Intel Core i9 14900KS launches, is as hot and expensive as expected

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The Intel Core i9 14900KS launch is upon us, with the company’s final ‘i9’ branded chip now available to buy. The new CPU breaks several records, both good and bad, as it’s the fastest-clocked gaming CPU chip the company has ever sold but it’s also the most power-hungry.

Intel‘s latest contender for a spot on our best gaming CPU guide is looking to wrestle top spot on that list from the AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D, a chip that has held onto its crown since the moment it launched over a year ago. It uses an extra large dose of L3 cache placed right on top of the CPU die to provide its incredible gaming performance. However, Intel has taken a rather differne approach with the 14900KS.

Intel’s new flagship CPU, then, is a monster 24-core CPU packing in 8 of the company’s more powerful P-Cores and 16 of the more efficient E-Cores. These zip along at a record-breaking 6.2GHz – a full 1.15GHz faster than the 7800X3D and 200MHz faster than the 14900K.

This combination of loads of cores and a huge clock speed provide also record-breaking levels of multi-threaded CPU performance. Reviews by the likes of Oc3D and Tom’s Hardware show the new chip outpaces the 14900K in benchmarks such as Cinebench R23 by 4.6%. That also equates to a 30 second faster completion time than the 13900KS and nearly a minute faster than the 14900K in a Render 4K test by the former site.

How does that translate to gaming performance? Well… it mostly doesn’t. Taking the average of its gaming tests, Tom’s Hardware shows the 7800X3D and 7900X3D still outperform Intel’s latest by a comfortable margin. Moreover, the intel chip only achieves the frame rates it does while consuming boatloads of power. At peak the chip was ‘only’ recorded as hitting 316W during intense multi-threaded workloads but previous reports have shown the chip hitting 400W. Moreover, in the same tests, the 7950X – AMD’s fastest, most power-hungry chip – only hit 205W while the 7800X3D consumed only 80W. Yes, just 80W!

All that power means Intel’s new chip runs very hot too. We found in our 14900K review that chip still wasn’t fully tamed by a 360mm AIO cooler and the situation is even worse for the 14900KS. OC3D even went so far as delidding the chip – using a special $200 delid mounting plate – and still only managed an 86°C temperature.

So, should you rush out and buy a 14900KS for your next gaming rig? No, appears to be the answer. But, if you’re after the ultimate in overall CPU power right now, and just want the fastest CPU for most things then the new $689 CPU could be the one for you, though the 14900K is a much better buy at $150 cheaper.

Otherwise, we’d strongly suggest checking out our best gaming CPU guide to find some much better gaming CPU options for a range of budgets.

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