intel core i9-14900K review

Intel Core i9-14900K review – is the 14900K worth it?

Is the 14th generation a good choice over the 13th generation?

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Table of Contents

The Intel Core i9-14900K is the flagship processor of Intel’s 14th generation, if you exclude the 14900KS, of course. The 14900K is destined for great things, thanks in part to the power of LITTLE.big core technology, we’re going to put the 14900K through its paces today, and see just how well this current flagship performs in a variety of tasks.

Intel’s Core i914900k was revealed and released back in 2023, as an addition to the Raptor Lake lineup known as “Raptor Lake Refresh” because it wasn’t a mere extension of the current, it was an improvement. However, some see the refresh as something to bridge the gap to the 15th generation set to release in 2024, where real advancements will be made.

Enough about the 15th generation, we’re here to see what makes this 14900K tick. We see 24 total cores, 8 of which are P-cores, and 16 E-cores, comprising 32 logical processors. The maximum turbo frequency is rated at 6GHz and is the first CPU ever to support this frequency natively.

Intel Core i9-14900K

Cores/ threads
24 cores (8 P-cores + 16 E-cores) 32 threads
6 GHz
CPU socket
LGA 1700

Intel Core i9-14900K specifications

Before we head into the performance of the Core i9-14900K, it’s important to outline the specifications we’re working with.

The specifications for the i9-14900K are as follows:

  • Cores: P-cores 8 / E-cores 16
  • Threads: 32
  • Base clock frequency: P-cores 3.2 GHz / E-cores 2.4 GHz
  • Boost clock frequency: P-cores 6 GHz / E-cores 4.4 GHz
  • L3 cache: 36MB
  • Default TDP: 125 W / 253 W boost. 
  • iGPU: Intel UHD graphics 770

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to be excited about the 14900K. One of which is the fact that this is the first CPU ever to hit the 6GHz frequency mark natively, making it the fastest CPU in the world on the consumer desktop platform. Intel always did have the single-core performance dialed in.

Core i9-14900K performance

We put the 14900K through a variety of tests, some synthetic and some real-world. We wanted to get a feel for how the 14900K reacted to different CPU loads and how it performed in different scenarios. First, we must outline the testing equipment used to push the 14900K to the limit of its capabilities.

The test bench consisted of the following components:

  • Intel Core i9-14900K
  • ASUS ROG RYUJIN ii 360 CPU cooler
  • ASUS ROG Maximus Z790 Extreme
  • Corsair Vengeance 16GB DDR5 @5600Mhz
  • MSI Gaming X Trio RTX 3080
  • Fractal Design ION+ 860W
  • Samsung 860 Evo

We tested the 14900K in both synthetic and real-world scenarios, to see how the CPU handled each kind of workload.

Synthetic performance

14900k synthetic benchmarks

We put the 14900K to the test in CPU-Z, Geekbench, and Cinebench. We wanted a variety of tasks to get a feel for how well the 14900K handled different kinds of workloads, here are the results of the synthetic benchmarks we performed on the 14900K.

In CPU-Z, the 14900k managed a respectable 922 points on the single core, and 17,199 points on the multi-core benchmarks. Up there with some of the best results we have seen.

In Geekbench, we saw a similar affair, the 14900K scored 3,110 points in the single-core tests, and a staggering 22,816 in the multi-core tests.

Finally, in Cinebench, we saw the 14900K bring home 2,191 points in the single-core benchmark, and 40,315 on the multi-core. This is the first time we’ve ever seen a 40K score on a base CPU before, and we are impressed.

Real-world performance

14900k real world benchmarks

The real-world performance of the 14900K was tested with games such as Cyberpunk 2077, Starfield, and CS2. We used a wide variety of games to ensure we were ticking all the right boxes in terms of performance.

in Cyberpunk 2077, the 14900K managed an average FPS of 225, with no stutters or lag that we could see. That’s 10FPS more than the 13900K managed.

Next up was Strafield, and it came as no surprise that Starfield was very hard to run, as at the time of us recording the data, it wasn’t fully optimized. The 14900K managed 133FPS, whereas the 13900k only managed 128FPS.

Lastly, we have CS2, everyone’s favorite rage simulator. We tested the 14900K on CS2 and saw it achieve 340FPS compared to the 13900K’s attempt which brought home 2FPS less. Which isn’t anything to write home about, but an increase is an increase.

Is the Core i9-14900K worth it?

The Core i9-14900K was launched at $589 – which is a massive amount to pay for a CPU, even in today’s standard. If you shop online now, you can find the 14900K for around $540. Which is only a small increase. The CPU does better than the 13900K, it runs just as hot and consumes just as much power, but it costs a lot more.

If you’re lucky, you can find a 13900K for around $470, around $70 less than the 14900K, and considering the performance increases are so small, is that worth $70 extra for you? This CPU is a fantastic CPU and a record breaker in its own right. But is it what’s best for you? After all, the general consensus is the 14th gen was just to bridge the gap until the 15th gen, when the real advancements are going to be made.

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