Yes! The short answer is the AMD Ryzen 5 5500 is good for gaming but only when you are low on budget. If you can spend some more bucks you can have even better AMD processor that can run the latest titles without any problem.

The market is flooded with processors that are powerful as well as budget-friendly, and one of those processors is the Ryzen 5 5500. The processor, after being released in Q1 of 2022, has gained a lot of traction, mostly from the budget builders. It offers excellent value since it can be bought for a mere $91 as of now. At such a price, the processor presents formidable competition to its rivals and sets a high standard that is difficult to surpass.

Picking the right processor is crucial and can heavily affect the performance of your PC in-game and during work applications. Therefore, we can’t compromise and make stupid choices when it comes to the processors. The CPU is responsible for handling all the game instructions and then delivering them to the GPU, so the information can be utilized to render frames. This is why if you don’t opt for the right processor, you will be losing a lot of in-game FPS, and possibly face stutters and slowdowns because of an underpowered processor. 

That’s why we’re going to see whether the Ryzen 5 5500 stacks up to its claims or is it just another overpriced not-so-good-value like many others out there. Let’s dive right into it.

Ryzen 5 5500 Specifications

The Ryzen 5 5500 as stated before, was launched back in April 2022 and has been going strong since. Especially among the budget-oriented guys, who want to experience good performance within an affordable budget segment. The Ryzen 5 5500 is based on AMD’s Zen 3 microarchitecture, which is the same for every other Ryzen 5000 series of CPU lineup. The change in architecture provides a significant generational leap in performance to justify its existence and reason to purchase.

Moreover, this specific CPU offers the same 6 cores and 12 threads configuration to handle all the multitasking effectively and efficiently. Not only multitasking, this configuration is also beneficial in gaming titles nowadays. Because they have become so demanding and unoptimized. In most instances, you genuinely need to have the best in order to enjoy a seamless gaming experience. 

Besides that, the CPU comes with 3.6 GHz of base and 4.2 GHz of boost clocks to handle the instructions within decent timeframes. Not only that, the CPU is also capable of being overclocked, which is a plus point for the consumer as they can squeeze a little more performance out of the processor. 

That too at no additional cost, given that it has an adequate cooling system already in place. Regrettably though, like other Ryzen processors, this one is devoid of an integrated graphics solution. So the only way to get a display on the screen is using a discrete graphics card, which in the case of the majority of people isn’t much of an issue.

Gaming and Synthetic Performance

Since we’re discussing a CPU targeted at providing a budget gaming experience. We’re surely not going to miss the gaming benchmarks. Not to mention, synthetic benchmarks will also be conducted for a better understanding of the CPU’s power.

Synthetic Benchmarks

Let’s start with some synthetic benchmarks done on this processor. In 3DMark Time Spy, the CPU score the Ryzen 5 5500 managed to pull was 7,687 points against 6,570 for i3 12100F and 7,101 for i5 10400. Moving over to the 7-ZIP benchmark, the Ryzen 5 5500 produced 51,701 compression and 899,869 decompression rate in KB/s. Meanwhile, in the benchmark, the i3 12100F was only able to give out 39,923 compression and 492,166 decompression points. 

Although, the i5 10400 performed similarly to the i3 12100F in compression, but pulled out significantly greater numbers in decompression. However, that still isn’t, anywhere near the Ryzen 5 5500. Moreover, in CineBench R23, things got a little interesting as the i3 12100F performed slightly better in single-core performance by producing 1,630 points. Whereas the Ryzen 5 5500 peaked out at 1,363 points at stock clock speeds. The Ryzen 5 5500 led the chart again in the multicore segment as it got 10,447 points. Much higher than the 8,086 points of the i3 12100F.

Gaming Benchmarks

Now let’s talk about some gaming benchmarks as well, which surprised us again with how much value this CPU can conceivably offer. We paired the Ryzen 5 5500 with an RX 6700 XT and 16 GB of G.Skill Trident Z memory clocked at 3000MHz. For the resolutions, we stuck to 1080p and 1440p as it’s more of a CPU potential test and not the games’. 

In Starfield, we opted for Ultra settings with shadows being High only and no upscaling technique whatsoever. At 1080p, the game held the average FPS between 50-52. While on 1440p and no upscaling, the CPU managed to maintain 40–44 FPS in the New Atlantis. Do note, though, that you will also notice that the CPU utilization at 1440p will be slightly lower than what it is at 1080p because of the resolution’s GPU-bound nature.

As for the Star Wars: Jedi Survivor, we again received some surprisingly favorable performance results. At 1440p with RT toggle on, no upscaling and epic settings. The CPU and GPU combo maintained a decent average result of 37-40 FPS. Which went higher to the 50s when the native resolution was dropped all the way down to 1080p.

Factors Impacting Gaming Performance

Even though the CPU is quite powerful on its own, however, it still requires assistance from decent and equally powerful components like GPU, RAM, and Cooling Solution. An unbalanced pairing of components can frankly damage the intended performance figure, and you wouldn’t be able to enjoy unhindered and smooth gaming sessions. Having the right GPU matters a lot. Otherwise, the chances of falling into the bottleneck trap are high, which can ruin your gaming performance. 

Something like the RX 6600 XT/non-XT, RX 6700 XT/non-XT, RX 5700 XT/non-XT, RX 5600 XT, RTX 2070 Super, RTX 2080, RTX 3060, and RTX 3060 Ti should be your considerations for the Ryzen 5 5500. These beasts will be the best possible choices to get the most out of your system without losing anything because of the bottleneck risk.

Inadequate DRAM configuration and CPU cooling solution can also greatly affect in-game performance. Make sure that you have the right capacity and frequency on your DRAM since slower RAM can cause delays in data transfers. Similarly, a competent enough air or liquid cooler should be installed to prevent the CPU from overheating and thermal throttling. 

Another honorable mention that is worthy of praise is the game’s optimization. Due to the fact that we’re living in an era where you hardly find a game with solid day-one optimization. Bad ports don’t perform well, no matter what components you use to play them. Especially in CPU-bound titles, even lowering the settings won’t help, and you’ll be left helpless unless the developers address the problem themselves. 

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Pros 

The Ryzen 5 5500 is a surprisingly good budget six-core processor that offers a dandy price-to-performance ratio even in 2023. The processor is a 65W chip and can even work out with any inexpensive cooler while maintaining favorable temperatures given that the airflow inside the chassis is sufficient. The cherry on top, you also get the freedom to overclock it, unlike the Intel processors. Where you have to have a specific “K” series processor alongside a “Z” series motherboard. 

The Cons

The processor is based on Zen 3 architecture that is limited to the AM4 platform. Meaning that you can’t upgrade to the new Ryzen 7000 series processors or use the all-new DDR5 memory modules. That can limit your upgrade path, and you have to change the whole platform as a whole to make space for the newer components. Because none of this will work with the new Ryzen 7000 and upcoming series of processors. Besides that, everything seems to be in favor of the processor. 

Conclusion

The article explains the core qualities and capabilities of the Ryzen 5 5500 very well and also tells about its real-world performance. Just to see whether it is capable of achieving what AMD claimed, or if it is just another failure. The processor was able to check all the boxes including great performance, good price, and efficiency. 

It’s one of the best budget processors right now that offers 6 cores and 12 thread configuration, with respectable headroom for overclocking to get a little extra out of it. The likes of i3 12100F even take the lead in single-threaded performance, but cost more and lose where it matters more; gaming. Especially the CPU-intensive titles, where a CPU with a higher core count can handle the game more effectively than a quad-core processor. 

So, the question that came up is whether the Ryzen 5 5500 is good for gaming or not. Absolutely yes, it is more than capable of just gaming and can deliver a good all-rounder experience, which was proved with the excellent synthetic benchmark results. The Ryzen 5 5500 is undoubtedly a great pick if you’re getting a good deal on it.

Zain Ali
Zain is a gamer who turned into a tech enthusiast the day he got his first PC. He loves to play with whatever components he can get his hands on. His love for custom PC hardware is unfathomable, and he keeps it alive by writing about it as well as doing practicals in real life along with the continuation of his degree in business administration.