AMD launched the 7nm Zen 2 based Ryzen 3000 CPUs back in July to critical acclaim, snubbing Intel in the process and making the mid-range and high-end CPU market more affordable than ever. While the Ryzen 5 3600 is now considered as the best budget processor, and the Ryzen 7 and 9 dominating the enthusiast market, it leaves certain CPUs namely the 3600X and the 3800X in the dark. This is mainly because they are $50 more expensive than the next Matisse chip behind them, but offer almost negligible benefits or so we’ve heard. Today, we’ll be reviewing the Ryzen 5 3600X and see if the X really marks the spot, or whether you’re better off with the cheaper model.
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600X
- Motherboard: ASRock Taichi X570
- GPU: ASUS GeForce RTX 2080 Ti
- RAM: Trident Z Royal 16GB @ 3200MHz
AMD Ryzen 5 3600X vs Intel Core i5-9600K: Gaming Benchmarks
The gaming benchmarks paint a confusing picture. In the first two titles the Ryzen 5 3600X and the Core i5-9600K fight it out while in the third one (Deus: Ex), the latter manages to climb to the top of the rug and then in Ashes turns out to be the slower chip. This can be explained as follows: Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is an early DX12 game which benefits more from higher clocks rather than cores, resulting in the Core i5 sweeping the floor with the Matisse chips.
Shadow and The Division 2 being recent titles exhibit improved CPU utilization which is also supposed to be one of the core advantages of low-level APIs. Here, the Ryzen 5 parts overpower the Coffee Lake i5, but still can’t quite match the Core i7-8700K. The last test is the Ashes of the Singularity CPU test which is one of the best implementations of modern graphics APIs, allowing the higher thread counts of the Ryzen 3000 chips to make a solid
Another notable point that can be drawn from these benchmarks is that most games don’t exceed 6 cores due
Productivity and Content Creation
All the rendering and compression/decompression workloads are heavily multi-threaded, and as such, the murder of Intel’s Coffee Lake CPUs commences. Even in the single-threaded benchmarks of CPU-Z and Cinebench, the Ryzen 5 3600X easily beats the Core i5-9600K, standing side by side against the i7-8700K.
Mozilla Kraken and Jetstream provide a good indicated of the browsing performance of your hardware. These tend to benefit more from higher clock speeds rather than core counts, as is evident from the results.
IndigoBench is another rendering benchmark where the Ryzen CPUs perform well. The Ryzen 5 3600X is a good 20-30% faster than the Core i5-9600K but the delta between the two hex-core Matisse parts is rather dismal.
Conclusion: In Gaming, Ryzen 5 3600X= Ryzen 7 3700X
There are a lot of conclusions that can be drawn from these results. Firstly, in general workloads, the Ryzen 5 3600 and the 3600X perform pretty much identical to each other. Furthermore, both the chips trump the Coffee Lake i5s and manage to creep up to the 8th Gen Core i7-8700K while costing significantly less. In gaming, the story is slightly different. The Ryzen 5 3600X is slightly faster than the 3600, but it also one-ups the Ryzen 7 3700X in certain titles, performing on par in the rest. The Core i5-9600K wins in older titles but in newer DirectX12 and Vulkan based games, the 3600X takes the cake. So essentially, if you are building a gaming PC, get the 3600X over the much more expensive 3700X. However, if you are into content creation or general multi-threaded workloads, then go for either the Ryzen 5 3600 or the Ryzen 7 3700X as the minor frequency bump doesn’t really make much of a difference.