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AMD Ryzen 5 5600G Review: Zen 3 and 7nm Vega Excite

AMD Ryzen 5 5600G
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The six-core 12-thread Ryzen 5 5600G comes to market as part of AMD's first salvo of 7nm 'Cezanne' APUs for desktop PCs, and today we're taking an early look at the promising new chip. AMD plans to use the Cezanne chips to plug big price gaps in its Ryzen 5000 lineup that dominates our Best CPU list and CPU Benchmark hierarchy, but they're limited to the OEM market until the full retail launch on August 5, 2021. We already grabbed an off-the-shelf system from HP to take the eight-core 16-thread Ryzen 7 5700G for a spin, and today we're giving the $259 Ryzen 5 5600G the same treatment.

The Cezanne APUs come with Zen 3 execution cores paired with the Radeon Vega graphics engine for iGPU-powered gaming rigs, and their arrival is long overdue. Cezanne will be the first new AMD APUs available at retail since the quad-core Zen+ "Picasso" models came to market in 2019. AMD actually augmented that lineup with the more modern eight-core Zen 2-powered Ryzen Pro "Renoir" series in 2020, but limited those chips to OEM systems only. Now, three chip generations after it launched its last round of APUs (Zen 2, XT, Zen 3), AMD is finally replacing its 12nm quad-core Zen+ APUs.

AMD Ryzen 5000 G-Series 65W Cezanne APUs
CPU
Arch.PriceCores/ ThreadsBase/ Boost Freq.GPU CoresGPU Freq. (MHz)TDPL3 (MB)
Ryzen 7 5700GZen 3$3598 / 163.8 / 4.6RX Vega 8200065W16
Ryzen 5 5600GZen 3$2596 / 123.9 / 4.4RX Vega 7190065W16
Ryzen 3 5300GZen 3N/A4 / 84.0 / 4.2RX Vega 6170065W8

Cezanne comes to market during the worst graphics card shortage in history. As such, a potent yet affordable APU could be a godsend for enthusiasts looking for a stopgap chip for basic gaming while they wait for discrete GPU pricing to normalize. The new Ryzen 5000G models also pack much more performance than their prior-prior-gen brethren, so even after the shortage recedes, they'll still be a big step forward for extreme budget gaming, small form factor, and HTPC rigs.

Instead of its traditional separation of the CPU and APU lines, AMD drops the 5000G models right into the Ryzen 5000 stack — AMD says they fill the role of the standard "non-X" models that traditionally offer more attractive price points at a given core count by sacrificing peak clock speed for a lower TDP.

If the numbers hold out in our performance testing, the 5600G could also address AMD's premium pricing with its Zen 3 chips: AMD's shift from being the budget brand to the market leader resulted in a $299 cost of entry into the Ryzen 5000 family. The $259 six-core Ryzen 5 5600G reduces that steep price of entry and also comes with a bundled Wraith Stealth cooler, sweetening the deal. AMD is still holding back some of its lower-priced 5000G models, though, so our list of the best cheap CPUs probably won't change for some time.

The GPU shortage appears to be improving ever so slowly, thanks in part to the collapse of mining profitability and China shutting down mining firms, but we expect it to persist to some extent over the next several months. If the 5600G slots in well under its X-equipped counterpart, the Ryzen 5 5600X, it could be a tough chip to beat. However, that isn't an easy task given the tradeoffs associated with Cezanne's monolithic die design, which differs significantly from the chiplet-based Ryzen 5000 chips. Let's see how it works out.

AMD Ryzen 5 5600G Specifications and Pricing

The Ryzen 5000G family spans from four to eight cores and has the Zen 3 architecture that provides a 19% IPC uplift over the Zen 2 architecture used in the previous-gen Ryzen 4000G models. AMD is only bringing the eight-core 16-thread Ryzen 7 5700G and six-core 12-thread Ryzen 5 5600G to retail, at least for now. In addition, AMD currently hasn't announced when it will bring the four-core eight-thread Ryzen 3 5300G or the 35W GE-Series models to retail, meaning we won't see any significant change to our list of the Best Cheap CPUs any time soon. 

AMD Ryzen 5000 G-Series 65W Cezanne APUs
CPU
Arch.PriceCores/ ThreadsBase/ Boost Freq.TDPL3 (MB)GPU CoresGPU Freq. (MHz)
Ryzen 7 5800XZen 3$4498 / 163.8 / 4.7 GHz105W32 (1x32)N/AN/A
Core i7-11700K (KF)Rocket Lake$374 - $3498 / 163.6 / 5.0125W16UHD Graphics 750 Xe 32EU1300
Ryzen 7 5700GZen 3$3598 / 163.8 / 4.665W16RX Vega 82000
Ryzen 7 4750GZen 2~$3108 / 163.6 / 4.465W8RX Vega 82100
Ryzen 5 5600XZen 3$2996 / 123.7 / 4.6 GHz65W32 (1x32)N/AN/A
Core i5-11600K (KF)Rocket Lake$262 (K) - $237(KF)6 / 123.9 / 4.9125W12UHD Graphics 750 Xe 32EU1300
Ryzen 5 5600GZen 3$2596 / 123.9 / 4.465W16RX Vega 71900
Ryzen 5 3600Zen 2$2006 / 123.6 / 4.265W32N/AN/a
Core i5-11400 (F)Rocket Lake$182 - $1576 / 122.6 / 4.265W12UHD Graphics 750 Xe 24EU1300
Ryzen 3 5300GZen 3N/A4 / 84.0 / 4.265W8RX Vega 61700
Ryzen 5 3400GZen+$1494 / 83.7 / 4.265W4RX Vega 111400

The $259 Ryzen 5 5600G lowers the price of entry to the Ryzen 5000 family by $40, plugging the $100 gap between the $299 Ryzen 5 5600X and, well, AMD's entire sub-$299 product stack. For now, the previous-gen $200 Ryzen 5 3600 represents the next step down AMD's product stack. Based on suggested pricing, the 5600G grapples with the Core i5-11600K, meaning AMD has yet to address the Intel Core i5-11400, which is the current value budget gaming champ if you plan on using a discrete GPU. The six-core 12-thread Ryzen 5 5600G comes with a 3.7 GHz base and a 4.4 GHz boost clock, 16MB of L3 cache, and seven Radeon RX Vega CUs that operate at 1.9 GHz. The chip has a configurable TDP (cTDP) that stretches from 45W to 65W, though most desktop PCs will operate at the latter threshold. As with all Zen 3 processors, the Ryzen 5000G chips step up from DDR4-2933 to DDR4-3200 interface, which will help boost gaming performance with the integrated GPU. Surprisingly, the majority of the Ryzen 5000G 'Cezanne' SoC comes from the Ryzen 4000 'Renoir' SoC. To improve time to market, AMD essentially swapped in new Zen 3 cores, leaving the I/O, 7nm Radeon RX Vega integrated graphics engine, and SoC design intact. As such, the 5600G has 24 lanes of PCIe 3.0 connectivity compared to 24 lanes of PCIe 4.0 found on the Ryzen 5000 models for the desktop PC. AMD also chose to reuse the 7nm Vega graphics engine  [Jarred: again, sigh] instead of incorporating newer RDNA variants. Compared to the six-core Ryzen 5 5600X, you gain the Radeon RX Vega graphics engine but sacrifice 200 MHz of peak CPU boost clock and half the L3 cache. The 5600G does have a 200 MHz higher base clock, though. Stepping down $100 from the $359 eight-core Ryzen 7 5700G requires trading off one graphics CU and 100 MHz of GPU frequency along with 1MB of L2 cache, two CPU cores, and 200 MHz of peak CPU clock rates. The loss of GPU cores and clocks should mean about 15% less graphics performance, though it might be less of a difference than that since both GPUs are still likely limited at least in part by the shared memory bandwidth. The Cezanne desktop chips will find their way into 500-series and some 400-series motherboards, though support on the latter will vary by vendor. 

AMD Ryzen 5 5600G Test Setup and Overclocking

The Ryzen 5 5600G will compete with budget processors paired with low-end discrete GPUs, like the Core i3-10100 paired with an Nvidia GT 1030 GPU. Unfortunately, we encountered issues with our GT 1030 (it didn't age well) and await a replacement. As such, while our testing of the stock Ryzen 5 5600G processor is complete, we don't have what we would consider adequate comparison configurations for this initial performance preview. We will add testing with a selection of competing chips and the GT 1030 for the launch day review. We will also add comparisons of the 5600G's integrated graphics to low-end discrete GPUs. 

Our initial benchmarks give us a solid sense of how the 5600G slots into the performance hierarchy, though. The Ryzen 5000G processors are shipping in volume, and publicly available graphics drivers and motherboard firmwares support the chip. While AMD has official graphics drivers in the wild, be aware that firmware support for the 5000G series is still very basic on enthusiast motherboards. The ASRock X570 and an ASUS ROG Strix B550-E ran the Cezanne chips with no issues, but overclocking functionality feels raw. We expect that motherboard makers will engage in the normal round of firmware tuning before the official launch in August. We'll also add overclocking to our results when we revisit the chips for the official launch. 

AMD says the Ryzen 5 5600G slots in as what we would traditionally think of as a non-X CPU. Additionally, some enthusiasts will seek out the chip to game with the iGPU until they can find a discrete GPU after the shortage recedes. As such, we also paired the chip with the Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3090 Eagle we use for our standard gaming suite to see how the chip would fare with a discrete GPU. One note about using a dedicated GPU with the 5600G is that, unlike the earlier AMD APUs that limited add-in boards to an x8 PCIe link, you get the full x16 link with Cezanne. We also ran our standard application test suite, so there are plenty of results to analyze. 

AMD Ryzen 5 5600G Gaming Benchmarks 

AMD Ryzen 5 5600G Integrated GPU Gaming Performance — The TLDR 

Below you can see the geometric mean of our integrated graphics gaming tests across five titles at 1280x720 and 1080p, with each resolution split into its own chart to give us a decent overall view of the current landscape. These are cumulative metrics, so individual wins vary on a per-title basis. You'll find the game-by-game test results further below.

We included a test setup with a single channel of memory as a reminder to check the memory configuration on pre-builts, as that is how many OEMs ship their systems. That's particularly painful for APUs. You can read more about that in our Ryzen 7 5700G review. 

Here are the test configurations for the entries in the charts below:

  • Ryzen 5 5600G: 2x 8GB DDR4-3200 (dual channel) memory @ 16-16-16-36, ASUS ROG Strix B550-E, PBO disabled, Default power limits
  • Ryzen 7 5700G B550: 2x 8GB DDR4-3200 (dual channel) memory @ 16-16-16-36, ASUS ROG Strix B550-E, PBO disabled, Default power limits
  • Ryzen 7 5700G HP Single Channel: 1x 16GB DDR4-3200 (single channel) memory @ 22-22-22-52, HP Pavilion TP01-2066, No configurable options
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iGPU Performance relative to Ryzen 7 5700G
1280x7201920x1080
Ryzen 7 5700G B550-E 100%100%
Ryzen 5 5600G96.3%96%
Ryzen 7 4750G92.9%94.1%
Ryzen 5 3400G83.5%84.1%
Intel UHD Graphics 750 32 EU (11600K, 11700K)58.3%~48.9%
Intel UHD Graphics 730 24 EU (i5-11400)51.7%42.9%
Intel UHD Graphics 630 24 EU (10600K)36.0%34.4%

The table above gives us a performance comparison of the most relevant chips, with the Ryzen 7 5700G used as the baseline. Again, the Zen 3 architecture pays dividends as the six-core 5600G beats the Ryzen 7 4750G with the Zen 2 architecture by ~3%. That doesn't sound too impressive until we mention the 4750G has two more CPU cores, an extra graphics core, and 200 MHz higher graphics clocks with what appears to be a similar 7nm Vega engine.

Zooming out to the previous-gen comparable chips that you can actually buy at retail, the 5600G beats the quad-core 3400G by 13% at 1280x720 and 12% at 1080p.

The biggest testament to the 5600G's strength comes from simply comparing it to the eight-core Ryzen 7 5700G. While the $359 Ryzen 7 5700G has two extra CPU cores, one extra CU, and higher GPU clocks, the $258 Ryzen 5 5600G lands within 4% at both resolutions — but for 30% less cash. Clearly, as expected, the shared memory bandwidth is more of a factor than raw compute.

The Intel chips give us about what we expect, roughly the same (or slightly less) performance than the crippled Ryzen 7 5700G with a single memory stick. Intel's UHD Graphics 750 engine with the Xe architecture is a decent improvement over the company's UHD Graphics 630 engine, but Intel ported the Xe architecture back to the 14nm process, resulting in fewer graphics cores. As such, the highest-end desktop chips currently have 32 EUs, whereas the 10nm Tiger Lake chips stretch up to 96 EU.

The 11700K and 11600K with UHD Graphics 750 struggle at both 1280x720 and 1080p, netting roughly half the performance of a properly configured Ryzen 7 5700G system. The Core i5-11400 fares even worse; its UHD Graphics 730 engine only comes with 24 EUs. Intel has made strides compared to the UHD Graphics 630 engine in the 10600K, which also comes with 24 EUs, but the best Intel chips still trail AMD's three-year-old Ryzen 5 3400G 'Picasso' chips by significant margins. 

Overall, the results are clear: If you're looking for the best integrated graphics on the desktop, Cezanne is the new leader for desktop PCs. Overall the Ryzen 5 5600G gives you the lion's share of the Ryzen 7 5700G's performance, but at a much more accessible price point.

We might see more differentiation between the two chips when we turn the overclocking knobs for the full review, but we don't think it will change the calculus too much. We found 1280x720 gaming to be solid across numerous titles with both Cezanne chips. While the number of titles you can play becomes extremely restricted at 1080p, you can get away with 1080p gaming with reduced fidelity settings in many titles, too.

Dota 2 on AMD Ryzen 5 5600G

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We tested the eSports staple Dota 2 with a medium preset at both 1080p and 720p resolutions. This is a fairly light game, as indicated by the numbers, but it does show the relative performance improvements. The Ryzen 5 5600G delivered 109.7 fps at the 1080p resolution. However, the 5700G was only 3% faster, while the 5600G is 6% faster than the previous-gen 4750G. We do have to remember that the Ryzen 5 3400G is supposed to be the only AMD APU currently available at retail (it's normally out of stock). The 5600G is 26% faster at 1080p than the 3400G, signifying a big upgrade. 

The nearest Intel alternative, the Core i5-11600K, is surprisingly capable in this title, but the Ryzen 7 5600G is still ~47% faster at 1080p than the UHD Graphics 750 engine. 

Far Cry 5 on AMD Ryzen 5 5600G

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Ryzen 5 5600G Review

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The previous-gen Ryzen 7 4750G is roughly 2% and 1% faster than the Ryzen 5 5600G at 1280x720 and 1080p, marking one of the few times we'll see the more handsomely-equipped (at least in terms of CPU and GPU cores) previous-gen model take the lead over the 5600G.

The 5600G provided smooth gameplay at 1280x720, but it did get a bit dicey at 1080p. You could loosen your fidelity settings a bit more to help alleviate the issue or turn to overclocking to boost performance. We'll give the latter a shot with our next round of tests.

In contrast, the Rocket Lake chips suffered throughout our Far Cry 5 tests, and we couldn't correct the issue. Flipping to the last slides in the above album shows the problem —  the Cezanne setups deliver smooth and predictable frame rates. In contrast, the Intel Rocket Lake chips are incredibly inconsistent, instead delivering hitching, stuttering, and generally unplayable performance. Those same trends carry over to the Core i5-11400, too.

Far Cry 5 isn't playable on the 10600K with its previous-gen UHD Graphics 630, but it does have a consistent frame rate profile. That means this odd frame rate variance issue is confined to Intel's UHD Graphics 750 engine, at least on our testbed.

Unfortunately, we've encountered similarly rocky performance with a few titles that we've tested with Intel's new Xe architecture on the Rocket Lake chips, but driver updates have ironed out most of the wrinkles. These are probably early teething problems with drivers and game code as Intel works with its new graphics architecture, but some of these problems have existed for the three long months since the Rocket Lake launch.

We didn't encounter any of these issues with Intel's previous-gen UHD Graphics 630 engine or the Ryzen chips, and even the crippled HP single-channel setup beats the Intel chips.

Grand Theft Auto V on AMD Ryzen 5 5600G

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Grand Theft Auto V is immortal, partly because you can play it on lower-powered hardware if you're willing to trade off fidelity for performance.

Dialing back to the lowest quality settings yields a very playable 84 fps at 1080p for the Ryzen 5 5600G while stepping up to the 5700G nets 5% more performance. That means there's plenty of headroom for higher quality settings, and that applies nearly doubly at the 1280x720 resolution; 136 fps leaves plenty of room for tweaking.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider on AMD Ryzen 5 5600G

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The Intel chips suffered in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, too. The Core i7-11700K and i5-11600K offer nearly identical performance in the 1080p benchmark, showing we've reached a graphics bottleneck that the 11700K's slightly higher CPU clock rate can't improve. The Core i5-11400, with its pared-back engine with 24 EUs, suffers even more. 

The Ryzen 7 5700G is 4% faster than the 5600G at 1280x720 and 1080p, a pretty slim performance delta given the 5700G's $100 higher price tag.

The Ryzen 5 5600G is ~12% faster at both resolutions than the Ryzen 5 3400G. Against the 4750G, the 5600G's lead shrinks to 2% at 1280x720, and it provides identical performance at 1080p, but that's largely inconsequential. The 4750G is OEM-only, so if you don't plan on buying a pre-built system, you'll have to pay scalper pricing. As shown in our Ryzen 7 4750G review, that kills the 4750G's value proposition. 

Strange Brigade on AMD Ryzen 5 5600G

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Our last foray into testing the Xe architecture in Strange Brigade happened at the Rocket Lake launch, and try as we might, we couldn't get the cursor to appear on the screen. However, newer drivers (or perhaps a game update?) have fixed that issue.

Strange Brigade now works just fine on our test system, but the 5600G is ~60 to 65% faster than the UHD Graphics 750 engine in this benchmark, putting the finishing touch on Cezanne's commanding performance in our integrated graphics test suite.  

AMD Ryzen 5 5600G Discrete GPU Gaming Performance — The TLDR 

AMD positions the Ryzen 5000G chips as the "non-X" equivalents for the Ryzen 5000 family, so some enthusiasts will buy the 5600G as the non-X equivalent to the 5600X that requires a discrete GPU. Additionally, if the GPU shortage continues, it might be a good idea to use the 5600G's iGPU as a stopgap until you upgrade to a discrete GPU later. Even though it certainly seems counterintuitive with an APU, both of these use-cases dictate that we should analyze how the chip performs with a discrete graphics card.

Below you can see the geometric mean of our gaming tests at 1080p and 1440p, with each resolution split into its own chart to give us a decent overall view of the current landscape. As usual, we're testing with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 to reduce GPU-imposed bottlenecks as much as possible, and differences between test subjects will shrink with lesser cards or higher resolutions. These are cumulative metrics, so individual wins vary on a per-title basis. You'll find the game-by-game test results further below. Some of these same benchmarks appeared in our integrated GPU testing above, but we used higher quality settings for the tests below. 

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Discrete GPU Performance Relative to Ryzen 7 5800X - All chips at stock settings.
1920x10802560x1440
Ryzen 7 5800X / 5600X100%100%
Core i7-11700K95.2%98%
Core i5-11600K92.8%96.7%
Core i5-1140089.2%93.5%
Ryzen 7 5700G84.3%88.9%
Ryzen 5 5600G79.5%84.3%
Ryzen 7 4750G64.5%71.2%
Ryzen 5 3400G50.6%56.9%

Here we can see how the chips stack up using the Ryzen 7 5800X and Ryzen 5 5600X (they're nearly identical in gaming) as the baseline.

One of the primary reasons to buy a reduced-TDP 'non-X' AMD chip is that overclocking typically brings the non-X chip within range of the more expensive X model. That's exactly why the now-legendary Ryzen 5 3600 is so popular.

We haven't tested overclocking with the 5600G yet because the motherboard firmware still feels unpolished. Still, it's safe to say that overclocking the Ryzen 5 5600G probably won't yield a 25% increase in dGPU gaming performance. That means an overclocked 5600G won't provide the same gaming performance with a dGPU as the stock Ryzen 5 5600X. As such, you should keep your expectations in check if you're purchasing this chip as a cheaper non-X alternative for gaming.

Again, the Ryzen 5 5600G gives you the lion's share of the Ryzen 7 5700G's performance, landing within 5% at both resolutions (we'll discuss a caveat below). In addition, the Ryzen 5 5600G is faster than the Ryzen 5 3600 in these CPU-heavy tests, so it will provide a bit more runway with a dGPU than the less-expensive Zen 2-powered 3600.

We did catch one seemingly anomalous result in our testing: The Ryzen 7 5700G is 32% faster in Borderlands 3 at 1080p than the Ryzen 5 5600G on our test bench, and we retested it several times to confirm. That stands in contrast to the performance delta between the two chips in other titles, spanning from a tie to a 4% difference. We'll examine that a bit further in our follow-up tests with any newer available drivers/firmwares.

When paired with a higher-end dGPU, the 5600G lags the stock Intel processors significantly. Of course, you could reduce that delta via overclocking, but we don't see the Ryzen 5600G matching the overclocked Intel comparables on a like-for-like basis.

We'll skip the blow-by-blow analysis in the individual game results below because, aside from Borderlands 3, the results are fairly redundant. We also don't have overclocking results yet, but we'll revisit that at the official launch.

Given the oddness of the market due to GPU shortages, the Ryzen 5 5600G could fulfill a role as a stop-gap chip for some users. However, to give better purchasing advice, we'll have to reassess the volatile discrete GPU market when the 5600G comes to the retail market and look at how the competing chips fare with lower-end dGPUs.

3D Mark, VRMark, Stockfish Chess Engine on AMD Ryzen 5 5600G

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Borderlands 3 on AMD Ryzen 5 5600G

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Far Cry 5 on AMD Ryzen 5 5600G

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Hitman 2 on AMD Ryzen 5 5600G

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Project CARS 3 on AMD Ryzen 5 5600G

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Red Dead Redemption 2 on AMD Ryzen 5 5600G

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Shadow of the Tomb Raider on AMD Ryzen 5 5600G

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AMD Ryzen 5 5600G Application Benchmarks, the TLDR

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The charts above provide the geometric mean of several of our application tests (listed in the chart title), representing broader trends in lightly- and multi-threaded applications. Be sure to check our application tests below for performance in specific types of applications. To maintain consistency within our test pool, we conducted all of the tests below with a discrete graphics card handling the display output.

Application Performance Relative to Core i7-11700K
Single-ThreadedMulti-Threaded
Core i7-11700K 8C/16T100%100%
Ryzen 7 5800X 8C/16T98.5%97.8%
Ryzen 7 5700G 8C/16T94.3%86.8%
Ryzen 5 5600X 6C/12T94.6%76.4%
Core i5-11600K 6C/12T98.2%78.3%
Ryzen 5 5600G90.9%68.1%
Core i5-1140088.1%71.4%
Ryzen 7 4750G 8C/16T81.9%76.1%
Ryzen 5 3400G 4C/8T68.8%33.0%

As expected, the eight-core Ryzen 7 5700G is faster than its less-expensive six-core 5600G counterpart, by roughly 27% in our aggregate measurement of threaded workloads, meaning it's better suited for CPU-heavy applications. The 5700G also holds a slight edge in single-threaded work, with a 4% lead in our cumulative measure. 

The Ryzen 5 5600G benefits heavily from its Zen 3 architecture, though, so it is faster in lightly-threaded work than its predecessors, the Ryzen 7 4750G and Ryzen 5 3400G. The 4750G, however, still holds a two-core advantage, which equates to 12% more performance in threaded workloads. Conversely, the Ryzen 5 5600G is 9% faster in threaded work than its six-core graphics-less counterpart, the Ryzen 5 3600.

The six-core $259 5600G lags the $300 six-core 5600X in both single- and multi-threaded work. These performance deltas are expected, due to the differences between the multi-die and monolithic designs, including different cache allocations and thermal characteristics.

The like-priced Core i5-11600K is 8% faster in lightly-threaded and 15% faster in multi-threaded work than the 5600G, but you lose the benefits of the Vega graphics engine, so that isn't the best comparison. We'll limit our commentary in the tests below until we have a few systems paired with the GT 1030 for more meaningful comparisons. 

Rendering Benchmarks on AMD Ryzen 5 5600G

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Remember, the Ryzen 5 3400G is the only APU available at retail. The chip trails its more modern counterparts by massive margins in almost all of these threaded workloads, underlining that Cezanne is a massive step forward in terms of AMD's widely available silicon.

Encoding Benchmarks on AMD Ryzen 5 5600G

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Our encoding tests include benchmarks that respond best to single-threaded performance, like the quintessential LAME and FLAC examples, but the SVT-AV1 and SVT-HEVC tests represent a newer class of threaded encoders. 

Web Browser, Office and Productivity on AMD Ryzen 5 5600G

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Yet another Chrome update has broken out automated web browser benchmarks, and we're working to address that issue. That leaves us with PC Mark 10's built-in Edge test to quantify performance, but be aware that this test responds more to threading than any other type of web browser benchmark. 

Compilation, Compression, AVX Performance on AMD Ryzen 5 5600G

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Frankly, most of these tests aren't terribly relevant to the target audience for this class of chip. They're more important for higher-end chips, but we include them for completeness. Nevertheless, the timed LLVM compilation workload, y-cruncher, and NAMD tests do a wonderful job of illustrating the architectural advances AMD has made as it progressed through the Zen+ 3400G and Zen 2 4750G to the Zen 3 APU era with Cezanne.  

Conclusion

Our comparison test pool isn't quite up to snuff, but our Ryzen 5 5600G testing gives us enough data to come to a few firm conclusions. First, the combination of the Zen 3 CPU architecture and the Radeon RX Vega graphics engine propels the six-core Ryzen 5 5600G to class-leading gaming performance from an integrated graphics engine at its price point. Overall, the chip serves up a compelling blend of price and performance for the target market.

In fact, given that the $259 Ryzen 5 5600G's iGPU performance lands within 4% of the $359 Ryzen 7 5700G but for 30% less cash, it's also the best value APU for gaming on the market. 

We jumped the gun and tested the Ryzen 5 5600G using an OEM chip before AMD's official launch in August, but we'll follow up with more testing then. The chip market is currently in a state of flux, so it's hard to give solid buying advice in advance — CPU and GPU pricing and availability are extremely volatile. Additionally, recent signs point to GPU supply and pricing slowly improving.

The charts below outline three areas of performance: The geometric mean of our suite of integrated graphics tests at both 1920x1080 (FHD) and 1280x720 resolutions, the geometric mean of performance with a discrete GPU, and performance in single- and multi-threaded workloads. 

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As long as you're willing to sacrifice fidelity and resolution, and keep your expectations in check, the Ryzen 5 5600G's Vega graphics have surprisingly good performance in gaming. The 5600G's Vega graphics served up comparatively great 1280x720 gaming across numerous titles, but options become more restricted at 1080p. Of course, you can get away with 1080p gaming, but you'll need to severely limit the fidelity settings with most titles.

The Ryzen 7 5700G's iGPU performance will likely benefit more from overclocking than the 5600G due to its extra graphics and CPU resources. Still, we don't think that will change the value calculus much, especially since most folks using these chips won't splurge on expensive memory kits.

We wouldn't recommend purchasing either Cezanne chip with the sole purpose of using it with a discrete GPU — that defeats the purpose of the Vega graphics. However, these strange times of the GPU shortage might compel some to use the Cezanne chips as a stopgap until pricing normalizes. When paired with a discrete GPU, the Ryzen 7 5700G will offer more runway for future GPU upgrades. That said, the 5600G proved pretty agile, too, beating out the Ryzen 5 3600.

Based on CPU pricing alone, Intel's competing 11600K is much more potent when paired with a discrete GPU. However, its integrated graphics are lacking, so you'll be stuck with extremely limited gaming options, meaning it isn't a good stopgap solution unless you're only interested in very light games. For that purpose, you'll need to look for a pairing like the Core i3-10100 and Nvidia GT 1030. We'll provide testing with that combo at the chip launch. 

If you choose the Ryzen 5 5600G over the 'standard' six-core Ryzen 5 5600X, you gain the Radeon graphics engine but sacrifice 200 MHz of peak CPU boost clocks and half the L3 cache. The 5600G does have a 200 MHz higher boost clock, though.

Choosing Cezanne also means you step back from 24 lanes of PCIe 4.0 support to 24 lanes of PCIe 3.0. While PCIe 4.0 doesn't deliver any significant gains in gaming performance, that could change in the future with the Windows 11 Direct Storage feature that will utilize NVMe SSDs more fully. You'll also lose out on the (up to) doubled storage throughput for day-to-day file transfers and productivity applications.

Overall, if you already have a discrete GPU for your build, most enthusiasts will be better served with other alternatives, be they from the Ryzen 5000 product stack or Intel's lineup. Pricing is fluid, though, so be sure to check our list of Best CPUs for the latest advice.  

For extreme budget gaming, small form factor (SFF), and HTPC rigs, the Ryzen 5 5600G offers the lion's share of the more expensive 5700G's gaming performance, but at a much more palatable price point. For extreme budget gaming rigs, it looks like the Ryzen 5 5600G will be the chip to beat for the foreseeable future. 

We'll follow up with more testing and comparison systems at the official launch. Stay tuned. 

MORE: Best CPUs

MORE: CPU Benchmarks Hierarchy

MORE: All CPUs Content

Ryzen 7 5700G and Ryzen 5 5600G Test System Configurations
AMD Socket AM4 (B550, OEM)Ryzen 7 5700G, Ryzen 5 5600G, 4750G, 3400G
ASUS ROG Strix B550-E, HP Pavilion TP01-2066
2x 8GB Trident Z Royal DDR4-3600 @ 3200, Kingston DDR4-3200
Intel Socket 1200 (Z590)Core i5-11600K, Core i7-11700K, Core i5-11400, Core i3-10100
ASUS Maximus XIII Hero
2x 8GB Trident Z Royal DDR4-3600 - 10th-Gen: Stock: DDR4-2933, OC: DDR4-4000, 11th-Gen varies, outlined above (Gear 1)
AMD Socket AM4 (X570)AMD Ryzen 7 5800X, Ryzen 5 5600X

MSI MEG X570 Godlike
2x 8GB Trident Z Royal DDR4-3600 - Stock: DDR4-3200, OC: DDR4-4000, DDR4-3600
All SystemsGigabyte GeForce RTX 3090 Eagle - Gaming and ProViz applications
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FE - Application tests

2TB Intel DC4510 SSD

EVGA Supernova 1600 T2, 1600W
Open Benchtable

Windows 10 Pro version 2004 (build 19041.450)
CoolingCorsair H115i, Custom loop
Paul Alcorn

Paul Alcorn is the Deputy Managing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He writes news and reviews on CPUs, storage and enterprise hardware.

  • ezst036
    If I missed it I apologize but a review like this with an APU and many benchmarks would have additional value if it included a 3-5 generation ago video card or two on the same platform in the mix for comparison. Maybe a Geforce 980 or a Radeon R9 for example?
    Reply
  • cknobman
    Sure would be nice if AMD upgraded its APU's to use RDNA.
    Reply
  • JarredWaltonGPU
    ezst036 said:
    If I missed it I apologize but a review like this with an APU and many benchmarks would have additional value if it included a 3-5 generation ago video card or two on the same platform in the mix for comparison. Maybe a Geforce 980 or a Radeon R9 for example?
    "The Ryzen 5 5600G will compete with budget processors paired with low-end discrete GPUs, like the Core i3-10100 paired with an Nvidia GT 1030 GPU. Unfortunately, we encountered issues with our GT 1030 (it didn't age well) and await a replacement."

    We're working on getting Paul a new GT 1030 GDDR5 (it's currently in my hands, undergoing some testing before I ship it off).
    I can tell you anecdotally (meaning, I haven't run the exact tests as Paul on the same CPU) that the GT 1030 tends to be a bit slower than the 5600G, at least in the areas where our testing overlapped.
    But the GT 1030 GDDR5 is now a $120 or so graphics card, which is pretty harsh -- it was originally a $70 card, four years ago!
    A GTX 1050, which was also a $110 GPU at launch, doubles the performance of the GT 1030 and blows away any of the current iGPU solutions. Too bad GTX 1050 now sells for $300 or so. Hopefully that will end sooner than later!
    Reply
  • JulioMf
    The speed of the DDR memory has a lot of impact on the APUs. If it had been tested with DDR4 3700 or higher, more FPS would have been achieved
    Reply
  • JarredWaltonGPU
    JulioMf said:
    The speed of the DDR memory has a lot of impact on the APUs. If it had been tested with DDR4 3700 or higher, more FPS would have been achieved
    That's the overclocking part of the testing that's still to come. Paul tests all CPUs and iGPUs using the fastest officially supported memory speeds, which means DDR4-3200 for the 5000G series.
    Reply
  • Giroro
    Does the iGPU have a decent media encoder?

    My dad wants to make youtube videos, but he doesn't understand encoders enough to even pick what piece of hardware renders his videos.
    So when Vegas Movie Maker encodes his videos by default with (maybe) with an R9 285 or (maybe) with the Intel HD 530 igpu, and threre are obvious encoding problems, I can't just tell him to test out the software h.264 encoder to see if they get fixed
    Reply
  • thisisaname
    JarredWaltonGPU said:
    "The Ryzen 5 5600G will compete with budget processors paired with low-end discrete GPUs, like the Core i3-10100 paired with an Nvidia GT 1030 GPU. Unfortunately, we encountered issues with our GT 1030 (it didn't age well) and await a replacement."

    We're working on getting Paul a new GT 1030 GDDR5 (it's currently in my hands, undergoing some testing before I ship it off).
    I can tell you anecdotally (meaning, I haven't run the exact tests as Paul on the same CPU) that the GT 1030 tends to be a bit slower than the 5600G, at least in the areas where our testing overlapped.
    But the GT 1030 GDDR5 is now a $120 or so graphics card, which is pretty harsh -- it was originally a $70 card, four years ago!
    A GTX 1050, which was also a $110 GPU at launch, doubles the performance of the GT 1030 and blows away any of the current iGPU solutions. Too bad GTX 1050 now sells for $300 or so. Hopefully that will end sooner than later!

    Please do not waste your time comparing it with the 1030, when that got released it was very under powered and now it is even more so. Plus the 5700G as already been compared with the 1030 your not going to learn much more comparing the 5600G with it.
    What would be better is comparing it with Geforce 980 or a Radeon R9 for example. (like ezst036 said). This would give people who have an old machine with a old graphic card an idea of how much this would be an upgrade or should they get a none G processor and pair it with their old card until they can pick up a new one for a more reasonable price
    Reply
  • msroadkill612
    cknobman said:
    Sure would be nice if AMD upgraded its APU's to use RDNA.
    It stomps on Intel's IGP.
    Reply
  • coolestcarl
    I find it utterly frustrating that lack of competition in the integrated graphics space has caused AMD to just make tiny little tweaks to its ancient Vega line. Lets face it Intel's Xe turned out to be quiet underwhelming and so AMD can just sit and throw us a tiny bone every now and then to just stay ahead of Intel on the IG front. If Intel can really surprise AMD with a genuine contender, I expect in short order we would see a sea change in AMD's roadmap and finally deliver the holy grail of excellent graphics and cpu in a beautiful package for those of us who would like to build tiny but powerful compute solutions.
    Reply
  • Neilbob
    ezst036 said:
    If I missed it I apologize but a review like this with an APU and many benchmarks would have additional value if it included a 3-5 generation ago video card or two on the same platform in the mix for comparison. Maybe a Geforce 980 or a Radeon R9 for example?

    It'd be kind of interesting to see the benchmarks just for the entertainment value...

    Because it's pretty safe to say that any IGP, this one included, is well and truly left in the dust by a Geforce 980 and a Radeon R9. I'm fairly sure even an antique GTX 750 is faster in many circumstances if looking purely at raw performance (though driver support is more likely to be an issue when going that far back).
    Reply