Intel Core i9-14900K vs Core i9-13900K: New generation or more of the same?

Core i9-14900K vs. Core i9-13900K: Features

Intel Core i9-13900K (Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

Intel's recently-launched 14th Gen Intel CPUs had the world excited, at least for custom PC builders eager to get their hands on them and benchmark their favorite games. One feature Intel is excited about is AI-assisted overclocking. 14th Gen unlocked desktop processors such as the 14900k, now include the new Intel XTU (Extreme Tuning Utility) AI Assist feature, which can help overclock 14th Gen K-series CPUs for even better gains in performance. 

We recently covered the Intel Core i7-14700K and Intel Core i7-13700K with similar results. Shockingly, the Intel Core i7-14700K had even more of an upgrade over its 13th Gen counterpart than the i9-14900k has over the i9-13700k. So whether you're looking for an i7 or want the best of the best with the i9, we here at Windows Central have you covered. 

Some of the best features of the new CPUs are their forward-facing connectivity. Intel promises support for Wi-Fi 6/6E, Bluetooth 5.3, and the new Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.4. They also boast Thunderbolt 4 compatibility and possible support for Thunderbolt 5 with up to 80 Gbps of bidirectional bandwidth.

Intel has since backtracked on this, saying its support for desktop CPUs will be announced in the future. This is the best and the main draw to the 14th Gen CPUs, in my opinion. Still, with how slow these new technologies take to become ubiquitous, the 13th Gen i9-13700K should offer full support for several years to come, so don't worry about choosing it over the newer i9-14900K. There's still also the fact the 14th Gen may not support Thunderbolt 5 at all, which came as an unusually vague surprise.

Intel Core 14th Gen processors power an immersive gaming experience with up to 23% gaming performance uplift compared to leading competitor processors, while new gaming-focused features like Intel Application Optimization (APO) ensure better-than-ever application threading alongside existing Intel Thread Director application thread scheduling.

While there isn't much of a difference between the two CPUs, it is crucial to take note that these CPUs are both powerhouses and have support for DDR5 XMP, speeds well beyond 8,000 mega transfers/second (MT/S), which will help AAA video games, and the ever-devouring Chrome browser to keep up with RAM-intensive tasks. 

It's important to note that Intel hasn't moved away from the 1700 socket that it has been using for years. So, no matter which CPU you want to go with, the motherboard you choose should support it as long as it has a FCLGA1700 socket.

These CPUs still offer some of the best and most powerful options on the market for consumer market processors. I think of the 14th as closer to a mid-gen upgrade than an entirely new generation, and by thinking of it that way, it's much easier to recommend the 13th Gen CPU for those looking to upgrade. 

The extra features of the 14th Gen, such as the Intel XTU (Extreme Tuning Utility), might be substantial upgrades. Still, they have yet to be proven, and as far as the specifications go, it's almost an impossible argument to make that this is a generational leap. Speaking of specifications, let's take a look at those head-to-head. 

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Core i9-14900KCore i9-13900K
Cores24(8P, 16E)24(8P, 16E)
Processor Base Power125W125W
Base clockP: 3.2GHz E: 2.4GHzP: 3.0 GHz E: 2.2GHz
BoostP: 5.6GHz E: 4.4GHzP: 5.4GHz E: 4.3GHz
Turbo Boost Max 3.06.0GHz5.8GHz
cache36 MB Intel® Smart Cache 36 MB Intel® Smart Cache
MemoryUp to DDR5 5600 MT/s Up to DDR4 3200 MT/sUp to DDR5 5600 MT/s Up to DDR4 3200 MT/s
Integrated graphicsIntel® UHD Graphics 770Intel® UHD Graphics 770
SocketLGA 1700LGA 1700

The similarities between the two CPUs highlight that there is really no way this can be considered a new generation. Both CPUs offer the same memory types and speeds, the same integrated GPU, the same core and thread counts, and even the same power usage. 

The 14900K has slightly higher frequencies (6.0 GHz vs. 5.8 GHz) at the max turbo frequency, though. 

It's hard to recommend the 14900K, even if you're upgrading to a new CPU from an older generation. The slight cost savings that should be available with the 13th Gen option should be more than enough to take the minor hit to clock speed.

Core i9-14900K vs. Core i9-13900K: Which should I buy?

Intel Core i9-13900K

(Image credit: Windows Central)

The million-dollar question is, which CPU should you pick up? As with everything, it will come to your personal preferences. For me personally, if I were going to upgrade to the best of the best, I would take the cost savings of the 13th Gen i9-13900K with nearly the same performance as the 14th Gen i9-14900K. 

However, we all know that sometimes you just have to have bragging rights, and nothing can replace being able to know you have the best tech on the market. If that's the situation you find yourself in, then the 14900K offers just enough of an upgrade to warrant picking it up. It's an easier purchase to justify, though, if you're coming from 12th Gen or earlier. 

We have our Intel Core i9-13900K review available to help make your purchase decision, and our Intel Core i9-14900K review is coming soon, so we'll update this article when it's ready to go. 

We wanted to get a guide out to give the side-by-side comparison so that you can make an informed decision and know exactly what is going on with the new 14th-generation CPU without any of the marketing speech to cloud the actual specifications. 

Are you looking to upgrade your CPU? Do you think the upgrades to the i9-14900K are worthy of a new generation? Let us know in the comments. 

Colton Stradling

Colton is a seasoned cybersecurity professional that wants to share his love of technology with the Windows Central audience. When he isn’t assisting in defending companies from the newest zero-days or sharing his thoughts through his articles, he loves to spend time with his family and play video games on PC and Xbox. Colton focuses on buying guides, PCs, and devices and is always happy to have a conversation about emerging tech and gaming news.