14600K vs 13700K: how does Intel's latest mainstream chip stack up to last-gen's workhorse?

Building a new PC can be challenging if you’re on a budget. You can either go for a brand new mainstream offering or try and get a good deal by going previous-generation for a little more power. That’s the most interesting part of the Intel Core 14600K vs 13700K as the answer of which one is better isn’t as clear cut as it may first seem. 

There’s no debating the fact that either of these CPUs can be considered some of the best Intel processors, and potentially even some of the best processors overall, but there are some key differences setting the two apart you need to consider. That’s because the Intel Core i5-14600K is geared towards more casual consumers with its wallet-friendly price tag and respectable hardware, being ideal for everyday usage including web browsing, video streaming, and gaming with its 14-core (20 threads) build. 

However, for the more hardcore gamer, or someone who wants to do higher-intensity tasks such as 3D modeling, video rendering, and high-end gaming, the Intel Core i7-13700K may be the better choice with its added overhead. Comprised of 16-cores and 24 threads, there’s a fair bit more under the hood to play with, at least on paper. 

But how exactly do the 14600K vs 13700K stack up? Well, that’s what we’re here to answer. We’ve done the extensive testing comparing and contrasting these two Intel processors against each other to give you all the information you need to know when considering your next build. We’ve utilized industry standard tests, gaming benchmarks, price analysis and more below to help you make an informed purchasing decision for the chip that’s right for you.

An Intel Core i5-14600K against its promotional packaging

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

14600K vs 13700K: Price

One of the biggest reasons to consider a previous-generation mid-tier or a current-generation entry level chip all comes down to the price difference, but there isn’t much in it. The 14600K carries an MSRP of $319 / £242 / AU$463 which is unchanged from the previous-generation i5 chip, the Intel Core i5-13600K. Itself was around a 10% price difference contrasted against the Alder Lake Intel Core i5-12600K, but there’s no further price increase this time. 

With this in mind, the older Intel Core-13700K carries a higher overall sticker price of $419 / £318 / AU$608 which is a difference of $100 / £76 / AU$145 (or around a 31% increase). That’s at face value, however, as the Raptor Lake mid-range chip has been on the market since October 2022 and has enjoyed discounts at major retailers which has narrowed the gap. 

It all comes down to what offers the best overall value for money given its price-to-performance. As with our overall opinion on the i5-13600K, hailed as the “best everyday CPU around”, the sentiment remains similar for the newer i5-14600K as the price has remained the same. We’ll deep dive into the tech specs and the performance below, but if you’re after great value for money, especially for gaming, then the 14600K wins out. 

  • Winner: Intel Core i5-14600K

Intel Core i9-13700K in hand

(Image credit: Future)

14600K vs 13700K: Specs & features

 On the surface not much has changed from the 13th Gen to the newer 14th Gen. LGA 1700 is still used, the third Team Blue chip generation to utilize the socket, and the hybrid microarchitecture. Starting with the newer of the two, the 14600K is rocking the same 14-core and 20 threads of its predecessor, with the older 13700K running 16-cores and 24 threads. Ultimately, the 13700K is the considerably more powerful of the two. 

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Intel Core i5-14600K vs Intel Core i7-13700K specs
Header Cell - Column 0 Intel Core i5-14600KIntel Core i7-13700K
Performance Cores68
Efficiency Cores88
P-Core Base Clock3.50GHz3.40GHz
P-Core Boost Clock5.50GHz5.40GHz
E-Core Base Clock2.60GHz2.50GHz
E-Core Boost Clock4.00GHz4.20GHz
L3 Cache24MB30MB
Motherboard SocketLGA 1700LGA 1700
  • Winner: Intel Core i7-13700K

An Intel Core i7-14700K slotted into a motherboard

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

14600K vs 13700K: Performance

Ultimately, despite being a little older, the Intel Core i7-13700K is the more powerful out of the two chips, slightly pulling ahead of the newer Intel Core i7-14600K in our synthetic benchmarks. This shouldn’t come as a massive surprise given the former's higher core and thread count, but the gap is narrower than you may expect. 

As you can see from the numbers above, the 13700K comes out on top in every single synthetic benchmark in our industry standard tests, but the difference in some instances amounts to around a fraction of a percent. This can especially be evidenced in the single-threaded performance, but multi-core is where the older i7 really shines.

You really start to see where the extra cores and threads make a difference with productivity tasks as the 13700K beats the 14600K in our benchmarks. It’s a slim margin, and the 14600K doesn’t do a bad job of keeping up, but if you’re someone who wants to get a lot of work done on your machine then that extra power under the hood can help here.  

There’s a much larger performance gap between the 13700K and the 14600K when it comes to creativity tasks as these are far more multi-core intensive tasks such as 3D rendering, photo-editing, and video encoding. That’s why the 13700K flexes a good lead here with around a 7% advantage.  

While the 14600K does a valiant job here in terms of CPU-bound gaming performance, it just can’t compete with the extra cores and threads of the 13700K, and this is the area that the previous generation i7 leads in the most. Depending on the game used, there’s up to a 11% difference. That means if you’re after the best CPU for gaming out of the two, then the 13700K hits the right notes.  

Comparing the thermal performance of the two chips, the 13700K maxed out at 94℃ which, while toasty, was still within operational limits. The same cannot quite be said for the 14600K which actually topped out at a meltingly-hot 101℃ when under load. Considering the 100℃ max operating temperature, that’s a little concerning. 

Power draw is pretty comparable between the 14600K and the 13700K with the former drawing 255.919W and the latter with 281.793W. Considering the difference in power between the two processors, the 14th Gen i5 isn’t much more power efficient all things considered. 

Tallying up the final scores, the Intel Core i7-13700K outperformed the 14600K by around 11% when all is said and done. That’s not to say that the 14600K was a poor performer by any metric, but the latest CPU generation hasn’t come leaps and bounds above its predecessor from entry-level to mid-range here. It’s especially noticeable in multi-core tasks and gaming just how big the divide really can be. 

  •  Winner: Intel Core i7-13700K

a 14600k vs 13700k

(Image credit: Future)

14600K vs 13700K: Final verdict

The 14600K offers better overall value for money for an entry-level chip with decent gaming performance, good productivity potential and enough under the hood for light creativity tasks. As a mainstream option, it’s solid if you’re after an all-rounder rig that won’t necessarily cost the earth with its sub-$320 / £250 / AU$470 price point. 

With that said, the Intel Core i7-13700K is just a better overall processor for gaming, creative outlets, and productivity thanks to its higher core and thread count. At a time where PC games are continuing to get more CPU-intensive, this is the chipset that you’ll want to consider for more serious and demanding programs. You’re paying more of a premium for the privilege, around $100 / £76 / AU$145 at face value, but with the new 14700K hitting the scene, the original sticker price is sure to come down to close the divide. 

All told, to pair with one of the best graphics cards to play some of the best PC games, you’re going to want the added power potential of the Intel Core i7-13700K if you can find it for a comparable price to the newer Intel Core-14600K. However, if you’re in the market for something more casual, such as a multimedia machine for light gaming, then the 14600K should be more than enough to suit your usage. 

Aleksha McLoughlin

Aleksha McLoughlin is an experienced hardware writer. She was previously the Hardware Editor for TechRadar Gaming until September 2023. During this time, she looked after buying guides and wrote hardware reviews, news, and features. She has also contributed hardware content to the likes of PC Gamer, Trusted Reviews, Dexerto, Expert Reviews, and Android Central. When she isn't working, you'll often find her in mosh pits at metal gigs and festivals or listening to whatever new black and death metal has debuted that week.