AMD will continue to dominate the CPU market in 2020 with its new 5000 series processors. Contrary to tradition, AMD now tops the gaming charts over Intel while maintaining a steady lead on other workloads. It doesn't look like AMD is going to end its Ryzen line anytime soon, but which one should you buy? In this guide to the best Ryzen CPU, we'll show you our top tips.
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The Ryzen family is divided into four distinct industries that target the entry-level, mainstream, performance, and high-end enthusiast sectors of the market – also known as, Ryzen 5, Ryzen 7, and Ryzen 9. They are all great chips in their own way, but some certainly offer more value than others, and for many the top performing chips are complete overkill.
The best Ryzen processor for beginners: Ryzen 3 3200G
AMD has always offered value for money on the lower end of the CPU spectrum, and that old adage applies to its Ryzen CPUs as well. AMD offered a wide range of price-conscious chips with its first Ryzen CPUs, including outstanding products such as the Ryzen 3 1200 and the Ryzen 3 1300X. When we paired them with an MSI Gaming X RX 580 and the beefy Zotac GTX 1080 Ti AMP! Edition we found them very capable.
The synthetic 3DMark results delivered what we would expect: Better CPUs delivered higher values. In gaming tests, however, the 1200 and 1300X models were able to deliver solid frame rates, which in many cases came pretty close to the much more expensive Ryzen CPUs.
While we wouldn't recommend these CPUs today, these are important results as they are roughly on par with the general processing power of the newer AMD APUs 2200G, 2400G, and 3200G. Not only are these chips fantastically affordable at $ 80 to $ 120, but they also have reasonably powerful onboard graphics.
If you have a graphics card or want to buy one, The Ryzen 3 3100 and Ryzen 5 3600 are both viable alternatives if you can find them in stock. They are better CPUs than their APU cousins. If you have other GPU plans, go for it. However, if you're looking for an all-in-one package for budget gaming, this is itis our favorite at this price.
The best mainstream Ryzen processor: Ryzen 5 5600X
AMD comes into its own in the middle price range in which the Ryzen 5 5600X is located. It's more expensive than our previous recommendation – the Ryzen 5 3600 – although it ships with the "X" tag, which translates into higher clock speeds. This 12-thread part with six cores is designed for 3.7 GHz in the base clock and can increase up to 4.6 GHz. So it has plenty of juice for gaming, video and photo editing, and even light 3D modeling.
Price is the biggest limiting factor right now, as AMD is bringing out the 5600X for $ 50 higher than the 3600X. You can save $ 50 to $ 100 (depending on sales) using the last-gen AMD portion, and you get most of the 5600X's performance. The two processors have the same number of cores and threads, and the base clock is even a bit higher on the 3600X. However, the 5600X uses AMD's new Zen 3 architecture, which offers memory and IPC improvements over the 3000-series CPUs.
However, we wouldn't recommend going back any further than we did with the 3000 series. The third generation of Ryzen processors brought Zen 2 and greatly improved the performance and stability of the AMD platform. If price matters, you can save up with a 3600X or buy a high-end, previous generation CPU. The Ryzen 7 3700X – our previous pick for the next section – is in stock at most retailers for around $ 300.
Not that you have to shop too much. At $ 300, the Ryzen 5 5600X is an absolute powerhouse that can handle gaming and productivity workloads without breaking a sweat. Note, however, that the 5600X will be out of stock as of late 2020, as will all processors in the 5000 series. If you need a CPU now, we recommend theor for this price range.
The Ryzen processor with the best performance: Ryzen 7 5800X
The Ryzen 5 5600X is great for games with a certain level of productivity. When productivity is closer to your main course, you need a Ryzen 7 5800X. The part of the 7 series has eight cores and 16 threads and offers the same IPC and memory improvements as the cheaper CPU. It also needs a lot more power – 105 watts to 65 watts – and increases with a base clock of 3.8 GHz and a maximum boost clock of 4.7 GHz.
It's easy to see why the 5800X uses so much power too. When gaming, the 5800X beats the best of Intel and matches the more expensive parts of the Ryzen 9 series. If you're using a last-generation GPU like the 5700XT or RTX 2080 – a likely case given Nvidia's ongoing 30-series stock problems – you won't see much of a difference between a 5800X and a 5900X, for example, when gaming. CPU-bound games like Civilization VI have a slight advantage over the 5900X, although most games are GPU-bound. Without Nvidia or AMD's latest version, you won't notice any significant difference between the two processors.
However, there are some differences in other tasks. In certain multithreaded workloads, the last generation Ryzen 9 3900X can outperform the 5800X (and you can find the 3900X for roughly the same price). However, the 5800X and all of the 5000 series chips wipe the floor with Ryzen 3000 when it comes to single-core performance.
If you just need a processor this is thatis a good choice as the price recently dropped to $ 400. If you don't mind waiting a bit, the 5800X shows some significant improvements in single-core performance, while equating or slightly lagging the 3900X in non-gaming workloads.
The best enthusiastic Ryzen processor: Ryzen 9 5900X
AMD hasn't taken too many punches with its 5000 series processors, and the Ryzen 9 5900X shows it. It corresponds to the 3900X core and thread count of the last generation and reaches 12 cores and 24 threads, but with a slightly reduced clock rate. The 5900X starts at 3.7 GHz and can increase up to 4.8 GHz. Although the two processors look identical on paper, the 5900X has the aforementioned Zen 3 enhancements from AMD.
When it comes to gaming, the 5900X beats the Intel i9-10900K – possibly the best gaming CPU out there – in most titles and often outperforms the 3900X, if only by a hair. With a little overclocking, Intel's current i9 offering still wins the day. Gaming benchmarks don't say much about the 5900X, however. At most, they're telling us that AMD is finally catching up with Intel. If you're just into gaming, the 5900X is over the top, and benchmarks show it. Where there is a difference between the 3900X and last generation 10900K and the 5900X, it is minor.
Other workloads show much more performance from the 5900X. In everything from 3D rendering in Blender to Cinebench to file compression, the 5900X has a considerable lead over the 3900X, and the 3900X already outperforms Intel's best consumer offerings. The gap is even larger for single-core workloads. AMD's IPC improvements are evident in single-core benchmarks, with the 5900X turning off Intel's top CPUs in almost every test.
This time around, AMD increased the price of its leading Ryzen 9 processor from $ 499 to $ 549. Even at this price point, the 5900X is a great processor. If you need to spend a little more money, then you should also consider the 5950X. If you can use 24 threads, you can probably use 32.
However, equity issues are still a problem. The 3900X and 3900XT will each cost around $ 400 in late 2020. While they don't do as well as the 5900X, they're close to each other (and save you around $ 150). Prices are falling for thatHowever, you can often find one under $ 700. Sure more expensive, but the 3950X should be the same or better than the 5900X in most cases.