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AMD Ryzen 3600X Review: Does Speed Matter?

 Ryzen 5 3600X Box

The 3rd-generation Ryzen processors are beginning to turn the tides of gaming and content creation battle into AMD's favor. With a much smaller manufacturing process, the 3rd-generation Ryzen processors were able to make the competition's performance gap slimmer than ever.

There are numerous models of the Ryzen 3rd-generation CPU available in the market today. You've got your Ryzen 3s for entry-level, Ryzen 5 for mainstream, Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 9 for the performance segment. Lineups for each segment have a couple of SKUs and most, if not all, have one or two 'X" variants.

Variants with X at the end of its model name, basically have boosted frequencies out-of-the-box. Tho, all Ryzen processors are overclockable, the X variants are aimed at those who don't have proper knowledge for CPU overclocking but still want to have the extra 100 - 200MHz on base and boost clock speeds.

With game streaming taking its step into the limelight, a CPU with more than the usual 4-cores is the right processor to invest in. In this review, Ryzen 5 3600X gets the spotlight.

Specifications:

  • 6-Cores/12-Threads
  • 7nm process
  • Base Clock: 3.8GHz
  • Max boost Clock: 4.4GHz
  • Cache Memory:
  • L1 Cache: 64KB
  • L2 Cache: 3MB
  • L3 Cache: 32MB
  • PCIe 4.0 Support

Ryzen 5 3600X comes with a Wraith Spire Cooler

As one of the 'X' variants for the 3rd-generation Ryzen processors, the Ryzen 5 3600X has a 200MHz clock speed increase, with its base clock running at 3.8GHz and boost clock at 4.4GHZ, from the base model's 3.6GHz base clock and 4.2GHz boost clock.

The Ryzen 5 3600X comes packed with a Wraith Spire cooler which is better than the stock cooler of Ryzen 5 3600 and is significantly larger and far superior to that of its competition. With the size of the included cooler, temperatures of the Ryzen 5 3600X can easily be kept at bay. It can be a long-term cooling solution for those who don't plan on aggressively overclocking the Ryzen 5 3600X.

Overclocking with just the Wraith Spire cooler is doable, but as we've mentioned before, doing so will require a full understanding of the overclocking process, so do read and watch overclocking guide like your life depends on it. With the Wraith Spire cooler, our Ryzen 5 3600X was able to hit 4.0GHz on all cores fed with 1.3V. On our usual benchmarks and game runs, our OC'ed Ryzen 5 3600X with the Wraith Spire cooler was able to keep the temperatures at 70 - 75* (load).

Testbench Specs:

  • Motherboard: ASRock X570 Taichi
  • Memory: G.Skill Trident Z Royal 16GB 3600MHz
  • GPU: NVIDIA RTX 2080
  • Storage: Kingmax Zeus PX3280 256GB | Seagate Firecuda 2TB
  • Cooler: Wraith Spire
  • PSU: Thermaltake Smart 700W

Ryzen 5 3600X (stock clocks) synthetic benchmarks and game tests

Game tests were run at 1080p and settings are pulled down to low. This is done to put the spotlight on the processors. These tests do not depict real-world game performance of the GPU at high or ultra settings.


Syntehtic benchmarks

Cinebench R20

Cinebench R20 (single-core)

Handbrake Encoding

TimeSpy Extreme (CPU Test)

Game Tests

Assasin's Creed Odyssey

Final Fantasy XV

Metro: Exodus

Conclusion

With a higher clock speed out-of-the-box, Ryzen 5 3600X enables higher performance in gaming with a slice of productivity on top. The IPC improvement of the third-generation Ryzen processors really pushed its single-threaded performance, thus, improved gaming performance on 1080p.

When it comes to the Ryzen 5 3600X, the speed bonus and the included Wraith Spire cooler just aren't enough to make us pick it up in a heartbeat. However, if you are planning to build a gaming-centric system and don't want the additional expense for a third-party cooler, but still wants to overclock in the future, then the Ryzen 5 3600X is something that you should put on your list.

The base model, Ryzen 5 3600, might be the more sensical choice for us, but we're are still grateful that the Ryzen 5 3600X is there. With it on the processor stack, consumers get to have more options to choose from.

We give AMD Ryzen 5 3600X our Silver Award!


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