AMD Ryzen 5 9600X vs Intel Core i5-14600K: Which is the better gaming CPU?

Choosing between the Intel Core i5-14600K and the Ryzen 5 9600X can be difficult (Image via Amazon and AMD)
Choosing between the Intel Core i5-14600K and the Ryzen 5 9600X can be difficult. (Image via Amazon and AMD)

The AMD Ryzen 5 9600X was unveiled at Computex 2024 as the latest six-core mid-range chip. It replaces the 7600X and will compete against the Intel Core i5-14600K, for now. Both processors should target the $300 range with mid-range performance metrics. The Intel vs AMD competition has become quite interesting in the budget range lately. With the upcoming Zen 5 lineup, choosing between Intel and AMD can get even more difficult.

Detailed benchmarks of the new processor aren't out yet. We have information from engineering samples, which we believe are quite representative of what we can get from the actual thing.

NOTE: Parts of this article are subjective and reflects the writer's opinion.

The AMD Ryzen 5 9600X might be a superb competitor to the Core i5-14600K

The Intel Core i5-14600K is a high-performance gaming CPU (Image via Amazon)
The Intel Core i5-14600K is a high-performance gaming CPU (Image via Amazon)

The upcoming Ryzen 5 9600X has all the latest improvements in architecture and IPC metrics. It is based on the revised Zen 5 architecture, which is 16% faster on average per AMD's claims.

Specs comparison

Lately, Intel and AMD's chips have significantly diverged in terms of their underlying hardware. While Team Blue opted for a hybrid design with high-performance and efficient cores, AMD stays loyal to its chiplet-based architecture.

In terms of core count, thus, the new AMD processor is significantly behind Intel's offering. You get six cores and twelve threads with the 9600X, while the Core i5-14600K pairs 14 cores, six of which are high-performance 'P'-rated and the rest are efficient 'E' rated.

Besides this, the operating clock speeds are quite different too. The 14600K targets an enthusiast audience with up to 181W power design, while the 9600X is limited to 65W.

Below is a detailed look at the on-paper specs of the processors:

AMD Ryzen 5 9600XIntel Core i5-14600K
Architecture4nm Zen 5
10nm Intel 7
LGA 1700
14 (6P+8E)
Base clock
3.9 GHz
2.6 GHz (E-core), 3.5 GHz (P-core)
Boost clock
5.4 GHz
4 GHz (E-core), 5.3 GHz (P-core)
L3 cache
32 MB
24 MB Intel Smart Cache
125W (181W Turbo power)
Price$299 (expected)$305.99

Read more: Best GPUs to pair with Intel Core i5 14600K

Performance comparison

The AMD Ryzen 5 9600X is set to be a powerful mid-range CPU (Image via AMD)
The AMD Ryzen 5 9600X is set to be a powerful mid-range CPU (Image via AMD)

The exact benchmarks of the new AMD Ryzen 9000 series processors aren't out yet. However, data recorded on engineering samples have given us a look into the performance improvements with the next generation. The new 9600X has been seen to deliver over 20% more performance in single-core workloads.

Below is a comparison of performance data recorded on these chips. The benchmark results have been scored from the aggregator website Nanoreview.

AMD Ryzen 5 9600X*Intel Core i5-14600K
Cinebench R23 single-core2,168 (+4.78%)2,069
Cinebench R23 muti-core 19,244 25,035 (+23.1%)
Geekbench 6 single-core3,180 (+12.96%)2,815
Cinebench R23 multi-core 16,79217,306 (+3.06%)

*Based on leaked benchmark scores

The new Ryzen 5 9600X beats the 14600K by a considerable margin in single-core workloads. This metric is particularly important in gaming, given most modern titles still don't utilize more than one to two cores.

The much higher core count on the 14600K propels the Intel processor much higher than its upcoming AMD counterpart. This, if you are building a workstation and want it to perform well in productivity workloads besides gaming, the Core i5 can be the chip to buy.

AMD Ryzen 5 9600X vs Intel Core i5-14600K: Final verdict

Both the AMD Ryzen 5 9600X and Core i5-14600K turn out to be high-performance processors for playing the latest video games. They are also set to target a similar price tag. For now, however, my recommendation tilts towards the Team Red offering.

The current data is based on engineering samples and the actual performance metrics may vary. We don't have any gaming benchmarks either that can point towards the real performance gains for players.

For the best decision, we recommend holding off your upgrade for now. Come July, things are going to get clearer, allowing you to pull the trigger more confidently.

Check out other CPU comparisons from Sportskeeda:

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