14600K vs 13600K: putting Intel's best mainstream CPUs to the test

With the launch of Intel Raptor Lake Refresh, a lot of PC builders, gamers, and just general PC users have a few new chips to choose from, and the Intel Core i5-14600K vs 13600K comparison is one of the most natural to start making right out of the gate.

The Intel Core i5-13600K is one of the best processors for mainstream users thanks to its solid performance and decent pricing, so now that the Intel Core i5-14600K has hit the market, many might be wondering if it's time for an upgrade.

Whether you want the latest and best Intel processor for general computing or you're hoping to snag a deal on a still great Core i5-13600K (but you're wondering what you might be missing out on if you buy the now last-gen chip), there are definitely a lot of things to consider.

Having reviewed both chips and done an extensive amount of testing over the last few weeks on both, I've got a very good sense of how each chip stacks up, what you should expect from each in terms of performance, and what kind of value each one represents. 

So whether you're looking to buy or you're just curious about how the two chips measure up, I'm here to walk you through everything you need to know about the Core i5-14600K vs 13600K.

An Intel Core i5-14600K against its promotional packaging

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

14600K vs 13600K: Price

In terms of price, there's not going to be much difference between the two chips initially. The US MSRP for the Core i5-14600K is $319 (about £255/AU$465), which is in the lower range of what Intel suggests for the Core i5-13600K, though many retailers price that chip higher. Or at least they have been.

Now, however, it's likely that the 14th-gen i5 will be getting the pricing premiums while the 13600K is likely to slowly see its price come down, so in the long term, the 13600K is probably the better bet in terms of price. As it stands today, though, it's more or less a tie.

  • Winner: Tie (for now)

An Intel Core i5-14600K against its promotional packaging

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

14600K vs 13600K: Specs & features

The Core i5 chips aren't especially known for their heavy-duty specs, and the 14600K and 13600K are no different. In fact, they're essentially the same, except for some modest turbo clock speed increases on the turbo clock speeds, 200MHz for the P-cores and 100MHz for the E-cores to get to the 14600K's 5.30GHz P-Core turbo clock and 4.0GHz for the E-core turbo clock.

Other than that, every Raptor Lake Refresh launch chip has support for discrete WiFi 7 and Thunderbolt 5, but both of those are a ways off, but it's something new for Raptor Lake Refresh, so it's good to have some futureproofing (Editor's Note: Intel has since reached out to correct its original announcement to add that the recently released 14th-gen desktop chips will not, in fact, support Thunderbolt 5).

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Intel Core i5-14600K vs i5-13600K specs
Header Cell - Column 0 Intel Core i5-14600KIntel Core i5-13600K
Performance Cores66
Efficiency Cores88
P-Core Base Clock3.50GHz3.50GHz
P-Core Boost Clock5.30GHz5.10GHz
E-Core Base Clock2.60GHz2.60GHz
E-Core Boost Clock4.00GHz3.90GHz
Motherboard SocketLGA 1700LGA 1700
  • Winner: Intel Core i5-14600K (barely)

An Intel Core i5-13600K

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

14600K vs 13600K: Performance

Honestly, the only way you're going to tell the difference between these two chips' performance is when you're looking at their benchmark scores, because otherwise their performance is so close that it's not a difference you'd experience in your day-to-day use.

In synthetic benchmarks, the 14600K outperforms the 13600K by a fairly marginal amount, with an average single-core performance about 3.6% better than its predecessor. The 14600K's multi-core performance is about 3.3% better and its productivity performance is about 3.1% better.