Intel Core i7-14700K: Four extra E cores can work wonders

Intel Core i7-14700K in detail

The Core i7-14700K processor is the only 125-watt model from the Intel Raptor Lake-S Refresh generation that has undergone a core configuration change between generations. With more “efficient” ones, this processor is halfway to the Core i9-(14900K/13900K), but at the price of a Core i7. The Ci7-14700K is thus significantly more powerful than the Ci7-13700K for the same money. Especially in heavy multi-threaded workloads.

Intel Core i7-14700K in detail

Although the architecture of Intel’s desktop processors based on the big.LITTLE concept hasn’t changed since the first generation (Alder Lake), the latest Core i7-14700K is already better equipped than the Core i9-12900K. In addition to the eight P cores, it has twelve E cores instead of eight (Ci9-12900K and Ci7-13700K).

The Core i7-14700K physically uses an 8E+16E chip (stepping B0) just like the Core i7-13700K, but has more active E cores, as many as twelve. That’s four more compared to its predecessor, and four less than the top model in the form of the Core i9-14900K.

Recall that Intel processors combining the Golden/Raptor Cove and Gracemont architectures in the Core i7 class started with only four efficient cores total (12700K). Thus, the advance in performance can be expected to be significant, especially for multi-threaded applications that can benefit from the large increase in the little cores. But it should also be taken into account that the all-core boost of the Core i7-14700K on the big cores is already 5.5 GHz, which is beneficial for gaming performance, among other things.

The single-core boost for single-threaded applications, on the other hand, has climbed to 5.6 GHz, which is +600 MHz compared to the Ci7-12700K and +200 MHz compared to the Ci7-13700K. Compared to the Core i9-13900K, however, the Core i7-14700K still lags behind by 100–200 (TVB) MHz. However, it’s important to note here that the Core i7-14700K came with a 180 USD lower MSRP, which is on the same level as the older model. Sure, compared to rival AMD’s Ryzen (7900X) processor, Intel’s isn’t significantly cheaper in stores, as indicated by the MSRP, which each company sets a little differently, but even so, the direct confrontation is noteworthy. Intel comes with a higher core count (20), though more than half are “weaker” than the Zen 4 cores in the Ryzen 9 7900X.

As with all Raptor Lake Refresh processors, however, Intel has pushed the clock speeds harder in this case (Ci7-14700K) as well, even when it comes to the E cores with 4.3GHz for an all-core boost. Meanwhile, the PPT is still 253 W (as with the Core i7-13700K as well), but the power draw without power limits will naturally be higher with the Core i7-14700K. Compared to the R9 7900 (with a PPT of 230 W) quite significantly, but that’s getting into the results a bit too much. Which processor excels at what and which processor pulls the short end of the stick is traditionally a question for the next 39 chapters of this article.

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  1. Majority tends to hate 14th gen (no progress etc), but it’s almost totally win-win generation: it reduces “unnoticeably slower” 13th gen prices; Intel’s partners like DELL are happy to get next-gen CPUs for their next-gen computers and Intel himself can boast that they supported LGA 1700 with three generations. Cherry on top is 14700K which offers almost maximum performance of 1700 for only i7 money. Now let’s wait for lower-end chips – already 13th gen beats here AMD with multicore performance combined with option to go cheaper DDR4 route what is sensible for lower-end workstation builds. That’s why I see 14th gen as almost totally win-win. Almost because only losers here will be reselling values of most of 1700 chips (especially massacrated by 14700K itself), but it’s natural downside of longer socket support.

    1. Thanks for the addition. The explicit specification of the Ci7-14700K suitability for cheaper workstations with DDR4 memory is probably missing in the text of our article. And yet in this respect, as long as all 20 cores scale, there really is no alternative with a comparable price/performance ratio.

      It seems to me that most of the commercial reviewers put a lot of emphasis on the high power draw, which is, of course, a fact, but there is a little bit of a “B” missing in the fact that at lower, for example, gaming loads, the power efficiency with Ryzen 9 is comparable or even more attractive (in a single-threaded load). And who doesn’t like the 300W, can adjust the power limits at will and in many multi-threaded applications the Ci7-14700K will still be on top compared to the R9 7900X even at the same power draw. We have not tested this situation (Ci7-14700K vs. R9 7900X) directly at lower power draws, but if you look at our motherboard tests, you will see that the Core i9-13900K is only a couple % slower at PL2 limited to the TDP level (125 W) compared to the R9 7950X with a TDP of 105 W (PPT of 142 W). And I feel the difference between Core i7-14700K and Ryzen 9 7900X will be even smaller.

  2. Intel just took from AMD their few years ago signature multicore performance for the money. Especially with equipping lower-to-mid-range chips with plenty of e-cores allowing them to beat here R5 and R7.

    Problem with awful power draw, it’s mostly about these chips just being able to pull crazy numbers when ulimited. My 13900K scores in CB23 Multi ~35500 points with PL1=PL2=200W. Scoring even 41000 or having the heaviest on multicore tasks done 15% faster for the price of 300+W attacing me; needing damn AiO and way more noise to handle it? Bad deal to me. Or another fun fact in terms of efficiency: 13900K can give performance of unltimited 13700K for just half of i7’s power draw. Tests show 13700K needing to pull at least 250W to score up to 31K, but my chip did exactly 30766 with PL1=PL2=125W – quite unusual perspective, but potentially attractive in terms of heat; noise or eco.

    Ryzens 7000 are amazing in energy efficiency and, if I remember well, 7950X is even better than 13900K here, but not many add here that Ryzens also tend to be harder to cool. Some polish youtuber made a graph showing maybe even these exact chips power normalized on various levels and how hot they get then. Ryzen pulling the same power tends to be ~10C hotter. I rather don’t watch him, so don’t know how reliable are his numbers, but such tendency is quite known. And it makes Ryzen’s eficiency not just better, but coming with stinky addition of higher noise and temperatures. Reducing them to Intel’s level would somehow melt this better efficiency…

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