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  • Chelsea Tang

Intel Core i9-14900K Review: Great, but Not a Game-Changer!

Updated: Dec 17, 2023

Intel has released their 14th generation flagship desktop CPU, the Core i9-14900K. As the successor to the 13900K, it aimed to provide modest single-threaded performance gains through higher boost clocks of up to 6GHz. However, after testing graphics and thermals against its predecessor, it's clear this "refresh" delivers minimal real-world benefits.

Intel Core i9-14900K and i5-14600K
Intel Core i9-14900K and i5-14600K

i9-14900K vs i9-13900K

In terms of core configuration and architecture, the 149000K is identical to the 13900K. Both CPUs have 24 total cores consisting of 8 performance and 16 efficient cores. Cache sizes, memory support, and integrated graphics are also unchanged.

Gaming Performance

We pitted the 14900K against the 13900K in popular CPU-intensive titles - Valorant and CS:GO to analyze gaming performance at the highest graphics settings and 1080p resolution. In Valorant, the 14900K did manage to hit an average of 500fps around, 100fps higher than the 13900K’s average of 400fps. While an impressive number, the vast majority of gamers are not utilizing 500Hz displays where those extra frames would even matter. For those on standard 144-240Hz screens, 400fps is already overkill, when it comes to smoothness.

i9-14900K - Valorant
i9-14900K - 1080p Valorant

i9-13900K - Valorant
i9-13900K - 1080p Valorant


Temperature profiles tell a similar story, with the 14900K running noticeably hotter under heavy load. Whereas the 13900K can stay at a very reasonable sub-50 degrees Celsius while gaming, the 14900K scales it up, hitting temperatures of up to 10 degrees Celsius hotter than its predecessor. That kind of excessive thermals will shorten component longevity for negligible gains in gaming experience.

Power Consumption

Perhaps most damning was the power consumption disparity between the two chips. Under the modest loads of Valorant, the 13900K sipped a modest 80W of power. Meanwhile, the 14900K surged all the way up to a concerning 125W. In CS2, it even spiked to around 150W. For the average system, that kind of power draw will strain weaker power supplies and cause noticeable noise increase from cooling fans.

i9-14900K's Power Consumption in CS2
i9-14900K's Power Consumption in CS2

Benchmark (GeekBench6)




Single-Core Score



Multi-Core Score




At $589, it's hard to recommend opting for the 14900K given these drawbacks. Unless found at a significant discount, consumers are better off sticking with their current Intel 1000/6000 series CPUs or Ryzen 5000 chips, all of which deliver similar 1080p+ gaming performance without the thermals or power overhead.

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