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AMD Ryzen 5 3600 Review: Non-X Marks the Spot

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Web Browser

Browsers tend to be impacted more by the recent security mitigations than other types of applications, so Intel has taken a haircut in these benchmarks of fully-patched systems.

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The ARES-6 web browser benchmark focuses on the latest and greatest JavaScript features, with a heavy focus on forward neural networks used for machine learning tasks, and browser responsiveness. The 3600 profits from AMD's diligent work on improving IPC with the Zen 2 microarchitecture. Intel's faster processors exploit the company's frequency advantage, which equates to higher per-core performance, but the Core i5-9400F's lower base and boost clocks trail the Ryzen 5 3600.

We such much of the same with Speedometer 2 and Jetstream 2, with the Ryzen 5 3600 opening up a wider gap between itself and the -9400F. WebXRPT 3 puts the cap on the 3600's full sweep of the -9400F.

You'll notice that overclocking the Ryzen processors doesn't yield any improvement. That's because the processor is still limited to its maximum single-core boost speed during these lightly-threaded tasks.

Microsoft Office

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The Microsoft Office suite of benchmarks runs via PCMark 10's new application test. This benchmark tests with real Microsoft Office applications, and we can see that the Ryzen 3000 series processors are very competitive in Excel, the Edge browser, and Word.

The Ryzen 5 3600 proves to be an agile performer in these common applications, even beating the speedy Core i7-9700K and i5-9600K in the overall score. We see some gains via overclocking Ryzen chips, and although the gains aren't as pronounced in these applications, the 3600 lands in a virtual tie with the Ryzen 5 3600X.


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The LLVM compiler benefits from extra threads, handing the 3600 an easy lead over the competing Intel chips, even after overclocking. The Core i5-9400F even trails the first-gen Ryzen 5 1600X, highlighting how much Intel's feature-trimming (in this case, Hyper-Threading) hamstrings its lineup against AMD's more well-rounded chips.

The application start-up metric measures load time snappiness in word processors, GIMP, and Web browsers under warm- and cold-start conditions. Other platform-level considerations affect this test as well, including the storage subsystem. The Ryzen 5 3600 actually loses a little performance when we kick on PBO with the Wraith Stealth cooler, but the result lands within the expected 3% variance of this test, implying there is no uplift from overclocking in some applications with the stock cooler. We see this trend repeat a few times throughout our test suite. In any case, the Ryzen 5 3600 is incredibly competitive given its price point, easily beating the -9400F.

Our video conferencing suite measures performance in single- and multi-user applications that utilize the Windows Media Foundation for playback and encoding. It also performs facial detection to model real-world usage. Here we see the 3600/Stealth combo beat the H115i-equipped configuration, but the deltas are small enough to chalk up to expected run-to-run deviation.

The photo editing benchmark measures performance with Futuremark's binaries using the ImageMagick library. Common photo processing workloads also tend to be parallelized, which plays well to Ryzen's multi-threaded design. Once again, we see very little uplift from overclocking with the Wraith Stealth cooler.


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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.