The Ryzen 5 Series brings some very interesting models of processors in quad-core and six-core versions. While Ryzen 5 1400 and Ryzen 5 1500X offer four cores with eight threads, Ryzen 5 1600 and 1600X have six cores and twelve working threads in total. Comparing them to their competitors is difficult since Intel Core i5, which offers four cores with the same number of working threads, but has a higher IPC performance (number of instructions per cycle) and a better IMC (integrated memory controller), is in the same price range. In this review, we will focus on comparing two AMD Ryzen 5 models and two Intel Core i5 models at the so-called defaults (basic settings) and clock to clock (with the same core and cache clock), while looking at overclocking tests as AMD's new processors are unlocked and can be overclocked.
|Model||Ryzen 5 1400||Intel Core i5 6400||Ryzen 5 1500X||Ryzen 5 1600||Intel Core i 5 7600||Ryzen 5 1600X||Intel Core i5 7600K|
At first glance, the choices for comparison may look a bit chaotic. The AMD Ryzen 5 processor has double the working threads. The higher Intel models do not feature in our comparison. AMD Ryzen 5, unlike the Core i5, does not offer an integrated graphics chip, so you'll need to buy a dedicated graphics card. And last but not least, there is a unit of performance of the architecture called IPC (the number of processed instructions per cycle). In this case, we have no choice but to focus on the price and find out what you can get for your money.
Cinebench R15 is a task that really works well with AMD Ryzen processors, especially when engaging more working threads. This is a test from the MAXON company that simulates the work performance in Cinema 4D when the processor is used to render a demanding graphics scene. R15 is, of course, something special and it works best with multiple threads and therefore, Ryzen 5 with its six cores is the unrivalled champion.
The second test compares the so-called single thread performance. Basically, it finds out what happens when we work with only one working thread. The i5 7600 from Intel is the best, mainly due to better IPC performance and higher operating frequency. But if we switch Cinebench R15 to the single-thread mode, the Kaby Lake i5 7600K crushes its competition and in our OC PRETESTED version, it even beats itself.
GeekBench 3 again tests real scenarios that you can encounter when working on your computer. The winner is clear here, four to eight working threads can simply pull their weight. The AMD Ryzen 5 1600 is the winner in this popular test, and it doesn't matter whether it's running on basic settings or it's overclocked. On the other hand, I managed to increase the performance by overclocking Ryzen 5 1600 by 16.63% and Ryzen 5 1400 by 22.81%. So much extra power? Who wouldn't want that...
As you can see, the tasks performed by this benchmark are best suited for the new AMD Ryzen 5 processors even when working with a single core. Obviously, the OC PRETESTED CPU is a safe bet for single-thread operations. Unbeatable and astonishing.
A common task that we all encounter every day. Working with WinRAR. Here's a simple example - we have a lot of vacation photos, we want to reduce their volume and back them up to the cloud or a NAS file. Which one is faster, AMD's Ryzen 5, or Core i5 from Intel? The truth lies in the charts.
HWBOT H.265 is a benchmark of Czech origin from the overclocker Havli's workshop. The test measures video encoding performance with the H.265 codec, which is slowly starting to be used, as videos under H.265 are far better compressed than those under H.264, and with the arrival of 4K videos, that are getting increasingly more popular, the use of H.265 is a must. As you can see, Intel processors are far more powerful here. The difference between a quad-core model with four threads and an overclocked six-core model with twelve threads is not that big. But even so, in this price range, Ryzen 5 1600 is an obvious choice.
Time Spy Physics is part of Futuremark's 3D benchmark, which specialises in DirectX 12. The Physics section uses only the processor for physics calculations, and as usual, the more working threads, the better. Physics calculations depend a lot on latency and RAM performance, so the Ryzen 1400 on basic settings with eight threads lags behind the Core i5 7600 with only four threads and the situation is proportional to the weaker Core i5 7400. AMD Ryzen 5 does not have a memory controller as good as Intel Core processors, and in many cases, it's very noticeable.
We are almost done with 2D tests and we are getting to the chapter about 3D (gaming) tests. Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation offers a separate CPU test that measures the so-called draw calls, which simply means how many objects the processor can bring to the scene. AotS: E received a patch a few days ago, adding optimisation for AMD Ryzen, resulting in an increase in performance of these new AMD's processors by about 30%.
In this chapter, we'll show you in detail the performance of the AMD Ryzen 5 and Intel's Core i5 processors in the gaming environment. You should remember that each game behaves differently, some games depend on the processor, some on the graphics card, and some even on RAM. And that's why I chose games where the CPU performance and behaviour can be measured. Furthermore, I chose the so-called CPU bound scenes, that is, those game segments where the processor plays a larger role than the graphics card.
We begin where we've left off. Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation is probably the most demanding and modern game for the processors to handle. As mentioned earlier, the game got an optimisation patch for AMD's Ryzen a few days ago, so this performance comparison is the fairest out of all the tests, as the other games are still waiting for new patches and we cannot be sure when they will get them. In Full HD resolution, with a powerful graphics card, such as the GTX 1080, the demands on the processor are quite large and the graph shows clear results. Ryzen 5 1600 becomes the King of the price-performance ratio and the overclocking is definitely worth it. Again, we can see the clock power in the OC PRETESTED version with the i5 7600K clocked at 5.3GHz!
Despite the fact that the overclocked Ryzen 5 1600 at 3.9GHz wins the race against the other processors, there still isn't enough power for QHD resolution and the graphics card is not busy. The charts are clear.
At a higher resolution, when the processor isn't under such a heavy load, the situation for the overclocked AMD Ryzen 5 1600 changes. But the situation is just as bad on basic settings. I will say it again, with Ryzen, you have to overclock, otherwise, you won't be very happy. Fallout 4 is my favourite example of IPC and high-frequency performance, no further comment is necessary.
Many people would expect the situation to stabilise at 2K resolution. Unfortunately, that is not the case and Fallout 4 benefits hugely from the OC PRETESTED variants of Intel Core i5 7600K.
As you can see, Ryzen 5 1600 is doing pretty well in the popular Witcher 3. If you are a fan of this cult game, this CPU won't disappoint you. Comparing it to the OC PRETESTED i5 7600K is not really fair to the other models, but a win is still a win.
As expected, the performance of all the processors at a higher resolution of 2560 x 1440 is already stabilising. Taking the measurement errors into consideration, the results are very similar, only AMD Ryzen 5 1400 is slightly behind.
In Crysis 3, I measured a different scene than when comparing graphics cards. This scene is considerably more demanding for the processor. The Cryengine on which the game is running is known for being timeless and the Ryzen 5 1600 processor is very successful here.
At a higher resolution, the game stops being so dependant on the processor and the results begin to match the performance of the graphics card. The Core i5 7400 comes out a bit weaker, mainly due to its low clock, but the AMD Ryzen 5 1600 is a clear winner.
The Division is not a game that depends too much on the processor, and at first glance the results look almost identical.
Maybe you already know that performance in games is not just about the maximum FPS, but what matters more is fluency. Both AMD Ryzen 5 processors have had fluency problems at certain times, even after overclocking. Abnormalities in the frame rates chart then appear as annoying jerky movements when playing. As a result, the Core i5 7400 and 7600 processors make for a smoother play.
The "gross" performance for 2560 x 1440 seems more or less the same, but how smooth is it?
On the frame rates chart, we can see that the AMD Ryzen 5 processors have a slightly lower frame rate than Core i5. In case of the game The Division, Intel's processors would be a better choice.
It should be noted that Battlefield 1 is currently a bit of a strange game. EA publishes different patches and the game does not work as well as in the beginning after the release. It's still a very popular title, so I've included it in the measurements. It is surprising how well Intel Core i5 7400 and 7600 are doing here.
The situation repeats itself at a higher resolution of 2560 x 1440. Battlefield 1 works better with Intel Core i5. Only time will show whether patch optimisation will help the AMD Ryzen 5 processors. Of course, the supreme power in the form of the higher clock and a stronger IPC of Core i5 7600K from Intel is obvious here.
The difference in the clock for Core i5 7600K is obvious even for the 2K resolutions. Battlefield 1 is not exactly a technological marvel, but if it's your cup of tea, the Kaby Lake i5 is the right choice.
Just like with Crysis 3, I chose a different scene for measuring processor performance in Rise of the Tomb Raider than what I use to measure video card performance. Geothermal Valley is the most CPU demanding area in the game. The graph is clear, but I must point out that the Ryzen 5 1400 processor was far from acheiving game fluency even after overclocking. Often you ask if overclocking is even worth it, and the graph gives you an unadulterated, clean, and true answer.
At a higher resolution, we get almost the same results. AMD Ryzen 5 1600 has enough power after overclocking, but Ryzen 5 1400 still lacks in power for QHD.
The total input power is measured at the power supply and the power of the whole build is measured.
Uninterrupted power consumption when the computer is idle and not working on any tasks.
And the total power in Prime95.
There's nothing to discuss here, but we'll show you the temperatures when the computer is idle. After overclocking, the temperature of AMD Ryzen 5 increases by just a few degrees.
And finally, the comparison of processors under a heavy load under Prime95. Noctua NHD-15 is a bit of an overkill, but it is quiet and has low temperatures. Of course, Intel Core i5 7600K had to go through the delidding process with Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut, the basic clock was measured in its original factory default state.
I would probably start the summary of today's review just like I did with AMD Ryzen 7. Although the results for Ryzen 5 1600 are not completely bad, objectively, the new AM4 platform needs to be given some time. Nearly nothing is optimised for how the new processors work. Both Intel Core and AMD Ryzen need their own code paths for all applications and games, to put it simply, both processors need different ways to work, and so far most of them are still overwhelmingly made for Intel. It will take some time for the BIOS for the motherboards to work out, let's be honest, the manufacturers of the AM4 motherboards are a bit behind, and AMD Ryzen is still in the development stage.
In terms of price-performance ratio, the AMD Ryzen 5 1600 is really an exciting choice, it brings a lot of power at a relatively low price, and it's not that bad in games either. Ryzen 5 1400 is a low-end model and also the cheapest in this range. It is lacking in many ways. The Intel Core i5 has a big advantage over the AMD Ryzen 5. You do not have to set anything up or do anything to tune the BIOS. It's the choice of least resistance; you plug it in and it works. Unfortunately, it isn't the same for Ryzen. If you want your build to work well, you'll have to tinker with RAM, or at least turn on a preset profile, meaning you will need to buy more expensive RAM than for Intel Core i5, which just needs a totally ordinary 2133MHz DDR4 kit. With AMD Ryzen 5, you'll need to get RAM that can handle at least 2666MHz, or ideally, a memory kit that will handle 2933MHz - 3200MHz with reasonable timing.
It's up to you, the user, to decide which way you want to go. Whether you like to tinker with hardware, or you prefer simplicity and guaranteed functionality that's already proven. The reality is, that the performance of the Ryzen 7 and 5 processors is changing for the better, like the weather, simply because with the upcoming optimisation and the arrival of new games and applications, we can expect a native and not secondary support of the AM4 platform. Another thing is, that we can expect improvement and higher clock in the future as the production is fine-tuned.
Finally, I will share one personal and somewhat negative issue that emerged during this review. At a glance, my work consists of measuring the game sections with Fraps and MSI Afterburner programs, which log all the important data such as CPU, GPU, framerates, frequencies, temperatures, and some other data in real time. With AMD Ryzen processors, the data in the Afterburner log were missing quite often and the log was not usable. No matter what I did, it kept getting very complicated, and I had to repeat some of the game sections five times. In my case, AMD Ryzen 5 had a similar problem, the occurence of which I was able to decrease but not eliminate after overclocking. The Intel Core i5 processors did not have a problem once.
My name is Michal Mikle, I'm an overclocker and I enjoy high performance. Whenever there is the option of squeezing one last drop of power from the hardware, I must find it. I love adrenaline and pushing the limits of the components and myself by myself. For this fun activity, I mainly use liquid nitrogen and compression methods, but I also like to experiment with water (sometimes supercooled) and I will not discard even quality air cooling.
For a great price/performance ratio, we award the AMD Ryzen Procovers 5 1600 a silver medal!