AMD Ryzen 5 vs. Intel Core i5 in games: the conclusion

Which CPU is the best choice for gaming?

By


This is how we tested

For this article we tested two processors that are mostly interesting for gamers. Furthermore they are also positioned directly against each other: the AMD Ryzen 5 1600X (250 pounds) and the Intel Core i5 7600K (235 pounds). We installed them on representative test systems, in the tables below you can find the full specifications, in combination with both an AMD Radeon RX 580 XTR and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 9Gbps Edition, the newest mid-range models from both manufacturers. We set the memory to the official maximum speed from Intel and AMD.

  AMD-system Intel-system
Processor AMD Ryzen 5 1600X Intel Core i5 7600K
Motherboard ASUS Crosshair VI Hero ASRock Z170M OC Formula
Memory Kingston HyperX 2666MHz CL16-17-17-36 G.Skill 2400MHz CL14-14-14-36
Graphics card Gigabyte GTX 1060 Aorus 9Gbps & Gigabyte RX 580 Aorus XTR
SSD Crucial MX300 750GB
Power supply Corsair CX750M
CPU cooler Cooler Master MasterLiquid 120 Lite Cooler Master Hyper TX3i

We've tested five games with all four systems (Intel + Nvidia, Intel + AMD, AMD + Nvidia and AMD + AMD) in four scenarios: Full HD and WQHD resolutions, with both medium and ultra settings. Our selection of games features one DX11 game, three DX12 games and one Vulkan game, where we tried to find a balance between games that are interesting from a technical perspective and games that are very popular. The titles are:

  • GTA V, which remains to be one of the most popular games while also being relatively demanding on the CPU and GPU.
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider, a mainly graphically intensive DX12 game.
  • Civilization VI, which mainly puts a heavy load on the processor. It is often seen as a model game for DX12.
  • Battlefield 1, the newest iteration of the popular and well-scaling first-person shooter from EA DICE.
  • Doom, one of the few games based on Vulkan, the succesor to OpenGL.

If possible we also measured frame times in addition to average FPS values. These give insight in how smooth a game is truly running. One frame that takes up half a second and 59 frames in the other half equate to 60 fps, however this won't feels smooth at all. Lower is better if we're talking frame times.

We also waited a while before we performed these test, as to ensure the maturity of all drivers. Of course we used the newest version of Windows 10 for these tests. Furthermore we performed all benchmarks with the power profile 'High performance' enabled.


Compare

two products discussed in this review

  Product Lowest price

AMD Ryzen 5 1600X Boxed

Socket AM4, 3.6 GHz, 6 cores, 95 W, 14 nm

Specifications Testresultaten Reviews Prices

£142.97

Avg. £178.98
9 shops, 7x stock

Intel Core i5 7600K Boxed

Socket 1151, 3.8 GHz, 4 cores, 95 W, 14 nm, Integrated graphics

Specifications Testresultaten Reviews Prices

£99.98

Avg. £218.99
8 shops, 7x stock

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