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Intel Core i5-14600K vs. AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D | Digital Trends

Intel Core i5-14600K vs. AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D | Digital Trends


AMD’s Ryzen 7 7800X3D has been the undisputed best gaming processor ever since it came out. Thanks to the power of AMD’s 3D V-Cache, this CPU breezes through most games, but may not be the best option for productivity.

Intel, on the other hand, makes well-rounded chips, but can the new Core i5-14600K keep up with the Ryzen 7 7800X3D? We’ve tested both of those processors, and we’re here to share some in-depth benchmarks to help you make your decision.

Pricing and availability

Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

The AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D came out on April 6, 2023, after quite a long period of anticipation. This chip is the direct follow-up to AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800X3D, which is another excellent CPU, and it still continues to be popular despite technically belonging to a “dead” platform. After all, AMD has moved on to AM5 with the Ryzen 7000 lineup.

Intel’s Core i5-14600K processor belongs to the Intel Raptor Lake refresh lineup, although it’s technically a whole new generation of its own. It hit the shelves on October 18, 2023.

Both chips are close in terms of pricing. The Core i5-14600K has a recommended list price (MSRP) of $330, while the Ryzen 7 7800X3D can usually be found for $400 or less, although its initial MSRP was $450.

Specs

Intel Core i5-14600K/KFAMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D
Cores/Threads14(6 P+8 E)/208/16
L3/L2 Cache size24MB/20MB96MB/8MB
Max turbo frequency5.3GHz5GHz
Base/Turbo power125W/181W120W
Current price$330$400

It’s no news that AMD and Intel come with their fair share of differences, but those differences can be quite glaring when looking at these two chips in particular.

Before we break them down, though, it’s worth noting that the specs on the Core i5-14600K are nearly identical to the Core i5-13600K, although we’re getting a slight upgrade in clock speeds. Meanwhile, AMD serves up some upgrades with the 7800X3D, while retaining the same core count as the 5800X3D.

Compared to AMD, Intel offers several extra cores — 14 up from just eight. It also has a hybrid core architecture, meaning that six of those cores are performance (P), and eight are efficient (E). AMD has a straightforward eight-core, 16-thread configuration.

The difference in cache size is massive, and this is what tends to give AMD’s 3D V-Cache such an edge. The Ryzen 7 7800X3D has a combined cache of 104MB. Meanwhile, Intel trails behind with 44MB. AMD also has an edge in terms of boost power consumption, but it does have a lower clock speed.

Performance

Jacob Roach / DigitalTrends

When we test some of the best processors Intel or AMD has to offer, we look closely at both productivity and gaming. In the context of the Core i5-14600K and the Ryzen 7 7800X3D, it’s safe to say that there should be a clear winner for both of those use cases — let’s see if that’s true.

Historically, AMD’s 3D V-Cache processors have struggled to compete against Intel in productivity applications and benchmarks. In reality, the Zen 4 chips managed to improve on that, but they’re still not quite where they should be.

Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

The above chart shows how Intel’s new chips fared against some of AMD’s most popular options, including the Ryzen 9 7950X and the Ryzen 5 7600X. However, we have also tested the Ryzen 7 7800X3D separately, which you can see in our review.

Interestingly, the Core i5-14600K falls behind its predecessor in the multi-core Cinebench R23 test. It’s heavily outperformed by the Ryzen 9 7950X, but it beats the Ryzen 5 7600X with ease. For comparison, the Ryzen 7 7800X3D scored 18,188 points in this test, which puts it a whole 5,000 points behind the Core i5-14600K. Make no mistake — Intel is still doing well in productivity.

Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Handbrake is another application that scales well with higher core counts, and it shows here. The Core i5-14600K is significantly slower than the Ryzen 9 7950X, but also a whole 10 seconds faster than the 7800X3D in our own testing.

Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

The Core i5-14600K also did a better job in Blender. While the generational gains are small between the 13600K and the 14600K, it still managed to outpace the Ryzen 7 7800X3D. Intel’s top render score maxed out at 157, but AMD still trails behind at a score of 134.

As you can see, the Intel Core i5-14600K is a better choice for productivity-oriented tasks, but that comes as no surprise, really. Moving on to gaming gives us a fairer look, although now, the scales might tip in a different direction.

Gaming

Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

AMD’s Ryzen 7 7800X3D may not be the fastest gaming CPU in the world in every single game, but it’s nearly up there. The Ryzen 9 7950X3D is its only real competitor, but as the chart above tells us, the difference is almost non-existent.

We’ve tested the Core i5-14600K and the Ryzen 7 7800X3D at 1080p and on high settings. This is the sweet spot for CPU testing, as at higher resolutions, the graphics card steps in to handle a lot of the workload.

Across our entire gaming suite, the Ryzen 7 7800X3D averaged a whopping 239.3 frames per second (fps). In a Time Spy CPU test, however, the lower core count proves to be fairly limiting. The 7800X3D only scored 13,455 points, but the Core i5-14600K breezed through with 18,574 points. That doesn’t necessarily translate to higher fps.

Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Let’s take a look at this gaming test in Hitman 3 Dartmoor. It’s easy to see the Ryzen 9 7950X3D shooting ahead, but the Core i9-14900K is close behind. The Intel Core i5-14600K averages 192.2 fps here, but the Ryzen 7 7800X3D has no problem beating it by a large margin, hitting 229.2 fps. That’s just inches behind the 7950X3D, too.

Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

F1 2022 is one of those games that favors Intel, and the new Core i9-14900K manages to hit an eye-watering 400 fps in this title. The Core i5-14600K is less impressive with 335 fps, but it’s still far more than anyone needs. But wait, there’s more — the Ryzen 7 7800X3D actually matches Intel’s new flagship in this test, averaging 400.4 fps and leaving the Core i5-14600K in the rearview mirror.

Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Moving on to Far Cry 6, we’re once again seeing a lead for the 7800X3D. It destroyed the Core i9-13900K, so it’s not a surprise that it also outpaced the Core i5-14600K (203 fps versus 173 fps).

Just like we’ve seen productivity wins across the board for Intel, we’re seeing the reverse here now in gaming scenarios. But does that make the Core i5-14600K a poor choice for gaming?

It depends on your priorities

Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

The release of Intel’s Raptor Lake refresh did nothing to disrupt AMD’s dominance over the gaming portion of the processor market. It’s not that either of these new 14th-gen chips is bad — not at all. It’s just that they’re not quite as powerful as AMD’s 3D V-Cache, which has shown time and time again that it’s a massive asset in gaming scenarios.

With that said, the Ryzen 7 7800X3D can’t quite keep up in productivity. If you use your computer for more than just straight-up gaming, the low core count might feel limiting. Eight cores are honestly a little on the lower side these days, but that just might be because Intel keeps adding more and more of them, all the while AMD hasn’t boosted the core counts in the last two generations.

In terms of price, the Core i5-14600K is a clear winner over its predecessor, but also AMD. You’re getting a solid processor for all kinds of tasks, be it video editing or gaming, at $330. The Ryzen 7 7800X3D can sometimes be found on sale for as little as $350, but it’s generally more expensive at around $400, and it’s not as good in productivity as Intel. However, in gaming scenarios, it’s completely unmatched. Only the 7950X3D can ever hope to compete, but that CPU is significantly pricier.

What’s better between the Core i5-14600K and the Ryzen 7 7800X3D? If you’re a gamer, it’s always going to be the 7800X3D — no contest. However, if you’re looking for a good value processor that offers well-rounded performance across various tasks, the Core i5-14600K should be your new friend. Just don’t expect it to be a huge upgrade over the 13600K, because it isn’t.

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