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AMD Ryzen 5 5600X Review: The Mainstream Knockout

Kill the body and the head will die

Ryzen 5 5600X
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

Ryzen 5 5600X Power Consumption, Thermals

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Ryzen 5 5600X Power Consumption and Efficiency

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Ryzen 5 5600X Power Consumption and Efficiency

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Ryzen 5 5600X Power Consumption and Efficiency

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Ryzen 5 5600X Power Consumption and Efficiency

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Ryzen 5 5600X Power Consumption and Efficiency

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Ryzen 5 5600X Power Consumption and Efficiency

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Ryzen 5 5600X Power Consumption and Efficiency

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Ryzen 5 5600X Power Consumption and Efficiency

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Ryzen 5 5600X Power Consumption and Efficiency

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Notably, AMD's decision to stick with the AM4 socket still constrains its maximum power consumption to 142W, which means that it could not increase power consumption for the new flagship models. However, Zen 3's IPC gains allow the Ryzen 5000 chips to stay within the same TDP thermal and electrical ranges as the Ryzen 3000 series CPUs while delivering more performance. 

Those same rules also apply to the 65W Ryzen 5 5600X - it must adhere to the same 88W PPT limit as its 65W counterparts. However, the previous-gen Ryzen 5 models carried a 95W TDP rating, so their maximum power consumption metrics are higher than the 5600X.

As you can see in the y-cruncher threaded benchmark results, the 5600X sips much less power than its predecessors, meanwhile delivering more performance. That's the benefit of higher IPC, and thus more per-core performance.  

The Ryzen 5 5600X does consume a few more watts than the 3600X during the Handbrake tests, but remains well below the 88W limit. The 5600X makes good use of that power, though, and delivers far more performance than its predecessors.

This combination leads to the highest level of power efficiency we've seen in our test suite - the Ryzen 5 5600X sets a new bar for power efficiency. In our renders-per-day-per-watt charts, you can see that the 5600X easily beats most of the field, though the Ryzen 9 5950X comes in at a close second. That's incredibly impressive, and Intel's chips are simply outmatched. 

Intel's chips are rather inefficient in comparison, which is a natural byproduct of using the older and less-dense 14nm node. Intel has also turned the dial up on the voltage/frequency curve to remain competitive, throwing efficiency out the window in exchange for higher performance. 

The net-net is that the Ryzen 5000 processors will draw far less power per unit of work than any of Intel's 14nm chips, which results in a cooler and quieter system.  

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Ryzen 5 5600X Power and Efficiency

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Ryzen 5 5600X Power and Efficiency

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Ryzen 5 5600X Power and Efficiency

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Ryzen 5 5600X Power and Efficiency

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Here we take a slightly different look at power consumption by calculating the cumulative amount of energy required to perform x264 and x265 HandBrake workloads and two Blender renders. We plot this 'task energy' value in Kilojoules on the left side of the chart.

These workloads are comprised of a fixed amount of work, so we can plot the task energy against the time required to finish the job (bottom axis), thus generating a handy power chart. Bear in mind that faster compute times and lower task energy requirements are ideal. 

This measure really separates the wheat from the chaff, and the best results fall to the lower left-hand corner of the chart. You'll notice the modern Ryzen chips all populate the desirable bottom portion of the chart, while Intel's power-hungry chips climb to the top of the chart. We can also see the clear progression through the various Ryzen 5 generations by looking at the Ryzen 5 1600X, 2600X, 3600X, and 3600XT as comparison points. Note that the stock 5600X sips less juice while delivering substantially faster performance than the Ryzen 5 3600XT – that's an impressive generational improvement. 

The Ryzen 5 5600X consumes an impressively low amount of power given its level of performance - the Core 5-10600K consumes far more power in exchange for slower performance. By virtue of its extra cores, Intel's Core i7-10700K is faster than the Ryzen 5 5600X, but that comes at a hefty power expense - the 10700K consumes far more cumulative power than the 5600X. 

Overall, the Ryzen 5 5600X sets the new bar for power efficiency, one that Intel won't be able to match with any 14nm processor, including the pending Rocket Lake.

Test Setup and Ryzen 5 5600X Overclocking

We've included our test system breakdown at the end of the article, and we also have the frequency, boost, and thermal testing following the gaming and application testing below. Be sure to check those sections out. 

 Much like their previous-gen predecessors, the Ryzen 5000 series processors rarely achieve all-core overclocks that exceed the single-core boost frequency, so manual all-core overclocking results in less performance in lightly-threaded tasks. As such, we stuck with AMD's Precision Boost Overdrive (PBO), which boosts performance in multi-core workloads while maintaining the high single-core boost clocks. 

We've had great results with memory overclocking with the Ryzen 5000 series. However, while motherboard firmware is solid for stock and general overclocking use, it is still very much a work in progress for fabric overclocking. That impacts the peak memory frequencies you can attain while still using the 1:1:1 fclk/uclk/mclk ratio that provides the best results. 

We've reached DDR4-4000 with a 2000 MHz fabric with other Ryzen 5000 processors, but we're limited to a 1900 MHz fabric speed for the Ryzen 5 5600X. As such, we dialed in DDR4-3800 at 16-16-16-36 timings for our 5600X PBO configuration, and we dialed up the CCD and IOD voltage to 1.15V to stabilize the fabric frequency. We also tried overclocking with the Wraith Spire cooler, but were utterly unsuccessful. Plan on investing in a better cooler if you're interested in overclocking.

We conducted all of our testing on the latest stable version of Windows 10 Pro (2004 build 19041.450) with the newest versions of each benchmark - with the exception of Cinebench R23 and v-ray 5, both of which launched last week. We're already building out those results, which we'll add in an update (soon). 

As a side note, there has been a surprising amount of coverage about the advantages of dual-rank over single-rank memory lately, but this is a known quantity. In fact, AMD itself revealed this in 2017, and we backed that up with our own testing for the Ryzen 3000 series last year. Yes, Ryzen continues to respond well to dual-rank memory and performance improves. Spoiler Alert: Similar gains apply to Intel chips, too. Our memory guru is conducting a round of testing on the new Ryzen 5000 and Intel chips with different ranks, stay tuned. 

Ryzen 5 5600X Test System Configurations
Intel Socket 1200 (Z490)Core i5-10600K, Core i7-10700K, Core i9-10900K
Gigabyte Aorus Z490 Master
2x 8GB Trident Z Royal DDR4-3600 - Stock: DDR4-2933, OC: DDR4-4000
AMD Socket AM4 (X570)AMD Ryzen 9 5950X, 5900X, Ryzen 7 5800X, Ryzen 5 5600X, 3600XT, 3600X, 2600X, 1600X

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)
CoolingWraith Stealth, Corsair H115i, Custom loop

MORE: Best CPUs

MORE: Intel and AMD CPU Benchmark Hierarchy

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  • Erik3135
    Why is not having integrated graphics listed as a con?

    If you're buying basically the top gaming processor why in the world would you ever consider using integrated graphics.

    If anything, it's a pro that it doesn't have integrated graphics as this way you're not paying for something you'd never use.
    Reply
  • glitch00
    Erik3135 said:
    Why is not having integrated graphics listed as a con?

    If you're buying basically the top gaming processor why in the world would you ever consider using integrated graphics.

    If anything, it's a pro that it doesn't have integrated graphics as this way you're not paying for something you'd never use.
    Because not everyone will be buying it for gaming. Tom's Hardware does application benchmarks after all.

    Lack of integrated graphics is a dealbreaker for me. I need something that can run multiple VMs for my ITX system and I care a lot about idle power consumption so having integrated graphics is super beneficial. I suppose AMD isn't as focused on the HTPC community since their latest APUs are OEM only. So for now, have no choice but to wait for Rocket Lake / Alder Lake / Cezanne .
    Reply
  • deesider
    Erik3135 said:
    Why is not having integrated graphics listed as a con?

    If you're buying basically the top gaming processor why in the world would you ever consider using integrated graphics.

    If anything, it's a pro that it doesn't have integrated graphics as this way you're not paying for something you'd never use.
    I used to think Intel iGPUs were a con, but when they left them out the price didn't really change
    Reply
  • Droidfreak
    Much of Ryzen’s early success stemmed from industry-leading core counts and plenty of freebies for enthusiasts, like bundled coolers and unrestricted overclockability paired with broad compatibility.
    "Bundled cooler" and "enthusiasts" used in one sentence? I guess we need to rethink the definition of "enthusiasts" 😁
    Reply
  • dennphill
    From an old man that probably nobody listens to...I think AMD is laughing all the way to the bank on this price increase for the 5600X and its shortage. (I suspect they will intentionally keep stocks down to milk this shortage for all they can get!) For one, though I really liked and have always been a supporter of AMD, in this case there is no way - less a price drop to around $250 or so in the next few months - I would ever buy one of these. In protest, I woun't even consider a 3600X or a 3700X no mattert how they lower the price. I will just protest by going back to Intel when i decide I need to upgrade. AMD be cursed to the lowest level of Dante's Inferno for this trickery. That's my take on this "Knockout."
    Reply
  • ozzuneoj
    So now we're calling a $299 CPU mainstream?

    When the 3600 was by far the best CPU purchase 4-5 months ago and was down to $165, what was it? Entry level??

    The 5600X offers amazing performance at what used to be i7 prices... But I wouldn't call it mainstream.
    Reply
  • hotaru251
    anyone else notice the typo on page 2 3rd paragraph?
    "Corsair H115i 280mm air cooler "

    was unaware they had an air cooler sharing same name as their aio :sneaky:

    ozzuneoj said:
    When the 3600 was by far the best CPU purchase 4-5 months ago and was down to $165, what was it? Entry level??
    yes.
    it was the best overall cpu and everyone recommended it for balance of work and gaming.


    compare its price to the price intel was use to charging for its chips.



    angiven time the 5600x WILL drop to prolly around $200 which is crazy good.
    Reply
  • Mandark
    dennphill said:
    From an old man that probably nobody listens to...I think AMD is laughing all the way to the bank on this price increase for the 5600X and its shortage. (I suspect they will intentionally keep stocks down to milk this shortage for all they can get!) For one, though I really liked and have always been a supporter of AMD, in this case there is no way - less a price drop to around $250 or so in the next few months - I would ever buy one of these. In protest, I woun't even consider a 3600X or a 3700X no mattert how they lower the price. I will just protest by going back to Intel when i decide I need to upgrade. AMD be cursed to the lowest level of Dante's Inferno for this trickery. That's my take on this "Knockout."

    You are free to do whatever silly thing you want to do. The competition has been raping the public for years and you’re going to go back to them? Have fun Wasting your time and your money and getting far less performance
    Reply
  • hotaru251
    dennphill said:
    From an old man that probably nobody listens to...I think AMD is laughing all the way to the bank on this price increase for the 5600X and its shortage. (I suspect they will intentionally keep stocks down to milk this shortage for all they can get!) For one, though I really liked and have always been a supporter of AMD, in this case there is no way - less a price drop to around $250 or so in the next few months - I would ever buy one of these. In protest, I woun't even consider a 3600X or a 3700X no mattert how they lower the price. I will just protest by going back to Intel when i decide I need to upgrade. AMD be cursed to the lowest level of Dante's Inferno for this trickery. That's my take on this "Knockout."
    first bit:
    you realize AMD gets the base cost paid and not the scalped prices right?

    they LOSE $ by purposeful keeping stock low.
    It has no benefit for them.

    it's a bad time for tech (covid making worse than normal) and they have their cpu, gpu, and 2 consoles using their stuff.

    fabs only have limited amount per customer.



    second bit:

    claism to be supporter of amd yet disses em for wanting to raise rpice a tiny bit when their cpu are THE best ones out?

    and then saying you are goign back intel in future? THE intel who price gouged EVERYONE for a decade? they had price increase EVERY generation. on top of new MB required AND small increases in performance. (whereas ryzen 5000 is a HUGE increase for 1 generation)


    forget supported your talking liek an intel fanboy.

    "I dont like price increase for great performance so ill go to the company who nickle and dimes everyone every new cpu worse than amd ever has"
    Reply
  • sidesw1pe
    glitch00 said:
    Because not everyone will be buying it for gaming.
    Right, so some will buy it for gaming, some will not buy it for gaming, yet it is a "con".
    Reply