I’ve compared the Ryzen 7 5800X against Intel’s i7-10700K processor in games and applications to help you decide which to pick
CPU spec differences
Both processors have 8 cores and 16 threads. The 10700K can reach higher clock speeds, but the 5800X has double the cache. The 5800X also costs more money, so let’s dive in and find out if it’s worth paying more for.
Both processors were tested in the same system, but I’ve had to change motherboards. For the 10700K I’m testing with the MSI Z490 ACE motherboard, and for the 5800X I’m using the ASRock X570 Taichi. The rest of the components were otherwise the same, I’ve tested with 32gb of DDR4-3200 memory running in dual channel at CL14 and with MSI’s GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio graphics card to minimize bottlenecks. Neither processor comes with a cooler, so I’ve used my Fractal S36 AIO with Noctua NT-H2 thermal paste for comparable results.
I’ve tested both CPUs at stock, and with the following all core overclocks applied, 5.1GHz on the 10700K and 4.7GHz on the 5800X. The Intel system also had MCE disabled with no power limits. With that in mind we’ll first check out the differences in various applications, as well as power draw and thermals, followed by gaming tests afterwards, then finish up by comparing some performance per dollar metrics.
Starting out with Cinebench R20 we can see the 5800X is 22% faster than the 10700K in single core at stock, a great result given this is an area where Intel has traditionally had the lead. When it comes to multicore performance, the 5800X was still 24% faster than the Intel chip, again a great result considering both have the same core and thread count. With both processors overclocked the 5800X is actually a little worse, and this is because the all core overclock limits single core boost. I’ve also tested the older Cinebench R15 as a lot of people still use it so you can compare my results, the margins were quite similar to R20 so let’s move on. I’ve tested Blender with the BMW and Classroom benchmarks. This is a multicore workload, and the 5800X was completing the BMW test 10% faster than the 10700K, and the classroom test 17% faster at stock.
With both overclocked though, the 5800X was now just 3% and 10% faster respectively in the same tests, and this is because the overclock on the 10700K makes a bigger improvement, but either way a stock 5800X is still faster than the overclocked 10700K. The V-Ray benchmark is another rendering workload, at stock the 5800X was scoring 26% higher than the 10700K, then when both are overclocked the 5800X is still able to score 19% higher. The Corona benchmark also uses the processor to render out a scene, though in this multicore test the difference was less pronounced, with the 5800X 17% faster than the 10700K at stock, and then 11% faster once both are overclocked. We can see that the 5800X overclock only allows the test to complete a second faster, while the 10700K overclock shaves off 6 seconds. Handbrake was used to convert one of my 4K laptop review videos to 1080p. I wasn’t seeing any difference to the 5800X whether or not it was overclocked, while the 10700K again was able to offer much better gains with the overclock in place, but again even with the 10700K overclocked the stock 5800X was still 11% faster. Adobe Premiere was used to export one of my laptop review videos at 4K. I’ve tested with both VBR 1 pass, which should make use of Intel’s quicksync on the 10700K, and 2 pass which should be heavier on the processor. At stock the 5800X was completing the video export 11% faster than the 10700K in the 1 pass test, but the 2 pass test was 17% faster as there’s less hardware acceleration. I’ve also tested Adobe Premiere but with the Puget Systems benchmark tool, as this tests for more things like live playback rather than just raw video export times. The 5800X was scoring 12% higher at stock, and 8% higher with both overclocked. Adobe Photoshop was also tested with the Puget Systems benchmark tool. Like some of the other tests, the overclocked 5800X result was actually a little worse, but even with the 10700K overclocked to 5.1GHz the 5800X was still scoring 11% higher. I’ve used 7-Zip to test compression and decompression speeds, and Ryzen chips have always had a huge advantage over Intel in this test which continues here. At stock the 5800X was 23% faster in compression, and then 37% faster in decompression, one of the biggest differences out of all apps tested. On the other hand, VeraCrypt was used to test AES encryption and decryption, and the differences between the two processors here were the smallest out of all applications tested with the 5800X just 9 to 10% faster at stock, or less than 5% faster with the overclocks in place. Microsoft Excel was tested using the Hardware Unboxed large number crunch test, and this test saw the biggest difference out of all applications tested, likely owing to the 5800X having double the cache. The 5800X was over 40% faster than the 10700K at stock, and was still completing the task 33% faster with both overclocked. The differences in single core performance in Geekbench are quite similar to what was seen in Cinebench previously, with the overclocked 5800X actually dropping back a little, regardless it’s still a clear win for the 5800X at stock or overclocked.
Here’s how AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800X compares against Intel’s i7-10700K with both processors at stock in all of the applications tested. The 5800X was faster in all instances, though as we can see results vary by workload.
I was surprised how much ahead the 5800X was in the single core tests, just for comparison the 3800XT from last generation was behind the 10700K there. The 5800X is still on top in all tests once both processors have been overclocked as far as I could push them, though overclocked results will of course vary based on factors like silicon lottery. The performance gap does narrow in here as the 10700K has more overclocking headroom, but it still can’t catch the 5800X. Based on my results, it doesn’t really seem worth overclocking the 5800X, the easy gains just aren’t there.
Power draw, thermals, clock speeds
When we look at the total system power draw from the wall with the blender test running, the 5800X system is using slightly more power with both processors running at stock, but don’t forget it was also completing this test 17% faster for 3% more wattage.
Things get interesting with both overclocked. The 5800X is actually using slightly less power, and this seems to be because my manually set voltage was less than what it would automatically boost up to.
Higher power draw typically results in more heat, and that was the case here. The 5800X was running hotter at stock, the 10700K was a fair bit cooler comparatively, but once the 10700K was overclocked it was now reaching higher temperatures. These are the clockspeeds being reached during these same tests, so at stock both were fairly similar, and given the 5800X was actually clocking a little lower but performing better in all tests, it would appear that Zen 3 has superior instructions per clock or IPC.
With the overclocks in place the 10700K is capable of higher speeds, and this is why with both overclocked the 10700K sees a larger performance boost, but even so in all cases the 5800X was still faster.
Let’s get into the gaming results next, I’ve tested 9 games at 1080p, 1440p and 4K resolutions.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider was tested with the games benchmark tool. At 1080p down the bottom of the graph, the 5800X was reaching 6% higher average FPS. At 1440p it was only 2% ahead, then no change at 4K as the processor generally matters less at higher resolutions. Microsoft Flight Simulator was tested in the Sydney landing challenge. At 1080p the 5800X had a 4% lead, though as we can see that’s only a 1 frame difference, good luck noticing that when actually playing. Jokes aside, it’s still impressive that Zen3 is able to beat Intel in games. Death Stranding was tested by running through the same part of the game on both systems, and is a title I’ve noticed that tends to do quite well with Zen 3. At 1080p, the 5800X was reaching 12% higher average frame rates when compared to the 10700K, but this lead disappears at higher resolutions. Battlefield V was tested in campaign mode, and there were no major differences between the two, which were around 1 FPS different either way regardless of resolution, and both were hitting the 200 FPS cap at 1080p. I had to put CS:GO to the test as AMD were claiming some pretty big gains with Zen 3, and I was seeing big improvements with the 5800X which is quite impressive as this is a title where Intel has always had the lead. At stock the 5800X was 27% faster in average frame rate at 1080p, though the 1% low difference was lower at 6% higher. Red Dead Redemption 2 was tested with the games benchmark. Again the 5800X was faster in all instances, with a 7% lead over the 10700K at 1080p and 5% faster at 1440p. Rainbow Six Siege was doing slightly better on the 10700K in average frame rate, but still it’s probably not that big of a difference that you’re going to notice in any case, especially at 1080p where both are spitting out more than 500 FPS with max settings. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was also tested using the games built in benchmark tool, and was another where the 10700K was doing a little better regardless of resolution in use. Far Cry New Dawn was tested with the games benchmark too, and the 5800X was ahead in average frame rates at all setting levels.
Over all 9 games tested, the 5800X was 6% faster than the 10700K in average FPS. It’s worth noting that Battlefield 5 only saw no difference because both chips were capable of reaching the 200 FPS cap, so that may be holding the average back a little. That said, the average is clearly boosted up by the crazy CS:GO performance, so if we don’t count that the 5800X is instead 3% faster than the 10700K in this selection of games. When we step up to 1440p the 5800X is now under 2% faster on average. Higher resolutions start becoming more GPU dependent, so the difference in processor starts to matter less, but regardless still a win for the 5800X. This trend continues at 4K, where the 5800X was now under 0.4% faster than the 10700K on average, and even if we remove the CS:GO outlier both processors are still extremely close together on average. I only tested 4K to outline how the processor basically doesn’t matter.
Cost per frame value
Despite the 5800X performing better in most cases, the 10700K is the winner in terms of value as it’s currently $70 cheaper than the 5800X’s launch price.
The cost per frame differences get bigger at the higher resolutions because the frame rates get closer to being the same so the price difference matters more. Don’t get me wrong, the 5800X is definitely a capable gaming processor, but it needs to be cheaper to be competitive against the 10700K.
It was a different story when I compared the 5600X against the 10600K, the 5600X was a clear win as the price difference was only $25. Basically the other Zen 3 processors were much more exciting when compared to their Intel counterparts, the 5800X is a bit less exciting comparatively.
If you’re only or mainly gaming, the 10700K may make more sense, but if we factor in productivity focussed applications, well the 5800X blows the 10700K away, you’ll just have to decide if it’s worth paying $70 more or 18% more money for this level of performance improvement. It’s also worth considering that these price differences are for the CPU only, the percentage differences become less in the context of say a new $1500 system for instance, where the processor makes up a fraction of the cost. Personally I’d pay the extra money for the 5800X as I don’t do a whole lot of gaming, but that’s just me - if I was primarily gaming and wanted an 8 core processor, the 10700K is looking attractive at its current price.
Let me know which you’d pick down in the comments. I’ll also be comparing the 5800X with the 3700X from last generation soon, and I’ve got plenty more Zen 3 comparisons on the way.