Intel Core i5-12400 vs AMD Ryzen 5 5600X Face-Off: The Gaming Value Showdown

The $199 Intel Core i5-12400 vs $299 Ryzen 5 5600X contest is a pitched battle that finds AMD’s most popular CPU facing off against an Intel competitor that costs roughly $100 less at retail. That may seem like an odd comparison, but AMD abandoned the sub-$200 market when it launched its Ryzen 5000 processors, leaving its older processors to hold the line as Intel has opened a new front in the AMD vs Intel price wars.

Based on pricing alone, the aging Zen 2-powered Ryzen 5 3600X and 3600 will remain the go-to competitors for the 12400 even though they debuted nearly two and a half years ago. As you’ll see, those old Zen 2 chips aren’t competitive, and AMD’s $259 Ryzen 5 5600G APU targets a different market. That means AMD’s least expensive Zen 3 model, the Ryzen 5 5600X, is the 12400’s only true competitor in the benchmarks. 

Intel’s Alder Lake chips are surprisingly powerful, already earning key upsets against higher-priced Ryzen chips on our list of Best CPUs for gaming and CPU Benchmark hierarchy. As seen in our previous faceoffs, Intel’s hybrid x86 Alder Lake design, which mixes fast performance cores (P-cores) with small efficiency cores (E-Cores), represents the company’s most disruptive architectural shift in a decade. As a result, Intel upsets AMD’s highest-end mainstream chips, particularly in price-to-performance metrics.