Today marks the launch of Intel's 14th Gen Raptor Lake Refresh. The lineup was officially announced at the Intel Innovation 2023 conference last month, and the following models are available: Core i9 14900K, i7 14700K, and i5 14600K. Each SKU has a corresponding KF version that requires a discrete GPU for graphics.
The new SKUs are still based on the Intel 7 process and hybrid architecture that was introduced with 12th Gen Alder Lake. All the models receive an increase in clock frequency on the P-Cores and E-Cores, while the supported memory speed remains unchanged at DDR5 5600MHz and DDR4 3200MHz. The flagship i9 14900K has a Base Frequency of 3.2GHz with a Thermal Velocity Boost (TVB) of 6GHz, which is a modest uplift over the previous-gen flagship.
|P-Core Base/TVB||E-Core Base/Turbo||Cores|
|Core i9 14900K||3.2GHz/6GHz||2.4GHz/4.4GHz||8P + 16E|
|Core i9 13900K||3GHz/5.8GHz||2.2GHz/4.3GHz||8P + 16E|
The other SKUs paint a similar picture, with moderate increases in clock speeds. There is however one CPU that received a significant upgrade: the i7 14700K now comes with an additional four E-cores. That means it has a 8P + 12E configuration versus its predecessor's 8P + 8E. The 14700K is also the only SKU with a cache upgrade, and its L2 cache has been bumped up from 20MB to 24MB.
|P-Core Base/Turbo||E-Core Base/Turbo||Cores|
|Core i7 14700K||3.4GHz/5.6GHz||2.5GHz/4.3GHz||8P + 12E|
|Core i7 13700K||3.4GHz/5.4GHz||2.5GHz/4.2GHz||8P + 8E|
|Core i5 14600K||3.5GHz/5.3GHz||2.6GHz/4GHz||6P + 8E|
|Core i5 13600K||3.5GHz/5.1GHz||2.6GHz/3.9GHz||6P + 8E|
Intel is pushing a new feature called Intel Application Optimisation, which is a policy within the Intel Dynamic Tuning Technology framework that controls application resources in real-time. Running alongside Thread Director, it focuses on application threading and thread scheduling to fully utilise the hybrid architecture. Intel achieved a 13% performance increase in Rainbow Six: Siege and a 16% uplift in Metro Exodus. Supported processors include the i9 14900K/KF and i7 14700K/KF, and Intel Application Optimisation can be downloaded on the Microsoft Store.
Most benchmarks show an underwhelming 3% increase in overall performance—barring the i7 of course. The i7 14700K achieved an impressive 13% uplift in the Cinebench R23 multi-core benchmark, which translates to a 6% increase in real-world performance according to TechPowerUp's application test suite. It is now a worthy challenger to the i9 13900K, finding itself about 5% behind.
While the overall performance increase is insignificant, the silver lining is that prices will remain the same as Intel's 13th Gen CPUs. This makes the i7 14700K an excellent deal at $409 considering the uplift in multi-core performance. The 14600K and 14900K only offer a minor boost in clock speed, so while it might be attractive to new PC builders, 13th Gen owners won't feel inclined to upgrade. The flagship i9 14900K has very similar performance to the 13900KS, a chip that sells for $689, so that's a favourable value comparison for the Raptor Lake-S Refresh.
Looking at power consumption and heat output, it's no surprise to see the new chips consuming more power to attain higher clock speeds, and the i7 14700K averaged 155W while the i9 14900K came in at 170W during application benchmarks. Naturally these CPUs also produce more heat, and you'll need a proper AIO cooler to prevent thermal throttling. The i5 14600K had a more positive result with 93W average power consumption in applications, and it's the only SKU with a lower power consumption than its 13th Gen counterpart.
Intel's 14th Gen Raptor Lake-S Refresh doesn't offer much in the way of improvements, but the i7 14700K is a solid deal with the caveat of higher power consumption and heat output. The i9 14900K does hit that magical 6GHz Thermal Velocity Boost, but it's a feat that the i9 13900KS has already achieved. Nonetheless the 14th Gen flagship does go for almost $100 less, so it's a good buy in that regard.