AMD Ryzen 5 5600X Zen 3 CPU Review

Six cores and 12 processing threads have been a recipe for success with value-oriented buyers in recent years. AMD’s Ryzen 5 3600 and 3600X CPUs have proven to be fan favorites for their balance between performance and price. Could the Zen 3 Ryzen 5 5600X, which comes in at around £280 in the UK, if you can find availability, prove to be another six-core contender?

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The AMD Ryzen 5 5600X It is a hexa-core 12-thread processor running at a base frequency of 3.7 GHz and max 4.6 GHz with a 65W TDP. MSRP is set at $299 which converts to £280 in the UK. That’s a $50 increase in MSRP over the Zen 2 Ryzen 5 3600X/3600XT it replaces.

What’s even more difficult, however, is the often £90 price hike for the incredibly popular Ryzen 5 3600 non-X. The availability of these older Zen 2 cores is certainly as bad as the new Zen 3 chips are today.

AMD’s chosen processing node is still the TSMC 7nm, but that’s the modified design logic as implemented with the frequency-optimized Ryzen 3000XT chips launched in July 2020. This should help reach and maintain higher boost clocks versus Zen 2 chips. The original Ryzen 3000X.

For more details on the architecture and differences between Zen 3 versus Zen 2, check out our Ryzen 9 5000 series flagship launch review here.

The hexa-core Ryzen 5 5600X is a single CCD processor and therefore a single CCX processor. As such, you can still have full access to 32MB of L3 cache but the L2 cache capacity has been cut back to 3MB compared to 4MB on the higher priced 8-core bits. The same 12nm IO dies are used.

At its £280 price point, the Ryzen 5 5600X really does enter a neat window among some of its core competitors.

It’s about £30 more expensive than a Core i5-10600K, but the AMD chip has a cooler and has better support for a lower-cost motherboard. The 5600X is about £30 cheaper than the sixteen-threaded Core i7-10700 locked processor that also uses the more expensive Intel system.

About £20 is savings for the Ryzen 5 5600X versus the Ryzen 7 3700X which has more cores but is on an older Zen 2 architecture. And the Zen 3 six-core is about £50 more expensive than the premium Ryzen 5 3600X/3600XT which is acceptable for many users, even if the cheaper Ryzen 5 3600 non-X is the obvious chip to buy from the Zen 2 six cores.

We’re particularly keen to see how performance improves against last year’s Ryzen 5s and 12-thread Intel Core i5-10600K. Also of particular interest is the performance of the Zen 3 6 core versus the Ryzen 7 3700X with the Zen 2 eight core still being a worthy market participant at around £300.

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