Power consumption measurements are always a bit tricky. But as long as your 12V supply (EPS) readings, motherboard power supply sensor values, and voltage transformer losses plausibly coincide, everything is fine. Therefore, we're using pure package power to avoid possible influences from our motherboard. Results from the PWM controller are very reliable if you take them as averages over a few minutes.
We began with the non-AVX stress test in AIDA64 and found that the Ryzen 7 3600X draws the least power in its class -- and that even applies after overclocking. With PBO active and the Corsair H115i cooler, the chip only drew 76W.
The y-cruncher benchmark computes pi using a heavy multi-threaded AVX workload and also generates a performance measurement that we can use for efficiency metrics. We're also adding in HandBrake in x264 and x265 flavors. The latter uses a heavier distribution of AVX instructions than the former, but both transcoders are great for stressing the processor with a real-world workload.
The small increases in the 3600X's power consumption from overclocking equate to relatively minor performance improvements. It appears that, for stock operation, AMD has tuned the processors right at the knee of the voltage/frequency curve where the chip provides the maximum frequency possible and great efficiency. This PBO configuration also seems to retain some of those same characteristics, but that doesn't leave much headroom for explosive performance gains.
The six-core Ryzen 5 3600X is basically an eight-core Ryzen 7 3700X, but with two cores disabled. That leads to surprisingly similar power consumption measurements during our x265 and y-cruncher tests.
We tested with both the stock cooler and the Corsair H115i to see how much extra cooling impacts the maximum performance the auto-overclocking algorithms can extract from the processor, and how that impacts power consumption. According to our measurements, the bundled Wraith Spire cooler dissipates enough thermal load to achieve the maximum amount of available performance in these applications. We did see some deltas sprinkled throughout the rest of our tests, but there is little doubt that beefier cooling solutions don't do much to unlock more performance from the Ryzen 5 3600X.
Plotting power consumption over our performance measurements shows that the Ryzen 5 3600X is an incredibly efficient processor, giving a solid level of performance at impressively low power consumption. That low power consumption isn't all about your electricity bill, either; it also equates to a lower bar for your cooling solution. In this case, the bundled cooler is enough to get great performance while maintaining impressive power efficiency.
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