Yesterday, October 16nth, intel released their new 14th gen of consumer CPUs. That line-up had been rumoured to have “Up to 6GHz boost clocks”, “More efficiency”, “New E-Cores” and even “15-21% higher IPC”, has any of that come true?
Well, no. Not most of them at least. Many leaks had pointed on the opposite direction, with barely if any IPC uplift, a small clock increase over the 13th gen, little to no changes in architecture and extra cores forced into the higher-end models(which is the only reason for them to have higher cache), but intel fans were hopeful, saying you can’t trust engineering samples and leaks from reputable sources, so let us take a look at how good it actually is now that anyone can buy it.
Honestly, I could simply not even write this entire section and just let the video above do all the work, but google wouldn’t like it if I didn’t write a multi paragraph explanation so here it is.
Intel is out of ideas. The recent Ryzen line-up released by AMD beats them up on pretty much everything, mainly when you factor in the X3D chips. This lead the company to try and push anything to hopefully recover some space, but all tests show that the 14th gen is but the 13th gen overclocked, with some extra efficiency cores on the high end. The tactic is very similar to AMD back during the FX era, when their CPUs were miniature suns in terms of raw average temperature, chugging as much power as possible and running at extremely high clocks to try and compensate for lack of technology when compared to competition.
As you can see in the above comparison however, the FX times are long gone. Only 2 intel CPUs are in the top 10 when it comes to efficiency, but even those are nowhere near the top, and this new generation made barely any improvement(About 11% for the i7).
In games, Ryzen X3D chips remains king. Even with this new intel generation, and the issues that lineup of AMD CPUs had at first, with L3 cache sitting on top of only one CCD, the 14th gen barely managed to score one or two wins in benchmarks shown in the video, while being more expensive.
Finally, for productivity, well…
Both i9s are the same in terms of performance, with the i7 14th gen being about 13% faster than the 13th gen… but still even the i9s are behind AMD’s products. And this is not all.
A new threat looms
While Intel is desperate, trying to release anything new they can, their only competitor in the x86 market, AMD, just released a new threadripper CPU family(this time, more than just the pro variant) and there are rumours of a big.LITTLE CPU to come next year that’s also going to be made on 3nm lithography. Intel has nothing to compete with those on the workstation market and if their 14th gen can’t beat AMD’s current 7000 series, once 8000s come around they’ll be left in the dust.
Intel’s position is pretty sad right now. They don’t have any way to compete with AMD, nor any future promise of a product that could. This might be good news for the latter, but for consumers it’s terrible.
It’s worth remembering that the x86 market only has two companies competing, and because the architecture completely dominate the desktop market, and trying to use ARM or RISC-V and emulating x86 programs and games on those would be too slow, once one company falls behind, the other tends to slow down innovations and raise prices and we go back to single digit performance improvements per generation.