Amd Ryzen 5 3600 Unlocked Desktop Processor Review


Non-X Marks the Spot

The AMD value proposal is always quite simple – more for your money. When you think of AMD giving your more cores than Intel for a smaller amount of money, this strategy applies to AMD’s unrestrained feature sets that are unique to every processor, no matter the price. This includes a number of things including in-box coolers, Hyper-Threading, and multipliers that are unlocked for ease of overclocking. All these features Intel disables or leaves out on some chips for segmentation purposes.


In lieu of having customers spend more money, AMD gives you mostly the same features of its  6-core twelve-thread Ryzen 5 3600 that you get with the Ryzen 5 3600X that we named the market’s best middle-range processor. This ultimately means that the Ryzen 5 3600 features the exact same 6-core twelve-thread design, L3 cache with 32MB, and full access to the PCIe 4.0 and its twenty-four lanes. The one trade-off here is that it is a bit of a performance step back from the 65W Wraith Stealth cooler; the 3600X features the more powerful 95W Wraith Spire cooler.

This means that the Ryzen 5 3600 is an excellent processor which gives you excellent performance in a 65W TDP envelope, which is great for small form factor enthusiasts. You can overclock the computer and get performance similar to the Ryzen 5 3600X, especially for games. But you’ll save yourself $50 while also getting world-class features like the PCIe 4.0 interface.


This is AMD trend that we’ve seen in recent years, and overclocking makes the non-X models a far better value for the resource enthusiasts than its more-expensive X-series products. If you want the most frame rates possible out of a six-core processor, you’ll want to keep in mind the Ryzen 5 3600 chips may not hit the overclock speeds of the 3600X models. No matter what the case is, the overclock ability and excellent blend of features fully makes the Ryzen 5 3600 the optimal choice for those enthusiasts who want a solid mid-range processor.

AMD recently released its sixteen-core thirty-two-thread Ryzen 9 3950X, to compete with Intel’s newest line of competitors. The chip slots in a higher tier than the 3950X, though it brings competitive gaming performance and higher horsepower for the people looking for peak performance.

Ryzen 5 3600

Similarly, to the other types of Ryzen 3000 chips, the 6-core twelve-thread Ryzen 5 3600 contains a 7nm compute die (featuring two distinct physical cores which are disabled) paired with an I/O die (12nm). The two components fully come together in one package to fits in a 65W TDP envelope, which makes it identical to a 95W Ryzen 5 3600X physically


The Ryzen 5 3600 features lower clock speeds than its 3600X counterpart, and features a 3.6 GHz base and also 4.2 GHz Precision Boost 2 frequencies, which is a 200 MHz difference of 200 MHz for both.

The 4.2 GHz frequency boost is a bit lower than the Core i5-9500 4.4 GHz boost , though the 3.6 GHz base frequency is equal to a full 600 MHz advantage which, when combined with the  improvement AMD made to the IPC (instruction per cycle) throughput, will make for higher performance throughout its heavy workloads. This is in addition to the 6 additional threads from the AMD part. In contrast to the previous gen models for Ryzen and also the Intel chips, AMD just guarantees its core’s peak boost frequency, while the other cores have lower capabilities. You can read our Not All Ryzen 3000 Cores are Created Equal article to get more information.

In comparison to the Core i5-9400F, the 3600 features a 800 MHz base and also a 100 MHz boost frequency advantage. The 3600 has a 65W Wraith Stealth cooler in a bundle with it, and though the Core i5-9500 and the 9400F both include stock coolers, they are far lower quality. Both Intel processors have integrated graphics, and the Ryzen 5 3600 needs to have a discrete graphics card. If you don’t plan on having a discrete GPU within your computer’s build, the Intel processors are clearly the best choice for your system.


Ryzen 5 3600 has 32MB of the L3 cache, and features doubling of the total capacity over its predecessor and 3 times the cache of the 9400 and 9500. Cache efficiency and performance does have a large impact on how much the cache power affects the processor, for most systems. The benchmarks we get are the ultimate test for this, as usual.

Ryzen 5 3600 is dropped in the AM4 socket within the new X570 motherboards, and you’ll need to get these for PCIe 4.0 interface support. The newer boards are pricier than previous-gen products and are not a proper fit for the budget products like the Ryzen 5 3600. However, you’re able to use one of the old 400-series motherboards instead. If you choose to go this route, you’ll lose PCIe 4.0 access, though this is a big selling point for the new processor’s products.

All of the Ryzen 3000 chips support the dual-channel DDR4-3200, which is a big improvement from the previous model’s support for DDR4-2966. There has been huge improvement in overclocking capabilities and compatibility, though you still most follow rules which dictate max supported frequencies that are based upon slot population and DIMM type. Ryzen 3000 features memory overclocking, which can be achieved one-click or hand-tuned A-XMP profiles with more expensive kits, to work around these rules.

Precision Boost Overdrive

AMD offers Precision Boost Overdrive (PBO) as well; this is an automated overclocking tool which tunes processors to max achievable performances based upon its motherboard, cooling ability, and accommodations for power delivery. The cooling solution quality, and the silicon lottery vagaries, have a huge impact on just how well the PBO will help your processor.

Last update was on: July 20, 2020 6:42 pm

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