Question Ryzen 5 3600 vs i5 9400f vs 150-240€ CPU

Andrea Burgio

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May 6, 2015
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Hi everyone, I have to build a computer on a budget, I use it mostly for college (computer engineering), so I need it mostly for programs like matlab, mathematica, photoshop, programming softwares in general, and some occasional gaming (don't really care to run a game on medium settings). Since I can't spend so much money I'm undecided between a ryzen 5 3600 and a i5 9400f. I'm in italy and the price for the 3600 205 euros at the moment https://www.amazon.it/AMD-Ryzen-5-3600-Processori/dp/B07STGGQ18/ref=sr_1_1?__mk_it_IT=ÅMÅŽÕÑ&crid=2NRWT0Q99YP9U&dchild=1&keywords=ryzen+5+3600&qid=1603448041&s=electronics&sprefix=ryzen+5,electronics,220&sr=1-1, and for the 9400f is 140 euros https://www.amazon.it/Intel-i5-9400F-processore-Smart-Cache/dp/B07S9M32FG/ref=sr_1_4?__mk_it_IT=ÅMÅŽÕÑ&dchild=1&keywords=i5+9600&qid=1603447822&s=electronics&sr=1-4, which one would you recommend me? Obviously the more "future proof" and the more powerful the better. Even if you have a better idea, and you can find another CPU around those prices on https://www.amazon.it (maybe an i5 9600k?) it would be really appreciated! Thank you!
 
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...Obviously the more "future proof" and the more powerful the better. ...
I think performance will be comparable...with the 3600 taking lead on many things with it's core advantage, the Intel taking lead on others (Matlab in particular favors Intel)...so that's not an easy thing to say with certainty which is 'better'. I'd give the nod to the 3600 if just because of it's 6 core/12 threads.

But making 'future proofing' an important discriminator means you should really pick the motherboard you put it on carefully. For the 3600 you can pick any of a number of B550 motherboards that offer easy upgrading to even the most powerful desktop processors in the 4th gen Ryzen 5000 family. What that means is don't compare price of just the processors, but of processors and motherboards that let you upgrade to a lot more processor to get the true cost comparison.

ADDED: btw...if this is any indicator, the slaughter is on. A 5600x (lowest of the 4th gen Ryzen 5000 processors) massacres a 10900K processor in single thread performance in some just leaked BM's. That's hardly the whole story of course, but ST performance was previously Ryzen's achilles heel in comparisons. I have to think upgradeability to one of those would be very important if future proof is a consideration.
 
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Andrea Burgio

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May 6, 2015
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I think performance will be comparable...with the 3600 taking lead on many things with it's core advantage, the Intel taking lead on others (Matlab in particular favors Intel)...so that's not an easy thing to say with certainty which is 'better'. I'd give the nod to the 3600 if just because of it's 6 core/12 threads.

But making 'future proofing' an important discriminator means you should really pick the motherboard you put it on carefully. For the 3600 you can pick any of a number of B550 motherboards that offer easy upgrading to even the most powerful desktop processors in the 4th gen Ryzen 5000 family. What that means is don't compare price of just the processors, but of processors and motherboards that let you upgrade to a lot more processor to get the true cost comparison.

ADDED: btw...if this is any indicator, the slaughter is on. A 5600x (lowest of the 4th gen Ryzen 5000 processors) massacres a 10900K processor in single thread performance in some just leaked BM's. That's hardly the whole story of course, but ST performance was previously Ryzen's achilles heel in comparisons. I have to think upgradeability to one of those would be very important if future proof is a consideration.
Thanks for the answer! I looked up the 5600x already, but its way too expensive, I don't want to spend $300 for a CPU.. I think it's not necessary, some people nowadays would kill for 10 additional fps lol Anyway, what do you think about this motherboard: https://www.amazon.it/gp/product/B07F6ZXNXK/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?smid=A3GRET63OSU9KJ&psc=1? Is there a big difference with the B550, for example this: https://www.amazon.it/MSI-Scheda-Type-C-DisplayPort-generazione/dp/B08BCQF1BD/ref=sr_1_12?__mk_it_IT=ÅMÅŽÕÑ&dchild=1&keywords=B550M&qid=1603460475&sr=8-12 ? Because it's pretty expensive
 
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Thanks for the answer! I looked up the 5600x already, but its way too expensive, I don't want to spend $300 for a CPU.. I think it's not necessary, some people nowadays would kill for 10 additional fps lol Anyway, what do you think about this motherboard: https://www.amazon.it/gp/product/B07F6ZXNXK/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?smid=A3GRET63OSU9KJ&psc=1? Is there a big difference with the B550, for example this: https://www.amazon.it/MSI-Scheda-Type-C-DisplayPort-generazione/dp/B08BCQF1BD/ref=sr_1_12?__mk_it_IT=ÅMÅŽÕÑ&dchild=1&keywords=B550M&qid=1603460475&sr=8-12 ? Because it's pretty expensive
The B550 is more costly because it has a much more capable VRM; with 10 phases of pretty good discrete FET's. Even though it's kind of 'lower-endy' for the current crop of B550 boards it should handle even a 16 core 3950 CPU in the future. How it can handle 12 or 16 core 5000 series is still up in the air as they aren't out yet, but I have to think even the 8 core 5800X's would work on such a strong VRM.

The B450 doesn't have that strong a VRM (only 4 phase and a small heatsink), I'd not go any more than a 3800X CPU and 5800X is still a question until the reviews come out.

I can understand 5600 is out of the question, but it's a future proofing thing anyway. The better motherboard makes it possible to move to one...or even 5800X...in the future when it is a choice without having to fit a new motherboard into the upgrade budget.

You might look for an Asrock B550 Pro 4. It's a little bit less capable VRM than the B550-A PRO with six phases of very good FET's, but should still be able to handle even a 3950.
 
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egda23

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Hi everyone, I have to build a computer on a budget, I use it mostly for college (computer engineering), so I need it mostly for programs like matlab, mathematica, photoshop, programming softwares in general, and some occasional gaming (don't really care to run a game on medium settings). Since I can't spend so much money I'm undecided between a ryzen 5 3600 and a i5 9400f. I'm in italy and the price for the 3600 205 euros at the moment https://www.amazon.it/AMD-Ryzen-5-3600-Processori/dp/B07STGGQ18/ref=sr_1_1?__mk_it_IT=ÅMÅŽÕÑ&crid=2NRWT0Q99YP9U&dchild=1&keywords=ryzen+5+3600&qid=1603448041&s=electronics&sprefix=ryzen+5,electronics,220&sr=1-1, and for the 9400f is 140 euros https://www.amazon.it/Intel-i5-9400F-processore-Smart-Cache/dp/B07S9M32FG/ref=sr_1_4?__mk_it_IT=ÅMÅŽÕÑ&dchild=1&keywords=i5+9600&qid=1603447822&s=electronics&sr=1-4, which one would you recommend me? Obviously the more "future proof" and the more powerful the better. Even if you have a better idea, and you can find another CPU around those prices on https://www.amazon.it (maybe an i5 9600k?) it would be really appreciated! Thank you!
Using essentially the same sort of programs you do, I would go with the i5-10400F. Paired with a B460 motherboard.
So another suggestions than your 2 choices
https://www.amazon.it/s?k=i5+10400&i=electronics&__mk_it_IT=ÅMÅŽÕÑ&ref=nb_sb_noss_1
 

Andrea Burgio

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May 6, 2015
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Using essentially the same sort of programs you do, I would go with the i5-10400F. Paired with a B460 motherboard.
So another suggestions than your 2 choices
https://www.amazon.it/s?k=i5+10400&i=electronics&__mk_it_IT=ÅMÅŽÕÑ&ref=nb_sb_noss_1
Whoa! I've never considered that processor before, it performs even better than the 3600 in games, I'll do a little bit more research on it and i'll choose. Can i ask you why you prefer that the i5 over the ryzen? I see that the ryzen has more cache L3, (32MB vs 12MB), higher frequencies (3.6 vs 2.9) and according to this video:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgA76SBEUqo&ab_channel=PCBenchmarks
(i dont know how reliable it is) the 3600 is better for activities besides gaming. What do you think?
 

egda23

Prominent
Jun 14, 2020
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Whoa! I've never considered that processor before, it performs even better than the 3600 in games, I'll do a little bit more research on it and i'll choose. Can i ask you why you prefer that the i5 over the ryzen? I see that the ryzen has more cache L3, (32MB vs 12MB), higher frequencies (3.6 vs 2.9) and according to this video:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgA76SBEUqo&ab_channel=PCBenchmarks
(i dont know how reliable it is) the 3600 is better for activities besides gaming. What do you think?
I must admit that is probably old habit of using Intel for over 30 years !
But a system around the i5-10400 seems to me to be very cost effective and with the least headache for building the system. And you are much less depended of high speed RAM with an Intel system.
That sad the choice between 2 well build systems with a 3600 or a 10400 is essentially a toss up for your usage
 
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Andrea Burgio

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May 6, 2015
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I must admit that is probably old habit of using Intel for over 30 years !
But a system around the i5-10400 seems to me to be very cost effective and with the least headache for building the system. And you are much less depended of high speed RAM with an Intel system.
That sad the choice between 2 well build systems with a 3600 or a 10400 is essentially a toss up for your usage
Ok! thank you very much! Really appreciated 👍
 

Andrea Burgio

Honorable
May 6, 2015
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I must admit that is probably old habit of using Intel for over 30 years !
But a system around the i5-10400 seems to me to be very cost effective and with the least headache for building the system. And you are much less depended of high speed RAM with an Intel system.
That sad the choice between 2 well build systems with a 3600 or a 10400 is essentially a toss up for your usage
Could i ask you one more question, what do you think about replacing the 970 EVO plus with this: https://www.amazon.it/Sabrent-Interno-Memoria-Prestazioni-SB-RKTQ-1TB/dp/B0863DHZDJ/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?__mk_it_IT=ÅMÅŽÕÑ&dchild=1&keywords=Sabrent+Rocket+Q&qid=1603474857&s=pc&sr=1-1-spons&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUExWUNURDRST1JMNVFVJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNzc2Njg4Mk9JTkZGME5LMUxPRyZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwNTIyOTU3MTBNUjY1MURBVThYWSZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2F0ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU&th=1 ?
 

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