AMD Ryzen 5 2600 Evaluate

Today we're testing the $ 200 Ryzen 5 2600 and trying out the impressive new Asus ROG Crosshair VII Hero, a $ 300 AMD X470 motherboard with all the frills. Although the Ryzen 5 2600, given its price, is better suited for cheaper motherboards like the ROG Strix X470-F Gaming or the Prime X470-Pro, the choice of the motherboard shouldn't affect performance as long as we have the option of this ROG board showcase. in another of the numerous tests that we have planned for the coming weeks.

The R5 2600 is $ 30 cheaper than the 2600X that we tested on the day of the Ryzen second generation launch. This 13% saving reduces the operating clock rate by 6-7%, while the box cooler was downgraded from the Wraith Spire to the nasty little Wraith Stealth. We'll check how that works later.

However, the real competition comes from the Blue Team's Coffee Lake Core i5 range, especially the Core i5-8400, which is a little cheaper at $ 179. However, the Ryzen 5 2600 has two key advantages: First, it can be overclocked and shift all cores beyond 4 GHz, while the i5-8400 is limited to a core frequency of 3.8 GHz.

Second, and perhaps the biggest advantage, is that the Ryzen R5 2600 is a 6-core / 12-thread processor. The 8400 lacks hyperthreading, which means that it is a 6-core / 6-thread CPU. This gives Ryzen a serious advantage with high core workloads.

AMD remained aggressive in pricing 2nd generation Ryzen CPUs. Last year, the Ryzen 5 1600 was launched for $ 220, though it eventually sold for a little less until it was officially reduced to $ 190 earlier this year. The 2600 is only a fraction more than the older and lower-priced 1600. Apart from improved IPC performance, higher energy efficiency, lower cache latency, improved memory latency and frequency support, the 2600 is also 6-8% higher than the 1600 the box. Like the rest of the Ryzen range, the 2600 is an unlocked CPU, so reaching and exceeding the 2600X performance shouldn't be a problem.

Before you test, just a quick summary in case you missed a thorough review of the 2600X and 2700X last week. All data has been updated for the release of 2nd generation Ryzen CPUs. This means that everything is fresh and has been collected in the past 2 weeks. All testing was done with the latest drivers, Windows updates, motherboard BIOS updates, game and application updates, and security updates. Yes, the latest Specter and Meltdown patches have been applied.

During the test, we'll look at both out-of-the-box performance and overclocking. The 1st generation Ryzen CPUs were overclocked to 4 GHz, while I was able to stabilize the 2600X at 4.1 GHz and the 2700X at 4.2 GHz. The Vanilla 2600 was able to start Windows and run a series of tests at 4.3 GHz with the same 1.375 volts that limited the 2600X to just 4.1 GHz. Unfortunately, we couldn't stabilize the overclocking for our high Blender workload, even though we really cranked up the voltage, so we were reduced to 4.2 GHz.

Another remarkable thing was that the 2600 would suffer the dreaded blue screen of death when using our G.Skill Sniper X DDR4-3400 CL16 memory. The integrated memory controller doesn't seem to be as good as the one we found on the 2600X and 2700X. So I switched to G.Skill's FlareX DDR4-3200 CL14 memory. Because of the tighter timing, you won't really sacrifice much with this lower frequency memory.

This could only be a problem with my chip or it could be more common on the non-X models, as time will show. Anyway, enough chat, let's get to the good stuff.

Benchmark time

Here's a quick look at the ongoing storage performance. As you can see, the lower latency CL14 memory will actually turn off the 2600X's higher clocked DDR4-3400 CL16 memory. Despite using less clocked memory, the Ryzen 5 2600 with a bandwidth of just over 39 GB / s shouldn't be at a disadvantage.

When switching to Cinebench R15 we see that the 2600 lags behind the 2600X by 6% in both the single and multithread test. It is still ready to use and can mimic the Core i7-7800X. It improves the single-thread score of the older Ryzen 5 1600 by 9% and the multithreaded score by an impressive 12%.

Although it overclocked the somewhat inferior 2600X chip, which only managed 4.1 GHz, I suspect that we have a bad chip. It seems like we have a situation similar to the 1600 and 1600X with the new 2600 and 2600X, both should be good for about the same overclocking, this time 4.1 – 4.2 GHz.

Next we have the PCMark 10 video editing results and here the standard Ryzen 5 2600 4901 scores, which is only slightly ahead of the R5 1600, but also only 2% behind the standard 2600X and the Core i7-7800X.

When overclocked to 4.2 GHz, the value rose by 12% to 5509 points, almost equal to what the $ 330 Ryzen 7 2700X offers immediately. This is an exceptional result for the 2600.

This time the 2600 was 8% faster and 7% faster than the Ryzen 5 1600 as soon as both CPUs were overclocked to the maximum. Overclocked, the 2600 also matched the Ryzen 7 1800X, although it was 9% slower than the 2700X due to a core reduction.

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