Nikon D3400 has a 24.0MP APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm ) sized CMOS sensor and features Expeed 4 processor. On the other hand, Pentax K-500 has a 16.0MP APS-C (23.7 x 15.7 mm ) sized CMOS sensor and features PRIME M processor.
Nikon D3400's sensor provides 8MP more than Pentax K-500's sensor, which gives a significant advantage in real life. You can print your images larger or crop more freely.
On the other hand, please keep in mind that Max sensor resolution is not the only determinant of resolving power. Factors such as the optical elements, low pass filter, pixel size and sensor technology also affects the final resolution of the captured image.
Another difference between these two cameras is that Nikon D3400's sensor lacks anti-alias (Low-Pass) filter. Removing anti-alias filter increases the sharpness and level of detail but at the same time, it increases the chance of moire occurring in certain scenes.
Below you can see the D3400 and K-500 sensor size comparison.
Nikon D3400 and Pentax K-500 have almost the same sensor size so none of them has any significant advantage over other in providing control over depth of field when used with same focal length and aperture.
DxOMark Sensor Scores
Both Nikon D3400 and Pentax K-500 sensors have been tested by DxoMark. DxoMark scores camera sensors for color depth (DXO Portrait), dynamic range (DXO Landscape) and low-light sensitivity (DXO Sports), and also gives them an overall score. Of the two cameras that we are comparing, D3400 has scored 86, 7 points higher than K-500.