Intel Core i5-14600K vs i7-13700KF: Selecting the Ideal Processor

The Intel Core i5-14600K stands as the latest addition to Intel’s 14th Gen processors. Having previously reviewed the flagship Core i9-14900K, we’re now focusing on examining one of the most commendable mid-range CPUs currently on the market: the 14th-Gen Intel Core i5-14600K. Our focus involves a direct comparison between the i5-14600K and the i7-13700KF from the 13th Gen lineup, which remains a competitive choice. Let’s delve into the comprehensive benchmarks for the i5-14600K.

Comparing Specs: i5-14600K vs i7-13700KF

The 13th and 14th Gen Intel processors employ a hybrid performance architecture, integrating E-cores focused on efficiency and P-cores dedicated to delivering high performance. You can explore the specifications comparison of these processors here:

Benchmarks: i5-14600K vs i7-13700KF

Prior to delving into the benchmark outcomes, here’s a rundown of the components constituting our test bench:

CPU: 13th-Gen Intel Core i5-14600K
CPU Cooler: Lian Li Galahad 360 AIO ARGB CPU Liquid Cooler
Motherboard: ASUS ROG STRIX B760-I Gaming WiFi
RAM: 32GB (16GB x 2) HyperX FURY DDR5 5200MHz
GPU: ROG STRIX RTX 3070 Ti Gaming OC Edition
SSD: 1TB Samsung 860 QVO
PSU: 1000W Deepcool PQ1000M 80 Plus Gold Power Supply
Case: Cooler Master MasterFrame 700 Full Tower Case
Thermal Compound: Thermalright TF-7

Note: For benchmark comparison scores, the i7-13700K will be equivalent to the i7-13700KF. The sole difference between the two Core i7 CPUs is the inclusion of Intel integrated graphics in the i7-13700K, which is absent in the i7-13700KF.

Cinebench R23

The Cinebench R23 Multi-Core benchmark comparison between the 14th-gen Core i5 and the 13th-gen Core i7 reveals the i7-13700KF’s superior performance, achieving a notable score of 30,015 pts. Workloads capitalizing on multiple threads will favor the i7 over the i5. Absolutely, the i5-14600K remains remarkably competitive in the comparison.

Earning a score of 22,955 pts, the i5-14600K matches the performance level of the 12th Gen i7-12700K processor and even slightly surpasses it. Indeed, fine-tuning the i5-14600K through voltage adjustments, CPU frequency tweaks, and power limit optimizations on a compatible motherboard can significantly enhance its performance, achieving scores surpassing 24,000 points.

Shifting to the Cinebench R23 Single-Core benchmark, both the i5-14600K and i7-13700KF demonstrate nearly identical performance. The i5-14600K marginally edges ahead at 2029 pts, whereas the i7-13700KF achieves 2006 pts. In essence, their single-core performance is closely matched, showcasing high-performance capabilities with minimal difference between them.

Geekbench 6

In the Geekbench 6 multi-core test, the i7-13700KF outperforms the i5, scoring 17,708 pts owing to its higher core and thread count. In this regard, the i5-14600K remains close behind the i7-13700KF, achieving a commendable score of 16,344 points.

Regarding the single-core scores in Geekbench 6 for both CPUs, they exhibit near parity. The i7-13700KF achieves a score of 2,782 points, slightly edging out the i5-14600K, which secures 2,758 points. Much like what was seen in Cinebench, there’s little notable difference in single-core performance between these CPUs.

PCMark 10 Extended

PCMark 10 serves as an effective tool to evaluate a system’s responsiveness and overall performance across diverse scenarios, covering daily tasks, content creation, and assessments of graphics and physics. Using the same GPU for both tests ensures a fair comparison. In this benchmark, the i7-13700KF takes the lead with a score of 12,156 points.

Notably, the Core i5-14600K achieved a commendable score of 11,285 pts, demonstrating its competitive performance. Both these processors demonstrate strong capabilities for everyday tasks. The PCMark 10 Extended benchmark reinforces their prowess across a spectrum of workloads, highlighting their standing as high-performance CPUs.

Blender Benchmark for Content Creation

In the Blender CPU benchmark test, the processors undergo rigorous testing across three distinct Blender rendering scenarios (Monster, Junkshop, and Classroom). The i7-13700KF, boasting a higher core and thread count (16 cores, 24 threads), excels in content creation tasks. Opting for the faster Core i7 processor is advantageous for professionals requiring high-performance CPUs, significantly reducing rendering times.

However, for those with tighter budgets, the 14th-Gen Core i5-14600K remains a solid choice for content creation. Comparing the rendering rates (measured in samples rendered per minute) from the aforementioned benchmarks, the i5-14600K lags approximately 25-30% behind the 13th Gen i7-13700KF in the Blender CPU Benchmark.

Gaming Performance: i5-14600K vs i7-13700KF

The gaming performance comparison reveals that both the 14th Gen Core i5-14600K and 13th Gen Core i7-13700KF deliver exceptional gaming experiences. Unless you frequently engage in CPU-demanding games with simulation-heavy workloads (e.g., Total War or Cities Skylines 2), both the i5 and i7 offer similar gaming performance.

Cyberpunk 2077

In Cyberpunk 2077, both the i5-14600K and i7-13700KF demonstrate commendable performance. The i5 shows a slightly higher minimum FPS at 49.52 compared to 37.92 for the i7, but these variations could potentially fall within the margin of error. In such benchmarks, small differences might occur.

At maximum settings (without RT), both processors maintain an average of 79 FPS in this game. It’s noteworthy that Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 is more demanding compared to the original version, making direct comparisons with previous game benchmarks challenging.

Red Dead Redemption 2

In Red Dead Redemption 2, both processors exhibit nearly identical performance once again. The i7-13700KF averaged 90 FPS, whereas the i5-14600K achieved 92 FPS. Gaming experiences were notably smooth on both CPUs.

Counter-Strike 2

In Counter-Strike 2, both the i5-14600K and i7-13700KF showcased impressive performance on the “de_dust2” map in both low and high settings. The i5-14600K achieved 290 FPS on low settings, while the i7-13700KF reached 305 FPS. The marginal performance gap might be due to the i7’s higher TVB 3.0 boost clock of 5.40GHz compared to the i5’s 5.30GHz.

Interestingly, using a relatively moderate GPU like the RTX 3070 Ti, increasing settings in the game doesn’t notably impact performance. On high settings, the i5-14600K achieved an average of 276 FPS, slightly behind the i7-13700KF, which reached 291 FPS. For optimal performance and competitive viewability, optimizing CS2 settings can enable gameplay at over 250 FPS on both the 13th Gen Intel Core i7 and 14th Gen Intel Core i5 CPUs.

Apex Legends

In Apex Legends, although the game has a 300 FPS cap, we aimed to evaluate how effectively both processors could sustain performance close to that limit. The i5-14600K showed an impressive average of 286 FPS, while the i7-13700KF reached an average of 290 FPS.

During intense battles or busy locations where FPS tends to drop, both processors demonstrated solid performance. Both the i5-14600K and i7-13700KF maintained performance above 207 FPS and 215 FPS, respectively, in intense scenarios, even hitting mid-200s FPS when using high settings. Playing Apex Legends consistently at over 200 FPS is feasible on both the i5 and i7 processors!

Power Consumption and Temperature Testing

During the Cinebench R23 10-minute throttling test, the 14th Gen Core i5-14600K peaked at a maximum power consumption of 195W. Although the i5-14600K has a TDP of 181W, it slightly exceeded this limit during the test. Conversely, the 13th Gen i7-13700KF recorded a maximum power consumption of 262W, surpassing its 253W TDP. Intel’s turbo-boosting technologies allow the chips to slightly exceed their designated power consumption under certain conditions, leveraging available thermal headroom.

On Windows 11, users can adjust these power limits via BIOS settings. Additionally, features like Intel Adaptive Boost and Intel Thermal Velocity Boost can be toggled according to individual preferences. With voltage and CPU frequency optimizations, it’s possible to overclock K-Series CPUs, pushing them beyond their power limits for increased performance, or optimize them for improved efficiency.

Fine-tuning your K-Series CPU depends on factors like your motherboard, CPU cooler, and overclocking expertise. Personally, I achieved optimal efficiency with the i5-14600K by applying a -0.1V undervolt, resulting in a Cinebench R23 Multi-Core score of 23,000 pts while consuming only 140W.

Regarding temperatures, the i5-14600K reached 80 degrees Celsius, while the i7-13700KF hit 88 degrees Celsius under a turbo profile, both cooled by our Lian Li Galahad 360. If your CPU cooler can effectively manage a 250W TDP, then CPUs like the i7-13700KF (or i7-13700K) can operate in your system without concerns. However, if your cooling capacity is limited to under 200W, the i5-14600K might be a more suitable choice.

Intel Core i5-14600K vs i7-13700KF: Which Processor to Choose?

The 13th-Gen Core i7-13700K is currently priced at $364.99 on Amazon, which is approximately $35 higher than the 14th-Gen Core i5 processor. The KF variant has a similar pricing. At $329 (Amazon), the 14th-Gen Core i5-14600K offers competitive pricing compared to the older i7 model. Despite the reduced price, the 13th-Gen i7’s increased core count makes it an enticing choice over the new i5 processor. However, further exploration will help identify the strengths of both the Core i7 and i5 processors.

Ultimately, your choice depends on your priorities. Don’t be misled by the ‘i5’ label of the i5-14600K. Its multi-core performance is comparable to that of a 12th Gen i9 processor, particularly when optimized correctly. Therefore, even for content creation tasks, the i5 shouldn’t be underestimated in terms of power and performance.

Both the Core i5-14600K and i7-13700KF perform admirably across popular games, barring simulation-intensive titles. If your primary need is a gaming-oriented processor, there’s minimal justification for spending more on a CPU when the i5-14600K performs comparably well, nearly on par with the i7.

Who should consider investing in the Intel 13th Gen Core i7-13700K, then? If you highly prioritize enhanced multi-core capabilities and can effectively leverage this advantage, investing extra in the i7 makes practical sense. As evidenced in the content creation section, the i7-13700KF outperformed the i5-14600K by approximately 30% in the Blender benchmark for CPUs.

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