The Ryzen 5 3600X
The Ryzen 5 3600X is a 6 core and 12 thread CPU with a base clock of 3.8GHz and a maximum advertised boost clock of 4.4GHz. It is a 7nm part consisting of two chiplets, which includes a 7nm CCD (chiplet core die) which contains two CCX’s. The second chiplet is the 12nm I/O die. The CPU has an advertised TDP of 95w. Aside from the TDP, and being 200MHz faster, it is identical to AMD’s Ryzen 5 3600, which has garnered so much attention from enthusiasts.
Both Ryzen 5 3600’s make up the bottom end of the AMD Ryzen 3000 series product stack at the time of this writing. However, don’t let that fool you as these are very powerful parts and the Ryzen 5 3600 and 3600X are sometimes an upgrade from the earlier Ryzen 7 2700X despite having a core deficit compared to the older 8 core CPU.
Price and Competition
As it contains 6 cores and 12 threads, this CPU is an absolute powerhouse for a CPU costing around $249.99. It is designed to compete directly with Intel’s Core i5 9600K, which we will also reference allot during this review. While other benchmark numbers will be included, it is this CPU that AMD’s Ryzen 5 3600X competes with directly. This CPU also has 32MB of what AMD calls its “Gamecache”. Naturally, cache isn’t really gaming-specific, but it is one of the ways that AMD vastly improved its gaming performance over Zen and Zen+.
As I said, the Ryzen 5 3600X competes with Intel’s Core i5 9600K, which is also a more budget-oriented product. However, as it relates to gaming, the 9600K is absolutely capable of delivering an outstanding gaming experience. On that front, the 3600X has a lot to compete with. If your familiar with the Ryzen 3000 series and Intel’s Coffee Lake CPU’s, you probably already have an idea of how these CPU’s stack up against each other. Intel leads in some cases where gaming is concerned, but as a 6-core part without Hyperthreading or SMT of any kind, it gets annihilated in any application that can leverage a higher thread count.
On a price / performance basis, the Ryzen 5 3600X’s bigger problem is the Ryzen 5 3600. The Ryzen 5 3600 had 200MHz less clock speed for both the base and boost clocks and thus offers effectively the same performance as the 3600X but for $50 less. That’s nothing if you’re talking about higher-end CPU’s that are well north of $400. At sub $300 price points, $50 is a substantial difference in cost.
Given that these CPU’s do not sit at their base frequencies in single or multi-threaded applications, the base frequency being lower makes no difference. However, many Ryzen 3000 series CPU’s don’t hit their maximum single-threaded frequencies and thus, the gap between the 3600X and 3600 closes with them both hitting similar clocks in the real world. Even a 100MHz or more difference in single-threaded applications won’t skew the results a whole lot leaving these CPU’s practically identical. However, the 3600 comes in at a lower price and TDP, making it the undisputed value king in the AMD lineup.