Intel Core i9-14900KS CPU Review

Intel's Core i9-14900KS is best left to enthusiasts looking to set records and if you're going to attempt that you'll need high-end cooling and power.

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Manufacturer: Intel
5 minutes & 37 seconds read time
TweakTown's Rating: 90%
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The Bottom Line

Recommended only if you're looking to set records, the Intel Core i9-14900KS is a beast of a CPU, but requires proper cooling and a small sun to power it.

Pros

  • + In-socket upgrade
  • + DDR5 support
  • + 6.2GHz turbo frequency

Cons

  • - High-end cooling needed
  • - Small Sun needed to power

Should you buy it?

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Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

This year, KS has been an elusive CPU to get my hands on, but here we are, chip in hand for another round of testing on what we believe is the last CPU to land on LGA1700. That said, Intel has put together a rather impressive offering with the 14900KS, boosting clocks across the board. With this, we also reached out to both ASUS and Patriot for some help getting this CPU up and running at peak efficiency; ASUS provided us with the Z790 Apex and Patriot, a legit kit of Viper DDR5 8200.

That said, this CPU's specifications are nearly identical to the 14900K from last October. This gives us a 32-thread processor with eight performance cores that get a boost from hyper-threading and sixteen efficient cores ready for the LGA1700 socket. Base clocks stick at 2.4GHz for the e-cores and 3.5GHz for the p-cores, while turbo frequencies have both taken a 100MHz boost, 4.5GHz for the e-cores and 5.7GHz for the p-cores. Additionally, the Turbo Boost Max and TVB frequencies have also increased to 5.9GHz and 6.2GHz, respectively. Depending on the motherboard used, memory support includes DDR4 and DDR5; maximum capacity reaches 192GB with support for ECC.

Pricing

The pricing of the Intel Core i9-14900KS carries an MSRP of $690.

Buy at Amazon

Intel Core i9-14900KS CPU

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$662.55$663.55$664.00
Buy at Newegg
$663.99$663.99$663.99
* Prices last scanned on 5/24/2024 at 7:09 am CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Packaging and Test System

Packaging and Accessories

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The KS was delivered in retail packaging, including special edition packaging with a "wafer" shaped container to secure the CPU.

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Above is a better look at the CPU packaging itself.

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Taking a closer look at the CPU itself, we see clear identifiers for the KS and batch numbers.

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The back side of the CPU offers 1700 pads to connect it to your motherboard.

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As mentioned in the opening, ASUS supplied us with the Z790 Apex for testing the 14900KS.

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Patriot, too, helped with this review by sending us a fantastic kit of Xtreme 5 that operates at 8200MHz.

Intel CPU Test System

Cinebench 2024, AIDA64 and CrossMark

Cinebench 2024

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Cinebench 2024 offered a single core score of 141 for the KS, and multi-core reached upwards of 2272.

CrossMark

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Crossmark scored 2699 overall, and creativity got a huge boost, giving us our first sub-score of over 3000 points.

AIDA64 Memory

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Memory bandwidth was legit, with the KS being paired with the Xtreme 5 from Patriot. As you can see above, we had no issues pushing this memory to its rated speed of 8200MHz at CL38. Latency, too, was great at 58.6ns.

WebXPRT, UL Procyon and 3DMark

WebXPRT 4

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Running the KS through webXPRT, we landed an overall score of 432. This does appear to be the highest score we have received to date.

UL Procyon Suite

The UL Procyon Office Productivity Benchmark uses Microsoft Office apps to measure PC performance for office productivity work.

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UL Procyon Office gave us an overall score of 9293 for the KS.

3DMark

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CPU Profile was our first bench within 3DMark; this gave us a 1317 single thread score, which ramps to 16785 with the max thread's workload.

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Time Spy landed at 27383 overall, the KS picking up 25537 for itself, while the RTX 4080 gathered its own score of 27K.

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Speed Way was a bit simpler, and the overall score for the KS RTX combo was 7240.

Gaming Benchmarks

Cyberpunk 2077 and Starfield

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Above, we have our Cyberpunk settings for testing the 14900KS. We use a slightly modified "Ultra" preset with dynamic resolution and frame generation disabled.

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From left to right, we have our results for 4K, 1440p, and 1080p. As you can see, we reached a touch over 70FPS at 4K resolution, bumped up to 145FPS for 1440p, and hit nearly 200FPS at 1080p.

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Settings for Starfield start with the "Ultra" preset, modified to disable Vsync and Upscaling. We used NVIDIA Frameview to gather stats during testing.

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Again, we are left to right, 4K, 1440p, and 1080p. The KS is doing quite well here, with 71 FPS on average and a 1% low of 57 FPS at 4K. Moving to 1440p, we do get a nice uptick in performance, reaching 98 FPS with a 1% low of 73FPS. 1080p pushed a touch over 110FPS, the 1% low at 83FPS.

Charts/Comparisons and Final Thoughts

Charts/Comparisons

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When we look at our charts for the KS, it takes top honors for single-thread performance in CB 2024, as expected.

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Multi-thread performance was a touch-off for the KS, scoring 2272 overall, just behind the 14900K.

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CrossMark was a bit more demanding for the KS. Its overall score of 2699, among others, put it behind the 14900K.

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Switching to AIDA64, we have the AES workload. This showed solid performance from the KS, though falling it did fall behind the 14900K by a few hundred points.

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SHA3 landed at 9255; this makes the KS the quickest Intel CPU in our charts.

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Running through WebXPRT 4, the KS did very well with a score of 432, putting it at the top of our charts.

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Procyon Office showed rather disappointing scores from the KS. Overall, we landed at 9293, which put us just behind the 12900K.

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CPU Profile is a split chart for clarity; the first gives us one or two threads and shows the 14900Ks as the top CPU with a 1317 and 2523 score.

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Four, eight, and sixteen threads open up a bit more, and the KS is still doing well, landing 3rd overall.

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Sticking with 3DMark, we look at Time Spy first. This gave us a CPU score of 25537, this was third to the 14900K and 14700K.

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Speed Way landed the KS in our top spot, scoring 7240.

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Charting our Cyberpunk results, the 14900Ks scored nearly identical to the 14900K, with no real jump in performance between the two.

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Starfield was similar, with the 14900KS performing right with the 14900K throughout testing.

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Using our results from Cyberpunk and Starfield, we combined the power consumption measured from the dual eight-pin connectors with a little math to give us a score of just 93.5% in performance per watt for the KS.

Final Thoughts

The KS is a unique processor offering from Intel that allows their engineers to see how far they can push current-gen silicon once per year. This year, overall, 14900KS has gained a few hundred MHz in both base and boost clocks, while TVB made the jump to 6.2GHz. Of course, this goes without saying that the KS is designed as more than a "gaming" CPU; it pushes towards an enthusiast-only offering, whereas those with delidding tools and LN2 push for world records.

As a desktop CPU, the KS is certainly a top-tier offering; testing showed it to do very well in single-core workloads, where Intel still offers the highest IPC. Cinebench and CPU Profile did very well for the KS, landing at the top of our charts in each of those workloads; the same can be said for WebXPRT and Speed Way, which also landed at the top of their respective charts.

Looking at multi-threaded workloads, the KS does lag behind AMD's highest-tiered offerings like the 7900X and 7950X; we saw this with CPU Profile's sixteen-thread workload and Procyon Office, with honorable mention to CrossMark as well. Gaming workloads, at least the two we ran, showed no real increase in performance over the 14900K, though we did notice a slight bump in performance in both Time Spy and Speed Way.

Looking at power consumption, we did note a slight drop when compared with the 13900KS at 400 watts when tested last year; we managed just 380 watts at peak from the 14900KS during testing. All things considered, the 14900KS is best left to enthusiasts looking to set records with extreme cooling, as the 14700K still manages to be one of the best gaming CPUs in the current generation.

Photo of product for sale

Performance

99%

Quality

90%

Features

90%

Value

80%

Overall

90%

The Bottom Line

Recommended only if you're looking to set records, the Intel Core i9-14900KS is a beast of a CPU, but requires proper cooling and a small sun to power it.

TweakTown award
90%

Intel Core i9-14900KS CPU

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$662.55$663.55$664.00
Buy at Newegg
$663.99$663.99$663.99
* Prices last scanned on 5/24/2024 at 7:09 am CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Tyler joined the TweakTown team in 2013 and has since reviewed 100s of new techy items. Growing up in a small farm town, tech wasn't around, unless it was in a tractor. At an early age, Tyler's parents brought home their first PC. Tyler was hooked and learned what it meant to format a HDD, spending many nights reinstalling Windows 95. Tyler's love and enthusiast nature always kept his PC nearby. Eager to get deeper into tech, he started reviewing.

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