Table of Contents
TL;DR: 14th Gen Intel performance in V-Ray
Intel’s new 14th Gen CPUs show modest improvements from 2-7% over the previous generation. This isn’t enough to change any previous recommendations for V-ray. The 14900K’s less than 3% improvement doesn’t help it catch up with AMD Radeon 7950X. Compared to the more similarly priced 7900X, the Intel leads by only 4%. The 13700K and 13600K each further their respective leads on the lower end.
Last year, Intel launched its 13th Gen Core Processors codenamed Raptor Lake-S for desktop. These processors, a follow-up to their 12th Gen Alder Lake processors and using the same hybrid architecture of “P” (Performance) and “E” (Efficient) cores, supported DDR4 and DDR5 and were compatible with the same LGA 1700 socket while offering a 10-30% performance increase; the high end of this due to increases in “Efficiency core”-counts. Intel is now launching the next step up with their 14th Gen Intel Core Processors codenamed Raptor Lake-S Refresh. Like 13th Gen, these CPUs are drop-in compatible with LGA 1700 motherboards while offering higher frequencies and IPC improvements. The i7 variant—14700K—also features four additional “E”-cores over the 13700K.
V-Ray CPU rendering, like most CPU renderers, is dominated by large CPUs such as AMD’s Threadripper PRO or Intel’s Xeon-w or, at a larger scale, server CPUs like Epyc. It is primarily dependent on the number of cores over the quality of cores as it splits up work across as many threads as possible and works on them in parallel.
In this article, we will be using V-Ray to examine the performance of the new 14th Gen Intel Core Processors and compare them to the previous generation of Intel CPUs, as well as to AMD’s 7000 series of CPUs.
If you want to read more about the new Intel 14th Gen Core CPUs and what separates them from the previous generation, we recommend checking out our main 14th Gen Intel Core Processors Content Creation Review article. That post includes more detailed information on the CPU specifications and an overview of testing results for a range of other applications, including Photoshop, Lightroom Classic, Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve, After Effects, Unreal Engine, Cinema 4D, and Blender. Although these CPUs, like the previous generation, can draw a large amount of power, we are currently disabling any features that run the tested CPUs outside of manufacturer specifications. We are also running the CPUs at the “standard” power profiles, as this is how we currently ship out systems. For more information about the impact of the power profile and how larger coolers affect the performance of the CPUs, you can refer to our Power Draw and Cooling: 14th Gen Intel Core Processors article.
Intel Core 14th Gen vs AMD Ryzen 7000 for V-Ray
To start our analysis, we wanted to examine how the new 14th Gen Intel Core CPUs compared to AMD’s Ryzen 7000 series. The MSRP pricing for Intel and AMD don’t exactly match, but in most cases, the comparisons we are making in the chart above are looking at CPUs that have an MSRP within $40 of each other. The exception is the Core i9 13900K vs Ryzen 7950X since Intel doesn’t currently have a CPU that is on par with the Ryzen 7950X in terms of MSRP ($699). Also, we are using the currently listed MSRP as a long-term price indicator, but there are often sales from either manufacturer, so be sure to check your prices before making a final decision.
If you are interested in the exact specs for each of these CPUs, we have a full breakdown in our main 14th-Gen Intel Core Processors Content Creation Review article.
The new Intel Core 14900K does not manage to catch the multi-core leader, AMD’s Ryzen 9 7950X, being a little more than 10% slower. However, the Intel CPU is less expensive, so that trade-off may be worth it to some. The 14900K is more directly compared to the Ryzen 7900X as far as price with only $40 between the two. Here Intel has a lead when it comes to cores and threads, having 24 cores and 32 threads compared to 12/24 for the 7900X. This allows Intel to post a 4% higher multi-core score than the Ryzen 7900X.
Moving on to the lower-end parts, Intel’s lead continues to grow. The new Intel 14700K is an impressive 44% faster than the Ryzen 7700X, largely due to the extra E-cores. Intel’s offering has 20 cores and 28 threads compared to the 7700X’s eight cores and 16 threads.
Lastly, the Intel 13600K is 42% faster than the 7600K in multi-core rendering. Intel gives a great value proposition on the lower end.
Intel Core 14th Gen vs Intel Core 13th Gen for V-Ray
In the previous section, we examined how the new 14th Gen Intel processors stack up against AMD’s newest Ryzen 7000, but we should also examine how they compare to the previous 13th Gen Intel CPUs. As we can see from the chart, the new CPUs don’t offer much improvement over the previous generation.
On the high end, the 14900K is only 2.4% faster than the 13900K in V-Ray. That is almost within the margin of error for this benchmark. This result gives no reason to upgrade from 13900K to this new CPU.
The 14700K sees a bigger improvement due to this version’s extra e-cores. This CPU is 7% faster than the 13700 in rendering. While this is a better result than we saw with the 14900K, it is still not as much of an improvement as we would hope between generations and with the extra cores.
The lower-end 14600K also has an almost 5% improvement in V-Ray. However, this new CPU has the same number of cores as the previous 13600K. This is better than we see in the 14900K, but still disappointing for a generational uplift.
How well do the Intel Core 14th Gen CPUs perform in V-Ray?
Intel’s new 14th Gen CPUs show modest improvements from 2-7% over the previous generation. This isn’t enough to change any previous recommendations for V-ray. The 14900K’s less than 3% doesn’t help it catch up with AMD Radeon 7950X. Compared to the more similarly priced 7900X, the Intel leads by only 4%. The 13700K and 13600K each further their respective leads on the lower end.
While any improvement is appreciated, this small increase makes it tough to recommend an upgrade, especially for CPU rendering. If upgrading from an even older platform, the 14th-generation CPUs are a good option, assuming prices are equal. None of these CPUs are ideal for CPU-based rendering. For that, you would be better off with Threadripper or Xeon, but they pair well with a GPU for those who want a good platform for most other tasks without breaking the bank.
Bear in mind that the benchmarks presented in this article are for V-Ray and that performance can vary dramatically between different applications; each software will utilize the available hardware differently and so be impacted in a unique way by hardware changes. If you use other software packages in your workflow, we recommend checking out our 14th Gen Intel Core Processors Content Creation Review article, which includes results and links to in-depth testing for a range of other applications, including Photoshop, Lightroom Classic, Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve, After Effects, Unreal Engine, Cinema 4D, and Blender.
Finding the perfect workstation doesn’t have to be complicated. Explore our solutions page for a curated selection of recommended systems for a multitude of applications and workflows, or visit our custom configuration page if you already know the ideal hardware for your needs. If you need assistance with tailoring a system to a unique workflow or have any other questions, we encourage you to reach out to our dedicated technology consultants.