AMD Ryzen 5 3600X 6-Core Processor Review


Introduction

With AMD extending its mainstream CPU stack all the way to Ryzen 9 with a 16-core CPU on the top, they’re really bringing the heat to Intel but for the most part, the foundation of AMD’s popularity has always been their more consumer-friendly prices. With the Ryzen series of CPUs, they’ve managed to inch closer and closer to Intel and close the gap in offering performance for gaming and now they have a core advantage to Intel in terms of segment-by-segment SKUs. That makes AMD’s Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 3 CPUs so much desirable with the release of the 3rd-generation Ryzen CPUs. Based on 7nm Zen2, these processors offer excellent pricing and today we’re going to take a look at the top-end Ryzen 5 CPU on the current stack, the 6-core Ryzen 5 3600X.

Ryzen 5 3600X Specs

The Ryzen 5 3600X is a 6-core, 12-thread CPU with a 3.8Ghz base clock and can turbo boost to 4.4Ghz. The chip retails for $249 and is the top 6-core part for AMD’s new port folio right now.

Much has been said about the new architecture and new chipset of AMD and you can check out our X570 motherboard reviews like the Crosshair VIII Formula and ROG Strix X570 Gaming E for more info about the X570 chipset. For this review, we’ll focus strictly on performance and we’ll pit the AMD Ryzen 5 3600X against its big brother the Ryzen 9 3900X. We’ve strictly decided on sticking with AMD only benchmarks to show you guys the current situation of the R5 3600X and how it looks like with one of the top chips from AMD. We’ll take a look at CPU benchmarks, CPU scaling and resolution scaling amongst games including Call of Duty Modern Warfare, DOTA2, GTA V and The Witcher 3. We’ll expand this charts in the future to include much more graphics cards.

Ryzen 5 3600X 6-core Processor Review

Test Setup & Methodology (CPU Testing)

Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 3600X, AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
Motherboard: ASUS Crosshair VIII Formula (CPU Test), ASRock X570 Steel Legend (Gaming Test)
Memory: G.Skill TridentZ RGB DDR4-3600 16GB
Storage: WD Blue SSD 1TB SATA
PSU: Seasonic Platinum 1050w
Cooling: AMD Wraith Prism
Monitor: Viewsonic VX2475smhl-4K
VGA: NVIDIA GTX 2080 Ti FE

All tests are performed in an open bench with ambient room temperature kept at 30*C (welcome to the Philippines.)

Motherboards are updated to the latest BIOS during time of testing kept at their out-of-box settings aside from XMP frequencies when running stock benchmarks.

As many already know, most motherboards will have varying frequency multipliers and this may affect performance overall. As this is part of their out of the box configuration we see it fit to use them as is. All data presented here in are with the default motherboard settings for stock performance. Overclocked performance will be indicated where needed. For non-Z series motherboards, all benchmarks are performed on DDR4-2133 default settings.

As always, we’ll let the numbers do the talking.

Best Practices

  • Same thermal paste and same application method used on all cooler mounting. A pre-benchmark stress test is performed to let the TIM settle. We use Noctua NT-H1 for all our testing.
  • A fresh install of Windows 10 Pro is used for every sample testing. The OS image contains all benchmarks and games. Drivers are installed after image is installed.
  • An average of 3 benchmark runs is used for test sampling.

Benchmarks Used

  • Maxon Cinebench R15 – Multi-threaded CPU benchmark
  • Blender 3D – BMW 2.7 CPU Render benchmark
  • POV-Ray 3.7.1 – Multi-threaded Render benchmark
  • Cinegy Cinescore 10 – Ultra HD 4K resolution CPU encoding benchmark
  • HWBot x265 – 4K x265 CPU encoding benchmark
  • wPrime 1024M – multi-threaded prime benchmark
  • SuperPI 32M – single-threaded prime benchmark
  • GeekBench Pro 4.2 – full system benchmark
  • ASUS RealBench 2.56 – full system benchmark

Subsystem Benchmarks

  • Crystal Disk Mark
  • Rightmark Audio Analyzer

Other Software

  • Latest LAN Speed Test via LST Server
  • Latest AIDA64 (Stress Test)
  • Latest CPU-Z
  • Latest GPU-Z
  • Latest HWnfo 64-bit

Test OS Environment

  • Windows 10 Pro Retail 64-bit
  • Latest NVIDIA GeForce Game-Ready drivers
  • Latest AMD Chipset/Radeon drivers (when applicable, AMD boards)
  • Latest DirectX end-user runtime

Measuring Equipment:

  • Flir One USB Thermal Camera via Thermal Imaging+ app
  • HP-9800 AC wattmeter with USB interface for app logging
  • Standard sound level meter

Network Hardware

  • ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 Router

Performance Test – Rendering/Encoding

Rendering tests are benchmarks designed to gauge performance during multimedia and professional workloads like 3D rendering or video encoding. This gives us a good idea on how a certain system will perform during a certain predefined workload.

MAXON Cinebench CPU Benchmark R15


Blender BMW Render Benchmark 2.7


POV Ray 3.7


Cinegy Cinescore 10 – Ultra HD


HWBot x265

Performance Test – Arithmetic

Arithmetic benchmarks measure the performance of systems with regards to mathematical computations which some programs require. These benchmarks paint a good picture of how raw CPU performance is like.

wPrime 1024M


SuperPI 32M

Performance Test – System Benchmark

System benchmarks measure the performance of a system based on numerous tasks including a mix of rendering, arithmetic and other things. These benchmarks require the entire system to work together and components should compliment each other to achieve maximum performance.

GeekBench Pro 4.2 Multi-Core Benchmark


ASUS RealBench 2.56

Performance Test – Memory Benchmark

AIDA64 Memory Benchmark – Read/Write

AIDA64 Memory Benchmark -Latency

Temperature & Power Draw

In this test we’ll measure how much manufacturer-set BIOS settings affect temperature and power draw. As we’re dealing with pre-launch samples, more mature BIOS may change these over time.

Temperature


Power Draw

We really don’t put too much stock on individual component temperatures as they will vary depending on usage and we do not benchmark using extreme loads anymore as they’re not reflective of real world applications. To stress the CPU, we use a 20-minute run of AIDA64 stress test. We recorded the peak CPU temps and cross-match HWINFO and Ryzen Master readings. For power readings, we measure the peak system draw.

Test Setup and Methodology

Processor: Intel Core i9 9900K
Motherboard: ASUS ROG MAXIMUS XI EXTREME
Memory: G.Skill TridentZ DDR4-3600 16GB
Storage: WD Blue SSD 1TB SATA
PSU: Seasonic Platinum 1050w
Cooling: Fractal Design Celsius S36 AIO Liquid cooler
Monitor: Viewsonic VX2475smhl-4K
VGA: Palit GTX 1660 SUPER Gaming Pro, ASUS ROG Strix GTX 1660 Ti, ASUS ROG Strix GTX 1060, ASUS ROG STRIX RX 480

For a full-hardware workout, visit https://benchmarks.ul.com for our system warm-up and stress test of choice.

For benchmarking methodology please see our game benchmark method guide.

Frame rates and frame times of a 60-second game play were recorded using NVIDIA FrameView. The test results are the average of 3 benchmark runs. Since this is a GPU review, we benchmarked the area of the games that put heavy load on the GPU.

All our test runs are repeatable, click the links below for area and details. Read our benchmarking methodology.

  • DOTA2 – Kiev Major Grand Finals Game 5: OG vs Virtus.Pro (54:05 – 55:05)
  • The Witcher 3 – Woesong Bridge
  • Grand Theft Auto V – Palomino Highlands
  • F1 2017 – Benchmark Mode (Australia, Clear Weather, Morning)
  • Rainbow Six: Siege – Benchmark Mode (30 second)
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider – Kuwaq Yaqu
  • COD Modern Warfare 2019 – Fog of War

See our Youtube playlist for benchmark sequences.

Note: Some proprietary technologies of NVIDIA like PCSSHBAO+, and HairWorks work on AMD GPU’s BUT to maintain uniformity amongst GPUs, these have been turned OFF.

DOTA 2

The most popular game on Steam and the biggest competition in eSports; DOTA 2 is powered by the Source 2 engine. The game is fairly light on low to medium settings but maxed out with heavy action on screen especially during clashes can really stress most systems especially with Reborn update. This is a game where frame times matter as responsiveness is very important in high-stakes competition.

DirectX9 (default)
Best-Looking slider setting (Ultra)
FPS_MAX 240
Vsync OFF

FPS Chart

Frametime Chart

Min-Mix Frame Rates

 

Comparable Frame Rate

 

Grand Theft Auto V

The fifth and most successful installment to date in the highly controversial Grand Theft Auto series brings a graphical overhaul to the PC version of GTA V which many have lauded as a superior approach in porting a console game to PC. Featuring large areas and detailing, GTA V is a highly challenging application in terms of scene complexity.

FXAA Off
MSAA 4x
TXAA Off
Very High settings
Anisotropic Filtering: 16x
Motion Blur disabled
Advanced Graphics enabled
Vsync OFF

FPS Chart

Frametime Chart

Min-Max Frame Rate

Comparable Frame Rate

 

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

CD Projekt Red’s latest installment in the Witcher saga features one of the most graphically intense offering the company has to date. As Geralt of Rivia, slay monsters, beasts and men as you unravel the mysteries of your past. Vast worlds and lush sceneries make this game a visual feast and promises to make any system crawl at its highest settings.

Frame Rate: Unlimited
Nvidia HairWorks: Off
Ultra Settings
Motion Blur: Off
Blur: Off
Anti-aliasing: On
Bloom: On
Sharpening: High
Ambient Occlusion: SSAO
Depth of Field: On
Chromatic Aberration: Off
Vignetting: On
Light Shafts: On
VSync OFF

FPS Chart

Frametime Chart

Min-Max Frame Rate

Comparable Frame Rate

Call of Duty Modern Warfare (2019)

Call of Duty Modern Warfare is a reboot of the original Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare storyline, set in a different world where you, along with Captain Price have to stop the world from going to war. Call of Duty Modern Warfare reignites the franchise by introducing full crossplay support where Xbox and PS4 players can play together with PC players. On PC, the game features a new engine pushing photorealism for COD far beyond what their older engine is capable of. The new engine also introduces raytracing and the AI is designed to perceive light as well. With a revitalized multiplayer arena, the game will require fast frame rates.

Render Resolution: 100%
Texture Resolution: High
Texture Filter Anisotropic: High
Particle Quality: High
Tessellation: All
Shadow Map Resolution: Extra
Particle Lighting: Ultra
DirectX Raytracing: OFF
Ambient Occlusion: Both
Anti-Aliasing: Filmic SMAA T2X
World Motion Blur: Ooff
Shaders Installed before benchmarks*

FPS Chart

Frametime Chart

Min-Mix Frame Rates

Comparable Frame Rate

 

Resolution Scaling

In this test, we’ll see how the Ryzen 5 3600X scales with resolution. We’ll be using an RTX 2080 Ti across all tests and will go from 1080p to 1440p then 4K UHD resolution. Same methodology for the previous tests apply here as well.

Conclusion

The Ryzen 9 3900X is AMD’s 2nd top-specced processor behind the 16-core 3950X and it promises some excellent performance but in a purely gaming scenario, is the Ryzen 5 3600X enough? Quick answer is a definite yes. In all our tests, the Ryzen 5 3600X put up numbers that are on par with 3900X and in pure benchmarks, easily beats the older Ryzen 7 2700X in most benchmarks even with a core advantage. This is very interesting to see as the Intel 9600K, the Ryzen 5 3600X rival, is a bit cheaper but 9600X also has no Hyperthreading and being a K processor, its overclocking advantage is weigh down by a pricier Z390 motherboard. Putting into perspective, one can pick-up an older B350 or B450 for a seriously bargain deal and get a brand new Ryzen 5 3600X with a free cooler, and you’re getting some serious gaming mileage already. Couple that with the core count advantage and the R5 3600X easily wins.

The main advantage as well here is the ability to upgrade an eventual midrange board with PCIe Gen4 or just go straight to X570 and enjoy the vast bandwidth the Gen4 offer. This is something that Intel can’t counter in the meantime and if you are a content creator that can take advantage of ultra-fast PCIe Gen4 storage, but can’t or don’t need the core count advantage of Ryzen 7 or Ryzen 9, then the Ryzen 5 3600X is a great choice.

The only competition that the Ryzen 5 3600X is pretty much the Ryzen 5 3600 non-X part which at the hand of a capable overclocker or just a lucky RNG roll, can take it on par with the Ryzen 5 3600X. You will save up a few bucks with this route but if you want sure performance out of the box, the Ryzen 5 3600X will suffice.

If you’re a gamer and content creator or game streamer looking to use a single-PC streaming setup, the Ryzen 5 3600X is the top choice for mainstream builds hands down.

AMD backs their CPUs with a 3-year warranty. We give the AMD Ryzen 5 3600X our B2G Gold Award and B2G Best Value Award!

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