Today we’re taking a look at performance for the AMD Ryzen 5 1600X and comparing it up against the Intel Core i5 6600K. I felt the i5 was the best comparison to make for this video as they sit within the same price bracket between $200-$250. In our testing we’ll look at a good selection of DirectX 12 and DX11 titles, as well as the impact of streaming performance on a few of the benchmarks used in our comparison.
Since I purchased my i5 6600K, the i5 7600K has been released by Intel. I don’t currently own one of them. However, if you know anything about Skylake and Kaby Lake, they’re virtually identical in terms of IPC performance at the same clock speeds.
IPC i5 6600k vs Ryzen 5 1600X
As I’ve opted to test both of the CPU’s at the same speed, we should have a really good picture of how these two processors stack up to one another in terms of instructions per clock. So to that end I tested at 3.7GHz on the 6-core/12-threaded 1600X from AMD as well as the 4-Core i5 6600K from Intel.
I chose 3.7GHz because that is the speed the 1600X ran at on all cores out of the box with the reasonably priced, MSI B350 Tomahawk at $110. The 1600X does support an XFR boost of 4GHz, but that will only apply during heavy single-threaded workloads which is not applicable in any modern game testing so I settled at 3.7GHz.
The i5 6600K ran out of the box at 3.6GHz on all cores so I did have to apply a very minor overclock of 100MHz to make this an apples to apples comparison, but I did not need to adjust voltage to achieve this speed on the EVGA Z170 Stinger motherboard.
Test PC Setup
Both of the systems here were running on dual-channel, 16GB RAM kits at 3200MHz. For the Ryzen 5 system, I used the Geil RAM that was provided by AMD along with the reviewers kit that I did unboxing and build videos for this past week. We also have a list of some of the best ram for getting 3200MHz on Ryzen here. And on the Intel system, I utilized G.Skill TridentZ memory, once again at 3200MHz.
Since this is a CPU comparison, I’ll only be testing on one GPU in this video, but I will be doing more videos in the coming weeks with various different spins on Ryzen 5 testing to showcase many different scenarios. Today we’re only using my MSI RX 480 at stock clock speeds. I did increase the power limit by 50% to ensure the GPU running its full speed during our benchmarks that were all done at 1080p on High Settings.
Why 1080p High Settings for the Benchmark?
I opted to do 1080p high settings based on feedback from the community and also because 1080p/High is what the vast majority of game developers optimize their titles for. During our testing you will undoubtedly see a GPU bottleneck as it is regularly at 99%-100% utilization, but this is how most gamers are probably going to play. However for those of you that would like to see benchmarks run side by side at 720p low settings, I’ll be having a video posting today with that information along with a GTX 1080 Ti so as to eliminate any possibility of a GPU bottleneck and I think you’ll find those test results to be rather interesting as it put the 1600X far ahead the 6600k in many benchmarks even though that wasn’t the result we will be seeing here at 1080p on High.
Intel i5-6600k vs Ryzen 5 1600X DirectX 12 Average and Minimum FPS
Without further adieu, let’s jump into the numbers and we will start off with DirectX 12 games and their averages as well as minimum FPS.
Here we can see that in the 5 games tested, the i5 6600K took victories in 4 games. The battle was very close in Sniper Elite 4 & Hitman, only having a difference of 2 & 3 frames per second, respectively. And while the 6600K did take more convincing victories in Battlefield 1 & Gears of War 4, the 1600X did end up winning in Ashes of the Singularity where I saw excellent core utilization for the AMD processor.
Moving into the DX12 minimums we see a nearly identical picture, although the 1600X did manage to have a better minimum on Gears of War 4 benchmark in addition to Ashes of the Singularity Escalation.
Ryzen 5 1600X vs i5 6600k DirectX 11 Gaming Benchmark Comparison
For DirectX 11 I tested in 8 games on that RX 480 and the only game the 1600X managed to edge out a victory was Mass Effect Andromeda with 64 FPS to the i5’s 58 FPS. In all our other games the i5 proved to be able to power more frames at 1080p, but in games like Ghost Recon Wildlands, Metro Last Light, & Witcher 3 the scores are so close that its within the margin of error for testing.
With minimum testing though we actually see the 1600X taking wins in a few games, those being Metro Last Light Redux, Watch Dogs 2, Overwatch & Mass Effect Andromeda so that’s half the games tested here in DX11. Rainbow Six Siege was also extremely close here as well, once again in the margin of error, but definitely interesting results with the 1600X taking in more titles on the minimums than with the averages where we saw the i5 winning consistently.
Overclocking the i5-6600k vs i5-6600k and i5-7600k
So that wraps up our regular game testing, but the story between these CPU’s doesn’t end there. If you’re considering buying either one of the processors for gaming with the intention of overclocking, then an i5 6600K or more likely i5 7600K would likely be the better option for you. I can run my 6600K stable at 4.8GHz in the system I’m using here while the 1600X was not able to overclock at all, unfortunately in the B350 Ryzen motherboard we used. I was able to push it up to 4GHz on an X370 board which gave us minor gains in performance, but it wouldn’t be enough to close the gap against an i5 with a significantly higher clock speed.
Ryzen 5 1600X Overclocking Issues with the B350 Tomahawk
The other thing though to consider is the price as you can find B350 boards for around $100 and the Z170 Stinger board I was using here for the i5 is around $150. For that your getting better overclocking and features from the mobo itself, but you could certainly choose to spend money on an X370 board to overclock the 1600X which I would advise most people to do as I found myself extremely underwhelmed with the MSI B350 Tomahawk in terms of its features and functionality.
Ryzen 5 1600X vs i5-6600k Streaming Minimum and Average FPS Benchmark
Now just gaming on its own is one thing, but what about the impact of streaming performance? I went back after I was done testing and ran a few of these benchmarks while streaming to Twitch at 1080p/60fps and a bitrate of 6000 so we could measure the performance impact on the 1600X and i5 6600K. This was an area that I really expected a six core / 12 threaded CPU to shine, but despite the 6600K being pushed to 100% while streaming it ended up pulling in better averages and minimums when compared to the 1600X, although in 2 of the 3 games tested it lost more fps than the 1600X.
In Rainbow Six Siege the 1600X lost 17 FPS in the averages when streaming, going from 162 to 145 while the the 6600K lost 18FPS, but still maintained a higher average of 148 FPS. That continued in Overwatch with the 1600X losing 21 FPS and the 6600K losing 26 FPS. Lastly we have Ghost Recon Wildlands that fell by 4 FPS on Ryzen 5 and 3 FPS in Intel’s i5 processor. I’ll also go ahead and briefly throw up the minimums during those streaming runs for those of you that want to see them.
720p Ryzen 5 1600x vs i5 Processor Comparison
Here’s a bonus clip with 720p low settings for those who want to remove as much of the GPU bottleneck as possible.
So, that’s all I’ve got for you guys now on the 1600X vs the i5 6600K. I will certainly be looking to you guys in the comments for further testing ideas so if you have any feel free to post them in the comments. I will be having content on the 1500X in the coming days as I am still currently testing on that and as I mentioned earlier I’ll be posting a video with the GTX 1080 Ti on 720p Low Settings to see what happens with these two processors when no GPU bottleneck is present and the results were very intriguing there to say the least.