AMD Ryzen 5 3600 vs Intel Core i5-9600K: Upgrade Path, Productivity, Overclocking, Streaming, Gaming, Cooling, Power Draw & Price

For many years, Intel Core i5 processors were considered as a heart of mainstream gaming and casual productivity chips. Legendary i5-2500K is immortal CPU till these days, running all games in the world above playable performance. Multicore configuration is limited to 4 Cores and 4 Threads which make it quite outdated for 3D rendering and video editing purpose. Since 2011, Intel has stopped increasing Core count on i5 processors untill AMD Ryzen 5 1600 1st Gen came out with 6 Cores and 12 Threads, eventually beating i5-7600k in multitasking or productivity performance. Ryzen 5 processors are really a big deal for mainstream or budget gamers who prefer to save some money for higher tier GPU or storage drives. For this situation, Intel has retaliated with affordable i5-8400 and 8600k which surpassed gaming performance against Ryzen 5 2600 and 2600X but i5 8th Gen still couldn’t take the productivity crown in many applications like AutoCAD, Lumion Pro or Davinci Resolve. At last, 2019’s early CPU releases from Intel are 9th Gen i5-9400 (F) and i5-9600K(F), the “F” version CPUs don’t have weak gaming integrated graphics that is Intel UHD 600 series. From AMD side many enthusiasts witnessed revolutionary first 7nm Ryzen 3rd Gen Processors up to 12 Cores and 24 Threads. AMD surprised mainstream budget oriented gamers with Ryzen 5 3600 & 3600X come with Wraith Stealth & Spire stock coolers. Enhanced analysis is given to Ryzen 5 3600 because in a price wise its more valuable than “X” variant and performance is very negligible. So, enough for history part, let’s jump into the main points about Ryzen 5 3600 vs Intel Core i5-9600K comparison analysis in terms of Upgrade Path, Productivity, Overclocking, Streaming, Gaming, Cooling, Power Draw & Price.

Upgrade Path
Room for performance improvement for upcoming games must be taken into account seriously to prevent unnecessary financial spending for new RAM and Motherboard after upgrading to new CPU. Ryzen 5 3600 is sitting on AM4 platform that is upgradable up to 4th Gen Processors from Zen 3 architecture. Yet, upcoming 16 Core 32 Thread Ryzen 9 3950X is fully compatible with any B350, B450 and X470 motherboards, so Ryzen users have a big room for upgrade path. Whereas, Intel’s Coffee Lake side has the certain dead end for upgrade path since 10nm future Sunny Cove chips won’t be in 1151V2 outdated socket.
Productivity
Any 3D Design or Editing software you throw at Ryzen 5 3600 your experience will be like running on i7-8700K for almost half of the price. Name any application in the world the Ryzen 5 3600 will eat them for launch using 6 Cores and 12 Threads leaving Intel Core i5-9600K in the dust. Overall performance rating would be 10-20% faster in rendering on Lumion Pro, AutoCAD, Premier Pro, After Effects, Revit or Vegas Pro. To conclude here, smart PC user with tons of workloads probably will choose Ryzen 5 3600 for sure.
Overclocking
At this point, Intel Core i5-9600K is the king of the hill due to matured 14nm++ technology from Intel which can stay at 5.1GHz frequency on all Cores but you have to get decent after market cooler such as Noctua NH-D15 or Corsair Hydro AIO cooler. On the other hand, in fact Ryzen 5 3600 can’t even stay at 4.3GHz across all Cores but it doesn’t mean that it’s not competitive. Surprisingly, to push the performance limits from Ryzen 5 3600 you need to tweak memory timings and set XMP profiles on highest designated speed according to RAM manufacturer prescription. Maximum performance uplift may reach up to 20% effectively in gaming performance. Therefore, article named best ryzen 3rd gen compatible memory kit is written for enthusiasts who like to squeeze extra performance from any Ryzen processors using Samsung B-die chip.
Streaming
Everyone knows that i5-9600K has a significant bottleneck effect in 1080p streaming compared to Ryzen 5 3600 because of disabled Hyperthreading feature from Intel. Fluid streaming experience can be felt only with Ryzen 5 3600, thanks to SMT (Simultaneous Multi Threading) feature. Significant part of SMT is holding many tasks with fast performance remaining on your eyes. So, if you are looking for affordable streaming system, then, Ryzen processor is the way to go.
Gaming
Negligible performance difference between Ryzen 5 3600 and i5-9600K in gaming benchmarks were spotted many times since the Zen2 chips release. Casual gamers would notice 3-6% better performance from Intel Core i5-9600K processor on 1080p resolution if they turn on fps counter to compare. Thanks to single threaded superiority from Intel Core architecture with matured 14nm technology as a result, current and older games utilize up to four physical cores leaving the the rest visual processing to GPU. However, latest games optimization up to 12 Threads are getting more popular over the last two years with the true being example Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and World of Warcraft. In a nutshell, gaming CPU choice is up to gamers depending on what they do besides gaming on their PCs.
Cooling
In the cooling department, both Ryzen 5 3600 and i5-9600K processors are identically staying cool on stock configuration. Big caveat from Intel side is the temperature rise during overclocking, this is why, you have to get premium after market cooler for Intel “K” version CPUs to lower down high temperatures. Recommended CPU air cooler is Noctua NH-D15. Ryzen 5 3600 is not good for overclocking since AMD is still fixing some bugs through BIOS updates but stock performance is so satisfying for many people all they need is to overclock memory and tweak its timing. Setting high memory speeds also require decent cooling solution by getting an effective airflow PC case.
Power Draw
Power efficiency king is the Ryzen 5 3600 for sure, due to 7nm amazing transistor shrink technology that allows electrons travel shorter distance, thus, making this chip to run cooler with less power draw from your socket. Electric bills are very scary things sometimes, especially winter season requires high power consumption for room heating and warming the water, plus gaming PC that eats above 600W might also push your expenditure on power bills. For this solution, Ryzen 5 3600 is the right choice to maintain high fps while saving on electricity compared to i5-9600K that eats 15% more power at stock settings.
Price
Here comes the boom for mainstream gaming enthusiasts where anyone can’t fight against the price value dominance argument from Ryzen 5 3600 costing $200 while expensive i5-9600k is $244 in Newegg etailer. Sadly, i5-9600K doesn’t include stock cooler in package which is worrying for Intel fans who want to save money. Cheapest overclocking enabled Ryzen AM4 motherboard with addressable RGB is ASRock B450M Steel Legend costing below $90. Whereas, high quality affordable Intel overclocking motherboard 1151 V2 socket is Asus Prime Z390-A with $180 price. So the numbers are pretty scary for Intel fans due to CPU cooler is another expenditure for their hard earned money. Decent after market cooler might be Cooler Master Hyper 212 or bequiet! dark rock slim for i5-9600K stock performance. Nevertheless, $143 premium cooler Noctua NH-D15 is highly recommended to overclock. There you have it, $244+$180+$143=$567 for Intel setup. AMD Ryzen setup would be $200+$90+$143=$433. Amazingly, $134 would be saved for monster GPU like RTX 2070 Super or RX 5700 XT. Results are no surprise for average gamers since Intel is overcharging for CPU and motherboard, as a result, AMD Ryzen side wins all the time in terms of pricing category.

Uson Abdilazhanov

Editor and Computer Expert A hardcore tech enthusiast and computer expert Uson Abdilazhanov who holds a degree in communications started writing in his personal blogs since 2012. That time he was interested in the technical part of the computer. But now the software aspect plays an important role in his career. Currently, he runs a PC building and repairing shop which helps a lot of designers and gamers who always like to try new things.