Conclusion and Final Thoughts
The theme throughout the review is how closely the Ryzen 5 3600 matches the performance of the Ryzen 5 3600X. The tests show that there’s virtually no difference between the two in terms of performance. Ok so now the testing is done and what do I think? Well, for the most part, the Ryzen 5 3600 kept pace with the 3600X counterpart. While not a direct comparison between these CPUs, it would seem silly not to do so. The numbers were close and while the 3600X did lead in a majority of the tests, it didn’t lead in them all. Productivity testing showed that the 3600 lags slightly behind the 3600X and the 200 MHz frequency difference. However, in gaming, that difference nearly disappears and the CPUs are almost matched in terms of performance. When compared to the Intel i7-8700K, the Ryzen 5 3600 is a nice alternative. Again, nearly matching the performance of the older Intel CPU.
My experience with the entire Ryzen line thus far has been extremely positive. At the time of this review, the CPUs are behaving as expected and AMD is working on releasing AGESA 126.96.36.199 which will further tweak and tune the boost performance of the Ryzen CPUs. That may move the 3600X just further ahead in terms of performance but, I think it is doubtful the 3600X will increase the minor lead on the 3600.
So where does all this lead me? Does it change my mind on the Ryzen 5 3600X? In a word, absolutely.
Let’s take a look at the differences between the two AMD Ryzen 5 CPUs. The differences are price and a minor bump in performance. According to the official documentation, that difference is 200 MHz. As far as price, the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is running around $50.00 cheaper than the Ryzen 5 3600X. The question I have to ask is; does the difference in performance equal a $50.00 price difference? No matter how I tried to answer it, I couldn’t come up with a YES answer to that question. Personally, I’d take that extra $50.00 and put it towards a better GPU or NVMe SSD. Don’t get me wrong, the Ryzen 5 3600X is a great processor, I think AMD shot themselves in the foot when they released the Ryzen 5 3600. I get that you want to have enough products to cover price ranges. Honestly, I think the AMD Ryzen product stack is fairly confusing and can be difficult for the consumer to figure out what’s going to be best for them. After testing the Ryzen 5 3600, I can’t really justify recommending the 3600X. The performance is just too close to justify spending an extra $50.00 for 200 MHz and a letter.
The Ryzen CPUs are closer than ever to matching and exceeding Intel’s performance. As consumers, we want this. I’ve said it before but competition makes the market stronger, it forces manufacturers to stay on their toes and create good products and finally, it gives us, the consumers a choice. If you’re looking to build a low-cost PC, this could be the CPU for you. At the time of this writing, I was able to find the Ryzen 5 3600 for $194 on Amazon. With its 6 cores and 12 threads, the Ryzen 5 3600 has enough power to plow through the daily grind of web browsing, spreadsheets, with enough in the tank to make a decent gaming rig too.