SOVLED! AMD Ryzen 5 3600 vs Intel Core i7 9700K: Which one should you buy?

Unless you’re living under a rock, you must be pretty familiar with the ongoing rivalry between AMD & Intel. With new processors hitting the market now and then, the competition between these two computing giants seems to be never-ending.

Having said that, for gaming enthusiasts and content creators like us, picking the right CPU for our needs is becoming rather daunting. Let alone the common masses, even the most experienced tech-savvies are facing the same! 

Today, we’ll be discussing the two best offerings from these rivals: Ryzen 5 3600 vs i7 9700k. We’ll be breaking it down for you so that you can make the most informed choice between the two. Without any further ado, let’s dive in…. 

Ryzen 5 3600: An Overview

Based on the Zen 2 architecture, Ryzen 5 3600 is a 6-core capable CPU that houses 12 threads.  The 3rd generation 7nm Ryzen processor which is built with Zen 2 architecture, offers better performance than its predecessor. The base clock of this has a speed of 4.2 GHz. However, it has 24 PCIe Gen 4 lanes, 32MB of L3 cache, and dual-channel 3200 MHz DDR4 RAM.

For starters, this CPU should be paired with an AMD X500-series motherboard if you want to take complete advantage of the PCIe 4.0. Ryzen 5 3600 processor has a 65 Thermal Design Power which includes a Wraith Stealth Socket AM4 4-Pin connector cooler. This processor doesn’t have an integrated GPU. So, a proper graphics card is necessary. Ryzen Master Utility offers a circle graph of per-core clock rates and real-time monitoring.

Ryzen 5 3600: Key Specs

CPU GenerationZen 2 3rd generation
CPU SocketAM4
Manufacturing Process7 nm
Maximum Numbers of PCIe Lanes24 (Revision 4.0)

Intel Core i7 9700k: An Overview

The core i7 9700k processor from Intel is carefully designed for gaming, development, and professional productivity. The base clock of this processor has a speed of 3.6 GHz. It has the features of Intel Optane Memory support, Intel VT-x & Intel VT-d virtualization technologies, Intel Boot Guard, AVX2 instruction set extensions, Intel TSX-NI, SSE4.1, 4.2, to name a few.  

Core i7 9700k houses 8 cores with 8 threads with the LGA 1151 socket, which has 16 PCIe lanes and 12 MB of cache memory. So, it’s a no-brainer that it can run multiple programs at the same time without breaking a sweat. i7 can achieve a whopping 4.9 GHz maximum turbo frequency with Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 technology. 

Having said that, the CPU cooler is not included in the pack and you need to purchase that separately. But the good news is that it has an integrated Intel UHD Graphics card built into the CPU system.

i7 9700k: Key Specs

CPU SocketLGA 1151
Maximum Numbers of PCIe Lanes16 (Revision 3.0)
Manufacturing Process14 nm
CPU ModelIntel Core i7-9700K

AMD Ryzen 5 3600 VS Core i7 9700K: Detailed Comparison

Memory Specifications

For the record, Intel i7-9700k and AMD Ryzen 5 3600 both have the maximum memory of 128GB. On the flip side, maximum memory bandwidth in the case of i7 9700k is 41.6 GB/s and that of Ryzen 5 3600 is 51.196 GB/s. Also, the memory type of i7-9700k is DDR4-2666, whereas the Ryzen 5 3600 boasts DDR4-3200.

Performance Specifications

 INTEL i7 9700kAMD Ryzen 5 3600
Number of Cores86
Number of Threads812
Base Frequency of the processor3.6 GHz3.6GHz
Turbo Boost Frequency4.9 GHz4.2 GHz
Bus frequency100 MHz100 MHz
Bus Bandwidth of the processor8 GT/s
L1 Cache64K (per core)64K (per core)
L2 Cache256K (per core)512K (per core)
L3 Cache12MB (shared)32MB (shared)
Unlocked MultiplierYesYes

Benchmark Scores

Let’s compare the synthetic benchmark scores of both these CPUs to find out which one is much more capable of doing things in the real world.

ParameterIntel i7 9700KRyzen 5 3600
CPU Mark Score1455017821
Single-Core Score12801205
Multi-Core Score (Geekbench)71836665
Single-Thread Rating28992609

As usual, the single-core and single-thread performance are better in Intel. However, the multi-core score from Geekbench is also higher. However, the difference is not that huge between the both.

Cinebench Scores Comparison

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 BenchmarkAMD Ryzen 5 3600Intel Core i7 9700k
Cinebench R23 (Single Core)12451285
Cinebench R23 (Multi Core)90739428
Cinebench R20 (Single Core)451466
Cinebench R20 (Multi Core)34873656
Cinebench R15 (Single Core)197212
Cinebench R15 (Multi Core)15811542


There are 3 major advantages of the Intel Core i7 9700k over the AMD Ryzen 5 3600:

  1. This has two more physical cores (8 octa-core).
  2. The Turbo boost frequency is 17 % higher than AMD processors.
  3. Users do not need to purchase a graphics card because it includes an integrated GPU (UHD Graphics 630)

AMD Ryzen 5 3600 has some major advantages too:

  1. It consumes up to 30-32 % of less energy than i7 9700k – 65 watts vs 95 watts.
  2. New PCI Express version – 4.0
  3. Almost 15 % (6.08 GB/s) higher theoretical memory bandwidth.
  4. L3 cache size is 20 MB Larger.
  5. Much more modern manufacturing process – 7nm vs 14 nm.
  6. It has ECC memory support

Price Comparison

Speaking of the price, this is where the Ryzen 5 3600 crushes its rival i7-9700k by a long shot. The i7 9700K is available for around twice the price of the Ryzen 5 3600.

Which One Should You Buy? Ryzen 5 3600 or Intel i7 9700K

Right off the bat, It’s a very close competition between the performance and longevity of both these processors. As we see, each has its own set of pros and cons.

Intel Core i7-9700k shines in two areas: the overclocking potential and another is raw gaming performance. Having said that, the Ryzen 5 3600 is the best when it comes to price to performance value.

Though the Ryzen 5 3600 has some heating issues, this processor has got the Wraith Stealth Cooling system, which makes a decent contribution in maintaining a good temperature. In terms of energy savings, again the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 processor is more economical. 

With all the ifs and buts considered, we can suggest AMD Ryzen 5 3600 for those gaming and content enthusiasts, who are on a tighter budget. And the hardcore, professional gamer and content creators who got no issue with the budget can go for the Intel Core i7-9700k processor.

Let me know what you think about it!