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Core i7 14700K vs Core i9 12900K – how close is it?

Will the Raptor Lake Refresh outperform Alder Lake?
Last Updated on January 2, 2024
Intel Core i7-7700K vs Core i9-12900K
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In the ever-evolving realm of processors, Intel core has remained a dominant force to be reckoned with. Today, the battle between the rumored specs of the Core i7 14700K vs Core i9 12900K takes center stage in our discussion. This comparison aims to dissect and evaluate the performance and capabilities of these two formidable CPUs from Intel.

Each processor brings unique strengths to the table, promising enhancements, and refined computing experiences to meet various user demands. Join us as we delve into a comprehensive exploration of these two technological contenders, unraveling their specifications, performance, pricing, and overall value proposition in the competitive CPU market.

We’ve put together an Intel 14th gen where to buy page, but you may also want to have a look at our Core i9 14900K review to get a taste of the new processors’ improvements over 13th-gen chips.

Core i7 14700K vs Core i9 12900K: Specs

Intel has confirmed the launch of its 14th gen CPU, dubbed ‘Raptor Lake Refresh’. The Intel 14th Gen lineup arrives over 2 years after the first launch of the Core i9 12900K. But will the next-gen be better than the tried and trusted 16-core flagship Alder Lake CPUs? Let’s find out.

The Core i7-14700K seems to come out swinging with an impressive array of specifications, subtly outshining its counterpart, the Core i9-12900K, in various key areas. At the heart of the comparison lies the core count, where the i7-14700K takes a noticeable lead with a total of 20 cores (8 performance and 12 efficiency cores), compared to the i9-12900K’s 16 cores. This added muscle positions the i7-14700K as a formidable contender, catering to multitasking demands with enhanced fluidity and responsiveness.

Clock speeds are another battleground where the i7-14700K subtly asserts its dominance. Boasting a base clock of 3.4 GHz and the ability to turbo boost up to 5.6 GHz, it slightly eclipses the i9-12900K, which offers a base clock of 3.2 GHz and a boost clock of 5.2 GHz. This increment, although seemingly modest, plays a crucial role in performance optimization. It should grant users access to slightly quicker and more robust processing speeds in real-world applications.

When it comes to cache memory and latency, the i7-14700K continues to maintain its competitive edge with a total L3 cache of 33 MB, compared to the i9-12900K’s 30 MB. This expanded cache enables the processor to handle data more efficiently, improving overall computational and operational performance. Through these key specification enhancements, the i7-14700K could emerge as a compelling option, subtly but effectively outpacing the i9-12900K in terms of core capabilities and operational finesse.

SpecificationsCore i7-14700KCore i9 12900K
CORES20 (8+12)16
THREADS2824
BASE CLOCK3.4 GHz3.2 GHz
BOOST CLOCK5.6 GHz5.2 GHz
L2 / L3 CACHE33 MB L3 Cache30 MB (L3)
TDP (PL1)125W125W
MRSP$419$370
Core i7-14700K vs Core i9 12900K specs

Core i7 14700K vs Core i9 12900K: Performance

The Core i7-14700K, a prominent member of Intel’s 14th generation, carries a promise of exceptional performance, especially when stacked against its predecessor, the i9-12900K. Benchmarks show significant enhancement, particularly illuminating the i7-14700K’s prowess in multi-thread performance. This could well translate to a stellar performance that not only matches but could potentially surpass the 12900K – potentially reaching 13900K levels.

An analysis based on specifications lends weight to this expectation. The i7-14700K may hold a more gamer-centric design with a notable increase in cores, a faster boost clock speed, and an enriched L3 cache. These tailored improvements are pivotal, sculpting a processor that stands as a beacon of balanced and agile performance, especially in gaming scenarios. Third-party benchmarks formalize these observations, that the architectural refinements and strategic enhancements in the i7-14700K hint at a processor that is not just a repeat. It is also a considerable step forward in achieving a blend of performance that resonates with gaming enthusiasts.

Core i7 14700K vs Core i9 12900K: Price

The price comparison between the Core i7-14700K and the i9-12900K tells an interesting story in favor of the newer processor. With rumors of an MSRP of $419, the i7-14700K comes out as a more attractive option for performance, considering the potentially enhanced specifications it brings to the table. On the other side, the i9-12900K, while currently available at around $370, seems to offer less value in terms of future-proof performance despite its lower price point.

The i7-14700K, brimming with a better core configuration, a superior clock speed, and a larger L3 cache, might stand out as a formidable contender. It seems to offer a more balanced and powerful performance for its price, making the extra expenditure seem justified for those seeking advanced computing capabilities. We keep an eye on the best CPUs for gaming currently on the market, and the Core i7-14700K may be one of the best upgrade options for CPU enthusiasts.

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In conclusion, the Core i7-14700K emerges as the clear victor so far in this face-off against the Core i9-12900K. It’s predicted to be armed with more cores, a faster boost clock speed, and an enhanced L3 cache. The i7-14700K exemplifies a balanced and powerful performance that stands out in the 14th-gen lineup, offering a more gamer-centric and future-proof computing experience. Its design and specifications seem meticulously tuned to meet the evolving demands of gaming and multitasking.

When all factors, including price and performance, are taken into account, the i7-14700K undoubtedly claims the title of the best CPU in this comparison. We’ll have to wait and see how it holds up against other gaming-specific CPUs. but you can also check out our 14700K vs the i7-13700K overview.

Marla writes across a wide range of topics across PC Guide, including AI, PC hardware, and news on the latest tech releases. She's a passionate writer that's interested in the future of technology.

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