Intel Unveils 14th Gen Core Rocket Lake Refresh Processor Lineup

Intel Core i9-14900K held between a finger and thumb.
After months of speculation, Intel today formally introduced its 14th Gen Core processors, otherwise known as Raptor Lake Refresh. Exactly as the name implies, this is a refresh of Intel's 13th Gen Raptor Lake CPUs, as opposed to a brand new architecture, which for consumers means the newly minted silicon can slip into existing 600- and 700-series motherboards (pending a BIOS update).

While the underlying architecture is the same, there are notable changes to clock speeds and performance. For example, Intel's new flagship Core i9-14900K (and Core i9-14900KF) can hit 6GHz out of the box via Thermal Velocity Boost, which is a 200MHz increase over the Core i9-13900K/KF. According to Intel, its 14th Gen lineup delivers up to 23% better gaming performance, and up to 54% faster creator workflow experiences.

Here's a high-level overview of all six Raptor Lake Refresh processors...

Chart of Intel's 13th Gen Raptor Lake Refresh specs and pricing.

If you're familiar with Intel's 13th Gen lineup, then right off the bat you can spot several similarities with the 14th Gen SKUs, including TDP ratings and memory support—like Raptor Lake, the Raptor Lake Refresh series supports both DDR4 (up to 3200 MT/s) and DDR5 (up to 5600 MT/s) memory standards.

Incidentally, core configurations are mostly the same too, save for the Core i7-14700K and Core i7-14700KF. Whereas the Core i7-13700K is a 16-core/24-thread CPU with 8 P-cores and 8 E-cores, the Core i7-14700K/KF bumps up to a 20-core/28-thread configuration with 8 P-cores and 12 E-cores. So it's a net gain of four additional E-cores, along with a 100MHz faster E-core Turbo clock and 200MHz higher P-Core Turbo clock for this SKU specifically. 

Chart of Intel's 14th Gen Core processor features.

As for the remaining SKUs (Core i9-14900K, Core i9-14900KF, Core i5-14600K, and Core i5-14600KF), they retain the same configuration as their 13th Gen counterparts, while bumping up P-core turbo clocks by 200MHz and E-core turbo clocks by 100MHz. The Core i9-14900K and Core i9-14900KF also increase base clocks by 200MHz for both the P-cores and E-cores.

One interesting tidbit about platform support. We mentioned that Intel's 14th Gen chips will work just fine in existing socket LGA 1700 motherboards pending a BIOS flash. However, Intel also added Wi-Fi 7 and Thunderbolt 5 support to its Raptor Lake Refresh chips, which motherboard makers can tack onto refreshed Z790 motherboard designs. So if you're building from the ground up, you'll want to keep an eye out for new motherboards with these latest connectivity features.

Intel Core i9-14900K, Core i7-14700K, and Core i5-14600K CPUs on a gray gradient background.

Intel is also touting a featured called Application Performance Optimization (APO) to boost performance in supported games.

"Intel Application Optimization is a new policy within Intel Dynamic Tuning Technology framework that determines and directs application resources in real-time," Intel explains.

Intel graph showing 1080p gaming performance for the Core i9-14900K.

Not all games will benefit from APO, but the ones that do can show a modest performance boost. According to Intel, APO delivers a 13% increase in Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege and 16% performance bump in Metro Exodus. Additionally, Intel is making direct 1080p gaming performance comparisons between the Core i9-14900K and AMD's flagship Ryzen 9 7950X3D, as you can see in the graph above. Shots fired.

Perhaps the best news of all, however, is pricing—Intel resisted the temptation to upcharge for its Raptor Lake Refresh silicon, at least in terms of launch pricing, which is identical across the board to its 13th Gen lineup...
  • Core i9-14900K: $589
  • Core i9-13900K: $589-$599
  • Core i9-14900KF: $564
  • Core i9-13900KF: $564-$574
  • Core i7-14700K: $409
  • Core i7-13700K: $409-$419
  • Core i7-14700KF: $384
  • Core i7-13700KF: $384-$394
  • Core i5-14600K: $319
  • Core i5-13600K: $319-$329
  • Core i5-14600KF: $294
  • Core i5-13600KF: $294-$304
We'll have to wait and see where street pricing lands, as the launch of Intel's 14th Gen Raptor Lake Refresh CPUs could drive down prices on the current crop of 13th Gen Raptor Lake. However, it's nice to see the refreshed silicon come out swinging with the same recommended customer pricing (RCP).

As to how these new chips perform, stayed tuned. We already have all three K-models in our lab for testing and will post our results in a full review very soon.