AMD has released its Ryzen 5 1600X to rival Intel’s Core i5-7600K. While the Ryzen 5 may not have clock speeds as high as the Core i5, it does offer two additional cores. In this post, we take a look at the performance of both chips to see which one wins for the best mainstream CPU.
AMD Launches the Ryzen 5 Series Processor Lineup
Announced last month, AMD Ryzen 5 CPUs are officially available from today. The lineup consists of four CPUs: two are hexa-core chips with SMT (simultaneous multithreading) and the other two are quad-cores with SMT.
All Ryzen 5 processors are based on the same Zen die used in the Ryzen 7 series, but with cores switched off. The fastest of the four is the Ryzen 5 1600X priced at $249. The chip is designed to take on Intel’s Core i5-7600K, which has a current list price of $242. So how do the two chips fare against each other?
Folks over at PCWorld have published benchmarks showcasing the performance of both chips. The Core i5-7600K was tested on an Asus ROG Maximus IV Code updated to the latest BIOS that adds Optane support. For RAM, a pair of 16GB DDR4 Cosair modules clocked at 2933MHz was used.
The Ryzen 5 1600X test bench includes an MSI B350 Tomahawk motherboard with a pair of Geil EVO 8GB modules. For graphics, both builds used GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition cards.
Ryzen 5 1600X vs Core i5-7600K: Cinebench Performance
Moving to benchmark results, let’s start with the Cinebench R15 single-threaded performance. Here, the Core i5-7600K has a slight advantage over Ryzen 5 which isn’t a surprise considering Intel’s part features higher clock speed and higher IPC (instructions per clock).
In multi-threaded performance however, the Ryzen 5 simply burns the Core i5. The R5 1600X has a significant lead of around 80 percent over the 7600K.
Overall, Ryzen 5 has done well in applications. But, many of you will be more interested in its gaming performance, especially when the early testing shows less than expected results.
Ryzen 5 1600X vs Core i5-7600K: Gaming Performance
Both Ryzen 5 and Core i5 perform pretty much the same in the popular 3DMark test. That’s because it’s designed first and foremost as a GPU test, and in this case, the two chips are being tested with the same GTX 1080 card.
In 3DMark Physics, the Ryzen 5 1600X outperforms the i5 7600K by a big margin thanks to its additional cores. But most games don’t use all the cores anyway so the test doesn’t reflect the real-world performance.
As for real games, first up we have Oxide Games’ Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation. The game recently received an update for better Ryzen support. The result is, Ryzen 5 achieves slightly higher scores than Core i5, and performance is only expected to get better.
In various other titles, Ryzen 5 1600X slightly trails Core i5 and that likely comes from the latter’s higher clocks and higher IPC. PCWorld calls this a “moral victory for Ryzen 5.”
The only games that don’t run well on Ryzen right now, are Sleeping Dogs and Rise of the Tomb Raider. Especially, the frame rate difference is massive in the Tomb Raider at 1080p and Medium settings.
You shouldn’t freak out over Ryzen chip lagging behind Intel. It’s clear that there isn’t some flaw with Ryzen that slows it down, but the games themselves.
Oxide squeezing out more performance out of Ryzen is a proof that AMD’s CPUs can benefit from optimized game code. Other games could do the same, which should reduce the performance difference if not erase it completely.
So which of the two holds the crown for the best mainstream CPU? Well, it all comes down to your needs.
For multi-threading applications, Ryzen 5 is an obvious choice while Core i5 has an advantage when it comes to gaming – at least for now. Moving on, as more games support the Ryzen 5 1600X, it will be the best deal for $250.