Along with the release of the octa-core Ryzen chips, AMD also came up with the quad-core Ryzen 5 1500X for those who just want to game. But is it a good substitute for Intel’s top quad-core CPUs? That's what we'll test today.
Architecture and Specification
From the powerful 8-core Ryzen 7 1800X to the 6-core Ryzen 5 1600X processor, we have already seen the potential and capability of the new AMD ZEN processor architecture for video productivity and CPU intensive tasks. The quad-core Ryzen 5 1500X can be considered as the sweet spot and a good alternative for the Intel i5-6500 processor.
The Ryzen 5 1500X is built under the 14nm fabrication process and runs at 3.5 GHz base clock speed and turbo core up to 3.7 GHz. The 16MB L3 cache remains the same as the faster Ryzen 7 processors. However, there are only eight CPU threads to accompany the four ZEN cores and the L2 cache is 2MB. That said, the TDP of the 1500X is only 65W. On the contrary, the Intel i5-6500 also features a 65W TDP design and falls under the same price range as the AMD Ryzen 5 1500X.
The processor features the XFR technology that can increase the frequency when sufficient cooling is present. The AMD Ryzen 5 1500X also comes with the Neural Net Prediction, Smart Prefetch and other features found in the faster Ryzen 7 processors.
Benchmark and Testbed
We will be using the same testbed that was used for the Ryzen 5 1600X six-core processor. All the specifications of the testbed remain the same: 2 x 16GB GeIL EVO X DDR4 RAM, Kingston HyperX 256GB SSD with Windows 10 Pro, an MSI Gaming X Radeon RX 570 graphics card and the ASRock AB350 Fatality Gaming K4 motherboard.
We will be comparing the CPU and GPU benchmark scores with the Intel i5-6500 quad-core processor that will also be tested with the MSI Gaming X Radeon RX 570 card. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the Intel i5-6600K/i5-7600K for comparison. All of these components except the Intel chip and the SSD are provided to us by AMD.
Passmark 9.0 CPU Mark
It appears that the performance difference between the AMD Ryzen 5 1500X and the Intel i5-6500 processor is just a few points in some benchmarks. While the 1500X easily wins in Cinebench R15 multi-core test, the Intel chip comes close with the AMD chip single-core tests. Intel leads the Geekbench 4 single-core by a slight difference and AMD for the multi-core test runs. That said, the OpenGL performance is way better in LuxMark CPU test thanks to the eight threads of Ryzen. It's interesting to note that both the processors came very close in the x265 1080p render test. AMD takes the lead in FireStrike and TimySpy tests. However, Intel performs slightly better for the VR Mark tests.
In most of the game titles that we tested, Intel performs slightly better with the MSI Gaming X Radeon RX 570 by just one or three more framerates. This is particularly notable in DOOM and Battlefield test runs. Personally, that framerate difference is very negligible. They are almost evenly matched.
We are glad to see that AMD finally has a Ryzen quad-core processor that's capable of matching up with an affordable gaming CPU like the Intel i5-6500. We haven't even tried out the overclocking potential of the quad-core AMD chip with its unlocked multipliers, something that Intel i5-6500 importantly lacks. The 1500X is almost one hundred dirhams cheaper than the Intel i5-6500, making it one of the best quad-core processor choices when building an affordable gaming setup.