FROM launch Ryzen 5 5600 AMD finally cuts the price of Zen 3 to only 200 dollars. By dropping the X, AMD also dropped the Boost clock speed by 200MHz, so the 5600X is $230 today, and the newer non-X version sells for a suggested retail price of $200, a 13% reduction.

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On the Intel front Core i5-12400F currently on sale for $180so it’s cheaper than the 5600, but we’ll look at motherboard prices towards the end of this GPU scaling benchmark.

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Now, since the 5600 is an unlocked processor, it should be able to achieve 5600X-like performance through overclocking, and we’re only talking about a 5 percent difference in clock speed out of the box anyway. However, we won’t explore overclocking in this review.

The idea here is to compare the Ryzen 5 5600 and Core i5-12400F in a range of games at 1080p and 1440p using four levels of GPU. For simplicity, we chose GeForce RTX 3060, RTX 3070, RTX 3080 12 GB as well as RTX 3090 Ti.

Both processors were tested in stock configuration, except for XMP loaded, and we enabled Resizable BAR on both platforms. In addition, both platforms used the same 32GB of dual-rank DDR4-3200 CL14 memory and the same graphics cards. Now let’s move on to the results…


Starting with God of War at 1080p, we found that both processors delivered the same level of performance with all four GeForce GPUs. The game has a framerate cap of 160fps and this was achieved using the RTX 3070 and up while the RTX 3060 was good for around 100fps and that was with the highest quality settings turned on so this is a well optimized game that looks amazing. .

The move to 1440p makes God of War increasingly GPU bound, so while we can’t hit the 160fps cap with the RTX 3080 12GB, there’s still no real performance difference between these two budget processors. , since the game is now heavily dependent on the GPU. the border.

Then we have Cyberpunk 2077. The Core i5 has a slight performance advantage in this game, outperforming the R5 5600 by up to 11% at 1080p, as seen with the RTX 3090 Ti and RTX 3080 12GB.

The average frame rate difference was reduced to 3% from the 3070, but the Intel processor was 12% faster when looking at 1% lows. Then when we go down to 3060 the game becomes heavily GPU limited and now both CPUs are limited to the same performance level.

Increasing the resolution increases the GPU bottleneck and we are now seeing comparable performance all the way up to the RTX 3080 with identical performance seen on the 3070 and 3060. The 12400F stretched its legs a bit with the RTX 3090 Ti, offering up to 8% better performance as it bumped up to 105 frames per second.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider shows a performance advantage of up to 10% for the 12400F seen with the RTX 3080. Strangely, the difference drops to 6% with the RTX 3090 Ti, but I’m wondering if we’re hitting Ampere. an architectural bottleneck at such a low resolution. Either way, the Intel processor was faster with these high-end GPUs, whereas we saw exactly the same performance when using the RTX 3070 and RTX 3060.

Of course, increasing the resolution puts more strain on the GPU and therefore shifts performance more in the GPU-bound direction, so frame rates are the same when using the RTX 3080, 3070, and 3060. The 12400F was 7% faster with the RTX 3090 Ti, seen with looking at 1% lows, but you can’t expect any difference between the two at 4K, even with the 3090 Ti.

Hitman 3 runs into a CPU bottleneck at 1080p even with the RTX 3070. Zen 3 architecture is capped at around 154fps, while Alder Lake is capped at 158fps. Interestingly, even with the RTX 3060, we found Alder Lake to be several frames faster, and this was consistently observed in our testing of Hitman 3.

The move to 1440p does increase the GPU bottleneck, and now we see little to no difference between the two, even with the RTX 3090 Ti.

Riftbreaker turned out to be a terrible game for AMD. We see a pretty strong CPU bottleneck here with the Ryzen 5 5600, even with the RTX 3070 where the 12400F was 27% faster when looking at 1% low data. That difference grew from the 3080 and 3090 Ti, and the Intel processor was 34% faster, which is a huge performance headroom.

Even at 1440p, the 12400F took the lead, which was only seen with the RTX 3080 and 3090 Ti, but it was still 33% faster, which is a significant lead.

Moving on to Horizon Zero Dawn, we find that the game is heavily CPU bound when using the RTX 3060 and 3070, delivering the same performance when using a Core i5 or Ryzen 5 processor. Then, with the faster 3080 and 3090 Ti, the 5600 is 9-10% faster than competitors with Core i5, which is a reasonable performance advantage for AMD.

This difference is reduced to 5% at 1440p with the RTX 3090 Ti, while we see little to no difference from the 3080 and no real difference from the 3070 and 3060.

Then we have F1 2021 where the 12400F delivers better performance with more powerful GPUs. For example, the RTX 3090 Ti showed a 16% improvement to a low of 1% with the Core i5 part and a 7% increase in average frame rate.

This headroom has been reduced to 10% for a 1% minimum with the RTX 3080 and just 4% for average frame rates. Then we see almost identical performance with the RTX 3070 and 3060.

The move to 1440p reduced the margins and it’s only in the RTX 3090 Ti data that we see a reasonable performance disparity, average frame rates were similar but the 12400F was 14% faster when looking at 1% lows.

In Rainbow Six Extraction, both processors are competitive, providing basically the same gaming experience. By the time we reached the RTX 3080, the game was completely CPU bound, hitting 300fps. As you might expect, the 1440p data is very similar, although we’re completely GPU-bound this time around.

Far Cry 6 heavily favors the Intel i5-12400F, delivering 13-14% more performance over the RTX 3080 and 3090 Ti. With slower GPUs, there is little to no difference in performance.

Increasing the resolution to 1440p reduces the difference with the RTX 3080 and 3090 Ti to 7%-8%, and of course we don’t see any performance difference with the RTX 3070 and 3060.

9 Average game

Here’s a look at the average frame rate calculated using the geometric mean. We’ll start with the 1080p results, where the 12400F was 8% faster at 1% lows and 5% faster at average frame rates. A small margin, but the Alder Lake processor was faster overall. We’re also looking at similar margins with the RTX 3080, so for high frame rate gaming, the 12400F looks like the better option.

When downgraded to the RTX 3070, the margins decreased, especially for the average frame rate, and for the 1% low, the 12400F was 6% faster. Certainly not a big difference, but for those who use lower quality settings to maximize frame rates, perhaps for competitive gaming, the 12400F will be the way to go.

With the RTX 3060, the performance is identical. That said, if you’re going to be playing the RTX 3060 or RX 6600 XT at 1080p at medium quality settings, the edge will be in Intel’s favor, albeit by a very small margin.

Going to 1440p shows that there isn’t much difference between the two processors when dropping below 140fps, and there is no difference at around 100fps. The 12400F doesn’t pull ahead by a noticeable margin until you start pushing past 140fps, and even then it was only 9% faster with the RTX 3090 Ti.


Here’s how the Ryzen 5 5600 and Core i5-12400F compare in 9 games at 1080p and 1440p using four levels of GeForce GPUs. As you’d expect, they’re mostly equal, though the Intel CPU is slightly faster, and it’s worth noting that out of the 9 games tested, AMD only came out ahead in Horizon Zero Dawn.

The 12400F dominates games that rely heavily on the main thread, and that doesn’t just mean games like Far Cry 6. For example, Riftbreaker makes heavy use of modern processors, spreading the load across many cores, but like most games, it still relies heavily on single core performance as the main thread suffers the most and this can give the 12400F a significant performance advantage.

Typically, at best, the Ryzen 5 5600 will have the same or similar performance as Rainbow Six Extraction and God of War. Of course, how much difference in performance will depend on the game and the quality settings used. If you’re going to use the highest quality settings your GPU can support with a goal of 60-90fps, then there won’t be a noticeable difference between these CPUs, and that’s likely to be the case in the future.

However, if you’re more interested in high refresh rate games – 144+ fps – then the 12400F is often the better option, delivering up to 33% faster performance like The Riftbreaker in the most extreme cases. .

In short, for casual gamers, it doesn’t matter which of these processors you choose. For competitive gamers, we suggest the Core i5-12400F… but before we dive into recommendations, let’s check the pricing.

As noted earlier, the Ryzen 5 5600 is $200 while the Core i5-12400F is slightly more affordable at $180. Another factor to consider is the price of the motherboard.

best value for money B660 board in my opinion it is the MSI B660M-A Pro which is currently $150 for the WiFi version, $140 for the non WiFi model and the equivalent AMD B550 board would be the B550-A Pro which is also $150 though this board does not come with a WiFi option. This means that if you want to pair any of these processors with a board with decent specs, the price will be about the same at ~$150.

If you want the cheapest motherboard available for the respective platforms, on the B660 front, we would buy the MSI B660M-A Pro for $140. Per AMD B550, however, you can buy the Gigabyte B550M DS3H for as little as $100. It’s certainly not the best board, but it works. The MSI B550M Pro-VDH WiFi is also $120. This small savings means that switching to Intel or AMD in this price segment will cost you relatively the same.

In this case, for those upgrading their platform or building a new PC, the Core i5-12400F with a decent B660 board seems like a good fit. The most ideal path for the Ryzen 5 5600 is if you already have a solid AM4 board, which means the 5600 will be a CPU upgrade.

The benefit of the Intel LGA 1700 platform is that it will support a different generation of CPUs, so if you buy the 12400F now, it’s possible that upgrading to a Raptor Lake Core i7 in the future will be beneficial if you have a decent B660. board now. The R5 5600 is limited to this generation of Zen 3 processors we already have and the upcoming Ryzen 5 5800X3D.

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