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AMD Ryzen 5 3600 Review: Non-X Marks the Spot

Editor's Choice

Test Notes

Test results annotated with "PBO" reflect performance with AMD's auto-overclocking Precision Boost Overdrive feature activated. As noted in the charts, we tested the overclocked Ryzen 5 3600 with two cooling solutions, the Corsair H115i watercooler and the bundled Wraith Stealth cooler. The overclocked previous-gen Ryzen 5 2600X offers roughly the same performance as an overclocked Ryzen 5 2600, so consider this model as a stand-in for its cheaper counterpart.

VRMark, 3DMark

We aren't big fans of using synthetic benchmarks to measure performance, but 3DMark's DX11 and DX12 CPU tests provide useful insight into the amount of horsepower available to game engines.

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The DX11 and DX12 CPU test results expose the full-threaded heft of the Ryzen 3000 series processors, so there are no surprises. You'll notice that, even after overclocking, the Ryzen 5 3600 just barely matches the stock 3600X's performance, and it looses by a decent margin to the overclocked 3600X. It is clear that AMD's binning makes more of a difference with the Ryzen 3000 processors. 

That said, even at stock settings, the Ryzen 5 3600 offers enough threaded horsepower to rival even the agile overclocked Core i5-9600K. The more cost-comparable 6C/6T Core i5-9400F can't contend with the 3600's twelve threads.

We compare the Precision Boost Overdrive (PBO) auto-overclocking with the bundled Wraith Stealth and the beefier Corsair H115i cooler, which unlocks 2% and 1.5% more performance in the DX12 and DX11 tests, respectively.

The VRMark test benefits heavily from per-core performance, and the Ryzen 3000 processors have made great strides compared to the first- and second-gen models. The Ryzen 5 3600 beats the Core i5-9400F by ~15 FPS, while tuning with a capable cooler gives us ~5 more FPS. 

Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation

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Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation is a computationally intense title that scales well with thread count, but clock speeds and per-core performance play a big role. The Core i5-9400F falls behind the 3600 by 7.2 FPS and the $262 i5-9600K by 5.5 FPS. We typically expect Intel processors to take the lead after overclocking; they are much more capable in that regard than AMD's processors. But the tuned twelve-threaded Ryzen 5 3600 scores within 0.1 FPS, which is essentially a tie.

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  • RodroX
    Three things to comment,
    1. Why aren't any temps readings on the article ?

    2. I did some Cinbench testing with stock cooler and only PB enable (no PBO nor AutoOC) and I usually get around 359X to 360X. After changing the stock cooler for a better tower cooler, temps went down, frecuency went up and cinbench results landed at even better 365x to 366x.
    This was on Windows 10 (1903) + Avast antivirus and hwinfo running, with AGESA 1003 ABB and the latest AMD chipset drivers on a Gigabyte B450 Gaming X, is funny and strange to see that a very expensive motherboard like the one used is getting such lower results, wonder if the motherboard could be affecting other benchmark results aswell.

    Once again, this numbers I wrote are with stock BIOS settings, no PBO nor AutoOC, no manul oc, no vcore offset, nothing (Ive checked, had the 3 PBO options disable on BIOS).

    3. Also why not more recent and better optimized games like Shadow Of Tomb Raider or Battlefield V, or anyof the Assassin Creeds ?

    Cheers
    Reply
  • Neal4iu
    am using
    Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo CPU Cooler w/ 4 Continuous Direct Contact Heatpipewith graphite pad and even on overclock to 4ghz staying at 39C so... is nice
    Reply
  • djbillyd9849
    For all the glorious review, I just wish I could get the system to post. I replaced a 3-2200 with the 5-3600, and nothing I knew to do made it post. I found the BIOS upgrade, and ran it, but I haven't tried the thing since. I'm just weird-ed out by it all. Anything I should do differently?

    And Oh, BTW, it's sitting on a Gigabyte AORUS B450 Pro WiFi mobo....
    Reply
  • RodroX
    djbillyd9849 said:
    For all the glorious review, I just wish I could get the system to post. I replaced a 3-2200 with the 5-3600, and nothing I knew to do made it post. I found the BIOS upgrade, and ran it, but I haven't tried the thing since. I'm just weird-ed out by it all. Anything I should do differently?

    And Oh, BTW, it's sitting on a Gigabyte AORUS B450 Pro WiFi mobo....

    You do have a graphic card on your system right ?

    The Ryzen 5 3600X does not come with an integrated GPU. Your R3 2200 is an APU = CPU+GPU
    Reply
  • djbillyd9849
    Yeah, I got a MSI GeForce GT 710.
    Reply
  • Pnky
    When upgrading the bios are you leaving the ryzen 2200 in the socket for the bios upgrade? youll need the earlier cpu in socket to upgrade the bios then you should be able to swap out cpus or if youre lucky and that MBO has a usb bios flashback port you can do it through that.
    Reply
  • runephilosof
    Why do you write "No cheap B-series motherboards with PCIe 4.0", what about for instance a Gigabyte B550M S2H?
    Reply