AMD Ryzen 5 5600X Overview: 6-Core Gaming Beast

It's time we finally took a look at the Ryzen 5 5600X, the most affordable processor in the Ryzen 5000 series to date. Positioned as the mainstream part, it's priced at $ 300, a 20% premium over the Ryzen 5 3600X. However, this third generation processor already made no sense, as it cost 25% more than the R5 3600 and offered little additional performance.

So most went for the $ 200 Ryzen 5 3600, which we broadly recommended as the cheapest CPU last year, and that's the part we're going to be comparing to the 5600X today.

While we're sure AMD would have preferred to use the 3600X or 3600XT, we're sticking to the more popular Vanilla 3600. As a side note, the rumor mill has published reports of a Ryzen 5 5600, a non-X version, trading at around 220 US dollars could arrive just 10% more than the beloved 3600. But we won't know until we know.

In the meantime, we have a somewhat expensive 6-core Ryzen 5600X with 12 threads to check out and we are very excited to see how it compares not only to the Ryzen 5 3600, but also to the Ryzen 7 3700X and how it compares to Intel's Core i5-10600K beats.

The 5600X has a single CCD with 6 cores enabled, which means it is limited to a 32MB L3 cache. This is still significant compared to Intel parts, but it's half what you get with the 5900X as this high-end processor includes two CCDs with 6 activated cores. The 5600X has a 3.7 GHz base clock with a 4.6 GHz boost clock that is very similar to the 8-core 5800X.

Ryzen 9 5950X Ryzen 9 5900X Ryzen 7 5800X Ryzen 5 5600X
price $ 799 $ 549 $ 449 $ 299
Cores / threads 16/32 12/24 8/16 6/12
Base clock (GHz) 3.4 3.7 3.8 3.7
Boost clock (GHz) 4.9 4.8 4.7 4.6
L2 + L3 cache 72 MB 70 MB 36 MB 35 MB
TDP 105W 105W 105W 65W

Now it's time to test and then we'll reevaluate the value of the 5800X towards the end of the review. To test the AMD CPUs, we used the god-like MSI X570 motherboard along with four 8 GB G.Skill TridentZ DDR4-3200 CL14 memory modules for a capacity of 32 GB. The entire cooling was taken over by the Corsair iCUE H150i Elite Capellix AIO.

As with all reviews in this Ryzen 5000 series, all productivity benchmarks were run with the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. For the gaming tests, however, we upgraded to the more powerful RTX 3090.


Starting with the Cinebench R20 multi-core test, we see that the Ryzen 5 5600X is 4462 points, or 19% faster than the 3600 and 24% faster than the Core i5-10600K. Compared to existing 6-core processors with 12 threads, the performance increase of the 5600X is so significant that we come very close to the 8-core CPU performance.

For example, the 5600X is only 9% slower than the Ryzen 7 3700X and 10% slower than the Core i7-10700K. This is a phenomenal result as it contains 25% fewer pips.

Given the strong multi-core performance, you won't be surprised that the 5600X is really fast when it comes to single-core performance. Here we see an improvement of 23% over the 3600 and 18% over the 3700X. When it comes to single-thread performance, the 5600X is even faster than the Core i9-10900K.

In terms of clock speeds, we monitored how the 5600X clocked in each of the Cinebench R20 tests. For the multi-core test, in which all cores are heavily loaded, the 5600X clocked at around 4.4 GHz, which is well above the stated base clock frequency of 3.7 GHz.

AMD also announces a maximum boost clock frequency of 4.6 GHz. This should be achieved on workloads with a core or light thread. In the Cinebench single core test, the 5600X normally ran at 4.65 GHz, which is 50 MHz above the specified specification.

Next up we have 7 zip compression performance and this is where the 5600X kept up with the 3700X and 10700K. This is a great result and results in a 30% increase in performance over the current 6-core / 12-thread processors like the Ryzen 5 3600 and Core i5-10600K.

The decompression stop was just as good. Here the 5600X was 7% slower than the 3700X, but 22% faster than the 3600 and a whopping 41% faster than the 10600K.

The cryptographic performance of the 5600X is very high and even surpasses the 10900K for AES for encryption / decryption. It was 4% slower than the 3700X and 11% faster than the 3600.

The performance improvement at Blender is what we expected: we expect a 19% increase over the 3600, making the 5600X 15% slower than the 3700X, which is the largest margin we've seen so far over the 8-core Processor, but still an impressive result as it contains 25% fewer cores.

Once again we see that Zen 3 is a beast in V-Ray as the 5600X is right behind the 3700X and only loses 4%. That means it was 30% faster than the 3600 and 25% faster than the Core i5-. 10600K.

The last rendering benchmark we'll look at is Corona, and we're again finding more evidence that the 5600X is destroying the 3600, this time by a 28% lead. At this rate, the 5600X was only 6% slower than the 3700X and was between the 2nd and 3rd generation 8-core processors.

Code compilation performance has been improved by 8% over the 3600. The 5600X was 12% slower than the 3700X here, which is one of the biggest losses for the older 8-core processor.

We expect a 6% performance improvement in DaVinci Resolve Studio 16, which is nowhere near as impressive as some of the other applications we tested, but still better than a typical gene-to-gene improvement.

The Premiere Pro results are slightly cheaper for the new 6-core Zen 3 processor, as it was 10% faster than the 3600 here and only 3% slower than the 3700X and 10700K. Here we see a performance comparable to that of the existing 8-core AMD and Intel processors.

The single-threaded performance of Zen 3 has been massively improved, and we get a good look at what this means for single-threaded applications like Photoshop. The 5600X was 22% faster than the R5 3600 and 18% faster than the 3700X and 10600K. This is a huge improvement in performance.

After Effects is another application that is primarily responsive to the performance of a single core. Here we see solid performance from the 5600X. At 21% faster than the 3600 and 15% faster than the 3700X, it also easily beats the Intel Core i5-10600K and Core i7-10700K, heck even the 10900K!

power consumption

Like the rest of the Zen 3 range, the Ryzen 5 5600X is exceptionally good in terms of power consumption. We expect a 7 watt increase over the 3600, which is excellent considering it's 19% faster in the Blender benchmark. The new CPU also reduced overall system consumption by 14% compared to the 3700X, although that matches the performance deficit of this part. Compared to competing Intel parts like the 10600K, we see a massively improved energy efficiency.

At the operating temperatures, the Ryzen 5 5600X is a very cool running CPU. A peak of just 63 ° C in our Blender stress test means it is 10 ° C cooler than the 3600X, which is impressive given the similar voltage but an increase in average clock speed of nearly 500 MHz.

Gaming performance

When testing with Far Cry New Dawn, we find that the Ryzen 5 5600X is 18% faster than the 3600 and 16% faster than the 3700X. This is a serious performance gain over parts of the previous generation. It was also 7% faster than the 10600K and had better frame-time performance.

The 5600X has also just ousted the 5950X and 5900X as that title doesn't make heavy use of those parts and the lower latency of the single CCD design likely plays a role here. While it's a negligible 1.5% difference, overall this is an exceptionally good performance for the 5600X in Far Cry New Dawn.

Next up, we have Rainbow Six Siege and find performance comparable to high-end Zen 3 parts.

More than comparable, it's basically identical. The 5600X was 22% faster than the 3600 and 19% faster than the 3700X, a huge performance gain for generations.

The Ryzen 5 5600X can also compete with the 5800X, 5900X, and 5950X in Watch Dogs: Legion. That makes it 23% faster than the 3600 and 15% faster than the 3700X. The 10600K was outperformed by 5%, making it the fastest 6-core processor in the title.

Moving on to F1 2020, we again see similar performance across the Zen 3 range. There is up to 3% difference between the 5600X and 5950X when looking at the 1% low results. In other words, practically identical performance and that means the 5600X is 9% faster than the 10600K, 20% faster than the 3700X and 28% faster than the 3600.

For the first time in our gaming tests, we see the 5600X falling behind the higher core count parts. It wasn't much slower in Horizon Zero Dawn. The 5950X was up to 10% behind the 1% low result and 4% on average. Performance is comparable to the Core i5-10600K, which is 16% faster than the 3700X and almost 30% faster than the 3600.

The wins in Borderlands 3 are relatively small compared to most other titles. We expect a performance improvement of 7% over equivalent Zen 2 parts. The 5600X is also comparable to the 10600K from Intel in this game.

Death Stranding can take advantage of higher core numbers on the 5900X and 5950X, although it appears to be maximum on the 5900X. As a result, the 5600X was 11% slower than the 5900X and 7% slower than the 5800X, although the performance was comparable to the 10900K, or at least the average frame rate performance.

We expect a solid 18% performance improvement over the 10600K and a whopping 23% improvement over the 3700X. Here is an example of a core game with high CPU usage where the 5600X is still wiping out the 3700X. It's also 33% faster than the Ryzen 5 3600.

Another CPU-demanding game that we like to test with is Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Note that we're not using the built-in benchmark, but rather an open world area that has a lot more CPU demands than most of the other places in the game.

SoTR seems to be at its maximum with the 5900X. The 5600X was 7% slower than the 12-core CPU and 4% slower than the 5800X and the Core i9-10900K. That said, it was 5% faster than the 10700K, 20% faster than the 10600K, 23% faster than the 3700X, and 31% faster than the 3600.

Hitman 2's performance is interesting as this isn't a game that benefited from more cores with Zen 2. Memory and cache latency was clearly the primary bottleneck as we see positive core scaling with Intel processors and now Zen 3 chips.

The Ryzen 5 5600X was able to match the 5800X's average frame rate, though it was 7% slower for the 1% low result. It was also 8% behind the 5900X for the average frame rate and 13% for the 1% low.

Compared to the 10600K, it was 15% faster and then 26% faster than the 3700X and 32% faster than the 3600.

Testing with Star Wars: Squadrons shows a performance increase of ~ 23% over the Zen 2 processors with 6 and 8 cores and a performance increase of 16% over the 10600K. The performance of the 5600X was comparable to that of the 10900K.

Serious Sam 4 is a difficult NPC title that benefits from having more cores. In this case, the 5800X seems to be the sweet spot as the 5600X was 16% slower, even though game time performance was strong and we didn't see any stuttering issues with the 6-core processor. We're also talking about a 26% increase over the 3700X and a 16% increase in performance of 1%.

Game average

Here is an overview of the average CPU gaming performance and overall we see a small drop in performance compared to the Ryzen 7 5800X in the 11 games tested. Of course, the scope is very game-dependent. We expect an average performance increase of 19% compared to the 8-core 3700X and a 24% increase over the 3600. In other words, the mainstream Ryzen 5 5600X is a much better gaming CPU.

It should be noted that all tests were performed with a GeForce RTX 3090 at 1080p. Now, of course, we're doing this as the focus is on CPU rather than GPU performance. Note, however, that this is not a typical gaming performance.

You typically use an RTX 3090 in 1440p or 4K games: at 1440p you are much more limited by the GPU, while with 4K you are completely limited by the GPU. So don't think that upgrading from the Ryzen 3 3600 to the 5600X will give you around 20% more performance. In the coming weeks, we'll likely be looking at CPU scaling with a range of GPUs, but for now we're focusing more on CPU-limited gaming performance.

Back to the results, it's really impressive to see that AMD is now 11% more powerful than Intel's best 6-core processor, the 10600K, and we'll be looking at the cost per frame of data in a moment before the OC Results are listed.


With manual overclocking, we were able to bring the Ryzen 5 5600X to 4.6 GHz on all cores. This only boosted the Cinebench R20's multi-core performance by 3%, resulting in pretty pointless overclocking.

Although we see a 3% increase in total core performance, we also see a 1% decrease in the individual core.

Blender confirms all-core gains of 3% for the overclocked 5600X. Not exactly a profitable win, and it doesn't help the 5600X catching up with the 3700X here.

For this 3% increase in performance, we see a 4% increase in the total power consumption of the system, so little cause for concern.

And for this reason, we don't recommend gamers bothering about overclocking the 5600X: we've reduced the frame rate in Rainbow Six Siege by 4%.

As we've seen before, it helps to slightly improve performance in Far Cry New Dawn, though certainly not to the extent that anyone will notice.

Price-performance ratio

Here is a look at the price-performance ratio using the multi-core data from Cinebench R20. At the new price of $ 300, the Ryzen 5 5600X isn't exactly cheap for core-heavy workloads. While it's on par with the Ryzen 7 3700X, it also has a 26% premium over the 3600 and that's not great.

To match the value of the 3600, the 5600X wouldn't have to cost more than $ 240. So we hope the $ 220 vanilla version of the 5600 turns out to be a thing. The reason the 5600X costs $ 300 is because of the Core i5-10600K. Compared to the competition from Intel, the 5600X offers a 12% better value.

It looks similar if we look at Adobe Premiere's data: the 5600X stacked pretty well overall, but is still a lot worse than the 3600 and has a massive 37% premium.

You also pay a 14% premium over the 3600 for games in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, though that's not terrible given the performance improvement and still offers better value than Intel's 10600K.

If we look at the 11 game example, we see that the 5600X and 10600K values ​​are comparable in terms of value. Overall, the new 6-core Ryzen processor achieves a price premium of 21% compared to the 3600. So this is not good news.

What we learned

On the one hand, it's impressive how much better the Ryzen 5 5600X is compared to the 10600K and often offers more value, even though it costs a little more. On the other hand, it is far less impressive in terms of value when compared to the $ 200 Ryzen 5 3600. While we're seeing a number of significant performance improvements, a 50% price hike will be a difficult pill for most.

AMD really competes with itself: if you want maximum value, get the R5 3600, if you want maximum performance, get the 5600X and that leaves no room for the Intel Core i5-10600K.

It's worth noting that the Ryzen 5 3600 sold very well compared to the 10600K because it was cheaper. And while it's technically slower in games, you'll be tied to the GPU for the most part when you play, and so the reality is that gaming performance is very close between the two. This also means gamers are better off buying the much cheaper Ryzen 5 3600 or waiting to see if a non-X 5600 for $ 220 becomes a thing in the not-too-distant future.

Speaking of gaming performance, you'll undoubtedly hear nonsense like, "The Ryzen 5 5600X is a bad choice for gamers as it only has 6 cores," and they'll likely try to prove it by pointing to the new consoles that have eight Zen 2's Cores.

Some people also like to confuse how games and cores work. For statements like games, 8 cores or similar are required. Games don't require a specific number of cores, they never have and never will. Games require a certain amount of CPU power. As simple as that.

A current example of this is the Core i5-7600K, or in other words quad-core processors. Three years ago, the 7600K was the cheapest gaming CPU on the market and destroyed the Ryzen 5 1600 in every game. However, at the time we said the days of the 7600K were numbered as the games became more demanding and 4-core / 4-thread processors would soon be insufficient. Stay here with me …

That wasn't because games would necessarily require more than 4 cores, but because there wasn't a single quad-core processor powerful enough to run the latest and greatest games without frame stuttering and other performance-related issues Avoid problems.

For example, if the 7600K were able to outperform the Ryzen 5 1600 in the Cinebench R20 multi-core test, it would actually be a better gaming CPU today, no matter how many cores it contains. However, this is not the case. The R5 1600 scores 53% more points in Cinebench and even when overclocking the 7600K to 5 GHz, the Ryzen part is over 30% faster. When the Ryzen 5 1600 is at full capacity, it is a more powerful processor. So we knew it would be a better processor for games in the not too distant future, and that has long been proven.

However, the Core i7-7700K has not suffered the same fate yet, despite being a quad-core processor as well, as it has SMT support for 8 threads. Despite having half as many cores and threads as the Ryzen 7 1700, it can keep up with the latest and greatest games, although it does show some weakness in the most demanding titles. At some point we expect the R7 1700 to outperform the 7700K in games, and if we look again at the multi-core performance of the Cinebench R20, we see that the Ryzen processor is almost 40% faster when fully loaded, and that is obviously a massive difference.

But what about the Ryzen 5 3600X with 6 cores and 12 threads? How will he age We expect the 5600X to be on par with previous generation 8-core processors like the 3700X and 10700K or the Zen 2 parts of next-generation consoles due to the massive increase in IPC offered by the new Zen 3 architecture it is expected that these processors will soon be obsolete.

If we take Cinebench R20 as a rough guide, we see that the multi-core performance of the 5600X is only 9% lower than that of the 3700X and 10% lower than that of the 10700K, and that's not a huge difference.

Also note that you need to be careful when using Cinebench to measure gaming performance with high CPU usage. We use it to watch how CPUs compare in games at full load, but Cinebench isn't particularly memory sensitive, so a CPU like the 5600X, which is vastly improved in terms of cache and memory latency compared to the 3700X, does a better one Games under heavy load achieve performance than the Cinebench R20 score suggests.

The Ryzen 5 5600X's improvement in memory and cache latency means there is a good chance it will never get slower than the 3700X in games. It doesn't matter if it's average frame rates or frame time performance, it should be better by all metrics.

If you have the option of the Ryzen 5 5600X or the $ 300 3700X, we think you should definitely get the 5600X. Right now it's much better in games and we expect it will still be the case in a few years. Or save your money and get the R5 3600 as it still gets the most out of high-end GPUs at 1440p, or if you can wait for the Ryzen 5 5600 to arrive.

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