Intel Core i5-12500 vs AMD Ryzen 5 5500: Which budget CPU to buy?

Intel Core i5-12500 vs AMD Ryzen 5 5500: Which budget CPU to buy?

AMD recently announced a handful of new CPUs as a part of its Spring update. Out of all the available options in the Ryzen 5000 series, the Ryzen 5 5500 is now the most affordable option out there. We already compared the Ryzen 5 5500 and the Ryzen 5 5600 earlier to find out which one’s better. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the Intel Core i5-12500 vs AMD Ryzen 5 5500 CPU comparison to find out which one’s the better budget CPU to buy.

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Specifications

Before we jump into the comparison, here’s a quick look at the specs sheet of each CPU to see what each processor brings to the table:

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Specification Intel Core i5-12500 AMD Ryzen 5 5500
CPU Socket LGA1700 AMD AM4
Cores 6 6
Threads 12 12
Lithography TSMC 7nm FinFET TSMC 7nm FinFET
Base Frequency 3.0GHz 3.6GHz
Boost Frequency Up to 4.6GHz Up to 4.2GHz
Unlocked for overclocking? No Yes
L3 Cache 18 MB Intel Smart Cache 16MB
Default TDP 65W 65W
Max. Operating Temperature (Tjmax) 100°C 90°C
Memory Support Up to DDR5 4800 MT/s
Up to DDR4 3200 MT/s
DDR4 up to 3200MHz
Up to 128GB
Integrated Graphics Intel UHD Graphics 770 NA

Intel Core i5-12500 vs AMD Ryzen 5 5500: Performance Difference

Both Intel Core i5-12500 and the Ryzen 5 5500 chips are very similar in terms of the overall specifications. The Core i5-12500 doesn’t have efficiency cores, so we’re looking at six performance cores along with twelve threads. The core configuration is similar to that of the Ryzen 5 5500, which also has six cores and twelve threads with support for SMT. As for the core frequencies, the Core i5 12500 has a base frequency of 3.0GHz whereas the Ryzen 5 5500 has a faster base frequency at 3.6GHz.

Intel has a higher max boost frequency coming in at 4.6GHz as opposed to just the 4.2GHz in Ryzen’s case. It’s worth pointing out that the Intel Core o5-12500 lacks the Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 Frequency support as it’s only reserved for the higher-end chips in the portfolio. While the Intel Core i5-12500 has slightly higher cache memory, we don’t think it’s significant enough to cause a difference in performance. If anything, we expect both chips to have the same level of performance.

It’s also worth pointing out that the Intel Core i5-12500 comes with integrated graphics, whereas the Ryzen 5 5500 doesn’t. This means you’ll need a dedicated graphics card to use this CPU. That being said, both chips come bundled with their own stock CPU cooler. While the Intel Core i5-12500 comes with a Laminar cooler, the Ryzen 5 5500 comes with a Wraith Stealth cooler. Both stock coolers are equally good, so you won’t have to spend on a third-party cooler.

Intel's new Laminar RS1 CPU cooler

Lastly, it’s worth pointing out that the Ryze 5 5500 CPU tops out at PCIe 3.0. This means you won’t be able to take advantage of PCIe 4.0 peripherals including the new SSDs, graphics, cards, and more. The Intel chip, in comparison, has support for both PCIe 4.0 as well as PCIe 5.0. The Ryzen 5 5500 is also limited to just DDR4 memory whereas the Intel processor has support for DDR5 memory modules as well. We’re yet to get our hands on this either of these chips, so we’ll have a more detailed comparison once we have a chance to test them.

Pricing & Availability

AMD has launched the Ryzen 5 5500 for $159, making it one of the most affordable Ryzen 5000 series desktop processors out there. This is good for an entry-level build and we think it’s best paired with a budget B550 motherboard. The Ryzen 5 5500 will go on sale early in April. The Intel Core i5-12500, on the other hand, is readily available to buy right now. You can pick one up right now for $219. That’s the same price as the Ryzen 5 5600G, which we think is also a solid option to consider if you’re looking to build a budget gaming PC. We’ll add buying links for the Ryzen 5 5500 once it goes on sale. In the meantime, be sure to check out the Ryzen 5 5600G as well as Intel Core i5-12500 by hitting the links below.

    The AMD Ryzen 5 5600G is a great APU for those who are currently struggling to buy a GPU on the market.

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    The Intel Core i5-12500 is a great budget CPU for entry-level PC builds. It supports both DDR5 memory as well as PCIe 5.0.

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Intel Core i5-12500 vs AMD Ryzen 5 5500: Which one should you buy?

While the Ryzen 5 5500 cost significantly less money in comparison to the Intel Core i5-12500, we think you are better off buying the Intel chip. This is mainly because the Intel processor comes with support for both PCIe 4.0 and PCIe 5.0, as opposed to just the support for PCIe 3.0 on the Ryzen chip. The Core i5-12500 is better for those who are looking to build a long-lasting rig. You can easily pair it with one of the newer B660 motherboards and get a system up and running for around $600.

If you are hellbent on buying an AMD processor, then we recommend checking out the Ryzen 5 5600 or even the Ryzen 5 5660G. They’re not as affordable as the Ryzen 5 5500, but they’re bound to last you longer and deliver better performance. You can also check out our collection of the best CPUs to find more options to buy in 2022. AMD is also launching the next-gen Ryzen 7000 series processors later this year, so you might want to wait for that too. In the meantime, you can check out the Ryzen 6000 series mobile processors that are now powering a lot of gaming rigs on the market.

About author

Karthik Iyer
Karthik Iyer

Karthik covers PC hardware for XDA Computing. When not at work, you will find him yelling at his monitors while playing video games.

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