Intel Core i9-10850K VS Ryzen 5 5600X: Which is the Better Value in 2021?

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ryzen 5 5600x vs intel core i9-10850k

The new 5000 series of Ryzen processors have been clear-cutter winners against most of Intel’s previous-generation Comet Lake processors as well as the majority of Rocket Lake options. But this line-up just might give Team Red a run for their money with the impressively powerful i9-10850K. It’s a bit of a David and Goliath story with the mid-tier AMD option squaring up against what very well may be the new front-runner for Intel’s enthusiast-grade chips.


Specifications

CPUIntel i9-10850KRyzen 5 5600X
Design Intel Core i9-10850KRyzen 5 5600X
Cores/Threads10 Cores
20 Threads
6 Cores
12 Threads
Base/Boost GHz3.6/5.23.7/4.6
L3 Cache20MB32MB
TDP125W65W
Integrated GraphicsUHD 630No
Included CoolerNoWraith Stealth
MSRP$453$299
AvailabilityAmazon.comAmazon.com

Cores, Threads, & Clock Speeds – i9-10850K

Intel Core i9-10850K

The Ryzen 5 5600X has a solid spec set with 6 cores and 12 threads. Those cores and threads are capable of boosting this chip to anywhere from 3.7- 4.6 GHz. Intel did not come to this competition unprepared. The 10850K has a clean and clear lead on the AMD option with a staggering 10 cores and 20 threads. It also ekes out ahead in terms of clock speeds with a range of speeds between 3.6 – 5.2 GHz possible through overclocking. 

There isn’t much nuance to be had here. The Intel CPU is the clear winner in terms of raw core counts, threads, and overall clock speeds. But there is more that one needs to consider when comparing two powerhouse CPUs.


L3 Cache & TDP – Ryzen 5 5600X

Ryzen 5 5600X

Power draw should never be overlooked when considering a CPU. The more power a processor draws the more robust the power supply you will need. That means more money is spent on the entire configuration. As with most 5000 series chips, the Ryzen 5 5600X uses power very efficiently. It only draws 65W during peak usage. The i9-10850K roughly doubles that figure with 125W peak TDP. If you have a newer 3000 series GPU as well as that i9-10850K, you will need a sizable PSU to cover all of your power needs. 

Despite having many more cores and drawing more power, the i9-10850K only has a 20MB L3 cache compared to Ryzen 5 5600X’s beefy 32MB cache. Now, the Intel chip does make use of Smart Cache, which does influence performance a bit and make up for some of the deficit. However, the Ryzen 5 5600X has a sizeable advantage in terms of the sheer size of its cache.


Integrated Graphics – i9-10850K

Intel Core i9-10850K

With the Ryzen 5 5600X continuing AMD’s trend of not offering integrated graphics on its popular lineups, the i9-10850K is the clear winner here. The Intel processor comes bundled with UHD 630 graphics that can help you get your system up and running while you wait for a new GPU to become affordable.


Bundled Cooler – Ryzen 5 5600X

Ryzen 5 5600X

On the other side of things, AMD includes a rather robust Wraith Stealth Cooler with the Ryzen 5 5600X. Having a stock cooler right there and ready to go means that you won’t have to spend extra on a third-party cooler or worry about compatibility issues when assembling your build. As with most Intel offerings, the i9-10850K does not come bundled with any cooler. This is likely due, in part, to the heavy power draw and heat generated by the CPU. It isn’t likely that a stock cooler would be able to successfully mitigate the heat produced.


Price – Ryzen 5 5600X

Ryzen 5 5600X

The Ryzen 5 5600X is the clear winner in terms of price. This comparison is between two different price brackets of chips. The Ryzen 5 5600X is a mid-tier option that can be had for right around $299. Meanwhile, the i9-10850K is one of the highest-performance CPUs that Intel offers. Team Blue’s enthusiast-level processor retails at $453.


Verdict – i9-10850K

Intel Core i9-10850K

The Ryzen 5 5600X is a fantastic CPU that offers incredible performance for the budget, but it is simply out-classed by the i9-10850K. Intel’s processor has more cores, threads, higher clock speeds, and stellar single-thread performance. The extra $150 in price is justified by these incredible features that would be well at home in any enthusiast’s rig.


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