Intel i9-14900K Review – The Best In The Business

Intel i9-14900K Review

The Intel core i9-14900K Intel core i9-14900K is an absolute behemoth. I’ve spent weeks with this CPU, and it’s so powerful it feels like cheating. Whenever a task or an application runs with perfect fidelity, your first thought is ‘of course.’ After all, why wouldn’t it work? You’re using a sandblaster on a soup cracker. When you spend a king’s ransom on the best CPU on the consumer market, of course it’s going to perform every task perfectly. To think otherwise would be downright delusional.

I ran several tests to confirm my initial impressions. For the games, I leaned quite heavily on PC Game Pass. I don’t have a super serious gaming PC myself, you see. This means I don’t generally have cutting edge games just lying around. Thankfully, Microsoft has me covered (for a sobering monthly fee). EGS giveaways, Steam demos, and F2P juggernauts also stepped in to give me a hand. All in all, there are some pretty intense titles covered by this generous spread.

Trying To Push The Envelope

Forza Horizon 5 is a great opening salvo for things like this. The cars themselves are super detailed, and the high fidelity makes frame dips stick out like gigantic road bumps. The game ran like hot butter on the i9-14900K. I dipped briefly into Destiny 2 as well. This game is rapidly turning useless for testing purposes. You’re subjected to a dizzying assault of ‘previously on’ montages before being thrown into the middle of a mission you don’t understand. Anyways, the game runs beautifully.

Intel core i9-14900K Review

The next two game tests were downright fascinating. I downloaded Star Wars: Jedi Survivor and Another Crab’s Treasure. Now, Jedi Survivor is pretty famous for not running super hot on most consoles and PCs. I was concerned this incredible rig would be no exception. The game crashed while trying to optimize files. I hadn’t even started playing! But I tried a second time and it was perfect. Crisp visuals, 60 fps, flawless ray tracing. Another Crab’s Treasure is an anomaly. I wasn’t using it to test the CPU, not intentionally. But running that game was the only time I saw this PC get properly loud.

To be clear, the game still ran with perfect fidelity. The i9-14900K was given a pop quiz, and it passed with flying colors. But I remain baffled that this game managed to test it so. The fans, normally silent, kicked up to max power and volume. The RGB lighting turned an angry red. An actual, honest to goodness usage alert popped up on my screen. For Another Crab’s Treasure, of all things. I promise the game you’re picturing, the one you’ve heard about, doesn’t seem the type. Not to test PCs like this, at least. But apparently it is? Either the game is quite poorly optimized, or this CPU has a short list of extremely specific weaknesses.

Always The Ones You Least Expect

Again, no other game gave me this kind of weird grief. Furthermore, no other task was this taxing. I whipped up a video review on DaVinci Resolve using 4K footage. I had tiny chunks of nine different videos being spliced together and rearranged. The CPU struggled a bit, but I definitely never got any usage warnings. Especially not during the rendering phase. In fact, rendering this video review took me less time than the runtime of the actual video.

For reference, DaVinci Resolve is ‘free’ video editing software. I use the quotes because the actual cost is measured in processing power. The program is not optimized well at all, but it’s miles better than dealing with the insidious evils of Adobe. I used this clunky gorilla to try and redline the CPU and I could still multitask while the render was happening. This is the benchmark you have to resort to. Not ‘can I do this,’ but ‘can I do this and several other things at the same time.’

Intel core i9-14900K Review

Time for some important context. While I’m testing out the i9-14900K, it didn’t show up to my condo alone. It’s installed in a preposterous machine. Like wine and cheese, it’s all about the pairings. A good CPU is best served with an extremely powerful graphics card. In this case, a 4090. To be fair, this just reflects a pretty important rule in PC building in general. Your components have to be compatible and comparable for everything to run right. Otherwise, you’re not going to get the most out of any individual element.

Works Best On A Team

One thing CPUs like this have gotten better at is overclocking. This presented me with something of a dilemma. While I’m thrilled about such a power boost being so accessible and streamlined, I don’t really need it with a system this powerful. Truly, the only purpose overclocking serves at this advanced level is to make multitasking more feasible. Here I ran into a problem – namely the limits of my own hardware. I can focus on rendering and watching videos, sure. But I can’t do editing and a second thing, so I don’t need the computer to do it either. But, the i9-14900K provides a great opportunity to stretch those mental muscles, so to speak.

Praise for this CPU almost feels disingenuous. More of a given than something it needed to earn. This is the most powerful CPU I’ve ever tested or used. You can do just about anything you want with this machine. You need the hardware to match, of course. And it’s gonna be a pretty pricey investment. But if you can afford to step into this world, there’s nothing quite like it. Intel’s i9-14900K is an absolute titan of a CPU. If you need the best system for gaming, editing, streaming, or anything else, this is what you want, full stop. CPUs don’t really get better than this one.

***A retail version of the hardware was provided by the manufacturer***

The Good

  • Perfect for gaming
  • Easy to overclock
  • Handles editing easily

The Bad

  • Serious price tag
  • Needs premium hardware