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AMD Ryzen 3 vs. Intel i5: A Data Analyst‘s In-Depth Comparison to Help You Choose the Right CPU

If you‘re building a new PC and trying to choose between AMD and Intel processors, I‘m here to make your decision easier!

As an experienced data analyst and tech enthusiast, I‘ve done an in-depth comparison of the AMD Ryzen 3 4100 and the Intel Core i5-13600K. My goal is to arm you with the key facts to determine which CPU is the best fit for your needs and budget.

Here‘s what I‘ll cover:

  • Overview of the Ryzen 3 vs i5 product lines
  • Detailed performance benchmarks and comparison
  • Full specs and feature breakdown
  • Pricing and value analysis
  • Ideal use cases for each CPU
  • My professional recommendation

Let‘s get to it!

Comparing the AMD Ryzen 3 vs Intel Core i5 Families

First, what are the Ryzen 3 and Core i5 lines?

AMD Ryzen 3 chips are budget-focused quad-core processors. They offer decent performance for basic computing and light gaming. The 4100 is a current entry-level Ryzen 3 model.

Intel Core i5 CPUs are performance-oriented chips with up to 14 cores. They‘re built for gaming, content creation, and productivity. The 13600K is a top-tier unlocked i5.

For an overview, here‘s how the Ryzen 3 4100 and i5 13600K compare:

Specs AMD Ryzen 3 4100 Intel i5 13600K
Cores/Threads 4/8 14/20
Base Clock 3.8GHz 3.5GHz
Boost Clock 4.0GHz 5.1GHz
Cache 8MB 6MB
PCIe Version 3.0 5.0
iGPU No Yes
TDP 65W 125W
MSRP $99 $319

As you can see, the i5 has a commanding lead in core count, clock speeds, and features. But the Ryzen 3 is a bargain chip. Let‘s analyze if the i5 justifies its higher cost.

Benchmarks – i5 Crushes the Ryzen 3 in Performance

Synthetic benchmarks like PassMark provide an objective measure of overall CPU performance. Here are the test results:

PassMark scores:

  • Intel i5-13600K – 26,429
  • AMD Ryzen 3 4100 – 11,264

The i5 achieves a multi-threaded PassMark score 2.3x higher than the Ryzen 3. This massive real-world performance gap is thanks to the i5‘s architectural improvements and having 10 extra cores.

For single-threaded performance, the i5 also wins:

Single-threaded PassMark:

  • Intel i5-13600K – 4,061
  • AMD Ryzen 3 4100 – 2,157

The i5‘s single-core speed is 88% faster than the Ryzen 3. This leads to much snappier application load times and responsiveness.

Gaming frame rates reflect a similar advantage. In GPU-intensive titles at 1080p Ultra settings:

  • i5-13600K – 129 fps (Hitman 3)
  • Ryzen 3 4100 – 71 fps (estimates based on Ryzen 3 3300X data)

The i5 provides 45% higher average frame rates for a markedly smoother gaming experience.

Clearly, the i5 is far superior for CPU performance – over 2x faster for multi-threaded work and around 1.5x faster in single-core speed.

Specs and Features – i5 Takes The Lead

Next let‘s compare the technical specs and hardware features.

Cores and threads:

  • Ryzen 3 4100: 4 cores, 8 threads
  • i5-13600K: 14 cores (6 P-cores + 8 E-cores), 20 threads

The i5 has a 10 core and 12 thread advantage. This allows it to handle much heavier workloads.

Clock speeds:

  • Ryzen 3 4100: 3.8GHz base, 4.0GHz boost
  • i5-13600K: 3.5GHz base, 5.1GHz boost

Both CPUs have similar base clocks. But the i5 can reach 27% higher peak turbo speeds.

Cache memory:

  • Ryzen 3 4100: 8MB total cache
  • i5-13600K: 6MB

Surprisingly, the Ryzen 3 takes the lead in total cache size. More cache improves performance with data-heavy workloads.

However, the i5‘s smarter cache allocation makes up for having less overall capacity.

PCI Express version:

  • Ryzen 3 4100: PCIe 3.0
  • i5-13600K: PCIe 5.0

The i5 supports the newest PCIe 5.0 standard, providing up to 128GB/s bandwidth. This ensures full compatibility with high-speed NVMe Gen 5 SSDs and graphics cards.

The Ryzen 3 maxes out at PCIe 3.0 speeds of 16GB/s.

Memory support:

  • Ryzen 3 4100: DDR4-3200
  • i5-13600K: DDR5-5600 and DDR4-3200

Intel‘s i5 works with both new DDR5 and existing DDR4 RAM. AMD‘s Ryzen 3 is DDR4 only.

Integrated graphics:

  • Ryzen 3 4100: None
  • i5-13600K: Intel UHD Graphics 770

The i5 includes basic integrated graphics, so you won‘t need a video card for desktop usage without gaming. Ryzen 3 requires a discrete GPU.


  • Ryzen 3 4100: Unlocked
  • i5-13600K: Unlocked

Both CPUs can be overclocked to improve performance. However, the i5 has more robust overclocking capabilities.

Power efficiency:

  • Ryzen 3 4100: 65W TDP
  • i5-13600K: 125W TDP

The Ryzen 3 sips power at just 65 watts. The i5 is far more power hungry under load at 125 watts. Opting for the i5 likely requires better cooling.

The i5 matches or beats the Ryzen 3 in almost every spec comparison. The only advantages for AMD are cache capacity and power efficiency.

Pricing and Value For Money

Now let‘s discuss pricing. MSRP for these processors:

  • AMD Ryzen 3 4100 – $99
  • Intel i5-13600K – $319

Given the huge price difference, which CPU offers better value?

To determine value, I‘ll divide the PassMark score by cost to quantify performance-per-dollar:

  • i5-13600K: 26,429 PassMark score / $319 price = 82.8
  • Ryzen 3 4100: 11,264 PassMark score / $99 price = 113.8

Surprisingly, the Ryzen 3 beats the i5 in terms of value, offering 27% more performance-per-dollar. This suggests the i5‘s much higher cost isn‘t completely justified by its performance gains.

However, keep in mind:

  • The i5 provides a far superior overall user experience
  • The Ryzen 3‘s value advantage diminishes at lower price points
  • Power users need the i5‘s extra performance

So for budget buyers, the Ryzen 3 is likely the better buy. But for demanding use cases, the i5 still comes out on top.

Ideal Use Cases

Given the specs, benchmarks, and pricing, what are these CPUs best suited for?

The Ryzen 3 4100 is ideal for:

  • Basic home/office PC builds
  • Budget gaming rigs
  • Undemanding school workstations

The Intel i5-13600K is better for:

  • High-end gaming PCs
  • Graphics and video editing
  • Software development
  • Scientific computing
  • Multitasking and heavy workloads

For everyday web browsing, document editing, and casual gaming, the Ryzen 3 provides adequate performance. Plus it leaves room in your budget for other components.

But for intensive gaming, content creation, programming, and professional use, I strongly recommend the i5 instead. The performance difference is just too big to ignore.

While the Ryzen 3 has a better price-to-performance ratio on paper, that doesn‘t tell the full story. Overall system experience matters more than theoretical value calculations.

My Recommendation

So in summary, for budget-focused basic builds under $600 get the Ryzen 3 4100. But if you can afford it, the Intel Core i5-13600K is absolutely worth the higher price.

Here‘s why I recommend the i5 for most builders:

  • Over 2x faster multi-threaded performance from its 14 cores
  • Much higher single-threaded speeds too for ultra-smooth gaming
  • Supports DDR5 RAM, PCIe 5.0 and the latest instruction sets
  • Won‘t need to upgrade as soon for future demanding games and software
  • Unlocked for easy overclocking to 5GHz+ with a Z-series motherboard
  • Integrated graphics so you can use the PC before adding a video card

The Ryzen 3 isn‘t a bad processor. But in my professional opinion as an analyst, the i5 provides a massively better overall user experience. It‘s a worthwhile investment that will pay dividends for years to come in the form of silky smooth frame rates, responsive applications, speedy loading times, and excellent multitasking performance.

For a high-end PC that won‘t be outdated anytime soon, the Intel Core i5-13600K gets my enthusiast seal of approval! It beats the Ryzen 3 hands down and is what I‘d choose without hesitation for my own system.

I hope this detailed comparison helps you pick the right CPU for your needs. Let me know if you have any other questions!