AMD Ryzen 5 3600X Review

Written by Antony Leather

August 13, 2019 | 13:00

Tags: #3rd-gen-ryzen #7nm #ryzen-5-3600x #x570 #zen-2

Companies: #amd

Manufacturer: AMD

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.

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