Intel i5-10600K vs AMD Ryzen 5 3600: Which CPU is Better?

Intel has launched their new i5-10600K CPU, but how does it compare against AMD’s cheaper Ryzen 5 3600? Let’s see what the differences are in games and applications at stock.

RYZEN 5 3600i5-10600K
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PROSPROS
Low price.
Excellent performance in gaming and applications.
PCIe 4.0 support.
Bundled cooler.
Low power consumption.
Unlocked multiplier.
Backward compatibility.
Top-notch gaming frame rates for a midrange processor.
Respectable thermals.
New LGA 1200 socket works with existing cooling solutions.
Hyper-Threading reinstated on this generation of Core i5.
CONSCONS
No cheap B-series motherboards with PCIe 4.0.
Limited overclocking headroom.
No integrated graphics.
Expensive for core/thread count relative to Ryzen 5s.
Potential gains from casual overclocking eclipsed by Ryzen 7 3700X cost.
Ryzen chips prevail in content creation.
Requires new motherboard platform that lacks compelling new features (notably, no PCIe 4.0).
No boxed stock cooler.

SPECIFICATIONS

RYZEN 5 3600i5-10600K
FREQUENCY3.80 GHz4.10 GHz
TURBO (1 CORE)4.40 GHz4.80 GHz
TURBO (ALL CORES)4.20 GHz4.50 GHz
CORES66
HYPERTHREADINGYesYes
OVERCLOCKABLEYesYes
CACHE32.00 MB12.00 MB
ARCHITECTUREZen 2Comet Lake
MEMORYDDR4-3200DDR4-2933
MEMORY CHANNELS22
MAX. MEMORY128 GB128 GB
ECCYesNo
PCIe VERSION4.03.0
PCIe LANES2016
TECHNOLOGY7 nm14 nm
SOCKETAM4LGA 1200
TDP95W125W
AES-NIYesYes
VIRTUALIZATIONAMD-V, SEVVT-x, VT-x EPT, VT-d
RELEASE DATEQ3/2019Q2/2020

Both are 6 core 12 thread parts. The 3600 has far more cache, however the 10600K has a higher TDP and higher clock speeds.

I’m mainly comparing these two processors because they’ve got the same core and thread counts, yet the 3600 is a fair bit cheaper.

PERFORMANCE

Both processors were tested in the same system, but I’ve had to change motherboards. For the Intel i5-10600K I’m testing with the Gigabyte Z490 Auros Master motherboard, and for the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 I’m using the MSI MEG X570 ACE.

Testing was completed with the latest version of Windows and Nvidia drivers along with all BIOS updates available installed.

TEST SYSTEM SPECS:

This is the system we used to test desktop CPU performance:

i5-10600K:

RYZEN 5 3600:


APPLICATION BENCHMARKS:

7-ZIP FILE MANAGER

7-Zip was used to test compression and decompression speeds and is typically a workload where Ryzen gets an edge. The compression speed was a little ahead on the 3600, however there was a much larger difference when it came to decompression, where the i5 was 19% slower.

ADOBE PREMIERE PRO CC

Adobe Premiere was used to export one of my videos at 4K. The 3600 had an edge again, but it’s not that big, the i5 was around 6% slower, but yeah not great when it costs around 50% more money.

BLENDER OPEN DATA

The i5 is now completing the task faster than the 3600. It’s worth noting that the 3600 does at least come with a stock cooler, while the 10600K does not, so if you do want to do some good overclocking like this to boost the multicore performance of the i5, you’ll need to spend even more money on the Intel option.

CINEBENCH R20 SCORE

With the Cinebench R20, The i5 had a small 0.6% lead when it came to the single core score, however interestingly the 3600 was 4.7% faster when it came to multicore, which may indicate that the extra cache with the 3600 is giving it an edge there, as its clocked lower.

CORONA 1.3 BENCHMARK

The Corona benchmark also uses the processor to render out a scene, however the i5 was 6.6% faster in this multicore test, so it may favour those higher clock speeds more.


GAMING BENCHMARKS:

APEX LEGENDS

Apex legends was tested with the Season 4 World’s Edge map running through the same section of the game. This game also appears to favour the Intel processor, in terms of average FPS.

ASHES OF THE SINGULARITY

Ashes of the singularity was tested in campaign mode, and was another game that ran better with the i5, however the difference was 10%

ASSASSIN’S CREED ODYSSEY

Assassin’s creed odyssey was tested using the games built in benchmark, and the i5 was ahead in this test, with a 3% higher average FPS at 1080p.

BATTLEFIELD 5

Battlefield V was tested running through the same section of the game in campaign mode. In this game the i5 was coming out ahead with a 9% higher average FPS at 1080p.

COD: WARZONE

COD: Warzone was tested with the games benchmark tool, and the results went the other way in this test, where the i5 was in front. The i5 had a 11% higher average frame rate at 1080p.

COUNTER STRIKE: GO

CS:GO was tested using the Ulletical FPS benchmark, and the results were basically the same with either processor, no major differences one way or the other, a couple of FPS in either direction.

DETROIT: BECOME HUMAN

Detroit was also tested by performing the test pass through the game at high graphics settings, and there was basically not too much difference between the two processors, just an ever slight lead by the i5.

DOOM ETERNAL

DOOM was tested playing in the middle lane and was performing a fair bit better with the i5. The i5 was 6% faster than R5 3600.

DOTA 2 (ONLINE)

DOTA 2 was tested in the practice range, and while this runs better than actual gameplay, it more easily allows me to perform the exact same test run, which is ideal for a comparison like this. There wasn’t much difference to average FPS.

FAR CRY (NEW DAWN)

Far Cry New Dawn was also tested with the games built in benchmark, though this time the i5 was on top with not too much gains. This title had a 6.6% higher average FPS at 1080p over the R5 3600.

FORTNITE CHAPTER 2

Fortnite was tested using the replay feature with the exact same replay file on both processors. The i5 had a 10% lead in average frame rate at 1080p.

GEARS 5

Gears 5 was tested using the games benchmark tool, and it was a win for the intel. i5 was just 2FPS ahead than R5 3600.

GHOST RECON BREAKPOINT

Ghost Recon Breakpoint was tested with the games built in benchmark, this time the i5 was in front.

HITMAN 2

Hitman 2 was tested running through the same section of the game in campaign mode. In this game the i5 was about 7.2% faster when it came to average FPS at 1080p.

METRO EXODUS

Metro Exodus was tested with the games benchmark tool, and the results were a little strange. The i5 was ahead in average FPS at 1080p, however i5 saw a 5% boost.

NEED FOR SPEED: HEAT

Need for Speed was tested in campaign mode, and the results were quite interesting here too. Although the average frame rates were pretty similar between the two, i5 was performing 14FPS better.

PREDATOR: HUNTING GROUNDS

Predator was tested using the games built in benchmark, and the results were much more minimal here. AMD is the clear winner here, it was just 3FPS better.

PUBG

PUBG was tested using the games benchmark tool, and the i5 was ahead, it was a 10% lead at 1080p.

RAINBOW SIX SIEGE

Rainbow Six Siege was tested using the built in benchmark with Vulkan. The average frame rates weren’t too different between the two, i5 was ahead with just a 3-4%

RED DEAD REDEMPTION 2

Red Dead Redemption 2 was tested using the games benchmark tool, and there was no difference in average FPS in both CPUs. Both CPUs were hitting 103FPS.

RESIDENT EVIL 3 REMAKE

Resident Evil 3 was also tested with the games benchmark tool. The average FPS is basically the same in this test, this game saw one of the smallest differences out of all titles tested.

SHADOW OF THE TOMB RAIDER

Shadow of the Tomb Raider was also tested with the games benchmark tool. The average FPS difference was much closer here, however the i5 had the lead once more, though just by 2 to 3 FPS.

THE DIVISION 2

Division 2 was was tested using the Ulletical FPS benchmark, and interestingly there was a nice win for the i5. This game generally performs better on Intel processors.

THE WITCHER 3: WILD HUNT

The Witcher 3 was tested running through the same section of the game, the i5 was the winner here. Averages were barely ahead with the R5 3600 at 1080p.

TOTAL WAR: THREE KINGDOMS

Division 2 was was tested using the Ulletical FPS benchmark, and interestingly there was a nice win for the i5. This game generally performs better on Intel processors.

TOTAL AVERAGE FPS (25 GAMES)

CONCLUSION

The 3600 is unquestionably still equipped for offering a decent gaming experience, it just relies upon your budget and priorities.

Although the 3600 had an edge in most of our productivity workloads, in most cases it’s not that big of a difference. If you’re primarily performing these sorts of tasks and not gaming, then the 3600 is an easy choice when combined with its cheaper price.

In terms of future upgradability, AMD recently announced that it will be possible for existing B450 and X470 motherboards to support upcoming Zen3 processors, though support will depend on which boards companies pick to update, and that’s not currently clear.

Intel 10th gen processors on the other hand launched with the new Z490 and B460 chipsets and new motherboards, so if you’ve got anything older you definitely need a new motherboard anyway. 

The main difference is that AMD have confirmed next gen support while with Intel we’re just kind of assuming based on past behaviour.

At the end of the day it only seems worth paying around 50% more money for the i5-10600K if you’re gaming and really want that extra around 10% on average performance boost, though of course results will vary between specific games.

The 3600 is still a capable gaming processor and offers much better value in terms of dollar per frame, while also outperforming the 10600K in most multicore workloads at a lower price point.

Let me know which CPU you’d pick and why down in the comments, Intel’s new i5-10600K or AMD’s Ryzen 5 3600?

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