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AMD Ryzen 5 2600 CPU Review: Efficient And Affordable

6 cores for a budget price

VRMark & 3DMark

While synthetic benchmarks scale well with increased host computing resources, those gains don't always translate to real-world gaming performance. Rather, these benchmarks give us a solid measure of theoretical horsepower available to game engines.

UL's VRMark gauges the system's ability to power leading VR HMDs, and much like many modern game titles, VR tends to favor per-core performance, so frequency and instructions per clock throughput reign supreme.

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A stock Ryzen 5 2600 represents a solid improvement over the previous-gen Ryzen 5 1600. Moreover, tuning pushed it in front of Intel's Core i5-8400. 

We didn't expect record-breaking performance in the DX12 and DX11 CPU tests due to Ryzen 5 1600's six cores. But its ability to execute 12 threads concurrently proves advantageous against Intel's hexa-core Core i5 processors in certain workloads. While Core i7-8700K with Hyper-Threading beat the 2600, Ryzen 5's extra threads cut through those benchmarks better than the comparably-priced Core i5-8400.

Overclocking helped as well, placing the Ryzen 5 2600 on more competitive footing in both CPU tests.

Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation

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Ryzen 5 2600 outperformed the Core i5-8600K and -8400 at stock settings. However, all three CPUs delivered similar 99th percentile frame rates, suggesting similar smoothness. Moreover, the Ryzen 5 2600 demonstrated almost identical performance to Ryzen 5 2600X once we took the time to tune it.


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Paul Alcorn is the Deputy Managing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He writes news and reviews on CPUs, storage and enterprise hardware.