UK price (as reviewed):£218.99 (inc. VAT)
US price (as reviewed): $249.99 (exc. tax)
While AMD is pushing cores well into double digits, we're pretty sure there's a bunch of people reading this with two or four cores sitting under the hood of their CPUs (busted! - ed.). That's part of the reason why we loved AMD's previous six-core Ryzen 5 CPUs: They offered huge benefits in multi-threaded performance, making them great all-rounders if you do things other than gaming with your PC. Of course, Intel still held a lead in games; while those AMD CPUs were hugely popular, for pure gaming rigs they were maybe not ideal, especially if you wanted maximum frame rates.
|Model||Cores/Threads||Base Freq||Boost Freq||Total Cache||TDP (Watts)||Included cooler||SEP (USD)||Availability|
|Ryzen 9 3950X||16/32||3.5GHz||4.7GHz||72MB||105W||Wraith Prism RGB||$749||September|
|Ryzen 9 3900X||12/24||3.8GHz||4.6GHz||70MB||105W||Wraith Prism RGB||$499||July 7, 2019|
|Ryzen 7 3800X||8/16||3.9GHz||4.5GHz||36MB||105W||Wraith Prism RGB||$399||July 7, 2019|
|Ryzen 7 3700X||8/16||3.6GHz||4.4GHz||36MB||65W||Wraith Prism RGB||$329||July 7, 2019|
|Ryzen 5 3600X||6/12||3.8GHz||4.4GHz||35MB||95W||Wraith Spire||$249||July 7, 2019|
|Ryzen 5 3600||6/12||3.6GHz||4.2GHz||35MB||65W||Wraith Stealth||$199||July 7, 2019|
With 3rd Gen Ryzen, though, as we've already seen, AMD has upped the ante and not only boosted its advantage in multi-threaded performance but also drastically increased its IPC and performance in lightly-threaded applications including games. Six cores now appears to be the minimum for a CPU in its new product stack, at least for now, with only the new APUs catering for fewer than this. However, both the Ryzen 5 3600 and the Ryzen 5 3600X we're looking at today could represent a sweet spot below £250, especially as the latter offers a boost frequency of 4.4GHz - the same as the Ryzen 7 3700X.
Dropping two cores also sees the total cache fall to 35MB, which is thanks to those two disabled cores on one CCX taking 1MB L2 cache with them - 512KB per core. The Ryzen 7 3700X and Ryzen 5 3600X have the same 32MB L3 cache and the same single-core boost frequency. However, the Ryzen 5 sports a 200MHz higher base frequency courtesy of a little extra leeway in TDP at 95W versus 65W. Indeed, we observed an all-core boost of around 4.1GHz compared to 4GHz with the Ryzen 7 3700X (using the same cooling, of course), which is good to see but clearly won't allow it to leapfrog the eight-core CPU in multi-threaded tests.
Amazingly, despite a launch barely six weeks ago, the Ryzen 5 3600X has already dropped in price from around £240 to £220 or so here in the UK, and there's a clear price war going on between it and the Core i5-9600K, which we have, of course, added to our graphs. The Intel CPU sits at the same price right now, but it's a price that has fallen consistently since AMD's 7th July launch, so it will be interesting to see how things pan out.
February 26 2021 | 22:15