Without a doubt, both the Intel Core i5 and AMD Ryzen 5 are among the top CPUs available in 2022. With one of these CPUs, you can construct anything from a powerful gaming machine to a content development workstation without spending a fortune.
However, the more pressing issue is which CPU is the best investment right now. In this post, we’ll look at the AMD Ryzen 5 versus Intel Core i5 comparison to see if we can answer that question with some concrete arguments.
Let’s go further into these two CPUs without further ado to determine which one to use for your next PC build.
The Intel Core i5 and AMD Ryzen 5 CPUs are classified as mid-range. They enable you to play standard video games, work with image editing software, perform multi-tasking with several applications etc.
AMD Ryzen 5 CPUs are often somewhat slower in terms of clock speed than Intel Core i5 processors.
They run at speeds of up to 4.4GHz, compared to the i5’s 4.6GHz. However, they have double the number of threads.
Additionally, the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 distinguishes out because of its low power consumption of 65W.
We’re going to concentrate on the many variants of each processor to provide a more diversified and thorough comparison.
1. Compatibility and Platforms
If you want a future-proof PC, Intel is unquestionably the superior choice. It supports DDR5 memory modules and PCIe 5.0, both of which are currently unavailable on AMD Ryzen CPUs.
AMD Ryzen will support DDR5 on their 6000 series models and also the AM5 platform will support both PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 as well. However, at the time of this writing only Intel supports PCIe 5.0 and DDR5.
That being said, for Intel i5 you need to be prepared to pay a premium to get all of these services. Moreover, the new Intel Alder Lake processors cannot be utilized with current motherboards.
To fully utilize Intel’s 12th generation CPUs, you’ll need one of the newer Z690 motherboards. While some reasonably priced Z690 motherboards are available, you’ll still need to purchase a completely new board.
This, together with the new DDR5 memory modules price tag, is certain to leave a hole in your wallet. Additionally, it’s worth noting that the top DDR5 RAM kits are highly costly and quite difficult to get on the market.
On the other side, upgrading to the Ryzen 5 5600X or 5600H from an existing Ryzen 3000 series processor would need a lower initial outlay.
Because the Ryzen 5000 series CPUs are compatible with current motherboards equipped with an AM4 socket, there is no platform entry fee.
While DDR5 memory modules are more powerful than previous generations, they are still in infancy.
And PCIe 5.0 as a standard is unlikely to take off until more CPUs and peripherals support the new standard.
While Intel is unquestionably the winner in terms of future-proofing, we’d still suggest the Ryzen 5 5600X or 5600H to anyone wanting to save money on their setup.
2. Technical Specifications and Architecture
To begin, let us discuss some terminology. Intel is finally going beyond the nth generation of its 14nm lithography, which was last seen in its 11th Gen Core family, with Rocket Lake.
This is a component of the 12th Generation Core’s revolutionary “big. LITTLE” design, which combines six P-cores with four E-cores and dynamically distributes your PC’s needs between them based on the work at hand.
Meanwhile, AMD is still doing things the old-fashioned way, with its Ryzen 5 processor featuring a conventional six-core/12-thread architecture.
The company’s illustrious “chipset”-style architecture makes another triumphant comeback, this time enhanced by a single-CCX design that eliminates the latency between cores seen in prior IGP-equipped Zen processors such as the Ryzen 3 3200G and Ryzen 5 3400G.
If you’re wondering why we’re comparing the AMD Ryzen 5 to the Intel Core i5 rather than AMD’s IGP-less Ryzen 5, it’s all about those integrated graphics.
In GPU-constrained times such as these, we must consider all sorts of PC users, including those who may be able to purchase a new CPU and motherboard much more quickly than a new graphics card, given the inflated prices GPUs continue to sell for.
The Ryzen 5 is equipped with AMD’s still-vibrant Radeon RX Vega architecture, this time in the form of a Vega 7 integrated graphics processor with seven onboard graphics cores.
Meanwhile, the Intel Core i5 will include the Intel UHD Graphics 770, the latest addition to Intel’s increasing series of “Iris Xe“-branded IGPs.
AMD has a clear advantage on the subject of coolers: Ryzen 5 purchasers get a Wraith Stealth air cooler with their purchase, but Intel Core i5 users will need to purchase a separate cooling fan compatible with the new LGA 1700 CPU socket.
AMD earns the point for the cost of adoption and total cooling needs when the power requirements of the two CPUs are considered.
3. Pricing Information and Availability
When it comes to cost, it’s reasonable to assume that you’ll pay the same amount for the CPU itself.
Intel recommends a maximum retail price of $299 for the Core i5, which is exactly the current retail price for the Ryzen 5.
For the same price, the Intel Core i5 surpasses the AMD Ryzen 5, but there is more to this tale. The initial platform entry cost is much greater with the Intel CPU. To maximize the processor’s performance, you’ll need a new motherboard, new DDR5 memory, and a new CPU cooler.
You must pay for the new chip if you’re updating an existing system to the Ryzen 5. This chip is compatible with current AMD motherboards and DDR4 RAM kits.
Indeed, AMD included a CPU cooler with the Ryzen 5, which is rather nice in and of itself if you want to overclock and push the CPU’s limitations beyond its factory settings.
They are both widely accessible on the market at the moment, with a decent quantity of stock available across many online merchants.
Overall, there is little competition here; the Intel Core i5 is a much quicker CPU in content production than the AMD Ryzen 5, even if there were a few instances when the processor did not fully use the Windows 10 schedule.
Apart from minor issues, the Intel Core i5 is the clear winner here. We addressed this in our evaluation of that chip, but this is the first consumer-facing desktop CPU in a long time that has made a concerted effort to bring much greater video production performance to the midrange.
And although most will see the i5 as a gaming engine first and an amateur-level content generator second, the processor is more than capable of fulfilling both tasks as long as it operates on a Windows 11-compatible PC.
It’s self-evident that the transition to a new manufacturing technology has improved Intel’s competitiveness in content development on processors like the Core i5 compared to earlier generations.
However, that performance improvement does not come cheap, especially when the platform is very new. And isn’t that half the idea at this pricing point?
Until we see additional Alder Lake-compatible motherboards launched outside of the pricy Z690 chipset family, ownership of any of Intel’s 12th Gen processors will be expensive, making the “midrange” Intel Core i5 a more expensive proposition than it seems at first appearance. This guideline is reinforced further if you intend to use DDR5 RAM, as we did here.
Final Words in AMD Ryzen 5 vs Intel i5 CPUs
If you’re willing to pay a premium for platform entry, we believe the Intel Core i5 is a safer choice here.
This CPU will serve you well for many more years, and it is an excellent choice for both gaming and content development demands.
It easily outperforms the Ryzen 5 in its domain. The Intel Core i5 is our recommendation for the best CPU on the market right now if you can afford the additional cost.
That is not to imply the AMD Ryzen 5 is a subpar CPU. This CPU is also no slouch. While it is not as future-proof as the i5, it consumes less power and helps keep thermals under control. Moreover, it can work great for gaming rigs as well. It is a more cost-effective option that will serve you well.