The Ryzen 5 5600H is AMD's new mainstream H-series processor for high-performance productivity and gaming laptops. Sounds familiar? Just this week, Intel announced its new Tiger Lake CPUs targeting the same markets. These will be available under the 11th generation core name in the coming weeks and months.
In the meantime, AMD is ready for this Zen 3 APU, which is the sequel to last year's hit Sleeper in the entry-level gaming laptop market, the Ryzen 5 4600H. The 4600H was one of the most popular options with buyers in the under $ 1000 laptop market.
We've already talked at length about Zen 3 processors on both the desktop and the latest laptop APUs. However, the basics you need to know are: The Ryzen 5 5600H is a 6-core, 12-thread processor that uses the latest Zen 3 architecture. Compared to parts of the last generation, Zen 3 offers a better IPC, a uniform core complex with double L3 cache and some mobile-specific optimizations for improved battery life and higher clock rates.
The 5600H is the most basic CPU in the Ryzen Mobile 5000 H series. Its six cores are clocked by a 3.3 GHz base with up to 4.2 GHz boost – slightly higher clock rates than the 4600H.
There is also 19 MB total cache, divided into 16 MB L3 and 3 MB L2, as well as an integrated Vega GPU with 7 processing units that are clocked at 1.8 GHz. Today's review doesn't cover the iGPU in detail as the vast majority of Ryzen 5 5600H laptops will also have a discrete GPU. The default TDP was set to 45W. All of this is based on TSMC's 7nm process node.
As a Ryzen 5 part, we should see this CPU mostly in entry-level and mid-range gaming laptops, similar to the previous generation. Think of your GTX 1650 Ti systems, GTX 1660, and the new RTX 3050 and RTX 3060.
Higher CPUs like the Ryzen 7 5800H are usually paired with the RTX 3070 and higher. AMD doesn't publish SKU prices for laptop chips, but based on what we've seen from OEMs, the 5600H seems to remain an affordable processor with a number of decent laptops.
For today's testing, we purchased a Lenovo Legion 5 laptop with the Ryzen 5 5600H, made available by Elite subscribers to Catrachadas and Patreons from Hardware Unboxed. Anyway, this laptop was one of the first we saw the 5600H priced at $ 1,550.
Other internal hardware includes 16 GB dual-channel DDR4-3200 memory, a GeForce RTX 3060 laptop GPU, 512 GB SSD, a 1080p 165Hz IPS display with 100% sRGB coverage and an internal 80 Wh battery.
Seems like a perfect laptop, but this isn't a laptop review. We are mainly interested in how this hardware works.
Like all of our H-series laptops, we tested the Ryzen 5 5600H with its standard long-term power limit of 45W. In this way, the Legion 5 is configured immediately in its "balanced" performance profile.
This mode provides a boost period of 54W for a few minutes before dropping to 45W like most other Ryzen H-series laptops we've tested so far. In this mode the GPU runs with 80-95W.
Prospective Legion 5 buyers should note that there is a performance mode that increases both the CPU and GPU performance limits, the CPU to over 65W and the GPU to 115-130W. We didn't use this mode for testing to keep things from apples to apples with other CPUs we tested.
In addition, the Legion 5 also supports Nvidia's Advanced Optimus. For our CPU-limited game tests, however, we decided to deactivate this and always run the GPU via Optimus in order to provide us with comparable data with other systems we tested.
The Ryzen 5 5600H starts our benchmark data with Cinebench R20 and offers a healthy increase in performance compared to the 4600H of the previous generation. In this multithreaded test, the 5600H is 16% faster, which is solid for an improvement over last year.
This allows the 5600H to sneak in front of the Core i9-10980HK with 45 W and at the same time outperform the Core i7-10870H by 21% and the Core i7-10750H with six cores by 47%.
While the void on the 4800H has closed with this new six-core design, the 5600H is still around 20% behind the 5800H, just in case you're wondering if it's worth upgrading to the Ryzen 7 part .
One of the big areas of improvement for Ryzen 5000 is single-thread performance. The 5600H only clocks up to 4.2 GHz, so it is not as leading as the Ryzen 9 5980HS, but achieves a 20% increase in performance compared to the 4600H and only falls 4% behind the slightly higher clocked 5800H.
The 10th generation Intel H parts can't keep up, even though the Tiger Lake Core i7-11370H is around 10% faster with its 4.8 GHz turbo. So when Intel's Tiger Lake H45 processors are ready for the market, there will be quite a battle going on.
Here are the Cinebench R23 results that fall in a similar pattern to Cinebench R20. In case you're wondering, a Core i9-10980HK that is around 65W is required to match the Ryzen 5 5600H that is 45W. For the Core i7-10870H, you need to consider doubling the PL1 inventory, and this will allow you to work with these high levels of performance in leaner, quieter systems with less essential coolers.
In Handbrake, the Ryzen 5 5600H and Core i9-10980HK offer roughly the same performance. So it's impressive that the AMD entry-level processor is just as good at this multithreaded workload as the flagship CPU from Intel's previous generation. This is due to a modest 9% performance improvement going from the 4600H to the 5600H.
With these new Ryzen 5000 processors, Blender basically delivers the same results as Handbrake: The 5600H is 8% faster than the 4600H and thus offers the same performance as the 10980HK from Intel. This makes it significantly faster than the Core i7-10750H, for example. We expect a 40% higher performance from the Ryzen 5 processor.
For code compilation, Ryzen 5000 processors are an excellent choice from the top of the stack to the bottom. The Ryzen 5 5600H offers 13% better performance than the 4600H in this GCC configuration. This makes it faster than all Intel 10th generation designs and, thanks to the superior performance with a light thread, a bit faster than even the 4800H.
In the longer Chromium compilation, the 5600H offers roughly the same performance as the Intel Core i7-10870H and only a 6 percent increase over the 4600H. Still a good result compared to the competition, but not as solid as some of the other benchmarks we looked at.
MATLAB used to be the nemesis of AMD laptop APUs, but that's no longer the case with the Ryzen 5 5600H, which increases performance in this benchmark by a respectable 10% compared to the 4600H. This means it can be used in the area of the 8-core Core i7 parts from Intel and is faster than the 6-core i7-10750H.
Microsoft Excel achieves an 8 percent increase in performance from the R5 4600H to the R5 5600H. Ultimately, however, this is one of the weaker results for this processor and only corresponds to the 10750H here. The 5600H is therefore 23% slower than the 5800H in this workload.
In the PCMark 10 application test, which measures Microsoft Office and Edge Internet surfing performance, the 5600H benefited significantly from a higher single-thread performance. This new Zen 3 part is 24% faster than the previous 4600H, making it much more competitive with Intel's 10th and 11th generation processors.
With 7-Zip compression, we see a gene-to-gene performance improvement: the 5600H is 17% faster than the 4600H, which is a pretty solid result in every way. Compared to Intel processors, however, the 5600H can only roughly match the 10750H, while AMD's 8-core designs such as the 5800H can achieve a significant lead.
But when it comes to decompression, Ryzen is really a dominant chip. The 5600H is still 16% faster than the 4600H, so very close to what we saw with compression, but that speed increase allows the 5600H to match the 10980HK and pull well ahead of the 10750H. As we've seen with Ryzen 7 parts over the past 18 months, decompression is best on an AMD CPU.
Acrobat PDF export is another good single-thread benchmark for laptops. Again, the new Zen 3 design is significantly faster than Zen 2: the 5600H is 25% faster than the 4600H in this workload. This allows it to easily outperform parts like the Core i7-10870H, which run up to 5 GHz despite a significant clock speed deficit. However, the newer 11370H with its Willow Cove CPU core design is faster again.
Due to the weaker single-thread performance, Ryzen 4000 processors were not well suited for Adobe Photoshop. However, this is not the case with the 5600H. This mainstream processor is slightly faster than Intel's Core i7 processors in this workload, and while not offering the same performance as the Ryzen 7 range, it is still a competitive part for photo editing in this popular tool.
In Davinci Resolve Studio, we're starting to get some GPU heavy apps. In the middle of the diagram is the 80W GPU configuration for Ryzen 5 5600H and RTX 3060 laptop. In all fairness, this is a pretty solid result for a mainstream laptop.
This system is as good as a Core i7-10870H laptop with the same GPU inside, which is usually a more expensive way to set up. That being said, you really need more GPU power to get faster results in this benchmark from Puget Systems.
In Adobe Premiere with Puget Systems' export test, we see similar results as in Davinci Resolve. The Ryzen 5 5600H sits a little behind the Core i7-10870H laptop with the same GPU inside, which isn't a bad result given the discrepancy between the number of cores. This is a workload that uses hardware accelerated video encoding.
Ryzen 5 5600H versus Ryzen 5 4600H
In head-to-head comparisons, it becomes clear that the Ryzen 5 5600H offers a decent increase in performance from generation to generation compared to the earlier six-core CPU from AMD, the Ryzen 5 4600H. This is the standard of what we saw earlier comparing the 5800H to the 4800H, albeit a little better in some applications. In general, we're seeing a modest 5 to 15 percent increase in multithreaded workloads, while the single-thread increases in the 20% or more range are pretty impressive.
Ryzen 5 5600H versus Ryzen 7 5800H
However, there is still a significant gap to the next higher processor in the AMD range, the Ryzen 7 5800H. The 5600H performs well on many workloads, but is still 20% slower than the 5800H with the same performance as the 5800H and offers more than 2 cores. In general, we've seen that higher core count designs are much more efficient on performance-constrained laptop form factors.
Ryzen 5 5600H against Core i7-10750H against Core i7-10870H
Compared to Intel processors, the Ryzen 5 5600H is, for the most part, much faster than the Core i7-10750H. Now there are some workloads where the two parts are almost the same, but mostly the Ryzen part is faster. If we then switch the 10th generation Intel stack to something like the 10870H, the Ryzen 5 part is still a bit faster in many cases, but there are some losses here too, depending on the workload.
Ryzen 5 5600H versus Core i7-11370H
Since we don't have any 11th generation Tiger Lake H45 processors yet and they are expected to be out soon, I wouldn't read too much about the 10th generation results for now.
Here's a quick look at how the 5600H compares to the quad-core i7-11370H. As I said in the review of this part, while Intel with Tiger Lake is an impressive single-threaded performance, the 11370H is more like a Core i3 processor given how easily it is beaten by the 5600H in multithreaded applications.
In general, when looking at the gaming performance of the Ryzen 5 5600H with the RTX 3060, I saw one of three things. So let's work this through …
The first is that the Ryzen 5 5600H performs well in CPU-limited titles, but not surprisingly. In Hitman 3's Dartmoor benchmark, for example, the 5600H with the RTX 3060 is slightly faster than a last-generation 4800H system with the RTX 2060 and about 8 percent slower than a Core i7-10870H configuration.
This is better than a low-end quad-core like the Core i7-11370H, and it would have been nice to have a 10750H system here, too, but at the end of the day, that's to be expected as the 5600H beats a part like that 10870H not always even in productivity tests.
Here's another example of similar behavior on Death Stranding, which also makes a reasonable CPU requirement at 1080p. Again, the 5600H is slightly faster with the RTX 2060 than our last generation 4800H plus 2060 configuration, but about 6% behind the Core i7-10870H, which uses the same GPU configuration.
The second type of performance results was the comparable performance when comparing the Ryzen 5 5600H and the Core i7-10870H. This seems to happen with some titles that are CPU demanding and some titles that are more demanding on the GPU than the CPU. An example that we see here is Assassin's Creed Valhalla. The 5600H does a good job in this title.
Another example is Borderlands 3, a title we generally call CPU demanding. However, the Ryzen 5 5600H can hold its own against the Core i7-10870H when both systems are configured with the same GPU. This is a promising result as Ryzen 5 laptops are typically cheaper than Core i7 laptops, especially those with the 10870H inside.
CS Go running low settings are a nice third example. It doesn't matter which GPU you have while playing this title as you are likely to be CPU tied and the Ryzen 5 5600H will perform quite well again.
The third scenario was a series of situations where the Ryzen 5 5600H was faster than the Core i7-10870H with the same RTX 3060 GPU. Sometimes, as with Control, the efficiency of the 5600H seems to play with Nvidia's Dynamic Boost, so that the RTX 3060 in this configuration often hits the 95 W upper limit and the Ryzen CPU is operated at reduced power. In comparison, the 10870H is unable to decrease performance without sacrificing performance. Therefore, the GPU is around 85 W.
When gaming, the comparisons we have right now aren't amazing, but this should give you an idea of how the Ryzen 5 5600H compares to the Core i7-10870H, which is a higher tier part of the previous generation, but both overall Configurations exchange beats. The real test will be to play the 5600H against a Tiger Lake H45 chip in the coming months.
What we learned
Overall, the Ryzen 5 5600H is another impressive Ryzen Mobile 5000 processor. Like other models in the range we've tested so far, the 5600H isn't the same revolutionary move AMD introduced a year ago, but it offers a solid iteration that performs better in most areas.
Compared to its direct predecessor, the Ryzen 5 4600H, the 5600H is around 10 to 15 percent faster in multithreaded workloads and over 20 percent faster in single-thread tests, which is respectable for a mainstream laptop processor.
This is achieved at the same power levels, which, combined with improvements in power control and idle power, increases the efficiency of new generation chips. AMD continues to fix flaws in its processors, and the single-threaded gains are a big part of the Zen 3's appeal.
The Ryzen 5 5600H should be well positioned for affordable entry-level and mid-range laptop builds. Our game results seem to show that it is perfectly capable of handling a GPU like the RTX 3060, and there's a ton of power for productivity, especially when upgrading from a previous generation Intel-based laptop.
At the same time, the Ryzen 7 5800H has a sizeable performance gap that, depending on the pricing of the laptop configurations you're looking at, may be worth upgrading to a level higher.
We could spend more time on that conclusion to see how the 5600H competes with current Intel offerings, but we don't think that's necessary considering the Tiger Lake H45 processors are just around the corner.
Whatever we're saying here now will be out of date in a few weeks when these new Intel CPUs arrive (and we'll be ready to test them out). AMD looks well positioned for the fight, however, considering the 5600H is competitive in gaming and can even outperform Intel's flagship Core i9-10980HK on some productivity workloads.
If you're deciding between the 10th generation and a 5600H, in most cases I would choose the Ryzen 5600H, but soon we'll have more options to choose from.
At the time of writing, the main challenges for AMD aren't related to performance, but rather to their platform. Delivery bottlenecks are still affecting AMD's ability to flood the market with Ryzen Mobile 5000 APUs, and there is no clarity as to when this will wear off. Hence, getting a 5600H laptop can prove difficult.
Additionally, in reality, Intel has made more OEM design gains, and there may be some feature on an Intel system (like Thunderbolt) that is simply not available on an AMD computer. We see higher quality GPUs being used in AMD laptops in this generation, but work on that front still needs to be done and it doesn't get any easier as Intel brings the latest laptop CPUs to market.
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