AMD Ryzen 5 5600X Review: The Mainstream Processor of Choice

Today is the launch of the AMD Ryzen 5000 series processors, which packs the brand’s latest Zen 3 architecture. We have already taken a look at the 8-core, 16-thread Ryzen 7 5800X but in this review, we will be focusing on the most affordable option in AMD’s latest batch of processors: the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X.

The Ryzen 5000 Series and Zen 3 Architecture

AMD will not be introducing any additional SKUs this generation and will be sticking to their traditional Ryzen 5, Ryzen 7, and Ryzen 9 naming schemes that connotes the number of cores and thread each of the processors have.

The four new processors – the Ryzen 9 5950X, Ryzen 9 5900X, Ryzen 7 5800X, and Ryzen 5 5600X – will have largely the same price points as the ones from the previous generation.

All the improvements that AMD has made with the Ryzen 5000 series lies in the Zen 3 architecture. They are promising up to 19% IPC increase on their new processors, which will deliver better overall performance especially in gaming. This growth in IPC can be further divided to several categories of improvements:

  • Cache Prefetching – +2.7%
  • Execution Engine – +3.3%
  • Branch Predictor – +1.3%
  • Micro-op Cache – +2.7%
  • Front End – +4.6%
  • Load/Store – +4.6%

The Zen 3 architecture has overhauled the core complex (CCX) design found on previous Zen iterations. Instead of two four-core CCXes with two 16MB L3 cache for each one, Zen 3 unifies the design into single eight-core CCX with a 32MB L3 cache to reduce memory latency and to double the L3 cache available for each core to access.

This implementation reduces core-to-core communication between CCXes for processors like the 5950X and 5900X. Meanwhile, core-to-core communication for single CCX designs as with the 5800X and 5600X is completely eliminated.  This reduction in traffic between the CCXes allows the Infinity Fabric to have more bandwidth dedicated for other tasks.

Thankfully, the improved performance brought by the Zen 3 architecture on the Ryzen 5000 series won’t need a new platform. These processors only need the minimum AGESA 1.0.8.0 BIOS installed on an X570 or B550 motherboard.  Those who are upgrading from older 400 series motherboards will need to wait as AMD has announced that their BIOS updates will run a beta test starting January next year.

System, Overclocking, and Benchmarks

The AMD Ryzen 5 5600X was put to the test with our suite of benchmarks in order to see what kind of numbers it can produce in both synthetic and gaming tests. Benchmarks were performed in a room with an ambient temperature of 24°c using our open test bench.

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600X
  • GPU: ASUS TUF Gaming RTX 3080 10G
  • RAM: Team Group T-Force Vulcan Z 2x 8GB DDR4-3200
  • Motherboard: ASRock X570 Taichi (BIOS 3.56)
  • PSU: EVGA 650 GQ Gold 650W
  • Cooler: Cryorig R1 Universal
  • OS: Windows 10 Build 20H2
  • Driver Version: NVIDIA GeForce Game Ready Driver 457.09 WHQL

While the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X is the most affordable Zen 3 processor at this time, it is anything but cheap. It packs a 6-core, 12-thread configuration with a base clock of 3.7GHz and a rated boost speed of 4.6GHz though it can boost up to 4.7GHz on occasions. It does have its own Wraith Stealth cooler but for testing purposes, we will be using our Cryorig R1 Universal to get the best possible results.

Like with our review of its bigger brother, the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X, overclocking only gained marginal improvements compared to its stock configuration. Our efforts landed us at a stable 4.8GHz at 1.425v which is 100MHz more than default. Higher voltages at increased clock speeds would only result in crashes once we enter into the OS.

Synthetic Benchmarks
CPU-Z Benchmark 17.01.64

7-Zip 16.04

wPrime v2.10

Cinebench R15

Cinebench R20

Blender

AMD’s Zen 3 architecture shows that it can now pull ahead in single core performance as evident in the benchmarks of the Ryzen 5 5600X. It is a given that the 5600X lose in multi-core heavy scenarios like with Blender since it is 2 cores down compared to some processors in the list. It does, however, remain close to CPUs like the Intel i7-10700 and AMD’s previous generation 3700X.

Gaming Benchmarks
3DMark Fire Strike

3DMark Time Spy

Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation

Rainbow Six Siege

Far Cry New Dawn

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

The AMD Ryzen 5 5600X makes a case for itself as the go-to gaming processor this generation. Its generational increase in performance allows it to remove any potential bottlenecks in gaming capabilities. When paired with a capable GPU like our RTX 3080, it breaches the 400fps mark in Rainbow Six Siege and easily runs both Far Cry New Dawn and Shadow of the Tomb Raider at more than 100fps on average with all three running at 1080p.

Temperature and Power Consumption

All Ryzen 5 X series processors in the past has been rated with a 95W TDP. Surprisingly, the Ryzen 5 5600X is only rated with a 65W TDP on its stock settings. It largely sticks around the rated 65W power under load in both Fire Strike Physics Loop and at Prime95 Smallest FFT test.

Overclocking raises the power consumption of the 5600X by around 20W with the Fire Strike Physics Loop test now using up 78.8W while the same Prime95 test now drinks a total of 85.5W.

The Ryzen 5 5600X’s temperature can be easily quelled under stock settings. At its default 65W TDP, we measured an idle temperature 38°c while shooting up at 62.8°c with the Fire Strike Physics Loop and only manages to reach 62.8°c at the Prime95 burn-in test using the Smallest FFT option.

With a 4.8GHz, 1.425v overclock, temperatures expectedly rise but it is still within the acceptable range. The CPU now averages at 77.1°c with a maximum of 78.8°c. Idle remains at a frosty 39.1°c, which just a degree Celsius above its stock idle temperature. Cooling the 5600X shouldn’t too much of a hassle for any decent air or liquid cooler.

Conclusion

The AMD Ryzen 5 5600X brings the significant increase in single-threaded performance that Zen 3 has been promising to a much bearable price point for most people. Its 6-core, 12-thread configuration is a great middle ground for both gaming and rendering work for a relatively affordable processor.

While its stock performance will arguably cater to most people, enthusiasts might find that the lack of overclocking headroom a bit disappointing. The extra heat and increased power utilization brought by overclocking while only achieving an extra 100MHz on all cores does not make pushing the processor to its limits worth it, at least for daily use.

Priced at PhP 16,550, the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X continues the legacy of the Ryzen 5 series delivering great performance with an equally impressive price point. It’s only a smidge more expensive than its predecessor while providing a remarkable increase in performance.

Like with its bigger brother, the 5800X, we don’t have any second thoughts of giving the Ryzen 5 5600X our seal of approval. If you want excellent performance at an affordable price point, then this processor is definitely a top pick.