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AMD Ryzen 5 3600 Review: Best All-Round Value CPU

By Julio Franco · 84 replies
Jul 9, 2019
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  1. Badvok

    Badvok TS Maniac Posts: 296   +152

    Just a little annoyed at your review methodology, I know AMD is going to win on the value for money, they set their prices for exactly that but please stop comparing with the hugely more expensive Intel K parts that don't come with a cooler and then adding in the cost of the cooler. Wouldn't it be simpler and more sensible to compare with the cheaper non-K parts that include a cooler?
    MikitaM, gamoniac and Shadowboxer like this.
  2. Shadowboxer

    Shadowboxer TS Addict Posts: 231   +99

    This thing smashes it. Although I’d like to see the value comparisons with an aftermarket cooler. Not that I think it would make much of a difference to any results, it’s just the cooler that comes with it just looks like e-waste to me, it’s not a bad thing that it comes with it but I wouldn’t use it or even recommend it. Even a gamer only builder like me would be hard pushed to choose anything from Intel over this in the same price range. For gamers it also makes the 3700X look a bit pointless as this thing is near enough the same.

    One thing I must say, whats going on with the clocks? I’m pretty certain we had leaks showing these new Ryzen CPUs boosting to 4.6/4.7 GHz, yet no review I read has an all core overclock anywhere near that. Maybe there’s a bios improvement or two that can resolve this. I managed to go from 4.7 to 4.9 on my 4790K on the latest BIOS. Albeit several years after the product initially released.
    TempleOrion likes this.
  3. kiyofumiP

    kiyofumiP TS Rookie

    Have you read the second paragraph?
    "Direct competition for the R5 3600 should come from Intel's Core i5-9600 which is listed at $213, but we don’t have that part on hand and it doesn’t appear to be on sale either, so the more expensive 9600K will have to do. It costs $255 and doesn’t include a box cooler, so it's not the exact match we were going for, but it will be interesting to see how they stack in terms of raw power."
    Clynt, pawel04, nrstha and 10 others like this.
  4. Jerrylzhen

    Jerrylzhen TS Rookie

    Common misconception: with the new bios the 3900x can now boost 1 core to 4.6ghz at a time whereas before, it wasn't able to. In no way can a 3900x hit 4.6ghz on all cores at the same time.
    I believe the reviewed 3600 was able to hit 4.2ghz all core with an after market cooler which is very good.
  5. kiyofumiP

    kiyofumiP TS Rookie

    That's the keyword, leaks. There is no claim from AMD where the CPU can boost to that clock. Check Techspot article about that: https://www.techspot.com/news/80241-amd-announces-ryzen-9-3900x-flagship-desktop-cpu.html

    Always take leaks with a grain of salt! Hopefully, you won't have an unreasonable expectation for unreleased products, then complaining when the product doesn't meet your "expectation".
    Theinsanegamer and Charles Olson like this.
  6. grvalderrama

    grvalderrama TS Addict Posts: 210   +19

    I'm actually running a Ryzen 1600 on a MSI B350 Tomahawk and I'm glad to see that I can have a significant upgrade with no need to replace the whole thing. As usual, great review
    veLa, Soaptrail, MikitaM and 4 others like this.
  7. Shadowboxer

    Shadowboxer TS Addict Posts: 231   +99

    Hmm, yes I think it was unreasonable to expect an all core overclock of 4.6ghz now. I guess Intel CPUs in recent years will hit their boost on all cores automatically with sufficient cooling so I kinda expected the same. Do these things still boost one core to 4.6 if you manually overclock to 4.2? If they don’t then it would be interesting to see if manually overclocking actually has a negative effect on applications that are often bottlenecked by a single core.

    But I don’t think 4.2ghz is all that impressive, it’s not much of an improvement over the previous gen and way short of Intel’s stock clocks. The performance numbers make do up for it, the IPC is clearly here on Ryzen 2 which makes it more disappointing, if these things could sustain an all core overclock of 4.6/4.7 then they have matched or even beaten Intel’s single core performance. However, these CPUs are still clearly better buys than the Intel parts and perform faster in most cases. Must say this 3600 is the one I’m most impressed with, the more expensive Ryzen 2 parts only seem to offer more cores for quite a bit more money and I don’t think most users really need more than 6/12 at the moment.
  8. OptimumSlinky

    OptimumSlinky TS Addict Posts: 58   +147

    No, he clearly didn't, and instead went straight to internet outrage mode.
  9. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,437   +1,897

    The problem is availability. It is harder to find the 9600 and where they have it in stock, the prices are higher than normal. I can literally find a cheaper 9600K than a regular non-k 9600 where I live (but Europe is weird like that). If you are lucky it might be cheaper in your region.

    As for performance, single core should be very similar since both boost to 4.6GHz. In some games it will be fine, but multithreaded performance is about 20% less than the 9600K. It will depend on the title I guess and how well it uses all of the cores.

    I think Intel could have done a bit better than just 3.1GHz base clock speed considering the fact that the older 8600 had the same base clock. The stock cooler also doesn't help it maintain high boost clocks when things start getting toasty, so there's that too.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
  10. zzr1979

    zzr1979 TS Rookie

    I think this cpu need more time for mature firmware for overclocking and stability, it was new architecture if we look at zen and zen+.
    My experience for r5 1600 need almost 6 months to get good bios back than. I can pull 3.9ghz at 1.25volt at last. Before that I cannot get voltage lower than 1.3volt. I will patience for new firmware for my 3rd gen.
  11. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,437   +1,897

    The stock cooler will give you close to max performance even when using PBO so you can't call it e-waste. It's remarkably well made considering that it comes stock. A good aftermarket cooler will give you slightly higher boost clocks (50 to 100MHz) and keep the temps lower, but you don't gain that much.
  12. Shadowboxer

    Shadowboxer TS Addict Posts: 231   +99

    You’ve not read the article then;

    “You can enable PBO with the box cooler, but it won’t do much as you’re already near the thermal limit. Basically we gained 25 MHz for a 4 degree increase in temperature... needless to be said, we don’t recommend using PBO with the box cooler.”

    It’s e-waste to me. This wraith stealth is not good enough for me, if I bought this CPU it would go in a box for a few years and inevitably end up in the e-waste bin at work. Looking at the temps in the article there are some huge temperature improvements to be made from using better aftermarket cooling.
    Mr Majestyk likes this.
  13. redhat

    redhat TS Enthusiast Posts: 40   +27

    You should be aware that Ryzen CPUs are much more memory senstive, that mean you will need to pay extra for high speed RAM so I think from price perspective their comparison is right
  14. CheekyP

    CheekyP TS Booster Posts: 75   +54

    Steve like you I think the Ryzen 3600 is amazing value, but I think the 9600K/8700K price/performance figures are a bit flawed.

    Namely because both these CPUs are K unlocked SKUs and thus capable of being overclocked to 5.0GHz, so in gaming / lightly threaded tasks would be quite a bit faster than indicated in the review.

    After all I don't think anyone is going to get a 9600K/8700K with an aftermarket HSF to run it at stock speeds, if you only want stock speeds (plus a shitty but free Intel HSF to go with it haha) you may as well get the non K 9600 / 8700 and save some money at the same time. It still wont come close to the overall value of the 3600, mind you, but the gulf in price/performance wouldn't be as extreme as the review suggests.
    loki1944 and Shadowboxer like this.
  15. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,437   +1,897

    I don't think an extra 50-75MHz from PBO when using an $40+ aftermarket cooler (or 100-125MHz if you are using an expensive cooler) will make much of a difference. You are essentially getting the most of your CPU stock.

    TL;DR it's not e-waste.

    The only reason to get an aftermarket cooler is if you plan on doing manual all core OC. You will sacrifice some single treaded perf, but you might gain in multithreaded perf. Or maybe you just simply want better temps.

    When literally everybody is praising AMD for including what is essentially a $20-$30 stock cooler with decent coper heatpipes, design and noise levels, here you are not happy about it.
  16. Shadowboxer

    Shadowboxer TS Addict Posts: 231   +99

    I know you and have seen your posts before. You won’t admit you are wrong but you are:

    “With a decent cooler installed, temperatures dropped quite significantly. You don’t need something as extreme as the Corsair Hydro H115i, but we used this for the 3700X and we wanted a direct comparison”

    The key point in the article that you obviously haven’t read is that the bundled cooler holds the CPU at a thermal limit.

    There is no way a wraith stealth is worth $20-$30. A wraith prism maybe but even then there are several listings on eBay for those for $10-$15.

    And I can assure you, it would end up in the e-waste bin if I bought it and I do believe many others wouldn’t use it either, especially with temps in the 80s.

    Try reading the article before commenting in future.
  17. bluetooth fairy

    bluetooth fairy TS Booster Posts: 90   +62

    For testing the new Ryzen processor we used the MSI X570 Creation, configured with DDR4-3200 CL14 memory and the stock cooler. The 8th and 9th-gen Intel Core processors were tested on the Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Ultra, using the same RAM modules

    What did you use for Zen and Zen+? It interests me in terms of power consumption. Did you measure Zen and Zen+ putting them in the same X570 board?
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
  18. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 2,235   +1,433

    I helped a friend get his 8700K to 5.2GHz 24/7, its an absolute monster.
    The 8700K is now a $350 CPU, and he built his system just to mostly game, like most enthusiasts.
    We spoke about this article last night (we had classes together at R.I.T. when we were attending Bryant & Stratton College in Rochester, NY) and we are both impressed with Ryzen's latest stuff.
    To get a 6/12 with that much performance for that price is going to make Intel shuffle their cards, but for purely gaming he has no regrets.
    Would love to see a gaming review of the fastest you can clock a Ryzen 6/12 reliably vs a 8700K @ 5.2GHz, but if not that's ok, these reviews have been great.
    Clynt and Shadowboxer like this.
  19. CheekyP

    CheekyP TS Booster Posts: 75   +54

    The issue with overclocking Ryzen (and especially the 3000 series) is that PBO basically gets the most out of the CPU already, adequate cooling permitting, and you don't get the lower single core boosts either that you would get with a manual overclock.

    It appears that 4.2-4.3GHz is the upper limit for most Ryzen 3000 chips, so that's basically a full 1GHz slower than your overclocked 8700K @ 5.2GHz, for example. With the K chips overclocked to 5GHz+ there is surely a sizeable gap in CPU bound gaming that is not shown with these charts because they are all run at stock speeds. Fair enough, we are doing stock vs stock comparisons, but I almost feel like the 9600K/8700K are being short changed in a way because they are MEANT to be overclocked to 5GHz. As I said earlier, just save yourself $50 - $100 if you're just gonna run at stock speeds and get the non K variants instead. Or better yet, just get a 3600 now that its out :p
    Shadowboxer likes this.
  20. Shadowboxer

    Shadowboxer TS Addict Posts: 231   +99

    Actually, it was the published spec from AMD, who didn't clarify that it wasn’t an all core boost, something they conveniently didn’t tell us. Although in fairness to AMD for the 3600 the advertised boost was only 4.2. I don’t think it was unreasonable to assume it would be an all core boost as Intel chips and previous Ryzen chips will overclock all their cores to the advertised boost clocks.

    And actually, these CPUs did mostly meet and actually exceed my expectations, with the exception of gaming, where I expected Ryzen to overtake Intel in ultimate performance. Which I can’t help thinking would have been met had it been possible to get all your cores up to 4.7ghz or so. However for all but users with more money than they know how to spend (people who buy 2080ti’s & Titans etc) these new Ryzen parts are clearly better buys for gamers. Especially this 3600, which comes remarkably close in gaming to its much more expensive 8 and 12 core brothers.
  21. kiyofumiP

    kiyofumiP TS Rookie

    Interesting. Can you link me the published spec?

    I'm guessing two factors of these: (1) some games need higher frequency and (2) their not nearly optimised AMD compared to Intel.
    But I agree with you; these Ryzen are better buy for gamers. I mean, if you already have 8th/9th gen Intel i5/i7 user, this is more like a sidegrade. But if you've been holding for a long time (a friend of mine still using his Sandy Bridge CPU!) these are good options, IMHO.
  22. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,437   +1,897

    I don't get it. So what temps went down with an aftermarket cooler? I already said that they would. You are making zero sense at all.
    The temps of the boxed cooler are within specs and don't hamper the performance nor do the coolers look bad or have any issue with being very loud.

    Did you want AMD to give you a free $40 cooler so you can OC the CPU to the max? O_o

    As it stands you've given me zero reasons beyond the usual "I hate" comment I like to find faults in. I may be stubborn but I've always backed my claims with facts and numbers. People get angry really fast and try to change the subject or post false things which are easy to verify.

    I also never heard anyone not understanding that it was the boost clock for 1-2 cores. It was obvious and they did the same with all zen CPUs and intel does the same. Who even thought that the 3900x would boost to 4.6 all cores?

    You also mentioned that ppl are selling them online for cheap. Do you usually list second hand parts at full price? (used or unused) And don't see them having great resell value since most people get them stock. Someone might buy one if they just want to replace a faulty one and they don't know the market all too well to find something better.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
  23. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,559   +550

    Hmm I wonder how much that 280 mm liquid cooler and tdp unlock impacted the intel results. Price vs performance will the 9400f compete at 160$? (gaming)
  24. OrangeJuice

    OrangeJuice TS Rookie

    Sorry, but have you even read the review? They obviously said that they don't have a 9600 and it's not on sale either.
    Eldritch likes this.

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