AMD Ryzen 5 2600 CPU Review: Efficient And Affordable

VRMark, 3DMark & AotS: Escalation

VRMark & 3DMark

While synthetic benchmarks scale well with increased host computing resources, those gains don't always translate to real-world gaming performance. Rather, these benchmarks give us a solid measure of theoretical horsepower available to game engines.

UL's VRMark gauges the system's ability to power leading VR HMDs, and much like many modern game titles, VR tends to favor per-core performance, so frequency and instructions per clock throughput reign supreme.

A stock Ryzen 5 2600 represents a solid improvement over the previous-gen Ryzen 5 1600. Moreover, tuning pushed it in front of Intel's Core i5-8400. 

We didn't expect record-breaking performance in the DX12 and DX11 CPU tests due to Ryzen 5 1600's six cores. But its ability to execute 12 threads concurrently proves advantageous against Intel's hexa-core Core i5 processors in certain workloads. While Core i7-8700K with Hyper-Threading beat the 2600, Ryzen 5's extra threads cut through those benchmarks better than the comparably-priced Core i5-8400.

Overclocking helped as well, placing the Ryzen 5 2600 on more competitive footing in both CPU tests.

Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation

Ryzen 5 2600 outperformed the Core i5-8600K and -8400 at stock settings. However, all three CPUs delivered similar 99th percentile frame rates, suggesting similar smoothness. Moreover, the Ryzen 5 2600 demonstrated almost identical performance to Ryzen 5 2600X once we took the time to tune it.

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  • joeblowsmynose
    Really grasping at straws to come up with some cons, eh? "needs better than stock cooler for serious overclocking", "slower than a faster, more expensive CPU", lol. Those cons apply to ever CPU ever made.
  • Gillerer
    Now I know you want to use 1080p in order to get differences between CPUs and not be GPU limited. The problem is, those differences are therefore artificially inflated compared to some enthusiast gamers' hardware.

    It'd be nice to have one middle-of-the-road (in terms of GPU/CPU-boundness) game benchmarked in 1440p and 4k, too, as a sort of sanity check. If the differences diminish to rounding error territory, people looking to game in those resolutions with good settings might be better off getting a "good enough" CPU and putting all extra money towards the GPU.

    Not only that, if there actually *was* a distinct advangage to getting the best IPC Intel mainstream processor for high-res, high-settings gaming, finding that out would be interesting.
  • Blytz
    I chucked a basic corsair liquid cooler on my 1600X and it runs all cores @ 4.0 I hope the clock for clock is worth the upgrade for those making that step
  • 1_rick
    I did the same thing (except I used an NZXT AIO) with the same results. It seems like a 4.2 OC means the 2600 isn't a worthwhile upgrade from the 1600X, but that's what I expected.
  • Giroro
    Right now the price difference between the 2600x and 2600 is $229 vs $189 , so a $40 difference.
  • theyeti87
    I would love to know whether or not the Indium (I) Iodide 99.999% anhydrous beads that I package for Global Foundries at work is used for the solder in these chips.
  • Dugimodo
    I'm not sure if it does but I think the 8400 needs to include a basic cooler in the cost analysis after seeing several reviews that show it thermal throttles on stock cooling and loses up to 20% performance depending on load and case cooling etc. These charts make it look better than the 2600 when in reality the difference may be almost nothing. Not that I'm buying either :) too much of a performance junkie for that.
  • derekullo
    515477 said:
    Really grasping at straws to come up with some cons, eh? "needs better than stock cooler for serious overclocking", "slower than a faster, more expensive CPU", lol. Those cons apply to ever CPU ever made.


    On the flipside the last con "Only $20 cheaper than 95W Ryzen 5 2600X" does make a lot of sense.

    For only $20 you get noticeably better performance with "you may even say because" a much better cooler.

    Even if I was building a computer for my grandmother who only wanted to use it to do Facebook and free casino games, I'd still go with the 2600x
  • Dugimodo
    I think for Granny I'd go the 2400G and save on a graphics card myself.
  • derekullo
    571858 said:
    I think for Granny I'd go the 2400G and save on a graphics card myself.


    True, but between the 2600s I'd choose the X.
  • zodiacfml
    I'd lose overclocking but I'd prefer the i5-8400. Price has to be lower than Intel's
  • Olle P
    515477 said:
    Really grasping at straws to come up with some cons, eh? ... "slower than a faster, more expensive CPU"
    Yes, and it's arguable if it's even true!
    Looking at the test results for 2600 vs 2700 at stock speeds the 2600 is in many cases actually better because of its higher clock speeds. When 2-6 cores are used the 2600 dominates the 2700.

    Other than that I agree with most of the conclusions. The 2600 does have its nieche, but it's less of a general recommendation than the 1600 was before since the 2600X is so much better than the 1600X.
  • Kenneth_72
    I debated all this and decided on 2600 with aftermarket cooler. Still $20 cheaper than 2600x and BETTER COOLER. Should beat the X at max OC because should throttle less,,,,we'll see.