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Home > Processor/DSP > AMD Ryzen 5 vs. Intel i5: How to Choose the Right Processor

AMD Ryzen 5 vs. Intel i5: How to Choose the Right Processor

Update Time: 2024-03-22 15:46:23


In computing, the processor serves as the brain of the system, orchestrating all operations and determining overall performance. Two prominent processor brands emerge when it comes to choosing a computer: AMD Ryzen 5 and Intel i5.

If you are looking for a CPU for gaming or your workstation, Intel and AMD are the only two choices. 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.

The AMD Ryzen 5 is known for offering a blend of value and performance, making it a strong contender for budget-conscious consumers. On the other hand, the Intel Core i5 is recognized for its powerful performance, particularly in single-threaded applications, which has made it a go-to choice for many users looking for a balance between price and speed. In this article, we'll compare the AMD Ryzen 5 and Intel Core i5 to help you choose the right processor.

What is AMD Ryzen 5?

AMD introduced Ryzen 5, a line of mid-range performance 64-bit quad and hexa-core x86 microprocessors, in March 2017. Based on the Zen microarchitecture, Ryzen 5 is manufactured on GF's 14 nm process and targeted at the mid-range performance market.

It stands out as an excellent option for those seeking a high-performing processor without breaking the bank. AMD Ryzen 5 offers exceptional performance at an affordable price, making it the top choice for gamers and professionals in need of power without the premium price tag.

AMD Ryzen 5.png

What is Intel i5?

The Core i5 is a lineup of Intel® processors extensively used in desktop and laptop computers. They strike a balance between performance and affordability, appealing to casual users, gamers, and professionals alike.

When it comes to high-performing processors, Intel is a household name. With various series updates, Intel's Core i5 stands as a major competitor to AMD's Ryzen 5. The Intel Core i5 CPU is a versatile processor capable of delivering exceptional performance.

Whether you're engaged in content creation, high-end gaming, or using specialized applications for multimedia editing, this processor can be an excellent choice. However, it comes at a higher cost, offering slightly better features and performance. It's a compelling option for those unwilling to compromise on quality.

Intel i5.png

AMD Ryzen 5 vs. Intel i5: Architecture

Ryzen 5 Architecture.jpg

Let's begin by examining the architecture of both processor series. The Ryzen 5 processor is based on the Zen micro-architecture, designed to reduce overall power consumption and provide improved clock speeds.

The Zen micro-architecture 1st Gen was produced using a 14nm FinFET process, enhancing chip efficiency and reducing energy consumption. SMT (Surface Mount Technology) is also enabled, allowing each core to handle two threads simultaneously, increasing overall bandwidth. AMD recently introduced the Zen 3+ architecture, fabricated on a 6nm process. For instance, the Ryzen 5 5600X, the best-selling Ryzen 5 processor, is manufactured using TSMC's 7nm process based on the Zen 3 microarchitecture.

Intel i5 Architecture.jpg

The Intel 12th-gen processors are based on the latest Alder Lake hybrid architecture. This new architecture combines larger, high-performance cores with smaller, more energy-efficient cores for the first time. Additionally, Intel's architecture supports features like PCIe 5.0 and DDR5, surpassing what AMD or even Apple currently offer.

The high-performance cores utilize the Golden Cove architecture, while the more energy-efficient cores use the Gracemount architecture. The latest Intel Core i5-12600K processor is currently the best CPU for gaming on the market, featuring 10 cores (6P + 4E) and 16 threads for exceptional performance.

AMD Ryzen 5 vs. Intel i5: Specifications

SpecificationAMD Ryzen 5 5600xIntel i5-12600K
CPU SocketAMD AM4LGA 1700
Cores610 (6P + 4E)
Turbo speed4.6GHz3.6GHz
LithographyTSMC 7nm FinFETIntel 7 (10nm)
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

AMD Ryzen 5 vs. Intel i5: Performance

Core Count and Clock Speed

Ryzen 5 processors typically feature higher core counts, ranging from 6 to 16 cores, depending on the generation. This results in improved multitasking capabilities, allowing for the simultaneous handling of multiple demanding applications. On the other hand, Intel's i5 series usually offers 4 or 6 cores, prioritizing single-core performance for tasks such as gaming and web browsing. However, newer i5 models like the 13500H feature hybrid architectures with additional efficiency CPU cores, enhancing their multitasking capabilities.

Clock speed, measured in GHz, indicates the number of cycles a processor can execute per second. Both Ryzen 5 and i5 processors offer competitive clock speeds, ranging from 3.3 GHz to 5.5 GHz, depending on the model and turbo boost capabilities. While higher clock speeds generally result in faster performance, they are not the only factor to consider. Modern processors also utilize intelligent boosting and caching mechanisms, making direct comparisons based solely on clock speed less accurate.

Single-Core Performance: The Gaming Arena

Single-threaded applications, such as many popular games, primarily depend on a CPU's single-core performance. Historically, Intel's i5 series has excelled in this area due to its higher Instructions Per Clock (IPC), which measures how many instructions a processor can execute per clock cycle. However, AMD has significantly narrowed this gap in recent years.

For example, the Ryzen 5 7600X delivers impressive single-core performance, nearly matching the i5-13600K in some benchmarks. Despite this, in games that heavily rely on single-core performance, the i5 series may still maintain a slight advantage, especially at lower resolutions. This makes the i5 a compelling choice for competitive gamers seeking high frame rates.

AMD Ryzen 5 vs Intel i5 Performance.jpg

Multi-Core Performance: The Content Creation Powerhouse

The Ryzen 5 excels in multi-threaded applications such as video editing, 3D rendering, and scientific computing. Its higher core count enables it to tackle complex tasks more efficiently, greatly reducing processing times. For example, the Ryzen 5 7600X surpasses the i5-13600K in multi-threaded tasks like video editing and 3D rendering, making it perfect for content creators and professionals who engage in heavy multitasking.

Benchmarking the Battlefield

Benchmarking tools offer objective data for comparing processor performance. Trusted sources such as UserBenchmark, Cinebench, and PugetBench provide comprehensive benchmarks for both Ryzen 5 and i5 processors.

In single-core benchmarks like Cinebench R23, the i5-13600K slightly outperforms the Ryzen 5 7600X. However, in multi-core benchmarks, the Ryzen 5 leads significantly, demonstrating its strength in multi-threaded tasks.

AMD Ryzen 5 vs. Intel i5: Platforms and Compatibility

Now that you have most of the technical information, another aspect to consider is future-proofing. In terms of future-proofing, Intel is the better choice. Intel Core i5 supports DDR5 memory modules and PCIe 5.0, features not yet supported by any AMD Ryzen chips on the market. However, these advanced features come with a more premium price tag, especially with the new Alder Lake Intel CPUs.

It's important to note that the new Alder Lake CPUs are not compatible with existing motherboards on the market. You will need an LGA 1700 CPU socket, which is only available on the new Z690 motherboards. Additionally, these motherboards are slightly more expensive, adding to the overall cost of your PC.

To experience the latest 12th-generation Intel Core i5 CPUs, you'll need to invest in the new Z690 motherboard. Along with the new motherboard, you'll also need to spend more on DDR5 modules, which can significantly impact your budget. High-performing DDR5 RAM modules are currently expensive and rare to find.

On the other hand, upgrading to an AMD Ryzen 5 series processor is less expensive. The current Ryzen 5 series supports existing motherboards with an AM4 socket, which is relatively affordable. As for DDR5 memory modules, since AMD does not support them yet, you don't need to worry as much. Current DDR4 modules are powerful enough, and there is still time for DDR5 memory modules to become more mainstream.

The PCIe 5.0 standard is unlikely to become mainstream until more CPUs and peripherals support it. In conclusion, Intel offers some advanced features, but it is still advisable to consider AMD if you are looking for a complete value-for-money package.

AMD Ryzen 5 vs. Intel i5: Power and Thermals

Another important consideration is the power consumption of the Core i5-12600K, which is notably high for a mid-range processor built on a more advanced and efficient process node. Despite leveraging Intel's new Intel 7 (10nm) process and using efficiency cores to reduce power and thermal demands during lighter tasks, the processor requires substantial power under heavy loads. With a base TDP of 125 watts, it can reach 150W in its highest power state for optimal performance, releasing the same amount of heat through the cooler.

While the 12600 K's efficiency is an improvement over previous Intel processors, its power demands remain significant. In comparison, the AMD Ryzen 5600X has a lower TDP of just 65W. While there are reports of it slightly exceeding this under full load with thermal headroom for automatic overclocking, it generally stays below 70W.

Despite the 12600 K's impressive performance, its power and thermal demands are more than double those of the AMD Ryzen counterpart. This puts additional stress 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 with a high-powered GPU, Ryzen CPUs may remain a more favorable choice.

AMD Ryzen 5 vs. Intel i5: Gaming

Gaming performance is a crucial metric for evaluating mid-range and high-performance processors. Presently, Intel's Core i5-12600K processor dominates the gaming market, delivering excellent performance at both 1080p and 4K resolutions. However, the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X processor is just a little behind Intel in terms of price-to-performance ratio.

AMD Ryzen 5 Gaming performance.png

Intel i5 Gaming performance.pngIntel i5 Gaming performance.png

It's important to note that gaming performance is heavily influenced by the GPU paired with the CPU. For the best gaming experience, investing in a powerful GPU is essential. If you need help to choose between these two CPUs, cost could be the deciding factor. AMD offers great value for budget-conscious consumers, while Intel provides competitive performance when paired with a dedicated graphics card. Allocate more of your budget to the GPU rather than the CPU for optimal gaming performance.

One major consideration with Intel's latest 12th gen CPUs is their compatibility with all games, regardless of the operating system. Some games may not boot on Intel 12th gen processors due to the new hybrid architecture, which includes both high-performance and power-efficient cores. However, most popular titles run smoothly, and any remaining issues are likely to be resolved in future updates.

In terms of gaming performance, Intel generally outperforms AMD in titles like Cyberpunk 2077, Horizon Zero Dawn (using DirectX 12), and Watch Dogs: Legion. However, AMD excels in games like Wolfenstein: Youngblood and CS: GO (using DirectX 9). It's worth noting that Intel processors tend to consume more power, resulting in faster battery depletion in laptops.

On the other hand, AMD processors offer better power efficiency. If battery life is a priority, AMD is the better choice. However, if you prioritize higher frame rates, Intel is the preferred option.

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

AMD Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 Gaming FPS benchmarks comparison.png

AMD Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 Gaming FPS benchmarks comparison 1.png

AMD Ryzen 5 vs. Intel i5: Memory and Expansion

The newest Ryzen and Intel i5 CPUs support faster DDR5 memory, as well as the previous generation DDR4. They also include support for technologies such as XMP 3.0 and AMD's Dynamic Memory Boost, which improve memory performance seamlessly.

AMD Ryzen 5 vs. Intel i5: Storage

You should also consider the processors' storage capacity. The Intel i5 supports a maximum memory of 64 GB, making it suitable for those needing ample storage for gaming or video editing and a good option for future-proofing.

In contrast, the Ryzen 5 supports a maximum memory of 32 GB, which is sufficient for users with lesser storage needs. However, it's worth noting that you can always upgrade your storage later, although this may incur additional costs.

In terms of storage, the Intel i5 offers superior capacity, providing more storage options and potentially saving you money compared to later purchases of additional storage.

AMD Ryzen 5 vs. Intel i5: CPU Speed

Processor speed is another crucial aspect of performance, typically measured in Gigahertz (GHz) or Megahertz (MHz). For tasks such as gaming, animation, video editing, and multitasking, CPU speed plays a significant role in achieving optimal performance efficiently.

The Intel Core i5 processor features a 20MB cache and a maximum speed of up to 4.60 GHz. On the other hand, the Ryzen 5 processor offers a higher maximum speed of 5.1 GHz. This increased speed provided by Ryzen is advantageous for immersive gaming experiences and content creation tasks.

AMD Ryzen 5 vs. Intel i5: Base Frequency

The base frequency of a processor typically refers to its operating speed. For Intel, this base frequency is 3.7GHz, while for AMD Ryzen processors, it is 3.9GHz.

AMD Ryzen 5 vs. Intel i5: Turbo Boost Frequency

The Max Turbo frequency represents the maximum speed a processor can reach using Turbo Boost technology. The Intel Core i5 processor can achieve a boosted frequency of up to 4.9GHz, while the AMD Ryzen 5 processor can reach up to 4.4GHz.

AMD Ryzen 5 vs. Intel i5: Thermal Design Power

TDP, or Thermal Design Power, is typically measured in watts and indicates the power consumption of the processor under heavy load. The Intel i5 processor has a TDP of 125W, while Ryzen has a TDP of 105W.

AMD Ryzen 5 vs. Intel i5: Unlocked for Clocking

Unlocked processors are not restricted in terms of customization and tuning. These processors allow you to adjust settings such as core frequency, voltage, memory settings, power limits, and other performance-related parameters. This flexibility in customization can provide the speed and performance you require for your specific needs. Both the Ryzen 5 and Intel i5 processors are unlocked, allowing for manual adjustments to settings like core frequency, with the Ryzen 5 designed specifically for demanding gaming tasks.

AMD Ryzen 5 vs. Intel i5: Productivity and Content Creation

Both the AMD Ryzen 5 and Intel Core i5 deliver strong performance for tasks such as video editing and 3D rendering. CPU benchmark comparisons demonstrate that these processors provide significant productivity capabilities, effectively handling a variety of creative applications.

AMD Ryzen 5 vs. Intel i5: Overclocking Potential and Enthusiast Tweaking

  • AMD processors often include Precision Boost Overdrive (PBO), simplifying the overclocking process.

  • Intel's K-series chips, such as the i5-12600K, also support overclocking.

Enthusiasts may appreciate these features as they enable users to boost core performance through manual tweaking.

AMD Ryzen 5 vs. Intel i5: Pricing and Availability

When it comes to purchasing new hardware, pricing is often the first consideration. The Intel Core i5-12600K CPU starts at Rs. 27,000, slightly higher than the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X's retail price. Opting for the Intel processor may seem like the obvious choice as it offers better performance than the Ryzen 5 at a similar price point. However, there are other factors to consider.

In addition to the CPU cost, you should factor in the expenses for other components like a new motherboard, DDR5 memory (for optimal performance with the Intel chip), and a CPU cooler if you opt for Intel.

On the other hand, with the Ryzen 5 series, you only need to pay for the chip, whether you're upgrading an existing system or building a new one. Ryzen 5 CPUs are compatible with existing AMD motherboards and use the same DDR4 RAM kit. Moreover, AMD includes a CPU stock cooler with the Ryzen 5 5600X series, which is beneficial if you plan to overclock the CPU beyond stock settings.

Both CPUs are readily available in the market and can be found on various e-commerce websites and retail stores.

AMD Ryzen 5 vs. Intel i5: Pros and Cons

Ryzen 5 Pros and Cons

AMD Ryzen 5 processor.png

Pros of Ryzen 5

  • A greater number of cores and threads

  • More cost-effective

  • Superior for multitasking and multithreaded applications

Cons of Ryzen 5

  • Lower performance in single-core tasks

  • Lower power efficiency

  • Limited compatibility with older software

In general, Intel processors excel in gaming and single-threaded applications, whereas AMD processors shine in multitasking and multithreaded applications. However, the optimal choice for you will hinge on your specific requirements and budget.

Intel i5 Pros and Cons

Intel i5 processor.jpg

Pros of Intel i5

  • Superior single-core performance

  • Greater power efficiency

  • Enhanced compatibility with older software

Cons of Intel i5

  • Higher cost

  • Fewer cores and threads

  • Prone to heating up more easily

AMD Ryzen 5 vs. Intel i5: Comparison Chart

FeatureAMD Ryzen 5Intel i5
Core Count6 Cores6 Cores
Thread Count12 Threads12 Threads (Some models offer 16)
Base Clock Speed3.6 GHz – 4.6 GHz3.5 GHz – 4.5 GHz
Base Frequency3.7GHz3.7GHz (P-core) | 2.8GHz (E-core)
Boost Clock SpeedUp to 4.9 GHz (5600x)Up to 5.0 GHz (Some models can reach 5.5 GHz) (1200K)
Boost Frequency4.6GHz4.9GHz (P-core) | 3.6GHz (E-core)
Integrated GraphicsNo (Requires separate graphics card)Some models have integrated graphics (Intel UHD Graphics)
Power Consumption (TDP)65W65W – 125W
Future-proofingSupports DDR4 RAMMay support DDR5 RAM (Latest 13th Gen)
MultitaskingExcellentVery Good
GamingVery Good (Depends on specific game and GPU)Excellent (For some games, especially esports)
Content CreationExcellent value for priceCan be good, but Ryzen 5 often offers better multi-core performance
Overclocking Limited Overclocking support (Some models)More overclocking headroom (K-series models)
AvailabilityWidely AvailableWidely Available

AMD Ryzen 5 vs Intel i5: Which Processor Should I Choose?

Selecting the right CPU goes beyond just numbers; it's about aligning the processor with your specific needs. Let's now explore the ideal choice for you.

Gaming Excellence

Ryzen 5: Excellent for smooth gaming at 1080p and 1440p, particularly newer models with strong multi-core performance. For competitive esports at high refresh rates, consider i5 options for their slight edge in single-core performance.

Content Creation Powerhouse

Ryzen 5: Excels in multi-threaded tasks like video editing and 3D rendering due to its higher core count.

i5: Capable in content creation, but Ryzen 5 often offers better value and multi-core performance per dollar.

Productivity Prowess

Both Ryzen 5 and i5 processors perform well in everyday tasks like web browsing, office work, and light multitasking. For specific requirements, consider power consumption and integrated graphics (i5 only).


  • Ryzen 5 5500: Budget-friendly productivity champion.

  • i5-12450: Provides integrated graphics for basic visuals without needing a dedicated GPU.


While both processors have a significant potential market, Ryzen 5 has an even larger potential market. Intel may offer a better range of features and slightly better capabilities, but its market is limited due to the high price tag. AMD Ryzen 5 is an excellent choice for most people looking to save money. It boasts higher clock speeds, more cores, and supports PCIe 4.0.

Therefore, Ryzen 5 can handle demanding tasks efficiently and offers great value for money. On the other hand, Intel is for those who seek the best processor and can afford the price. So, the choice depends on your preferences.

If you're willing to invest in building a gaming PC with the Intel CPU, then the Intel Core i5 CPU from the latest 12th generation is the obvious choice. It delivers top-notch performance and is a great option for gaming and content creation. The Intel Core i5-12600K stands out as the best choice currently, outperforming the Ryzen 5600X.

However, this doesn't mean that the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X is a subpar CPU. It offers a good balance of power efficiency and thermal performance. While it may not match the 12600K in raw power, it provides a more manageable thermal profile. Additionally, if future-proofing is a concern, it's worth noting that the Ryzen 5 does not support DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 features. Jotrin processors perfectly meet your demands. Welcome to RFQ!

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  • Is AMD Ryzen 5 better than Intel i5?
  • The AMD Ryzen is a preferable choice as it allows OEMs to produce thinner laptops with lower power consumption.

  • Is Ryzen 5 better than i5 for gaming?
  • Typically, the Intel Core i5 might have a slight edge in gaming thanks to its optimization for single-threaded tasks. However, the AMD Ryzen 5, particularly newer models featuring 3D V-Cache technology, can deliver faster performance in certain scenarios.

  • Is Ryzen 5 better than i5 for programming?
  • Both processors offer similar compute performance, but the Ryzen 5 boasts a significantly better integrated GPU, making it more suitable for graphics-intensive tasks. Beyond that, consider other laptop specifications, as there is minimal difference in processor power between them.

  • Which processor is best for a laptop, Ryzen or Intel?
  • Typically, AMD Ryzen processors deliver superior multi-core performance compared to Intel Core processors in the same price range. However, Intel Core processors generally outperform Ryzen in single-core tasks and offer better-integrated graphics capabilities.

  • What is Ryzen 5 equivalent to Intel?
  • Intel Core i5.

  • Which AMD processor is equivalent to the i5?
  • AMD A10 can be equivalent to Intel's core i5 processor.

  • Why AMD is cheaper than Intel?
  • AMD offers lower prices than Intel due to competitive market conditions, distinct manufacturing processes that help control costs, and pricing strategies aimed at budget-conscious consumers.

  • Is Ryzen 5 better than i5 for students?
  • Yes, Ryzen 5 outperforms Core i5 with more threads and cores. Additionally, Ryzen 5 boasts a higher clock speed, allowing it to complete daily tasks faster and more efficiently.

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