W.

Intel Core i9-14900K: Performance

We’ve also had the opportunity to benchmark the i9-14900K, unlike the 9950X, which highlights its impressive performance capabilities with some high-performance games.

Running at 1080p, the i9-14900K is capable of truly impressive framerates and renders, even on games like Starfield or Cyberpunk 2077 which feature complex graphics and processes. Less computationally intensive games such as Counter-Strike 2 run with even higher triple-digit framerates. How the 9950X can compare is yet to be seen. For gaming performance, AMD have admitted that Ryzen 7000 series variants such as the 7950X3D are superior for gaming performance – which makes the 9950X a less appealing prospect for gaming PCs.

Interestingly, AMD themselves have claimed that not only the 9950X is superior to the i9-14900K, but so is the 9900X. In their latest promotional images, the company has explicitly compared the 9900X to the i9-14900K, and the latter is seemingly found wanting:

If these percentages are to be believed, this means that the 9950X would blow the i9-14900K out of the water. However, that is a rather large “if”. These performance stats have no public data available on how they were gathered, and the fact that they come from AMD themselves make us hesitant to trust them at face value.

AMD Ryzen 9 9950X: Benchmark Performance Leaks

Though concrete benchmarks to the extent of the i9-14900K aren’t yet available, PC testing site Geekbench has posted what appear to be their synthetic benchmarks for the 9950X. The results, when compared to their scores for the i9-14900K, provide an indication of how the 9950X matches up.

In single core performance, the 9950X scores a competitive 3359 to the i9-14900K’s 3089. For multi-core performance, however, the i9-14900K takes the lead with a score of 20878 to the 9950X’s 20550. This is an interesting highlight, but one that is to be expected given the Intel CPU’s higher core count – though as mentioned this is less black-and-white than it initially seems.

Until the 9950X comes out, these synthetic benchmarks only serve as a general guide to the CPU’s performance – as these simulated tests don’t account for everything.

In Summary

Though the Intel Core i9-14900K is the most appealing CPU at present, don’t underestimate the year-long gap between these two CPU releases. The 9950X promises higher efficiency and some impressive improvements to processing power – but you’ll have to take our word for it for now. We’re eagerly awaiting the latest Ryzen 9000 series CPUs, to fully benchmark them for comparison to the

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