Today, we’ll be comparing Intel’s flagship processor the Core i9-14900K against the older Core i9-12900KF and the previous gen, the Core i9-13900K.
Last week (17th Oct, 2023), Intel launched their 14th Gen Core processors. We already posted a comparison on the Core i7-14700K, which we sincerely thought was the “Best Bang for Your Buck“ out of all the 14th Gen processors released. In some of our benchmarks, it beats the 12th Gen Core i9-1200KF, and almost matched the Core i9-13900K (but not quite) … However, many of our readers complained over it’s price, performance and generally disagreed with our conclusion. If you want to check out the comparion and article here.
Now with that said, we turn our attention to Intel’s flagship processor the Core i9-14900K.
As I said before in our previous comparison, Intel’s 14th Gen Core processors (Raptor Lake-S) isn’t really a “Next-Gen” but rather a “Refresh” of their previous 13th Gen Raptor Lake processors.
With the right motherboard and the correct memory modules, it can now support faster memory speeds of up to DDR5-8266 MHz.
Intel also claims that their new 14th Gen can push past the 6GHz barrier. I’m assuming they’re referring to the Core i9-14900K with Turbo Boost.
Since the Core i9-14900K is Intel’s flagship 14th Gen processor, it should peform better and faster than its previous gen the Core i9-13900K. However, the question that’s on everyone’s mind is …how much faster? Will we see the difference, and is it worth it?
The Core i9-14900K has 8 Performance-cores, 16 Efficient-cores and a total of 32 threads with a massive 36MB of Intel Smart Cache. It sounds impressive, but with only 8 Performance-cores, it seems a little under-powered to be honest. I was expecting at least 10 or 12 even 16 Performance-cores.
I just think the Efficient-cores suck! But that’s my opinion 😀
OK, let’s not waste any time and dive straight in. We will provide a 3-way comparison between the Core i9-12900KF vs Core i9-13900 vs Core i9-14900K. Let’s begin with a quick comparison table …
|Core i9-12900KF||Core i9-13900K||Core i9-14900K|
|Generation (Code Name)||12th Gen (Alder Lake)||13th Gen (Raptor Lake)||14th Gen (Raptor Lake-S)|
(8 Performance-cores/8 Efficient-cores)
(8 Performance-cores/16 Efficient-cores)
(8 Performance-cores/16 Efficient-cores)
|Default Base clock rate||3.2 GHz||4.30 GHz||4.4 GHz|
|Max Turbo Boost||5.2 GHz||5.80 GHz||5.8 GHz|
|Fabrication Process||10nm||10nm||10 nm|
|Cache L2/L3||30 MB||
|Integrated Video||N/A||Intel® UHD Graphics 770||Intel® UHD Graphics 770|
|PCIe/DDR support||PCIe 5.0 / DDR4 / DDR5||PCIe 5.0 / DDR5||PCIe 5.0 / DDR5|
|Current Price from Amazon
|USD $371||USD $536||USD $615|
We prepared 3 test rigs with the configuration as per below.
|Processor||Core i9-12900KF||Core i9-13900K||Core i9-14900K|
|Motherboard||Gigabyte Z790 Aorus Pro X||Gigabyte Z790 Aorus Pro X||ASRock Z790 PG Lightning Wifi|
|Ram||32GB Patriot Viper RGB DDR5-7200||32GB Patriot Viper RGB DDR5-7200||32GB Thermaltake Toughram XG DDR5-7200|
|XMP 3.0 Profiles||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|SSD NVMe M.2||Lexar NM800 Gen4 2TB SSD||Lexar NM800 Gen4 2TB SSD||Lexar NM800 Gen4 2TB SSD|
|Graphics Card||Radeon RX 7900 XTX 24GB||Radeon RX 7900 XTX 24GB||Radeon RX 7900 XTX 24GB|
|PSU||Gigabyte UD850GM Gold ATX3.0 PSU||Gigabyte UD850GM Gold ATX3.0 PSU||Gigabyte UD850GM Gold ATX3.0 PSU|
|Cooler||Thermaltake ToughLiquid 360 AIO||Thermaltake ToughLiquid 360 AIO||Thermaltake ToughLiquid 360 AIO|
|Drivers||Latest Software Adrenalin from AMD||Latest Software Adrenalin from AMD||Latest Software Adrenalin from AMD|
|OS||Windows 11||Windows 11||Windows 11|
Installation and BIOS
All BIOS settings were at default, with XMP profiles enabled. Graphics resolution set to 1920×1080 (HD 1080p) or default where ever possible. High or Ultra settings enabled.
Benchmarks (Part 1)
I’ll let the numbers do all the talking … 1st column is Core i9-12900KF, 2nd column is Core i9-13900K, while the 3rd column is the Core i9-14900K
PCMark 10 is the latest in our series of industry standard PC benchmarks. Updated for Windows 10 with new and improved workloads, PCMark 10 is also faster and easier to use. PCMark 10 features a comprehensive set of tests that cover the wide variety of tasks performed in the modern workplace. With express, extended, and custom run options to suit your needs, PCMark 10 is the complete PC benchmark for the modern office and an ideal choice for organizations that buy PCs in high volumes.
Fast, easy to use, PC speed testing and benchmarking. PassMark PerformanceTest allows you to objectively benchmark a PC using a variety of different speed tests and compare the results to other computers.
3DMark Speed Way
3DMark Speed Way is a graphics card benchmark for testing DirectX 12 Ultimate performance. To run this test, you must have a graphics card that supports DirectX 12 Ultimate and has 6GB or more of video memory.
3DMark – Port Royal
Port Royal is a graphics card benchmark for testing real-time ray tracing performance. To run this test, you must have a graphics card and drivers that support Microsoft DirectX Raytracing.
3DMark Time Spy
3DMark Time Spy is a new DirectX 12 benchmark test for Windows 10 gaming PCs. Time Spy is one of the first DirectX 12 apps to be built “the right way” from the ground up to fully realize the performance gains that the new API offers. With its pure DirectX 12 engine, which supports new API features like asynchronous compute, explicit multi-adapter, and multi-threading, Time Spy is the ideal test for benchmarking the latest graphics cards.
3DMark Firestrike (DX11)
Fire Strike is a showcase DirectX 11 benchmark designed for today’s high-performance gaming PCs. It is our most ambitious and technical benchmark ever, featuring real-time graphics rendered with detail and complexity far beyond what is found in other benchmarks and games today.
UL Procyon Photo Editing Benchmark
The UL Procyon Photo Editing Benchmark uses Adobe® Lightroom® Classic and Adobe® Photoshop® in a typical photo editing workflow that includes batch processing and image retouching. Using relevant apps ensures that the benchmark score reflects the real-world performance of the whole system.
UL Procyon Video Editing Benchmark
The UL Procyon Video Editing Benchmark uses Adobe Premiere Pro in a typical video editing workflow. Using relevant apps ensures that the benchmark score reflects the real-world performance of the whole system.
The benchmark starts by importing two video project files. The project timelines include various edits, adjustments and effects. The second project uses several GPU-accelerated effects.
Each video project is exported in Full HD encoded with H.264 and again in 4K UHD encoded with HEVC (H.265). The benchmark score is based on the time taken to export all four videos.
AIDA64 Memory Test
This benchmark measures the bandwidth and latency of the CPU caches and the system memory. By double-clicking any rectangle, column or row in the window, we can launch benchmarks or benchmark types individually. For example, if we double-click “Memory”, only system memory read, write, copy and latency benchmarks will be run, that is, only the operations in the given row are executed. Similarly, if we double-click “Read”, only read benchmarks will be run on all memory types, that is, only the operations in the given column are executed. If we double-click any rectangle, only the selected single benchmark will be run.
A simple-to-configure and portable software program that helps you calculate the pi value for a given number of digits and perform overclocking operations on multi-core machines.
GeekBench 6 CPU
Geekbench 6 measures your processor’s single-core and multi-core power, for everything from checking your email to taking a picture to playing music, or all of it at once. Geekbench 6’s CPU benchmark measures performance in new application areas including Augmented Reality and Machine Learning, so you’ll know how close your system is to the cutting-edge.
Cinebench R23 Benchmark
CINEBENCH is a real-world cross platform test suite that evaluates your computer’s performance capabilities. CINEBENCH is based on MAXON’s award-winning animation software Cinema 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Iron Man 3, Oblivion, Life of Pi or Prometheus and many more. CINEBENCH is the perfect tool to compare CPU and graphics performance across various systems and platforms (Windows and OS X).
Verdict and Conclusion
Looking at the test results, you can’t deny the Intel Core i9-14900K is a real winner in terms of performance. It’s the fastest processor I’ve tested so far and we like it very much.
However having said that, it only manages to beat the previous gen, the Core i9-13900K by a small margin. Which means, if you already have a 13th Gen processor … then it may not be worth your while to upgrade to Intel’s new 14th Gen processor. It’s like the Apple iPhone 14 vs iPhone 15! cough. On the flipside, I would upgrade if I had an older 10th, 11th or 12th Gen processor.
In Cinebench R23, there’s a 9% improvement in the multi-core performance, and a 3% improvement in single-core performance over the Core i9-13900K. There I said it! … 3% improvement in single-core performance LOL!
I’ve heard rumors (and memes) that the Core i9-14900K is really a Core i9-13900KS in disguise LOL!
With that said, the Core i9-14900K is in my opinion a really tough sell. There isn’t a lot of real differences between it and the previous gen the Core i9-13900K. It has the same number of cores, the same TDP, the same amount of cache … the only thing it has going for it, is the increased core speed. And I’ve said this already, it’s really just a “refresh” of the previous gen Raptor Lake, but the ability to support higher memory speeds of up to DDR5-8266.
The only other good news is that, because Intel’s 14th Gen processor uses the same LGA 1700 platform (socket) as it predecessor, it should work on most existing Z790 motherboards with the latest BIOS update.
I haven’t tried the so-called 6GHz boost “right out of the box” … I shouldn’t need to! When I buy a product, it expect it to run at the default speed and that should be good enough. However, my motherboard allows safe AUTO Turbo Boost to 5.5GHz and 5.8GHz, which is just fine by me. By Turbo Boosting to 6GHz, you better make sure you have sufficient cooling that can handle those high temperatures.
At the end of the day, no matter which processor you go for, I think all 3 offer great performance, if you own a Z790 motherboard. Just choose one based on your budget and needs. Here’s my quick breakdown below.
|Buy the Intel Core i9-12900KF
if you want …
|Buy the Intel Core i9-14900K
if you want …
|Buy the Intel Core i9-13900K
if you want …
- Intel Core i7-14700K vs Core i9-12900KF vs Core i9-13900K Processor Comparison
- Gigabyte Z790 AORUS PRO X Motherboard Review
- ASRock Z790 Taichi Lite Motherboard Review
- AMD Ryzen 9 7900X vs Intel Core i9-12900KF vs Intel Core i9-13900K Comparison
- Intel Core i9-10900K vs 11900K vs 12900KF Processor Comparison
- How to Install Intel LGA1700 Mounting Kit from Cooler Master