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AMD Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5: Key Differences

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AMD and Intel are two major brands in the processor market. Their processors are trusted and used by millions worldwide. Choosing a processor is one of the most important decisions when building a PC. Two of the most popular options are AMD Ryzen 5 and Intel Core i5. Both offer excellent performance, but they have some key differences that you should consider before making your decision.

Among their mid-range offerings, Ryzen 5 and i5 are quite popular in workplaces and homes. These processors are more than enough to fulfil basic tasks such as watching movies, browsing, light gaming, and using a few productivity tools.

However, people are confused between these two processors. In this article, we’ll explain the key differences between AMD Ryzen 5 and Intel i5 processors to help you decide better.

Here’s what we will cover:


Architecture

Intel Core i9 vs Core i7 vs Core i5 vs Core i3

The primary distinction between the processors lies in their architectural designs. The Ryzen 5 processors, for instance, utilise the Zen 3 microarchitecture, featuring a 7nm processor engineered for reduced power consumption, enhanced clock speed, and minimised latency.

AMD processors typically boast 6 cores and 12 threads, facilitating efficient multitasking. Additionally, Ryzen 5 processors incorporate a larger cache, with a maximum of 32 MB L3 cache shared among all cores. The increased core count contributes to an impressive base clock speed of 3.6 GHz, extendable up to 4 GHz through boosting.

Conversely, the Intel i5 operates on Tiger Lake architecture with a 10nm lithography. Initial versions of Intel i5 processors start with 4 cores and 8 threads, though later iterations may feature 8 cores and 16 threads. The base clock speed for Intel i5 is 3 GHz, with a turbo boost reaching up to 4.9 GHz in the latest 14th-generation processors. In terms of cache, specifications vary, starting from 6 MB in the earliest models and reaching 20 MB in the latest 14th-generation version.

Intel’s 12th-gen processors have made strides in power consumption, with the i5-12600K exhibiting improved efficiency. However, it still demands more power, evident in its 125W TDP compared to Ryzen 5’s 65W. This higher power consumption translates to increased heat generation, making adequate cooling essential for Intel setups. AMD Ryzen 5 maintains an edge in power efficiency, an important consideration for users prioritising lower energy consumption and heat output.


Storage

Intel i5 processor offers more storage capacity than the Ryzen 5 counterpart. While Ryzen 5 processors have a storage space of 32 GB, Intel offers twice as much space and in some models up to 128 GB.

A large storage space helps in quicker bootup, more freedom to store information and is suitable for graphics-intensive tasks such as gaming or 3D rendering.

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Benchmark scores

To compare the benchmark scores, we will take the example of Intel Core i5 12600K and AMD Ryzen 5 5600X.

Here are the benchmark scores of these processors:

BenchmarkIntel Core-i5 12600KAMD Ryzen 5 5600X
Cinebench R23 (Single-core)19001551
Cinebench R23 (Multi-core)1741411847
Passmark CPU (Single-core)39893397
Passmark CPU (Multi-core)2718822161
Geekbench 5 (Single-core)19161649
Geekbench 5 (Multi-core)119048588

As you can see from the above table, Intel i5 12600K outperforms the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X in both single and multi-cores across various benchmark tools.

However, this information is limited to just these two specific processors. The benchmark scores will vary across different generations of i5 and Ryzen 5 versions. For example, if you compare AMD Ryzen 5 3500U with Intel Core i5-10210U, the AMD processor outperforms Intel in almost every aspect.

Comparing the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X and Intel Core i5-12600K, we find notable differences in performance. While AMD excels in power efficiency with a TDP of 65W, the Intel i5-12600K boasts superior performance with 10 cores (6 high-performance + 4 energy-efficient) and 16 threads. Benchmarks reveal Intel’s dominance in both single-threaded and multithreaded performance, making it a compelling choice for gaming and multitasking.

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Pricing

Pricing and value are also important when comparing any processor. Usually, budget is perhaps the single most important factor that most users consider when choosing any technical equipment.

That being said, AMD leads in this department as AMD processors are generally cheaper than their Intel counterparts.

Another problem with the Intel i5 processor is that the newer generations of this processor require an LGA 1700 CPU socket. These sockets can fit into the Z690 motherboards which are fairly expensive and raise the cost significantly.

Thus, for a limited budget, Ryzen 5 definitely takes the cake.


Gaming

Photo by Florian Olivo

In gaming, both processors are good for light gaming and intensive tasks such as video editing and 3D rendering. Ryzen 5 comes with an integrated Radeon Graphics Vega 7 that can easily give you 60 FPS for some AAA titles.

Intel i5 processor range utilises the Intel Iris Xe, Intel UHD, and Intel HD graphics. The integrated graphics card is also quite good when it comes to gaming. Although the integrated graphics card is nowhere near the performance that you will get via a dedicated graphics card.

In conclusion, AMD Ryzen 5 processors are suitable for those who have a tighter budget. However, if you want a more speedy processor that can handle all that you throw at it, you should opt for Intel Core i5 12 gen and above.

FeaturesAMD Ryzen 5 5600XIntel Core i5-12600K
ArchitectureZen 3Alder Lake (hybrid architecture)
Process Technology7nm10nm SuperFin
Power Consumption (TDP)65W125W
Cores / Threads6 Cores / 12 Threads10 Cores / 16 Threads
Base Clock Speed3.7 GHz3.7 GHz
Max Boost Clock Speed4.6 GHz4.9 GHz (P-core) / 3.6 GHz (E-core)
Cache32MB L3 Cache16MB L3 Cache
Integrated GraphicsNoIntel UHD Graphics 770 (for E-cores)
PCIe VersionPCIe 4.0PCIe 5.0
Memory SupportDDR4DDR5 (up to 6400 MHz)
Gaming PerformanceGoodExcellent (higher frame rates)
Multithreaded PerformanceCompetentSuperior
Cooling SolutionWraith Stealth Cooler includedNo stock cooler included (aftermarket cooling recommended)
PriceGenerally more budget-friendlySlightly higher
Motherboard CompatibilityCompatible with existing AM4 boardsRequires LGA 1700 motherboard

Also read: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 vs A16 Bionic: Better smartphone chipset? 

Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here: kumarhemant@pm.me

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