14700K vs 13900K: can Intel's new midrange chip dethrone last generation's best?

Building a new PC can be a difficult process without the right CPU for the job and that’s why you need to weigh up the 14700K vs 13900K. It’s the tried-and-true tale of the brand-new mid-range model taking on the previous generation flagship, because, theoretically, performance always increases with each generation, while prices stay iterative. 

The recently released Intel Core i7-14700K is an excellent chipset and we consider it to be the strongest in terms of value for money when compared to the rest of the refresh. In our 4-star review, we said that: “The Intel Core i7-14700K is possibly the only great processor from the Raptor Lake Refresh launch lineup, thanks to a few upgrades that lift it up to i9-13900K levels of performance”. It also happens to be competitive against the best processors made by AMD as well, so there’s certainly a lot of potential here. 

In contrast, the Intel Core i9-13900K is a behemoth of a processor even into its second year of market availability. In our perfect 5-star review we said that it’s “a beast in just about every area” holding its own against CPUs from AMD and from within Intel’s previous lineups. It’s tough competition for sure, and that’s why we’re comparing 14700K vs 13900K to see whether you’re better off going for a tried-and-tested i9 or giving the next generation of i7 a go in your rig instead. 

An Intel Core i7-14700K with its promotional packaging

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

14700K vs 13900K: Price

The 14700K is the cheaper of the two Intel processors as it retails for $409 / £311 / AU$593 which is slightly cheaper than its predecessor, the 13700K by about 2% if that. In contrast, the previous leading i9 CPU sells for $589 / £448 / AU$854 which is a price that remains unchanged from the 13900K which it recently replaced. 

That’s a total price difference of $180 / £130 / AU$261 (or around 44% depending on the region). That’s quite the jump in price between i7 and i9, and that’s historically how it’s been for the last few generations. Regardless of whether you’re aiming for a mid-range or a leading processor, both chipsets use the LGA 1700 socket, which has been around since 2021 meaning some of the best motherboards could be around discounted, as long as you can flash them with a bios update. 

While both chipsets can use older DDR4 memory, for the best performance you are better off sticking with some of the best DDR5 RAM, some of the best RAM you can buy really, for optimum performance. However, unlike with some of the best AMD processors, you aren’t bound to the latest memory, so you could save a couple extra bucks on the hardware here in your build. 

  • Winner: Intel Core i7-14700K 

Intel Core i9-13900K in hand

(Image credit: Future)

14700K vs 13900K: Specs & features

Both the 14700K and the 13900K utilize Intel’s hybrid architecture which has been the core of the last three processor generations. Given the Intel Core i7-14700K’s cheaper sticker price, it should come as no surprise that this model is less impressive on the technical front with fewer efficiency cores to play with than the previous-generation i9. Both chips have the same eight performance cores to put to use, but take different approaches. Here’s both models directly compared.  

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Intel Core i7-14700K vs Intel Core i9-13900K specs
Header Cell - Column 0 Intel Core i7-14700KIntel Core i9-13900K
Performance Cores88
Efficiency Cores1216
P-Core Base Clock3.40GHz3.0GHz
P-Core Boost Clock5.60GHz5.80GHz
E-Core Base Clock2.50GHz2.20GHz
E-Core Boost Clock4.30GHz4.30GHz
L3 Cache33MB36MB
Motherboard SocketLGA 1700LGA 1700

While the Intel Core i7-14700K boasts a slightly higher base clock speed for its P-cores and E-cores, the Intel Core i9-13900K features four more efficiency cores overall with a higher total boost clock speed of up to 5.8 GHz. Combine this with slightly more L3 Cache and a higher thread count and the 13900K takes the win in this respect, at least on paper.  

  • Winner: Intel Core i9-13900K  

An Intel Core i7-14700K slotted into a motherboard

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

14700K vs 13900K: Performance

While the Intel Core i9-13900K had more under the hood theoretically to absolutely trounce the 14700K, the truth is far more nuanced, and the 14700K even scored a little higher than the previous leading chipset in some respects. Truth be told, it’s a close race, but the extra grunt of the 13th Gen i9 gives it the slight edge in our testing. 

The margins are very thin with the Intel Core i7-14700K effectively delivering i9-class performance at least in terms of single-core functionality judging by our testing. Multi core is where the gap widened a little, but not as dramatically as the hardware differences would initially have you believe. 

Productivity tasks saw a fairly even split between 14700K and 13900K with the previous generation i9 taking a slight lead in our testing from as low as a 2% increase to a 26% lead. Still very comparable when all is said here. 

Creativity benchmarks reveal just how close the performance of the 14th Gen i7 is to the previous generation i9 when put under stress. This is most noticeable with CrossMark Creativity, Blender 3.6.0 Classroom and Handbrake with miniscule lead in favor of the 13th-Gen i9.