SOVLED! Intel Core i5 9600k vs Ryzen 5 3600: Which CPU should you choose?

When building a new PC, the biggest question on everyone’s mind is what should they go with? AMD or Intel. For the record, Ryzen has been catching up to Intel over the past five years, with their processors performing on par and, in some cases, even better than their Intel counterparts. This is something that has led many people to choose Ryzen processors over Intel; the price is yet another factor that’s worth the mention.

Today, we’re going to have a look at that age-old question, is Ryzen better than Intel? In this article, we’ll be looking at the Intel i5 9600k vs. the Ryzen 5 3600 and which one would be a better choice for a PC build. We’ll be discussing everything from clock speed to performance benchmarks to find out which is the best one for you.

Both of these CPUs come with 6 cores but the Ryzen 5 3600 has 12 threads while the 9600K just has 6 threads. Base and boost clock speeds are almost similar. So, let’s see if this could make any difference in this article.

SpecificationIntel i5 9600kRyzen 5 3600
CPU Generation9th Generation3rd Generation
Base Clock/Boost Clock3.70 GHz/4.60 GHz3.6GHz/4.2GHz
Cache (L1/L2/L3)64KB/256KB/9MB64KB/512KB/32MB
PCle VersionPCle 3.0PCle 3.0
Memory SupportDDR4 (up to 2666 MHz)DDR4 (up to 3200 MHz)
Cooling SolutionNot inbuiltNot inbuilt
Integrated Graphics CardUHD 630No

As you can see, both of them have almost similar hardware stats when looked at it on paper. Added to that, they both are also at the same price point. However, you will notice significant differences in the threads when looking at the Intel i5 9600K and the Ryzen 5 3600. They have a few small differences, but there are workarounds for those kinds of issues.

For starters, the biggest difference that can be seen is the fact that the Ryzen does not come bundled with integrated graphics. This can be a crucial factor for users who want integrated graphics on a budget build. If this is something you are willing to ignore, then you can move forward with the article and see some of the other differences between these two. 

ParameterIntel i5 9600kRyzen 5 3600
CPU Mark Score10,79217,820
Single-Core Score1,2331,205
Multi-Core Score5,5396,665
Single-Thread Rating2,7722,576

As usual, the Intel i5 9600K is beating the Ryzen 5 3600 in single-core and single-thread performance. But, the overall performance and especially the multi-core performance is better with the Ryzen 5 3600.

To give you the context, Cinebench is CPU benchmarking software. It is used to calculate any CPU’s single-core and multi-core performance. These are three different versions of Cinebench i.e. R15, R20, and R23. R23 is the latest version with much more effective operation than the older version (R15 and R20)

  1. Multi-Core-Score. This score simply tells you the CPU’s performance in multitasking. Rendering, encoding, and most of the productivity software will make use of multi-cores.
  2. Single-Core Score. As the name suggests, this score determines the performance capability of a single CPU. This score is good to determine your CPU’s effectiveness in gaming and the overall snappiness in any operation.
Cinebench BenchmarkIntel Core i5 9600kRyzen 5 3600
Cinebench R23 (Single Core)11871245
Cinebench R23 (Multi Core)65969073
Cinebench R20 (Single Core)481496
Cinebench R20 (Multi Core)26242847
Cinebench R15 (Single Core)200197
Cinebench R15 (Multi Core)10681581

The Ryzen 5 3600 is clearly winning this benchmark comparison.

When designing a gaming rig, you would want your processor to perform at an optimal level. Having said that, the Intel i5 9500k is a great option, and so is the Ryzen 5 3600. Both processors are great at what they do, and their performance has not seen much difference when it comes to playing games. 

If we’re to knit-pick, the Intel i5 will be a bit better at gaming when compared to the Ryzen. But when it comes to multitasking, the Ryzen with 16 threads is the clear winner. Now, apart from gaming, what exactly will you be using your PC for is the question you should be asking yourself. If multitasking and gaming are what you are looking for, then going for the Ryzen makes more sense. 

Both chips perform nearly the same when it comes to gaming. The FPS output will be the same, with a marginal difference on the Intel side. The most you will notice is consistent framerate on the Intel rig compared to the Ryzen one. 

Intel definitely has a better single-core performance which is considered as good for running games. However, the difference is not that huge and Ryzen offers you various other benefits which Intel will not.

For gaming benchmark comparison, you can watch this YouTube video.

As mentioned above, the extra threads give the Ryzen a lead over the Intel chip. The added cache memory also plays a huge part in giving this chip a boost over the Intel i5. If you are building a rig for multitasking with heavy software, then this is the right chip for you. The Ryzen 5 3600 is both capable of holding its own in front of the Intel i5 9500k and even beating it in certain aspects of computer use.

If gaming is what you are looking for, then Intel can still be there because of its good single-core performance. But if productivity is what you are looking for, then the Ryzen will be a better, more affordable choice for both beginners as well as intermediate computer builders. This is something you need to keep in mind. The difference between both chips is minute at best, but both do have their advantages and disadvantages in certain computing aspects. 

Another big thing to keep in mind is the fact that the Intel chip does come with an integrated graphics card. This for people who want good performance and light to medium gaming can also utilize with it being an issue. The Ryzen does not come with an integrated graphics chip which means that you will have to buy one separately. 

The prices of both these CPUs keep varying. But, by the time I am writing this article, the Ryzen 5 3600 is around 50$ cheaper than the i5 9500K. For some buyers, this is going to be a huge amount and for others, it will not. So, make sure to check the price before you make the final decision on any CPU.

Final Verdict: Which One Should you Buy?

If you ask which is better between the Intel i5 9600k vs. Ryzen 5 3600, the answer will lie in day-to-day use case scenarios. Are you looking for something that will make a serious gaming rig, then Intel will be your best option. If you are looking to make a workstation and save some money, then the Ryzen would be the one to pick. 

The Intel i5 9500K comes with integrated graphics which are enough to play most of the games in low and medium settings. So, if you don’t want to buy a graphics card, you should definitely go for the Intel i5 9500K. However, if good performance is your goal, just pick Ryzen 5 3600.

Let me know what you think about it.