AMD recently expanded its Ryzen 5000 (Vermeer) family with seven new Ryzen chips. The Ryzen 5 5500, which is part of the latest additions, poses to become one of the best CPUs for gaming if some leaked benchmarks are any indication.
Hardware sleuth Benchleaks recently unearthed a Ryzen 5 5500 submission in Geekbench 5 that gives us a small taste of the Ryzen chip's single-threaded and multi-thread performance. The submitter tested the Ryzen 5 5500 on the MSI MEG X570 Godlike, the exact motherboard we used for our testbed. However, we used different memory for our reviews so that the actual margins may vary.
|Processor||Single-Core Score||Multi-Core Score|
|Ryzen 5 5600X||1,649||8,335|
|Ryzen 5 5600G||1,532||7,725|
|Ryzen 5 5500 (Geekbench submission)||1,468||7,629|
The Ryzen 5 5600G delivered 4.4% higher single-threaded performance than the Ryzen 5 5500. However, for multi-threaded performance, the Ryzen 5 5600G was only 1.3% faster than the Ryzen 5 5500.
We observed a 12.3% higher single-threaded performance on the Ryzen 5 5600X compared to the Ryzen 5 5500. The multi-threaded margin was around 9.3%.
The Core i5-12400 is faster than the Ryzen 5 5600X, so it makes perfect sense that the Ryzen 5 5500 isn't a match for the hexa-core Alder Lake chip. In addition, the Core i5-12400 offered 20% and 17.2% better single-and multi-threaded performance, respectively, than the Ryzen 5 5500.
AMD prices the Ryzen 5 5600 at $199 and the Ryzen 5 5500 at $159. With the recent price cuts, the Ryzen 5 5600X presently retails for $224.99. It'll take more than a single Geekbench result to determine whether the Ryzen 5 5500 is the new budget processor for consumers. Let's not forget that Intel also has the Core i5-12400F, which costs $179.99, so there is much competition in this price range.
Wielding AMD's renowned Zen 3 cores, the Ryzen 5 5500 checks in with a six-core, 12-thread configuration. It's a recipe that has worked for the chipmaker, so it makes little sense to change it now. The core configuration is similar to AMD's design on the Ryzen 5 5600X and Ryzen 5 5600. However, there are some very substantial differences between the trio of Ryzen 5 SKUs.
The Ryzen 5 5500 only has 16MB of L3 cache, whereas the Ryzen 5 5600X and Ryzen 5 5600 boast a 32MB L3 cache. Therefore, It's safe to assume that the Ryzen 5 5500 utilizes a monolithic die, like the Ryzen 5 5600G APU. The silicon for the Ryzen 5 5500 could be defective dies that don't qualify for the Ryzen 5 5600G or dies where AMD has disabled the iGPU.
Although AMD's Ryzen 5 parts have a 65W TDP, the clock speeds vary from one model to the next. The Ryzen 5 5500 has a 3.6 GHz base clock and 4.2 GHz boost clock. That's a 100 MHz lower base clock and 400 MHz lower boost clock compared to the Ryzen 5 5600X. Comparing the Ryzen 5 5500 to the Ryzen 5 5600G, we're looking at a 300 MHz and 200 MHz lower base and boost clock speeds.
In actual application and game workloads, many reviews show the 5600X to be a little faster than a 12400, though I've seen others that suggest the 12400 might be slightly faster. They're likely in a roughly similar performance tier overall. The exact numbers can also can depend on whether a review site paired the 12400 with unrealistic hardware, like DDR5-6000 on a high-end Z690 motherboard, which would make no sense for a $200 processor.
Another thing to consider when comparing prices is that B660 motherboards currently tend to cost more for a given feature-set than a similar B550 motherboard, resulting in the cost between a 12400 and 5600X build being rather close, at least ever since the 5600X's price was reduced. And of course, that could give the 5500 a bit more of a pricing edge in budget systems.
Aside from possibly pricing, the 5500 doesn't seem all that interesting though, seeing as it appears to be based off a cut-down 5600G, with slightly lower clocks and lacking the integrated graphics. It could be a fine enough option for a budget gaming system, but the current cost of graphics cards makes budget gaming systems a bit impractical for the time being, aside from perhaps for a big system builder has a steady source of reasonably-priced GPUs.
AMD waited too long to drop price / introduce new SKU