Ryzen 5 2600X vs. 2600: Which do you have to purchase?

If you have to spend around $ 200 on a new CPU and want something that can do all the things you do with it with maximum efficiency, the Ryzen 5 2600 series is a must. But should you buy the Ryzen 5 2600X or the non-X 2600? It is not for nothing that these AMD processors have been our favorites for the best all-round value since publication and are also among the best-selling CPUs on Amazon.

The Ryzen 5 2600X and 2600 are currently only $ 25 apart. The X model has the upper hand with better out-of-the-box performance and a better cooler for $ 190, while the 2600 only costs $ 165.


After you have extensively tested both R5 2600 models, here is the history of the band:

  • For most people, the Ryzen 5 2600 for $ 165 is too big to do without …
  • In stock the 2600X is ~ 7% faster and you get a better cooler enough to justify the ~ 25 USD price difference.
  • If you are on a budget or plan to overclock and buy an aftermarket cooler anyway, the 2600 is the best choice.
  • The 2600 and 2600X are both unlocked CPUs and can be overclocked on inexpensive B350 / B450 motherboards.
  • If you don't plan to overclock and want an excellent performer right away, the 2600X is a great option.
  • If you need more cores for workstation tasks but are on a tight budget, the Ryzen 7 2700 affects the performance of a single thread, but offers you 16 threads. The price has dropped from $ 300 to $ 220 since launch.
  • (Now available) With the Ryzen 3600 you get at least 15% more power at the same frequencies. Additional cores are not a given at this price, but we will be surprised. The Vanilla R5 3600 is likely to hit the market at ~ $ 200-230, which doesn't make today's Ryzen 2600 bad at all for $ 165.

AMD is expected to launch third generation Ryzen processors in mid-2019. The new processors will be 7nm chips based on the Zen 2 architecture and bring performance and efficiency improvements. As we have already seen, the Ryzen 3600 series will directly replace the 2600 variants at a similar initial price of $ 200 to $ 250. Ryzen 3000 will be compatible with existing motherboards (yay!), But certain features such as PCIe 4.0 support will, for obvious reasons, require newer 500 series motherboards.

Ryzen 7 2700X Ryzen 7 2700 Ryzen 5 2600X Ryzen 5 2600
RRP $ 290 $ 220 $ 190 $ 165
Cores / threads 8/16 8/16 6/12 6/12
Fundamental frequency 3.7 GHz 3.2 GHz 3.6 GHz 3.4 GHz
Increase frequency 4.3 GHz 4.1 GHz 4.2 GHz 3.9 GHz
L2 cache 4 MB 4 MB 3 MB 3 MB
L3 cache 16 MB 16 MB 16 MB 16 MB
Storage configuration Double channel
Max Mem Support DDR4-2933
TDP 105 W. 65 W. 95 W. 65 W.
Box cooler AMD prism RGB AMD Spire RGB AMD Spire AMD stealth

Read on for more details and some performance benchmarks …

Just like a year earlier with the first generation Ryzen processors, they had a similar price range of $ 200 to $ 250. The R5 1600 was immediately clocked about 10% lower, but since it was an unlocked part, overclocking was an option and it was possible to outperform the 1600X. The 1600 also came with the Wraith stealth cooler, while AMD tried a step out of the Intel playbook and sold the 1600X without a cooler. In short, the Ryzen 5 1600 (non-X model) was a much cheaper option.

AMD has learned its lesson for the second generation. Only Intel can bend over enthusiasts and make them buy their own cooler, but also sell their chip so that the cooler can do its job.

This time the X models are more appealing. The Ryzen 5 2600X is currently selling for $ 190, but for this additional investment, you get a bigger and better box cooler that does a better out-of- thanks to an up to 8% faster clock speed and a possible binning process. the box provides performance and leads to better memory support. In my view, both models are useful this time and depending on your wishes and needs, there may also be reasons for the purchase.


If you want to overclock, as was the case with first generation Ryzen CPUs, the non-X model is a better value in my opinion. When reviewing the Ryzen 5 2600, I found that it was overclocked as well as the X model. The overclocking margin should be similar across the two models, and this means that any savings can go towards an improved cooler.

Both the 2600 and 2600X require you to upgrade the cooler if you want to reach 4.2 GHz. For less than $ 30, the Deepcool Gammaxx 300 is a great option, as is the Arctic Freeze 33 eSports One, and there are many more options to choose from.

For ~ $ 200, we prefer the Ryzen 5 2600 + Arctic Freeze 33 eSports One combination as a 2600X with the Wraith Spire. Those who want to overclock are rewarded: At 4.2 GHz, the overclocked R5 2600 was up to 8% faster than the 2600X, it was also up to 11% faster than the R5 1600 at 4 GHz.

If you're really on a budget, you can bring the 2600 to an all-core frequency of 4 GHz with the Wraith stealth box cooler.

If you've never overclocked, I recommend you give it a try. Most motherboards are safe and extremely simple. Just keep the voltage below 1.4V and everything will be fine. There are also numerous overclocking guides available. You will usually find a guide that is tailored to your motherboard.

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