Ryzen 5 For Gaming – Is It Worth It?

When building the gaming PC, you have to be careful with your selection of processors as it has a direct influence on the gaming performance. Before picking a processor, it’s worth understanding how games use the processor, and what type of processor you need for gaming, this will save you from making poor purchases that won’t perform well from a gaming perspective.

Games today are coded in such a way that they can only use one core at a time, this means having more cores won’t directly influence the performance of your gaming experience. So more cores don’t equal more FPS, which means you need to focus more on how your processor works single-core-wise. A processor with great single-core performance is known to perform well in games.

Answer: The Ryzen 5 processors are a great choice for budget gaming builds, this is because they’re often extremely affordable and offer great single-core performance. Ryzen 5 processors are often marketed more towards gamers, in fact, this makes it the most popular choice for gamers, you do not need the core count the Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 9 offers if you’re purely gaming.

Is The Ryzen 5 Strong Enough For Gaming?

Since games are purely single-core-based, you’re probably wondering whether the Ryzen 5 can perform well in this aspect. Well, Ryzen 5 processors such as the Ryzen 5 5600x are great gaming processors as they can surpass even the I9 9900K when it comes to gaming, this should show that core count doesn’t matter. The Ryzen 5 5600x comes with 6 cores 12 threads clocked at 3.7GHz and 4.6GHz boost, this is more than enough for gaming.

The reason the Ryzen 5 5600x can compete directly with the I9 9900K is because of the huge IPC increases AMD have made with the Ryzen 5000 series. When it comes to single-core performance, there is more than clock speed you need to worry about, if it were only clock speed that was important, then a lot of old processors would still be viable. The Ryzen 5 5600x has a lower clock speed than the I9 9900K, but higher instructions per clock.

This is surprising as Intel is known to be the king of gaming, but in this specific scenario, AMD managed to pull ahead in that category making the best gaming processors. As of today, Intel has regained that title of the best gaming processor with its newest release. The Ryzen 5 processors are still an amazingly affordable choice for individuals just getting into PC building, it can make for a great first PC.

CPUCore Count(Threads)Clock Speed(Boost)Passmark Single-Core ScoreCinebench Single-Core Score
Ryzen 5 36006(12)3.6GHz(4.2GHz)25771278
Ryzen 5 3600X6(12)3.8GHz(4.4GHz)26711314
Ryzen 5 5600X6(12)3.7GHz(4.6GHz)33811522

Does The Ryzen 5 Have Enough Cores?

WIth cores, it can be quite tricky because gaming really doesn’t need it, but you can’t game on a single-core processor either. When it comes to core count, we recommend 6 cores and the Ryzen 5 processors meet these criteria, the reason you need cores for gaming is that crucial tasks such as running the operating system need them. If you only had a single-core system, the PC wouldn’t perform well.

Just because cores are important for the overall system performance, there is no need to go for a CPU with more than 6 cores if you’re strictly gaming. The only reason you would need more than 6 cores when building a gaming PC is if you’re looking to perform other tasks on the side such as video editing and streaming, in this case, we recommend the Ryzen 7 lineup of CPUs.

When purchasing a CPU for a gaming system, there is a point where you have so many cores that your system won’t benefit from it from a gaming perspective. Having 32 cores is plain unnecessary, and the diminishing returns will be huge, if you’re going to be video editing at resolutions higher than 8K it isn’t needed. Furthermore, breaking the bank on an overkill CPU for gaming isn’t advised as you can allocate that money to a better GPU or more RAM.

Ryzen 5 Main Competitor

The Ryzen 5 lineup of processors directly competes with Intel’s i5 processors, they both target the same target audience which are gamers looking for an affordable CPU. Back in the day, the I5 processors used to be the go-to processor when it comes to gaming, and they never used to feature more than 4 cores and 4 threads. Now with the Ryzen 5 lineup, the competition gives gamers more options to choose from which is a good thing from a consumer’s perspective.

Specification-wise, the Ryzen 5 processors are fairly powerful being more than capable for gaming, you could pair a decent mid-range GPU and not fear about the Ryzen 5 bottlenecking it. Single-core performance is great, the Ryzen 5 processors have made huge IPC gains which means each clock cycle is producing more work, this is great news for gamers as it will bottleneck your GPU less. However, the latest release of I5s features really powerful processors in terms of single-core performance making them the best option for gamers, but they tend to be more expensive.

The I5s also comes with 10 processing cores which is insane for an i5 processor, they used to come with 4 cores, also the clock speed of the I5 12600K can reach a boost speed of 4.9GHz, you can tell Intel is serious about providing the best CPUs for gamers. The i5 12600K will beat the Ryzen 5 5600K in gaming performance in most games, but the price is also slightly higher which makes it more geared towards serious gamers.

Are Threads(Virtual Cores) Good For Gaming?

All Ryzen 5 processors come with SMT enabled which means you can benefit from having more cores, but this won’t influence your gaming performance, unfortunately. This is because gaming cannot benefit from threads due to games being single-core coded. Threads or virtual cores are basically a physical core split into two logical cores to increase the efficiency of the core, unfortunately, this efficiency doesn’t translate into more FPS.

Ryzen 5 5600X will come with 6 cores and 12 threads, this is decent for a mid-tier processor, this will allow you to video edit at resolutions of 1080P, and stream with more efficiency. Most applications will experience a 30% boost in performance, purchasing a processor without SMT is a bad idea, also it can make your PC better at multitasking, so if you have many applications open at once, they will run slightly easier.

In terms of gaming, the biggest influence for performance would be the graphics card, then it would be the single-core performance of the CPU. However, SMT has very little influence on the gaming performance, in cases with hyperthreading, gamers have reported slightly higher frame rates and slightly lower frame rates, it mostly depends on the game, but most of the time there is no FPS difference. So it is safe to say that SMT or Hyperthreading has no influence.


In conclusion, Ryzen 5 are great processors when it comes to gaming, they’re affordable and provide great single-core performance which you need for at least 60% of games available. If you’re not a strict gamer and want to video edit or stream, then you may require a slightly more powerful processor such as the Ryzen 7 5800x, however it isn’t absolutely necessary.