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AMD Ryzen 5 5600G Review: The Value iGPU Gaming King

iGPU bang for your buck

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

Tom's Hardware Verdict

The Ryzen 5 5600G steals the show with a stellar price-to-performance ratio that provides up to 96% of the iGPU gaming performance of its more expensive counterpart, but for 30% less cash.

Pros

  • +

    Stellar price-to-performance ratio

  • +

    Faster Zen 3 CPU cores

  • +

    Passable 1080p, solid 720p

  • +

    Excellent power consumption and efficiency

  • +

    Great overclocking headroom

  • +

    Bundled cooler

  • +

    Compatible with some AM4 motherboards

Cons

  • -

    PCIe 3.0 connectivity

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 that AMD plans to use to plug big price gaps in its Ryzen 5000 lineup that dominates our Best CPUs for Gaming list and CPU Benchmark hierarchy. We've already taken the more expensive eight-core 16-thread Ryzen 7 5700G for a spin, and today we're giving the $259 Ryzen 5 5600G the same treatment. When it comes to gaming on integrated graphics, the Ryzen 5 5600G takes the shine off its more expensive Ryzen 7 5700G counterpart by serving up ~96% of its performance but for 30% less cash, making it the CPU to get if you're looking to weather the GPU shortage with a potent APU for gaming.

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 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. 

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.

Ryzen 7 5700G

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

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 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.

We took a deeper look at the Cezanne architecture in our Ryzen 7 5700G review. Now, on to the testing.  

MORE: Best CPUs for Gaming

MORE: CPU Benchmarks Hierarchy

MORE: All CPUs Content

Paul Alcorn
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.

  • hotaru251
    i would personally add to the cons: Vega

    the only problem with this chip is the vega graphics. if they had RDNA it would basically destroy Intel's lower cpu's in cost to performance.
    pcie 3.0 isnt really a con at this type of chip. Its a budget chip.
    Reply
  • ndperson
    Actually it isn't Vega that is limiting their performance but their ddr4 ram. That is why they don't update beyond vega. Vega itself is limited by the speed of the ram so upgrading to rdna really wouldn't help much
    Reply
  • twotwotwo
    Probably not a priority for Intel, but a TGL desktop chip (that non-OEMs can get) might make this segment more interesting, going by laptop benchmarks.

    That or desktop Van Gogh 🤣 but I imagine Valve has all those booked for a while.
    Reply
  • brodon
    Building an RGB matx non gaming system on a budget, and, not understanding, at 79, much of the language from the tech savvy contributors, I rely a lot on certain comments and reviews to make purchase decisions.

    This G series integrated graphic CPU, on a B450M DS3H v.2 mobo and Cooler Master G100M low profile cooler in a NXZT h501i case looks like a workable base configuration.

    The rest of the components should be elementary.
    Reply
  • hrudy
    Most of you won't care about this issue . I was evaluating the AMD Ryzen5 5600G using an existing Linux Image based on Centos 7. I wanted to get away from Intel and try AMD. However, this processor consistently generated Panic Traps, both from the image and even from the Centos 7.9 install disk. I was using a GIGABYTE B550M DS3H . I have never seen an X86_64 part generate Linux Panic traps by just booting. Usually there are minor issues like not seeing the audio or ethernet components. And yes ithe Ryzen 5 5600G will boot from later kernels.
    And yes an AMD cpu without the GPU enabled works fine. I then ran into the second problem which is that even with a late Ubuntu distribution the AMD DRM gpu code didn't not want to install. I have never encountered this level of incompatibility since I've been using Linux which is around Y2k. Naturally AMD support doesn't care since it is Linux. For this level of incompatibility I might as well be running an ARM processor.
    Reply
  • tracker1
    hrudy said:
    ... AMD support doesn't care since it is Linux. For this level of incompatibility I might as well be running an ARM processor.

    It's definitely a mixed bag. I learned this using an RX 5700XT at release. I had to run beta/alpha kernels for the first 6 months or so.. Ubuntu 20.04 was really the first release with decent in the box support and even then better with later kernels. So it's not too surprising.

    I also had similar issues with Intel AX wireless at that time (Around x570 Master, motherboard). And that doesn't even cover trying to get RGB in Linux working.

    I've since gone back to solid, no window, case. I'm also now on an RTX 3080, as I'm running some video AI stuff that didn't do well with AMD at the time.

    Nvidia drivers haven't been the best either. At least at this point it's mostly mature. Unfortunately, bleeding edge hardware and Linux means a bit of pain.

    If suggest only running a very recent kernel in hardware released at least 4 months before your OS release. CentOS stable is not that. Should run a recent Fedora instead. I'm not that up on rpm distros, preferring Debian based myself. I know there are a couple newer white box RedHat options though.
    Reply
  • render1967
    Hi, guys! I have a question. Help me, please! Does the built-in video in 5600G support analog signal via D-sub? I ask because I have a problem with this - there's no signal via D-sub. Computer configuration: CPU Ryzen 5 5600G, MB ASRock B450M Pro4-F R2.0, RAM ADATA XPG GAMMIX D10 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 3000MHz, HDD ADATA Ultimate SSD SU650 120GB + Apacer AS2280P4 M.2 PCIe 512GB, PSU FORTRON HYPER K PRO 500W, monitor ASUS VH222S
    Reply