Intel Core i5-9600K vs AMD Ryzen 5 3600X: Best Gaming CPU?

If you are looking to build a gaming PC or simply upgrade an existing system, then this post is for you. As already proved in our review of the Ryzen 5 3600X, the 3700X is just not useful if you’re a gamer. On Intel’s side, the Core i7-9700K is fine, IF you’re looking to game at 240 Hz. Otherwise, the i5-9600K or the Ryzen 5 3600X is more than sufficient.

But which one should you buy? The blue-chip or the red? Going by the prices, the Ryzen 5 3600X costs roughly a grand more than the 9600K, but what about the performance?

Specifications

DetailCore i5-9600KRyzen 5 3600X
Cores/Threads6/66/12
Base Clock3.7GHz3.8GHz
Boost Clock4.6GHz4.4GHz
L3 Cache9MB32MB
TDP95W95W
Process14nm++7nm
PriceRs. 19,699Rs. 20,449

Looking at the specs the 3600X has one major advantage, SMT. Luckily for Intel, most games don’t make leverage it. The 9600K has a higher boost clock which will be helpful in older single-threaded games. Then there’s the cache.

Testbench

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600X/ Intel Core i5-9600K
  • Motherboard: ASRock Taichi X570/ ROG Strix Z390-E Gaming
  • GPU: ASUS GeForce RTX 2080 Ti
  • RAM: Trident Z Royal 16GB @ 3200MHz

AMD Ryzen 5 3600X vs Intel Core i5-9600K: Gaming Benchmarks

There are two main conclusions that can be drawn from these tests. The recent DirectX12 based titles like Shadow and Ashes favor AMD’s Ryzen 5 3600X. In older games like Deus Ex, the Core i5’s higher boost clock allows it to win.

Honestly speaking, the two CPUs are more or less on par with each other. However, the 3600X does have an edge in newer titles supporting a higher thread count. If you are running low on cash, you can even go for the 3600. It’s just a few frames slower in gaming but costs notably less. For the sake of relevance, let’s have a look at some common workloads used in day-to-day computing.

7-Zip is one of those applications that will leverage as many threads as you throw at it, so the 3600X wins big here. This is one of the few workloads where SMT plays a big role.

Kraken is known to favor higher cache sizes and on that account the Ryzen 5 marks another win. Rendering workloads like Indigobench and Cinebench on the other are AMD’s home turf. Here the 3600X leads by a notable margin.

Conclusion

It’s not hard to see which CPU is better. In the higher-end space, thanks to a higher clock, the Core i7-9700K and 9900K edge past the Ryzen 7 3700X and the 3900X. However, the Ryzen 5 3600X offers phenomenal performance in both gaming as well as content creation.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Hi! Areej please do a 10,15,20 and 25k build and i wanted to know that is the athlon 3000g a good option if you’re running on a tight budget. Thanks in advance!!!

  2. I don’t understand. Why not use the 3600 instead? It’s much cheaper, and 3600X is essentially just an OCed 3600 with a slightly better cooler. You could buy a 3600 plus a decent air cooler for that price, overclock, get better temps and it would still be cheaper than 9600K because the Z390 boards are much costlier than B450.

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