Intel Core 14th generation desktop processors deliver marginal yet useful gains

Intel has just released a slew of desktop chips: the Intel Core 14th Generation desktop processor family. With the Intel Core i9-19400K at the helm, Intel is making big claims about this being “the ultimate gaming platform” and “the world’s best desktop experience for enthusiasts”.

It’s certainly true that these are Intel’s finest desktop chips yet, but early signs are that the 14th generation desktop chips are a small step forward rather than a giant leap. And that actually matches what we would expect, as this is a minor upgrade on paper too.

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What’s changed with the Intel Core 14th generation family

Let’s start with what hasn’t changed: the chipsets and the motherboards. That means that if you have a 13th generation Core processor you can remove it and replace it with a new 14th gen chip. To be precise, any of Intel’s 600 and 700 series chipsets are compatible.

Here’s a summary of the new features:

  • Intel Application Optimization: this helps direct resources to where they’re most needed (a development of what came before), with Intel claiming this delivers a 13% boost in Rainbow Six: Siege and 16% in Metro: Exodus
  • Faster clock speeds and better overclocking: increased frequencies on both its P-cores (performance) and E-cores (efficiency) plus a new third-party overclocking tool called Foundation
  • Local AI Assist on Intel Core i9-14900K/KF processors that uses an AI model trained by Intel

Early reviews for Intel Core 14th generation chips

If we were to summarise the results so far, they would be “solid refresh” rather than a radical shake-up. For example, the excellent and in-depth Anandtech sees “absolutely no reason to upgrade” from a 12th gen or 13th gen platform, despite praising Intel’s continued ability to squeeze more from its processes.

Enthusiast site reviewed three processors, and describes two as a “small evolution” but the Core i7-14700K as the “the gem of Intel’s 14th generation lineup”.

Meanwhile Tom Warren on The Verge describes the Core i9-14900K as a “refresh in name and nature”, praising its performance in creative apps but being less taken by its gaming performance.

All told, it’s a solid 7/10 overall but the i7-14700K does emerge as the star of the show.

Intel’s 14th gen desktop chips: specs and prices

Total coresP-coresE-coresMax frequencyUS priceUK priceAus price
Intel has also announced KF processors that don’t include integrated graphics but are otherwise identical to the K versions. They tend to be around 5% cheaper. UK prices are from and include VAT. Australian prices are from Centre Com.

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Tim Danton

Tim has worked in IT publishing since the days when all PCs were beige, and is editor-in-chief of the UK's PC Pro magazine. He has been writing about hardware for TechFinitive since 2023.