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AMD Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5: The Mid-Range CPU Faceoff


Since the launch of Intel’s new Alder lake CPU, it’s all about AMD Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5. So in this article, we compare both the processors side by side on various important parameters and it will help you make a more informed choice.

- Updated: 1st Dec 2023, 11:24 IST
  • 1
    AMD Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5
    • AMD Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5: Architecture
    • AMD Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5: Performance
    • AMD Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5: Platforms and Compatibility
    • AMD Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5: Power and Thermals
    • AMD Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5: Gaming
    • AMD Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5: Pricing and Availability
  • 2
    Final thoughts

If you are looking for a CPU for gaming or for your workstation, Intel and AMD are the only two choices to pick from. AMD Ryzen 5 and Intel Core i5 series are the two best-selling mid-priced processors from both brands. With so many variants of these two processors and the ongoing rivalry between Intel and AMD, it is a tough decision to make.

Intel just a few months back launched their first few chips in the 12th generation core desktop CPU family. On the other hand, AMD also released the new-gen Ryzen 5 5600 series. Both these CPUs belong to a similar price range and provide a significant performance boost irrespective of the task you want to perform.

AMD Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5

Here we compare AMD Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 breaking down what differentiates them. This can help you make an informed choice to purchase the best one that fits your requirements.

AMD Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5: Architecture

amd ryzen 5 zen 3 architecture

First, let’s take a look at the architecture of both series of processors. The Ryzen 5 processor is built on Zen micro-architecture. It was specifically designed to reduce the overall power consumption as well as provide much better clock speeds.

Moreover, the Zen micro-architecture 1st Gen was made using a 14nm FinFET process that makes chips more efficient and they use less energy. SMT is also enabled which is Surface Mount Technology that allows each core to run two threads at the same time. This innovative chip design allows each chip to have greater overall bandwidth. Recently AMD released the Zen 3+ architecture that is built on a 6nm fabrication process. Taking Ryzen 5 5600x as a reference which is the best-selling Ryzen 5 processor to date; it is fabricated on TSMC’s 7 nm process based on the Zen 3 microarchitecture.

intel Alder Lake hybrid architecture

Now if we talk about the Intel i5 12th-gen processors, they are built on the latest Alder Lake hybrid architecture. The new architecture combines a mix of larger high-performance cores paired with smaller high-energy efficient cores for the first time. Furthermore, Intel architecture supports features like PCIe 5.0 and DDR5. These features go beyond what AMD or even Apple has to offer right now. 

The high-performance cores feature the Golden Cove architecture while the more energy-efficient cores feature the Gracemount architecture. The latest Intel Core i5-12600K processor is the best CPU available in the market right now for gaming. It features 10 cores (6P + 4E) and 16 threads delivering top-of-the-line performance.

Also read: AMD Vs Intel: Who’s The Showstopper?

AMD Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5: Performance

SpecificationAMD Ryzen 5 5600xIntel Core i5-12600K
CPU SocketAMD AM4LGA 1700
Cores610 (6P + 4E)
LithographyTSMC 7nm FinFETIntel 7 (10nm)
Base Frequency3.7GHz3.7GHz (P-core) | 2.8GHz (E-core)
Boost Frequency4.6GHz4.9GHz (P-core) | 3.6GHz (E-core)
Unlocked for overclocking?YesYes
L3 Cache32MB20MB
Default TDP65W125W
Max. Operating Temperature (Tjmax)95°C100°C
Memory SupportDDR4 up to 3200MHzUp to 128GBDDR4 3200MT/s | DDR5-4800MT/sUp to 128GB
Integrated GraphicsNAUHD Graphics 770

In terms of performance, Intel is ahead of the curve and outperforms the AMD chips by a huge margin. It performs really well in single-threaded as well as multithreaded benchmark performance. The chip delivers snappy performance and offers a good blend of both single and multithreaded performance to come out as a compelling winner.

Intel performs really well when it comes to handling behind the scene tasks in Windows 11 operating system. The chip is carefully able to schedule the tasks and bring out the best performance that results in improved productivity. Having some of the extra cores to perform low-priority task pays huge results in favour of overall performance. 

geekbench performance AMD Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5

However, due to some of the inefficiencies in Windows 10, the core i5 suffered a bit of difficulty in prioritizing tasks. But we can expect them to soon get ironed out with the Windows 11 update. On the other hand, AMD Ryzen users can turn to Overclock if they want to bridge the performance gap. But it is also worth pointing out that the Intel Core i5 series also comes with an unlocked CPU that supports overclocking. 

CPUIntel 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

Even in terms of power consumption, the Intel Alder Lake CPUs have made significant progress. The new series of Intel Core i5-12600K processors draws a lot less power for the same amount of work compared to its predecessors. That being said the AMD Ryzen 5 series is still the undisputed champion when it comes to offering power efficiency. The AMD Ryzen CPU completely dominates Intel CPUs in this department. Even with the latest Intel i5 CPU, they required more power compared to the Ryzen 5 series. This also means that the Intel CPUs will obviously generate more heat so if you are purchasing a custom gaming rig then you will need to invest in a better cooling solution.

For reference, the Ryzen 5 5600x has a TDP of 65W while the Intel Core i5-12600K has a TDP of 125W. This is approximately double the power consumption compared to Ryzen 5.

Also read: 5 Best AMD Graphic Cards In India

AMD Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5: Platforms and Compatibility

So now that you have most of the technical information, another aspect to look out which CPU is future-proof. So in terms of future-proofing, Intel is the best bet. Intel Core i5 supports DDR5 memory modules and PCIe 5.0; both of which are not supported by any of the AMD Ryzen chips in the market right now. But with all these features, the new Alder Lake Intel CPUs also bring a more premium price tag.

Another thing you should know is that the new Alder Lake CPUs are not supported by the existing motherboards in the market. For that, you need to have an LGA 1700 CPU socket which is only available on the new Z690 motherboards. Additionally, these motherboards are slightly expensive and increase the overall cost of your PC.

z690 motherboard

So if you really want to experience the latest 12th gen Intel Core i5 CPUs you’ll definitely need to buy the new Z690 motherboard. Along with the new Z690 motherboard, you will also need to invest some more in those DDR5 modules which will put a significant hole in your budget. Also, the best and most high-performing DDR5 RAM modules are pretty expensive and very rare to find in the current market.

On the other hand, if you decide to upgrade to AMD Ryzen 5 series processor then it is not that much expensive. The current Ryzen series 5 thankfully supports the existing motherboards with an AM4 socket which is really not that expensive. And talking about the DDR5 memory modules which AMD clearly does not support; you really don’t have to worry about them too much as the current DDR4 modules are sufficiently powerful enough and there is still time for the DDR5 memory modules to mature.

Furthermore, talking about the PCIe 5.0 standard it is less likely to become mainstream until more CPUs and peripherals are ready to support that. To conclude Intel is clearly ahead in terms of some features, but it is still recommended that you consider AMD if you are looking for a complete value-for-money package.

AMD Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5: Power and Thermals

AMD Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5: Power and Thermals

Another factor to take into account is the power consumption of the Core i5-12600K, which stands out as remarkably high for a mid-range processor built on a more advanced and efficient process node. Despite effectively leveraging Intel’s new Intel 7 (10nm) process and utilising efficiency cores to reduce power and thermal demands during less demanding tasks, the processor exhibits substantial power requirements under heavy loads. With a base TDP of 125 watts, it can escalate to 150W in its highest power state for optimal performance, releasing the same amount of heat through the cooler.

While the 12600K’s efficiency is an improvement over previous generations of Intel processors, it remains a noteworthy consideration. In contrast, the AMD Ryzen 5600X boasts a lower TDP of just 65W, and although there are reports of it slightly exceeding this under full load with thermal headroom for automatic overclocking, it generally stays below 70W.

Despite the impressive performance of the 12600K, its power and thermal demands are more than double those of the AMD Ryzen counterpart. This places additional strain on cooling systems, power supplies, and the types of systems where this chip is most suitable. For smaller and more thermally constrained systems, especially those incorporating a high-powered GPU, Ryzen CPUs may continue to be a preferable choice.

AMD Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5: Gaming

gaming performance AMD Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5

Gaming performance is the true test for any mid-range or high-performance processor. Currently, Intel with its Intel Core i5-12600K processor is ruling the market for gaming whether you want 1080p or 4K resolutions. But the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X processor is only just one step behind Intel in terms of price to performance curve.

Although gaming performance mainly depends on the GPU that you have paired with your CPU. If you want the ultimate gaming performance you need to focus on the GPU and get one that provides you with all the juice you will ever need. So if you are having a hard time picking between these two CPUs then the cost of the CPU could end up as a deciding factor. AMD is a really good value proposition in the budget range, meanwhile, Intel is also close to providing outright frame rate victories using the dedicated graphic card combination. If given an option try to limit your spending on the CPU and use those extra funds to get a better GPU.

But one thing that is a major point to consider is that the latest 12th gen CPU from Intel may not support each and every single game on your PC irrespective of the operating system you are using. In many of our different games, it is found that certain games won’t boot in the Intel 12th generation processors.

intel core i5

The main reason for this is the new hybrid architecture which includes two different cores one which is high performing and one which is power efficient. Although all popular titles are running without any issues and the ones that still have some issues should be fixed in the coming weeks.

While in most of the games like Cyberpunk 2077, Horizon Zero Dawn (titles using DirectX 12), and Watch Dogs: Legion Intel takes a lead in overall performance, in some games like Wolfenstein: Youngblood and CS: GO (DirectX 9) AMD is a clear winner. But the case with Intel is high power consumption so your battery will deplete faster than ever.

On the other hand, AMD offers better power efficiency. If battery life is your priority definitely go with AMD but if a higher frame rate is what you are looking for then Intel is the definite choice.

Here are some gaming FPS benchmarks comparing the latest benchmarks of AMD Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5.

Cyberpunk 2077 (1080p, Ultra, RT Ultra, DLSS Quality, DirectX 12)

ProcessorMax FPSMin FPS
Intel Core i5-12600K (10C / 16T)9469
Intel Core i5-11600K (6T / 12T)8156
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X (6C / 12T)7956
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X (8C/ 16T)6346

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (1080p, Medium, DirectX 9)

ProcessorMax FPSMin FPS
Intel Core i5-12600K (10C / 16T)640171
Intel Core i5-11600K (6T / 12T)540163
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X (6C / 12T)682184
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X (8C/ 16T)528154

Wolfenstein: Youngblood (1080p, Uber, RT, DLSS Quality, Vulkan)

ProcessorMax FPSMin FPS
Intel Core i5-12600K (10C / 16T)248180
Intel Core i5-11600K (6T / 12T)240181
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X (6C / 12T)267194
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X (8C/ 16T)198162

Also read: Intel Processor: A Complete Buying Guide

AMD Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5: Pricing and Availability

ryzen 5 pricing and availability

It is safe to say that pricing is the first thing that we all think about when purchasing something new. The pricing for Intel Core i5-12600K CPU begins at Rs. 27,000 which is slightly higher than the retail price of AMD Ryzen 5 5600X on the market. So choosing between the two definitely you should go for the Intel one because it outperforms the Ryzen 5 for the same price tag but there is more you should consider.

You should also think about the cost of other components such as a new motherboard, new DDR5 memory to get that maximum performance out of the chip, and also a new CPU cooler if you choose to buy the Intel chip.

But in the case of the Ryzen 5 series you need to just pay for the chip whether you are upgrading your existing system or building a new one. The Ryzen 5 series CPUs can work with any of the existing AMD motherboards. And they even use the same DDR4 RAM kit. Moreover, AMD is also bundling a CPU stock cooler with Ryzen 5 5600X series. This is pretty good considering if you are thinking about overclocking and pushing the limits of the CPU beyond the stock settings. Both these CPUs are currently available in the market right now and you can find them on all the e-commerce websites as well as retail stores.

Final thoughts

AMD Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5

If you don’t mind the entry cost it needs to build a gaming PC with the Intel CPU then the Intel Core i5 CPU with the latest 12th chain chip is the no-brainer choice here. It will provide you with the best performance and will set you up for many more years to come it is best for gaming as well as content creation works also. The Intel Core i5 12600k is the best pick right now and it completely dominates the Ryzen 5600X. 

That being said it does not mean that AMD Ryzen 5 5600X is by any means a bad CPU. It is a good combination of both power efficiency as well a good thermal solution. It may not be as powerful as the 12600k from Intel. But it will provide you with a much better setup if heating is an issue for you. Also if you want yourself to be future proof then you might want to stay away from AMD Ryen 5 as it does not support features like DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 

Also Read: Guide To Buy the Right Graphics Card For PC

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Highlights of the Story

  • AMD Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 is the question each one of us asks when buying a new budget laptop or PC.
  • Both AMD and Intel offer some solid processors that provide a good value for money but it can be confusing to decide which one is better.