The Bottom Line
- + In socket upgrade
- + Less heat
- + Higher boost
- + No increase in power consumption over Core i5-13600K
- - None
Should you buy it?AvoidConsiderShortlistBuy
Introduction and Pricing
Wrapping up our Intel 14th Gen processor launch day reviews, we turn our attention for this review to the Core i5-14600K. This SKU is typically a sweet spot for entry-level gaming machines.
Like our two previous reviews for the 14900K and 14700K, we turn our eyes to the slide above detailing the launch day product stack. The 14600K, found at the bottom of the slide, shares much of its specifications with last year's 13600K, starting at the top with six performance cores and eight efficiency cores. This gives us fourteen cores and 20 threads if we include hyper-threading.
The cache has stayed the same, with 20MB of L2 and 24MB of L3. Base clocks include 3.5GHz for the P-cores and 2.6GHz for the E-Cores, while boost clocks for both P and E-cores have gotten a slight boost up to 4GHz and 5.3GHz, respectively.
Memory support officially includes DDR5 5600 and DDR4 3200, with a maximum capacity of 192GB. Power numbers for the 14600K give us a 125W base power number alongside a max turbo power of 181W. The MSRP of the Intel Core i5 14600K comes in at $319, the same price as last year's 13600K.
Test System and the 14600K
- Motherboard: GIGABYTE AORUS Z790 Master X - Buy from Amazon
- GPU: AMD Radeon 7900 XTX - Buy from Amazon
- RAM: Patriot Viper Xtreme 5 7600MHz CL36 - Buy from Amazon
- Cooler: EKWB Nucleus 240 - Buy from Amazon
- OS Storage: Crucial T700 2TB - Buy from Amazon
- Power Supply: Corsair HX1500i - Buy from Amazon
- OS: Microsoft Windows 11 Pro - Buy from Amazon
Core i5 14600K
Unboxing, we have the 14600K in its own retainer.
Removing the CPU, we have a nearly identical layout to the 13th Gen. The CPU uses the same LGA1700 socket.
The backside offers 1700 pins, the same layout as the 13th Gen.
Cinebench, Crossmark and AIDA64
Cinebench is a long-standing render benchmark that has been heavily relied upon by both Intel and AMD to showcase their newest platforms during unveils. The benchmark has two tests: a single-core workload utilizing one thread or 1T. There is also a multi-threaded test which uses all threads or nT of a tested CPU.
R23 offered a single core score of 2093, while nT saw 24190.
Cinebench 2024 picked up 124 single-core and 1424 multi-core.
CrossMark landed at 2430 overall, creativity being the best workload.
AIDA64 showed some solid gains in memory performance at 7600MHz. 110 GB/s read, 116 GB/s write and 110 GB/s copy. Latency was the best we have seen with the 14600K at 57.1ns.
AES came in at 181K.
Our 14600K scored 5319 in the SHA3 workload.
WEBXPRT4 and UL Benchmarks
WebXPRT4 scored 362 points for the 14600K.
Office Productivity scored 9524 for the 14600K.
CPU Profile kicked off our 3DMark testing. The 14600K did quite well with an 1148 single thread score and 10033 for sixteen threads.
Time Spy scored us 27574 overall, the CPU picked up 19610 alone.
Speed Way was good as well, 6002 overall.
VRMark Blue showed 9215 for the 14600K.
Diving straight into our comparisons, the 14600K gained 92 points in single thread R23.
Moving our workload to nT, the 14600K picked up about 170 points multi-threaded.
With Cinebench 2024, we saw a ten-point gain in single thread.
CB 2024 nT gained 170 points, the same result we saw with R23.
CrossMark gained 76 points over the 13600K.
AIDA64 AES did show the 14600K, just ahead of the 7800X3D and 13600K.
SHA3 landed the 14600K just behind the 7700X.
WebXPRT4 put the 14600K just ahead of the 13900K.
Procyon landed the 14600K between the 13700K and 7700X.
3DMark CPU Profile lands the 14600K just in front of the 13600K, middle of the pack.
With our first gaming workload, the 14600K lands between the Alder Lake 12900K and KS.
Speed Way slid the 14600K in just above the 7950X3D.
VRMark Blue showed the 14600K just nudging the 13600K.
Above are our settings and results in Phantom Liberty. The 14600K is just behind the 14700K at 1080p with 193 FPS.
The 14600K was actually quite good, scoring 118 FPS at 1080p compared to the 13600K at 98 FPS.
Power Consumption, Value, and Final Thoughts
Assessing the 14600K, we found it to use the same power as the 13600K despite the modest increase in boost clocks.
With the power numbers staying the same and performance going up slightly, the 14600K ends up being the best performance-per-watt Intel CPU currently in our charts.
When we compare the 14600K to the 13600K while looking at the rather large upgrades the i7 SKU picked up this gen, the new Core i5 almost seems a bit lackluster. 200MHz on the boost is likely something anyone with XTU and a 13600K can easily do on any supporting motherboard.
Behind the scenes, the increased power efficiency has seemingly played voodoo, allowing for lower operating temperatures, which keeps this new Core i5 offering at its peak boost clocks more often than the 13600K. This in turn gives us a solid bump in performance thanks to that extra 200 MHz Intel slid over to us with this 14th Gen SKU.
As for that performance, when compared to the last-gen 13600K, the 14600K picks up a solid 9.5% in single-threaded performance and nearly 14% in multi-thread via Cinebench. Crossmark noted a modest 3% increase for the system. While looking at gaming performance in 3DMark, Time Spy CPU noted a solid 8% increase. Cyberpunk and Starfield showed this offering as a capable CPU; the 14600K grabbed 193 FPS in Phantom Liberty, while Starfield peaked at 118 FPS, identical to the 14900K.
Power consumption and pricing have not changed from 13600K to 14600K. The 14600K keeps its $319 MSRP and the crown for performance per watt for team blue.