Intel's i5-13600K vs AMD's Ryzen 7600X: 5 things to help you decide

The AMD Ryzen 5 7600X CPU with its packaging on a brown wooden table.
The Ryzen 5 7600X is one of AMD's new CPU releases in the market. (Photo: Yahoo Gaming SEA)

Both Intel and AMD have finally released their new generation of processors — the Intel 13th Gen and the AMD Ryzen 7000 series.

If you are looking for a good low-to-mid tier CPU for your new computer, the 'cheapest' offerings from both camps are similarly priced, with the Ryzen 5 7600X retailing at S$499 while the Intel Core i5-13600K retails at S$539.

How do they stack up against each other performance-wise, and which one should you get for your use case?

Believe it or not, although the performance of both chips is pretty even, they both excel at very different things.

In our testing of these CPUs, we took a look at the things that the general consumer would consider before buying these CPUs.

Here are the five considerations:

  1. Gaming only

  2. Gaming and streaming

  3. Multitasking and work

  4. Total cost to purchase

  5. Upgradability

Test specs:

  • For the AMD Ryzen 5 7600X, we used a Gigabyte Aorus Master X670E motherboard with 32GB of 6000Mhz DDR5 CL30 RAM.

  • For the Intel Core i5-13600K, we used an Asus Z690 Hero motherboard with 32GB of 6000Mhz DDR5 CL40 RAM.

  • Both systems used an Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti as the GPU.

Gaming only

If you want to choose a CPU specifically for gaming and gaming only, both the 13600K and the 7600X are neck and neck.

Depending on the game you play, especially if you want high framerates at 1080p and 1440p, both these CPUs are suited for that purpose.

In our testing, the 7600X excels, albeit only at around two to four per cent more, at VALORANT and Fortnite.

The 13600K is also only about two per cent better at games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Apex Legends and Call of Duty: Warzone.

If you are purchasing the CPU purely for gaming, both of these CPUs are strong enough to handle whatever you throw at them, and there is no clear winner here.

Result: TIE

Gaming and streaming at the same time

Now, if you are looking to game and stream at the same time, this is where there is a clear winner.

Before I post the results, you can already tell which CPU is going to win this shoot-out.

The 13600K comes with six performance cores and eight efficiency cores, ultimately making it a fourteen core CPU, compared to the 7600X, which only has six cores.

A quick glance could tell you which CPU is great for handling multiple things at once.

And, just like you probably predicted, the 13600K is a clear winner.

While playing games and having Xsplit (a streaming application akin to OBS) running in the background, there are clear frame dips in the percentage of seven to eight per cent in games when using the 7600X.

The 13600K, however, experienced little to no dips in games, because the efficiency cores were working to run the streaming app in the background, while the performance cores worked on the game.

Now, this may all sound like "oH nO aMd Is BaD", but in reality, the frame dips aren't that noticeable to the average user, the games were still running at high framerates. And, if you were playing games that relied much more on the GPU than the CPU, you would see and feel this even less.

For example, I have 700fps on VALORANT in a normal gaming session with the 7600X. It takes a seven per cent dip in performance while streaming, which drops the framerate to 650fps. If you think you can feel that 50fps drop, you must be a pro player or superhuman.

If you already have a 7600X, and are planning to game and stream at the same time, you are still going to be able to do it.

But it is very clear that the efficiency cores on the 13600K help to take the load off performance cores, which in turn keeps the framerates as high as you would have them while not streaming.

Winner: Intel i5-13600K

Multitasking and work

Seriously, any of these will make a good CPU for a workstation.

But it would seem pretty obvious that a fourteen-core CPU is generally going to outperform a six-core CPU.

The Cinebench R23 results say it all, with the 13600K scoring 24468 while the 7600X only scoring 14877 on our test systems.

For multitasking, the 13600K is way faster and does a lot more way quicker. This makes it a much better choice for multitasking, and also for applications that utilise the CPU for rendering.

Winner: Intel i5-13600K

Total cost to purchase

Here is where things get a little tricky — You will have to figure out a few things as a consumer first.

Are you going to buy the CPU and not upgrade till it dies? Are you okay with sticking with products that are going to potentially phase out after the next two years?

The 13600K's total cost could be considerably less than buying a 7600X.

Intel's 13th Gen CPUs are backwards compatible with the B660 and Z690 motherboards from the previous 12th Gen series of CPUs.

And what matters more in terms of how much you'll be spending is that some of these boards are able to use DDR4 RAM sticks, which are dirt-cheap right now compared to DDR5, despite the latter coming down in price recently.

A combination of older discounted boards and DDR4 RAM would be much more cost effective than a newer board and DDR5 RAM, which is a must for the 7600X.

So, if your answer is yes to not upgrading till your new system dies, then the Intel route is likely for you, since it will be considerably cheaper.

DDR4 and the Z690 motherboards will highly likely not see any use past the 13th Gen CPUs as well, so it may be very well be the end of the line for these products.

Again, if you are okay with not upgrading your parts in the foreseeable future, the 13600K with a B660/Z690 motherboard and DDR4 will save you a lot of money (enough money to upgrade your GPU choice by a few tiers, mind you), and it will hardly impact any kind of performance.

Winner: Intel i5-13600K


Now, on the other opposite end of the spectrum, the X670 motherboards for the Ryzen 7000 series promise support for a few generations of CPUs.

If you are looking to upgrade your CPU with a new version down the road, you are highly likely able to do so if you are getting a 7600X.

All you need to do when the time comes is to upgrade the bios of your motherboard, plonk down the Ryzen 8000 (or whatever it is called in the future) in the CPU socket, and you are good to go.

Although the performance differences between DDR4 and DDR5 are negligible for now, the prices for DDR5 RAM modules are currently way more expensive.

But it will last you a few generations at least, even if you are looking into buying a totally new system, as it is highly likely that DDR5 will stick around for awhile.

Winner: Ryzen 5 7600X


The Intel Core i5-13600K is a clear winner in these comparisons when it comes to pure performance in everyday use.

But if you are looking for upgradability, the Z690 and Z790 platform that Intel offers are highly likely not going to receive anymore updates in the future.

The Intel i5-13600K and i9-13900K CPU chips with its packaging on a brown wooden table.
The Intel 13th Gen CPUs are winners this round in terms of performance, but by a very small margin. (Photo: Yahoo Gaming SEA)

The X670 series from AMD, however, will see an upgrade path for at least one of their future generation of CPUs. So, if you are looking to upgrade eventually, AMD is the path that you can take.

But one cannot deny that we live in some strange times; we are looking at a fourteen-core CPU from Intel going head to head with a six-core CPU from AMD at the same price point.

It was always usually AMD that has had the cheaper yet more valuable CPU at this SG$500 price point. How times have changed.

Dominic loves tech and games. When he is not busy getting bodied in games or watercooling anything he sees, he does some pro wrestling.

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