A couple of weeks ago, Intel finally announced the much-awaited refresh to its Raptor Lake processor lineup. While the improvements are tiny across the board, it’s the Intel Core i7-14700K that has received the most love this time around. Thanks to four more efficient cores, the 14th-gen processor brings some improvements over its predecessor. At least on paper.
But what about the real-world performance? And how does it compare to the last-gen i7 and i9 processors? More importantly, should you be upgrading to the 14th-gen i7 processor this year? Or is there more to the story? Let’s find out in our in-depth Intel Core i7-14700K Review.
Intel Core i7-14700K Specifications
Before starting with the full review, let’s take a look at the on-paper specifications of the 14700K. It’s interesting to see that apart from the added efficiency cores, not much has changed from the 13700K to the 14700K. However, the Core i7-14700K is nestled comfortably between the i7-13700K and the i9-13900K.
|Specifications||Intel® Core™ i7-13700K Processor||Intel® Core™ i7 processor 14700K||Intel® Core™ i9-13900K Processor|
|# of Performance-cores||8||8||8|
|# of Efficient-cores||8||12||16|
|Max Turbo Frequency||5.40 GHz||5.6 GHz||5.80 GHz|
|Performance-core Max Turbo Frequency||5.30 GHz||5.5 GHz||5.40 GHz|
|Efficient-core Max Turbo Frequency||4.20 GHz||4.3 GHz||4.30 GHz|
|Performance-core Base Frequency||3.40 GHz||3.4 GHz||3.00 GHz|
|Efficient-core Base Frequency||2.50 GHz||2.5 GHz||2.20 GHz|
|Cache||30 MB Intel® Smart Cache||33 MB Intel® Smart Cache||36 MB Intel® Smart Cache|
|Total L2 Cache||24 MB||28 MB||32 MB|
|Processor Base Power||125 W||125 W||125 W|
|Maximum Turbo Power||253 W||253 W||253 W|
|Max Memory Size (dependent on memory type)||192 GB||192 GB||192 GB|
|Memory Types||Up to DDR5 5600 MT/s||Up to DDR5 5600 MT/s||Up to DDR5 5600 MT/s|
|Up to DDR4 3200 MT/s||Up to DDR4 3200 MT/s||Up to DDR4 3200 MT/s|
|Integrated GPU||Intel® UHD Graphics 770||Intel® UHD Graphics 770||Intel® UHD Graphics 770|
Intel Core i7-14700K: What’s New?
There was a time when the i7 series was considered the flagship product from Intel. With the launch of the i9 series, however, the i7 series did feel a bit ignored. That being said, the price factor still makes the i7 processors favorable, both for performance enthusiasts as well as gamers. Compared to the i7 13th-gen processor, the i7-14700K comes with 25% more cores, though that’s in the efficiency department. While that does still make a difference in multi-threaded applications, it’s not a massive jump by any means.
Apart from that, Intel includes support for modern technologies like the new Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.4 wireless technologies. The company has also introduced its new gaming-focused features like Intel Application Optimization (APO) to ensure improved application threading. There’s also the Intel Thread Director technology. Its function is to ensure that the right workload is running on the right core at the right time.
All this while still being fully compatible with both Intel 600 and 700 series chipsets. Essentially, that means if you’re already using a 12th-gen or 13th-gen Intel system, you can seamlessly upgrade to the newer 14th-gen platform. But should you? Let’s take a look at how those added cores affect the performance.
Intel Core i7-14700K Review: Performance and Benchmarks
Our tests of the Intel Core i7-14700K were done on an MSI MAG Z790 Tomahawk motherboard coupled with the Kingston Fury DDR5-7200 32GB RAM. For cooling, we used the Deepcool LT720 360 mm AIO Liquid cooler. For graphics, we used the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super. All tests were run on the XPG Gammix S70 Blade PCIe 4.0 SSD with Windows 11 installed.
In Cinebench R23, the i7-14700K performs similarly to the i7-13700K. This is despite the new chip boasting slightly better boost frequency. Regardless, both processors are shy of the Intel Core i9-13900K’s single-core performance. However, switching over to Multi-core performance in Cinebench R23, the i7-14700K shows its strengths. Thanks to its four extra cores, the 14700K easily manages to outshine the i7-13700K and is pretty close to the 13th-gen i9’s performance.
It’s not to say that the i7-14700K doesn’t have any improvements for the single-core performance. In GeekBench 6 as well as CrossMark, the i7-14700K has significant improvements vs the i7-13700K. It’s quite close to the i9-13900K’s performance as well, which is pretty good, considering the 14th-gen chip is priced a lot less. In fact, for creative tasks, the 14700K performs better than the 13900K too.
As for gaming benchmarks, we ran a couple of tests with multiple games, and the results are conclusive of the above statement. Intel has put in real work with the i7-14700K, etching it a lot closer to the i9-13900K’s performance, offering noticeable improvements over the predecessor. The only downside to this is the fact that the i7-13700K wasn’t that far off from the i9-13900K’s performance to begin with.
Intel Core i7-14700K Review: Power Draw and Thermals
Comparing the i7-14700K vs the i7-13700K, both the processors are rated for the same 253W draw. However, the real-world numbers are quite different. Even though the 14th-gen processor has new efficiency cores and not performance cores, their added power draw is noticeable. If you’re looking for a silver lining though, a quick glance at the i9-13900K’s power draw should be enough.
The higher power draw of the i7-14700K also translates to more heat. The processor manages to reach the 100-degree Celsius mark rather quickly, thus resulting in slight throttling too. However, it’s not by a massive margin.
But one thing is clear, you need to fork a bit on the cooler for the 14700K. Even if you’re not a fan of full-fledged liquid cooling, we’d strongly recommend opting for a good AIO cooler with a nice thermal paste to begin with.
Intel Core i7-14700K: Pricing and Availability
Compared to the previous gen, the Intel Core i7-14700K is about $10 cheaper, with its price tag of just $409. This is pretty good pricing, especially when you consider that the Intel Core i9-13900K was launched for $599. As for buying one, the processor is already available for purchase at retail outlets and via OEM partner systems.
Intel Core i7-14700K Review: Worth It?
So, the big question. Is the Intel Core i7-14700K worth it? Let’s look at it this way. If you already have an i7 or i9 13th-gen processor, there’s no reason for you to upgrade. Sure, the i7-14700K does perform better in certain instances against the i7-13700K, but it’s not like the 13th-gen is a bad processor by any means. The slight improvements in benchmarks are hardly noticeable while using the system, and the 13700K also manages to run a lot cooler.
Now, if you have an old machine and you’ve been waiting for a good handful of years to finally make the jump to DDR5 and PCIe 5, I’d suggest holding out a bit. Not to say that the Raptor Lake refresh is bad, but the Intel Core Ultra 7 is right around the corner. The Meteor Lake upgrade should offer a bit more, so if you have to build a new system, might as well wait a little bit more for it. Or, if you really need a new system, the 13th-gen processors should be up for a discount now.
The way I see it, the 14700K makes perfect sense for folks who are currently on Intel’s 12th-gen platform. For them, the i7-14700K is bound to provide significant improvements, and thanks to its support for both DDR4 and DDR5 RAM, it should function as a seamless swap. Just upgrade your BIOS and you should be good to go. All in all, the i7-14700K is an excellent workhorse and a great gaming CPU.
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Last updated on 06 November, 2023
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