Introduction

Here at the FPSReview, we’ve covered AMD’s Ryzen 3000 series in depth. We’ve talked about the various models at each price point. You would almost think that would be the end of it, but each model will perform differently and given a certain price point, compare either more or less favorably to its competition. As a result, we will take a look at specific models in more detail and provide data for comparison to our previous coverage. Today, we are looking at AMD’s Ryzen 5 3600X. However, if you’ve seen our coverage of earlier models, then much of this is going to come across to you as being a re-hash of earlier articles. In which case, you can skip around as needed to look at the performance metrics and conclusion page.

History of AMD

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, frozen in a vault, from a parallel universe or simply just got into DIY computing, you’ve probably heard who AMD is. The company was established 50 years ago and in the early days made a name for itself in memory manufacturing. In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s AMD was a second source supplier of Intel CPU designs. The United States Military and various government agencies had a rule back in the day of never depending on a single supplier or manufacturer of anything. As a result, Intel had to provide its designs to an alternative manufacturer to build clones of its CPU’s for government contracts. This is effectively how AMD got its CPU business. It built copies of Intel’s earlier X86 designs to Intel’s specifications. Later on, this wasn’t the case. However, AMD did reverse engineer Intel’s i386 and i486 designs to produce its own variants which were obviously changed to avoid litigation.

Not that this worked. Litigation was inevitable, and Intel sued AMD for making “386” and “486” numbers. The courts ruled that you can’t copyright numbers, and thus Intel switched to naming its CPU’s. AMD would later do the same thing but stuck with numbers up until the release of the Athlon. AMD from its onset wanted to be successful in the CPU business so bad, it often resorted to cannibalizing its profitable businesses to do so. It sold of its flash ROM business and other profitable divisions to support its floundering CPU business.

Most of you know the story when it comes to the Athlon. To make a very long story short, AMD hired engineers from the recently defunct Digital Equipment Corporation or DEC as it was commonly known. It also acquired NexGen Systems and all its engineers. Eventually, this led to the creation of the K6 and K7 architectures that brought AMD so much success. However, AMD rested on its laurels and through mismanagement stagnated and sort of blundered its way through the last decade.

After bringing back and hiring much-needed talent from the industry, AMD worked hard at creating its Zen microarchitecture. Zen 2, is the follow up to that architecture. It is what all Ryzen 3000 series CPU’s are based on. The processor we are looking at today is part of that family.