AMD Ryzen 5 2600X vs. Intel Core i5 8600K: the best gaming CPU in the year 2018!

Should you get a Ryzen or Core i5, if you're looking for the best gaming CPU?

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The winner: frame rates & frame times

After performing nearly two hundred tests, we can take finally answer the question: who delivers the best gaming CPU? To do this, we look at the average performance of both the frame rates and the frame times - we start with the former values.

At full HD resolution with ultra settings we see relatively the biggest differences. On average, the Ryzen system with the GTX 1070 Ti scores 102.3 fps, while the i5 8600K scores 111.2 fps. This is a difference of 8.6%. Also with the RX Vega video card, Intel is faster, 104.8 versus 98.1 fps, or 6.8%. So the difference between AMD and Intel is a bit smaller here.

The higher the settings and resolution, the smaller the differences will be. At WQD resolution with the highest settings, the difference in both scenarios is less than 2 fps.

FPS 1080p - ultra 1440p - medium 1440p - ultra 4K - medium
Ryzen 5 2600X + GTX 1070 Ti 102.3 fps 111.4 fps 78.7 fps 68.4 fps
Core i5 8600K + GTX 1070 Ti 111.2 fps 118.0 fps 80.2 fps 71.4 fps
Ryzen 5 2600X + RX Vega 56 98.1 fps 105.2 fps 73.7 fps 64.4 fps
Core i5 8600K + RX Vega 56 104.8 fps 111.2 fps 75.4 fps 66.2 fps

The frametimes are a better way to measure visual fluidity of games. At full HD resolution, the difference with the GTX 1070 Ti is only 2 percent, while with the RX Vega video card it's up to 11 percent. Remarkably enough, the AMD processor is much more efficient with the Nvidia GPU than with AMD's own video card. At 1440p ultra it is the other way around. There's only a small difference with the RX Vega card, albeit in Intel's favour, while the GTX 1070 Ti still delivers smoother frames with the Core i5 8600K.

ms 1080p - ultra 1440p - medium 1440p - ultra 4K - medium
Ryzen 5 2600X + GTX 1070 Ti 14.6 ms 12.8 ms 18.7 ms 20.6 ms
Core i5 8600K + GTX 1070 Ti 14.3 ms 11.1 ms 16.6 ms 19.7 ms
Ryzen 5 2600X + RX Vega 56 17.4 ms 13.6 ms 18.9 ms 23.2 ms
Core i5 8600K + RX Vega 56 15.5 ms 14.3 ms 18.4 ms 24.5 ms

Compare

two products discussed in this review

  Product Lowest price

AMD Ryzen 5 2600X Boxed

Socket AM4, 3.6 GHz, 6 cores, 95 W, 12 nm

Specifications Test results Reviews Prices

$209.99

Avg. $221.99
4 shops, 3x stock

Intel Core i5 8600K Boxed

Socket 1151, 3.6 GHz, 6 cores, 95 W, 14 nm, Integrated graphics

Specifications Test results Reviews Prices

$239.99

Avg. $259.89
3 shops, 2x stock

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