The benchmark and result database Passmark (also known as cpubenchmark.net) recently added the six-core, 12-thread Ryzen 5 3600 to its ranks and, if these results are accurate, the performance is nothing short of incredible. The Ryzen 5 3600 seemingly matches the performance of the Core i9-9900K (which has two more cores) in multi-threaded testing and actually beats the -9900K in single threaded tests (beating the 2700X by 36%), making the Ryzen 5 3600 the fastest single-threaded CPU, according to Passmark.
However, it does have to be said; this sounds just a little too good to be true. The $200 CPU has lower clock speeds and fewer cores, making the test results dubious. Matching the -9900K, let alone beating it, seems too good to be true. Luckily, Passmark lets you look at the five most recent benchmarks for any given CPU, and at the time of writing, there are three we can examine (seemingly from the same test system).
The system reportedly uses a B450 Aorus M board, not an X570 board. According to the reported clock speed, the CPU doesn't seem to be overclocked either; all three tests show the same turbo of 4.21 GHz, and one result shows a "measured speed" of 3.37 GHz, and the other two 3.61 GHz. It doesn't seem like there was some sort of trick making this 3600 so fast, at least not something we can glean from Passmark's reported information.
Interestingly, the third benchmark for the 3600 uses a 16GB kit of 3200 MHz CL14 G Skill RAM, unlike the first two benchmarks which used a single stick of Crucial RAM at 2666 MHz CL16. The third benchmark reports a score of 7% faster than the two previous scores, which implies that Zen 2 and/or Passmark benefits heavily from having high-speed low-latency dual-channel RAM, something which previous iterations of Zen also benefit from.
Overall, this result seems legitimate, but AMD's lowest-end Zen 2 CPU beating the -9900K overall seems unrealistic at best, especially when AMD positions the beefier Ryzen 7 3800X against the Core i9-9900K. This benchmark does, however, prove that Zen 2 does some things far better than Coffee Lake, which bodes well for Zen 2's overall performance. July 7th is just eight days away now, so it won't be long before we know what the Ryzen 5 3600 can really do.