Here’s a quick rundown of the specifications for the Zen 3 midrange desktop stack of Ryzen 5000-series CPUs, as well as a refresher on the previous-generation chips they’ll be replacing. Our comparison to Intel’s closest offerings from its 10th and 9th Generation lines can be found on the second tab.
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X
The 299 six-core/12-thread AMD Ryzen 5 5600X is the company’s entry-level Zen 3 option, trailing only the $449 eight-core/12-thread Ryzen 7 5800X. The AMD Ryzen 5 5600X, like the rest of the Zen 3 lineup, is $50 more expensive than its predecessor at the time of launch.
When discussing top-tier options like the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X (up from the launch MSRP of the Ryzen 9 3950X, a 7 percent difference), the sting worth of price creep doesn’t hurt as much. However, at this price point, the difference between the AMD Ryzen 5 3600X and 5600X (a 20% increase) could be the deciding factor for many PC builders’ budgets.
However, that isn’t the only difference between Zen 2 and Zen 3. Because it is a gaming-focused CPU, Zen 3’s move to a single eight-core core complex (CCX) design gives the 5600X an advantage over the Ryzen 5 3600X. The Ryzen 5 3600X processor was divided into two four-core CCXs, each comprised of two dual-core core chiplet dies (CCDs), with one CCX disabled in the second CCD.
Because the cores were spread across two CCDs, there was more travel time for any tasks that used all six cores at once, which games like GTA V and titles in the Civilization series are both known for. On the same note, lightly threaded titles such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Rainbow Six: Siege both suffered slightly on the Ryzen 5 3600X and its successor.
Despite the fact that the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X has many architectural improvements over the Zen 2 that lend themselves particularly well to gaming performance, the company has yet to include any form of integrated graphics on its midrange offerings. At this price point, options such as the Intel Core i5-10600K can serve as both the main CPU and the GPU in low-end systems.
When compared to Intel, AMD’s track record for socket compatibility is more favourable toward gamers who want to keep their budget in check while still getting the most power out of their build. Prospective Ryzen 5 5600X owners can use an X570 or B550 AMD board with the Zen 3 chips with a BIOS update as of this writing, and many X470 and B450 motherboards should get BIOS updates to work with the Zen 3 chips as well.