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

Which CPU is the best choice for gaming?

By


Conclusion

After 80 tests, we can now draw a couple of conclusions regarding Ryzen's gaming performance. First of all, the performance varies a lot per game. Battlefield 1 and GTA clearly prefer an Intel processor, while Civilization VI runs better on Ryzen. Doom and Rise of the Tomb Raider don't show as much scaling, however the longest bar remains blue in most cases.

The theory that an Nvidia graphics card works less well with Ryzen than an AMD graphics card, turns out to be mostly wrong as well. Even though the GTX 1060 loses 8% performance on average, compared to the RX 580's 4%, when switching from the Core i5 to the Ryzen 5 processor, Nvidia's frame times are better than AMD's (8% vs 9%). Of course there are once again per-game differences.

Frame rate Ryzen 5 1600X Core i5 7600K
RX 580 87.8 fps 93.7 fps
GTX 1060 82.3 fps 89.7 fps
Frame time (lower is better) Ryzen 5 1600X Core i5 7600K
RX 580 17.0 ms 15.7 ms
GTX 1060 16.7 ms 15.4 ms

The average frame rates and frame times with the Ryzen 5 1600X and Core i5 7600K in 80 (!) game tests.

So, those who buy their PC purely for gaming should stick with the blue camp and buy the Core i5 7600K, especially if you factor in the fact that it can be overclocked quite a bit. The argument for Ryzen is that games in the future will hopefully get better multi-threading support, like Civilization VI, however this remains a crapshoot. Prior experience tells us that developments like this tend to take longer than you'd like.

 

We're not recommending against the Ryzen 5 however. At the moment AMD offers more cores for the same money and tasks that are multi-threaded already, tend to be faster as a result. The same goes for those who perform multiple tasks simultaneously. Do you render videos every now and then, do you stream while gaming or do you work with rar and par archives a lot, then it might be worth trading some gaming performance for better multi-threaded performance.

In short, AMD offers excellent multi-task performance with the Ryzen 5 and a bunch of future perspective for games. If you're purely looking for gaming performance right now, then no fast memory, power profile or AMD graphics card will be able to deter you from choosing Intel.


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 Test results Reviews Prices

£129.97

Avg. £149.98
7 shops, 5x stock

Intel Core i5 7600K Boxed

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

Specifications Test results Reviews Prices

£229.99

Avg. £276.99
9 shops, 5x stock

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