Marginal performance improvement for theoretically the same price. Are consumers winning? No, not really.

New Intel slides showcasing complete specifications, marketing performance benchmarks and most importantly pricing aspects for Intel’s upcoming refresh of Raptor Lake have surfaced online before their set embargos expire.

The LGA 1700 socket is going out with a pitiful swansong of sorts, with the 14th Generation of Intel Core processors offering a minor clock bump over the previous generation for what should be the same amount of cash.

Specifications haven’t really changed from 13th Generation processors to this new 14th Generation, all SKUs minus the i7-14700K retain the same core configuration as seen with their equivalent 13th Generation CPU counterparts.

All Raptor Lake Refresh CPUs will unfortunately retain their official memory support of a maximum of 5600MHz DDR5 memory, further iterating that these processors are merely rebranded on a more mature 10nm process.

With the new flagship, the Core i9-14900K offering very little difference between itself and the 13900K which is already notorious for being a power hungry space heater, with an increased boost frequency of 200MHz allowing Raptor Lake Refresh to peak at 6GHz, how long it’ll actually sustain such frequencies is to be determined.

Intel still intends to fight the good fight against AMD’s Ryzen 7000 series processors, of which Raptor Lake seemingly trades blows with in both games, synthetics and multimedia applications for similar price ranges, Intel doesn’t intend on actually dropping their prices with Raptor Lake Refresh however, but at least “fortunately” the i9-14900K will have a recommended retail price of $589 which is identical in pricing as the previous generation i9-13900K, with the KF variant coming in at an equal $564 as well.

It retains the same core configuration, 8 performance cores and 16 “efficiency” cores, 36MB of L3 cache, 32MB of L2 cache with a PL1 rating of 125W with its PL2 wattage once again remaining at 253W.

The i7-14700K is the only adjustment between Raptor Lake and its Refresh, it now sports the same number of performance cores (8) however this time around Intel has given the i7 4 additional efficiency cores which are bound to help boost its productivity performance versus the i7-13700K, especially with an additional helping of 3MB of L3 cache and 4MB of L2 cache.

All of this for the same $409 price tag and as far low as $384 if you’re willing to sacrifice your integrated graphics solution.

I would have much liked to see Intel alter the Core i5 which has once again been artificially segmented so that it doesn’t impede purchases of Core i7 and Core i9 components, with just 6 performance cores and 8 efficiency cores the i5-14600K is a processor you’d be sure to steer away from with its MSRP price tag of $319 or $294 without an iGPU.

Without a doubt the only processor of the bunch even remotely considering would be the improved i7-14700K, those additional E-cores helps it out immensely when it comes to multithreaded workloads and productivity, for the same price as the previous generation no less.

A Ryzen 9 7900X costs $430 and should offer comparable multithreaded performance versus the i7-14700K and would surely falter in terms of outright gaming performance albeit to a marginal degree across varying ranges of titles.

But considering how Intel intend on throwing the LGA 1700 socket into the garbage bin when they introduce a brand new platform with their 15th Generation Arrow Lake, there’s very little actual incentive for consumers to actually consider upgrading, more rather they’d probably be better off purchasing a 13th Generation CPU that’s being sold on clearance for a considerably lower price if they absolutely must upgrade to something now.

Or rather why not just buy into the Ryzen 7000 series and the AM5 socket that’s bound to last at least a couple more generations yet?

Gaming performance between the i9-14900K and the pick of the litter Ryzen 9 7950X3D does showcase a fractional performance gain uplift from 13th Gen to 14th Gen thanks to the increase in core clock speed but in all honesty I wouldn’t really take Intel’s own reported benchmarks seriously, but in terms of means average it should negate the fractional drop in performance that Raptor Lake has compared to Zen 4 X3D processors.

Intel are more than exceptional at highlighting specific games and or performance workloads that show favor towards the message that they wish to convey, they’ve been caught utilizing misleading benchmark comparisons before so it doesn’t come at much of a surprise to see the likes of Warhammer 3 and Starfield among the list of titles Intel are using to market Raptor’s Refresh.

With the likes of Horizon Zero Dawn and Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 showcasing a practically identical experience in a comparison between 1% lows versus the Ryzen 7 7800X3D, the reigning gaming champion and both the Ryzen 9 7950X and X3D.

Raptor Lake more often than not trades blows with Zen 4 depending on the game selected, with Intel’s slide comparing performance between the 14900K versus AMD’s 7950X3D, the Raptor Lake Refresh actually pulls out ahead on average across the 23 games by just 3.73%.

3.73% at low resolution, most likely compared internally by Intel leveraging a NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090, there’s virtually zero differences in terms of actual gaming performance between Raptor Lake and Zen 4 outside of select titles on either end, but the Intel Core Processors will gladly take advantage of expensive high speed DDR5 memory kits which will twist gaming performance in its favor.

Intel are promoting “up to 54% Faster Creator Workflow” with their 14th Generation processors which is complete and utter horse shit, but that’s just how corporate marketing really is, this percentage is merely based upon a comparison between the i7’s of 12th Gen Alder Lake, and the 13th and 14th Generation Raptor Lake processors of which the newfound i7-14700K comes with a 8+12 configuration, while the previous generation came with a 8+8 config while the 12700K which not only offers inferior single core performance but a 8+4 configuration as well.

But you can clearly see the additional E-cores with the i7-14700K really flexing themselves over the i7-13700K with the likes of Adobe After Effects showcasing a 15.6% improvement in performance, while the total multithreaded score only increases by 14.92% on Cinebench 2024.

The official embargo on this information is set to expire later today, indicating that a formal announcement from Intel is highly likely to be released in the upcoming hours, but I’m not all that particularly excited for these processors.

Especially with AMD’s Zen 5 seemingly around the corner with a solid enough performance leap expected there’s not much sense in buying into a rebrand of Raptor Lake on a platform socket with zero longevity, LGA 1700 was already meant to be decommissioned but seemingly as a last minute decision we’re instead getting a refresh.

Intel should once again retake the ultimate 720p low benchmark performance crown, with the only processor of the bunch offering some perceivable form of value being the i7-14700K.

If there was a gun held against my head forcing me to buy any available CPU from AMD or Intel it would definitely have to be the 14700K, if you’re in desperate need of a system upgrade and simply don’t give two shits about platform longevity or upgrade paths, I would absolutely recommend the new i7, or maybe look into a considerably cheaper 13th generation processor as your local retailers discount bin.

Everything else though Intel can stick right back up their arse.