Introduction,Whenever a new set of processors is launched we all look longingly at the top of the range model and then check our bank balance and realise we can only afford a model in the upper middle of the range. This is by no means an experience limited to processors of course. The same restrictions affect everything we buy. It’s a matter of getting something with the majority of the elements available on the top of the line model, but at a price point more in keeping with our fiscal limitations.,If you’re building a gaming rig then those restrictions are even tighter. One thing we’ve often said here at OC3D is that you are always going to get a better return on your investment if you put the majority of your budget on the GPU than a CPU. The difference in frames per second between a Ryzen 5 5600X and RX 6800 XT, or a Core i5-11600K and RTX 3080, is going to be significantly better than what you’d achieve with a Ryzen 9 5950X and RX 6700 or Intel Core i9-11900K and RTX 3060Ti setup.,However, we also know that even hardcore gamers do other things with their system, so today we’re going to build two systems based around the biggest selling items in the upper midrange, the Ryzen 5 5600X and Core i5-11600K and the best selling GPU, the RTX 3080. There are enough cores that you’re not hanging around waiting for video to encode nor will more CPU intensive titles slow to a crawl, but there is enough saved in the budget that the RTX 3080 will also bring 4K gaming to you if you so desire it. It’s a nice futureproofed setup for those of you currently waiting for a great 4K panel to be affordable.,With a full suite of games on hand, let’s see how the two CPUs at the heart of their respective ranges go head to head, and perhaps give those of you sitting on the fence a little more information about a future purchase.,Test Setup,For our testing we’re running both the Intel Core i5-11600K and AMD Ryzen 5 5600X at stock and with an all-core overclock to see how they compare if you just want to build and play, or if tweaking them a little will bring you more frames per second. For the graphics card side of things we chose the RTX 3080, a graphics card which is a perfect gaming weapon and the best balance between price and performance. Certainly we could have utilised a more affordable one, or a more expensive one, or one of the new Radeon range, but we wanted a card that we knew would be able to run full on in 1080P and 1440P and should give 60FPS+ in the 4K tests. It’s one of the most popular GPUs for a reason. For the overclock results both the AMD and Intel are running at 4.8 GHz on all cores.,
Borderlands 3,Ah Borderlands 3. A game which redeemed the reputation of Gearbox after the terrible Borderlands The Pre-Sequel, only for them to go down the “gouge the public” route, with a £100 full edition that quickly turned into not full with a second season pass which costs as much as many full titles. It’s a great game, but even EA would blanch at treating their public so badly. Both CPUs perform well, as we’d expect, with the nod just given to the 5600X when overclocked and the Core i5 when at stock., ,
Control,Unlike when we’re testing our GPUs our run of Control today eschews the ray-tracing and instead concentrates just on standard settings. Having been in the most recent Humble Bundle, and also regularly on sale, most of you will have experienced this game by now. The results are the same as Borderlands 3 with the stock going to the Intel and the OC going to the AMD., ,
Dirt 5,Speaking of EA, Codemasters have recently been taken over by the giant. It’s the marriage of two companies who are doing their best to challenge Train Simulator for “most DLC in a single title”. Dirt 5 is one of the games that has heavy AMD branding at the front end, so perhaps it’s not a big shock to see the Ryzen 5 romping home both at stock and overclocked., ,
Gears 5,Gears 5 shakes things up. You’d expect that the AMD processor would bring the biggest benefit here. After all, Gears is all about the XBOX, and that’s an AMD, but here the Intel takes home the crown in both the stock and overclocked tests
Horizon Zero Dawn,We don’t care what genre you’re in to, what console you have under your TV, Horizon Zero Dawn is one of the top three games from the previous generation of consoles. A magnificent story, a glorious open world, jaw-dropping graphics and crisp gameplay. It’s wonderful and now it’s had all the bugs squashed on PC you definitely should check it out if you want to see what visuals you can get these days. All of the processors give us over 60FPS on the RTX 3080, with the Ryzen 5600X taking home the OC crown with the 11600K winning at stock 1080P., ,
Monster Hunter World,Monster Hunter Rise might be taking all the headlines being the newer of the two games, but Monster Hunter World is still a lush experience. The meals the Palico cook prepares are so realistic you want to lick the screen. With over 60FPS even at 4K and yet another overall victory for the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X if you haven’t tried smiting enormous monsters this is the perfect setup to take the plunge
Microsoft Flight Simulator,With massive draw distances and terrain detail it is no surprise that the latest in the Flight Simulator line of games can be a stern test of your system. The Intel Core i5-11600K wins out in both stock and overclocked, although we wouldn’t recommend running at 4K on either of these processors., ,
Resident Evil 3,Remakes are very much a mixed bag. Some totally reinvent the idea to the point that it’s not the same game, some are done with a light touch so you have glorious eye candy but roughly the same gameplay. Res 3 might not be as good as 1 or 2, but it’s still a great game and looks the part. Now someone with money convince EA to remake SSX Tricky already., ,
Shadow of the Tomb Raider,A great demonstration of how GPUs can be the limiting factor sometimes. At 4K Shadow of the Tomb Raider would be 100+ FPS if the GPU could match up to the CPU. Instead the CPU is spending ages waiting for the GPU to catch up
Total Warhammer II,On the subject of one element being the limiting factor, with thousands of units to handle Total War: Warhammer II is unquestionably a CPU limited game and one of the few where the Intel outperforms its AMD rival.
Total War Saga: Troy,The engine behind Total War: Troy is designed a little more like we’d expect, where the whole system works in harmony to bring higher frame rates across the board. The Intel sneaks ahead here too, just like it did in the Games Workshop one.
The Witcher 3,Whilst we all wait for Cyberpunk 2077 to be patched into playability, The Witcher 3 reminds us of what CD Projekt Red can do when there is less pressure on them and the world wasn’t closed down for a few months. It’s still a jaw dropping experience and one of the finest games in history. The AMD Ryzen 5 5600X takes home yet another victory here., ,
3DMARK: Time Spy,Time Spy is an excellent demonstration of GPU limits. Once you reach a certain level of CPU score, 4000 points plus, there isn’t much extra performance to be gained and it’s down to the GPU to do the rest. Which is exactly why you should spend your budget for a gaming rig on a better graphics card instead of a better CPU., ,
Average FPS – 1080P,We understand that with the inclusion of the lowest frame rate in our individual game graphs it can be difficult to compare the processors in each title, so the next three graphs are purely the average frame rate for each game on the two CPUs both at stock and overclocked., ,
Average FPS – 1440P,The same but in the 2560×1440 resolution.