Ryzen 5 vs. Intel Core i5: Full Comparison with Pros and Cons

ryzen 5 vs. intel core i5

Ryzen 5 vs. Intel Core i5: Full Comparison with Pros and Cons

Ryzen 5 vs. Intel Core i5: which should you buy? If you’re in the market for a new desktop, the processor is always something to keep in mind. Today’s guide covers the ins and outs of the mid-range offerings from AMD and Intel, as well as how they stack up in a medley of real-world applications. A mid-range processor is always a popular choice, giving an affordable means of top performance.

Users are spoiled for choice when it comes to tailoring their build for whatever use case they might be approaching. Should you stick with the cheaper AMD Ryzen 5 7600X or go for broke and get the Intel Core i5-13600k? Let’s answer that question in depth while taking a far keener look at these two popular processors.

Ryzen 5 vs. Intel Core i5: Side by Side Comparison

Intel Core i5-13600kRyzen 5 7600X
Thread Count2012
Core Count146
Base Clock Frequency3.5 GHz4.7 GHz
Boost Clock Frequency5.1 GHz5.3 GHz
TDP125 Watts105 watts
Maximum Memory Supported192 GB128 GB

Ryzen 5 vs. Intel Core i5: What’s the Difference?

When you’re looking at a mid-range processor, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. Naturally, these processors are more aligned with giving the best price-to-performance ratio you’ll find. In a vacuum, either of these is a solid choice for most uses. However, you’ll see there are some key differences between both of these processors when approaching real workloads.


The Ryzen 7600X is a notable departure for AMD. It is the first time in years that the latest AMD processor is no longer relying on the old AM4 socket for the motherboard. This does have a few notable caveats since you will need to purchase an entirely new motherboard for your build. It isn’t all for naught, thankfully, as you do get access to a few extra amenities.

The 7600X doesn’t reinvent the wheel when it comes to the Ryzen 5 line. You’ll find the same 6 cores and 12 threads that have been present for the last few architectures. One notable difference is the inclusion of DDR5 RAM support. It only supports a base frequency of 5200 MHz, which is plenty fast. However, it does fall behind Intel’s offering as you’ll see.

The Intel Core i5-13600k is a stellar CPU in its price bracket. It uses the LGA1700 socket, which might not need a new motherboard depending on how old your system is. This comes with support for DDR4 and DDR5 RAM, which is stellar. This means you’ve got a few ways to cut costs despite the higher overall cost of the processor when compared to the Ryzen 5 7600X.

Both processors can utilize the latest PCI-E standard, so the performance for components like GPUs should be on par. Overall performance greatly differs as you’ll discover throughout this guide, however.

Business Performance

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AMD has been the de facto choice for a number of years when it comes to multi-threaded workloads. There is a certain expectation when looking at overall performance for the higher-end Ryzen processors like your Threadrippers and Ryzen 9 series. The Ryzen 5 7600X makes a fair acquittal of itself when using resource-intensive applications like Blender and Handbrake.

It isn’t anything to write home about, but it does a fair job and really surpasses its immediate predecessor in the 5800X3D. The core count does hinder its overall performance in some regard, as having more of these power-hungry cores would greatly impact performance.

The Intel Core i5-13600k is substantially faster when it comes down to it. We aren’t talking about marginal differences, like 1 or 2% worth of performance. You’ve got 14 cores in play with the 13600k, and that’s reflected in how it handles multi-threaded applications. We’re talking about a 38.9% difference in overall performance when using the same test bench and running the same applications.

This can be attributed to how the latest Intel processors handle multi-threading in addition to support for the faster DDR5-5600 RAM. It might not seem like the extra 400 MHz makes a substantial difference in terms of raw performance, but the numbers don’t lie.

Gaming Performance

The Ryzen 5 7600X handles games with ease. Major titles like Fortnite pose no real threat to the processor when using the same core test bench with an equivalent amount of RAM and the same GPU. Fortnite running at 4K on an RTX 4090 easily nets 252 frames per second at medium detail settings, which is quite impressive.

You’ll see impressive performance when considering newer titles like Battlefield 2042 and Horizon Zero Dawn. Both of these titles are more graphically demanding as a whole, but the 7600X still performs quite well. You’re looking at admirable performance at 4K when paired with an appropriately powerful GPU.

The 13600k doesn’t give too much of an edge on some titles. Games like Fortnite certainly show where the Intel Core i5 can shine. However, as a whole performance seems mostly to be roughly equivalent. If you’re looking for an absolute edge for gaming, I’d honestly suggest the Ryzen 5 7600X. You’re looking at most a 1 to 2% difference when running games at 4K resolution.

Intel has typically been an industry leader when it comes to single-core performance like most titles utilize. However, the Ryzen 5 7600X more than keeps pace when it comes to the normal rigors of gaming.

Overclocking Potential

Both of these processors are built with overclocking in mind. However, whether that is a suitable use of your time is going to be down to your setup. Honestly, while these processors can exceed their normal levels of performance, undervolting might be the way to go. Both the 7600X and 13600k like to run hot, so you’ll need adequate cooling.

Undervolting should keep the speedy performance of both while greatly reducing the thermal profile seen on both. The Ryzen 5 and Intel Core i5 both consume substantially more power than their predecessors. This seems to be the current trend when looking at building a desktop PC. That said, you can push some impressive overclocks when utilizing an AIO liquid cooling loop.

Integrated Graphics

The Ryzen 5 7600X’s integrated graphic chipset is based on the AMD RDNA 2 architecture. This gives fairly adequate performance and could be used as a low-cost means of playing the latest titles in a pinch. It won’t be an outright replacement for a dedicated GPU from the likes of AMD or NVIDIA, but it does more than a fair job at most titles when playing at 1080p.

It isn’t the best, but it is a sight better when looking at the Intel 13600k. The 13600k is utilizing the Intel 770 integrated graphics chipset. This is based on the same core functionality as the Iris Xe but with a little less power and capabilities. It does gaming just fine, but it lacks overall performance when directly compared to the 7600X.

At any rate, if you’re looking for a low-cost way to get into PC gaming, I would consider the Ryzen 5 7600X before the 13600k.

Ryzen 5 vs. Intel Core i5: Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Choose?

So, which of these mid-range processors wins? If you’re looking for something that is going to crush multi-core applications, the 13600k gets the easy nod. Intel’s innovations with the Raptor Lake architecture have handily snatched the business performance crown from AMD. However, it falters in other areas. The higher cost of the 13600k doesn’t really reflect how it performs while gaming.

Now, if you were looking for a do-anything workstation that works and plays, the 13600k is a sensible choice. That said, I would say gamers should consider the Ryzen 5 7600X. The overall gaming performance is marginally lower than the 13600k, while the price is far more affordable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why get a mid-range CPU?

Mid-range CPUs typically have a great price-to-performance ratio when compared to their more expensive counterparts.

Do both processors come with coolers?

No, you’ll have to provide your own CPU cooler for the Ryzen 7 7600X.

Do either of these support PCI-E 5.0?

Yes, both CPUs support PCI-Express 5.0.

Which of these two CPUs is more energy-efficient?

Honestly, neither is the definition of efficient. The Ryzen 5 7600X uses less power from the wall.

Which CPU has better RAM support?

The 13600k has support for faster RAM while still maintaining compatibility with the DDR4 standard.

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