AMD Ryzen 5 3600 Review

Mid-range desktop processor released in 2019 with 6 cores and 12 threads. With base clock at 3.6GHz, max speed at 4.2GHz, and a 65W power rating. Ryzen 5 3600 is based on the Matisse 7nm family and part of the Ryzen 5 series.
Price 100%
Speed 76%
Productivity 75%
Gaming 93%
Category Desktop
Target mid-range
Socket Compatibility AM4
Integrated Graphics None
Cooler Included Yes
Overclock Potential 2 %
Year 2019 Model
Price 167 USD
Number of Cores 6 Cores
Number of Threads 12 Threads
Core Frequency 3.6 GHz
Boost Frequency 4.2 GHz
Max Stable Overclock 4.3 GHz
Power Consumption 65 W
Manufacturing Process 7 nm
L3 Cache 32 MB
Maximum Supported Memory 128 GB
Price-Value Score 100 %
Speed Score 76 %
Productivity Score 75 %
Gaming Score 93 %
Max 1080p Bottleneck 18 %
Max 1440p Bottleneck 9 %
Max 4K Bottleneck 4.5 %
Overall Score 56/100

The Ryzen 5 3600 is one of AMD's mid-range Desktop processors. It was released in 2019 with 6 cores and 12 threads. With base clock at 3.6GHz, max speed at 4.2GHz, and a 65W power rating. The Ryzen 5 3600 is based on the Matisse 7nm family and is part of the Ryzen 5 series.

Ryzen 5 3600 is also the successor of AMD's last gen Ryzen 5 2600 processor that was based on the Zen+ and 12nm process and was released in 2018.

In our mind, the best processors are the ones that deliver outstanding performance at a reasonable price point. And, the Ryzen 5 3600 absolutely nails this concept.

Now, we're asking ourselves whether or not the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 finally dethrones the Core i5-9600 as the de facto ruler of the mainstream processors. Ultimately, it depends: the Ryzen 5 3600 doesn't reach the same single-core performance as Intel, but we're starting to see more games adopt multi-threaded CPUs, so that doesn't matter as much.

AMD Ryzen 5 3rd Generation, and the Zen 2 architecture itself, is notable because it leads 7nm processors to the mainstream for the first time. But, there’s a lot more going on under the hood than just a smaller manufacturing node.

One thing that the switch to 7nm silicon has allowed for however, is an increase in cache size. AMD is now describing its L3 and L2 cache in a combined spec of 6 x 512 kB and 32. But, because the 7nm CPU cores are contained within their own chiplets, AMD was able to pack much more in – with a whopping 6 x 512 kB and 32. This is a really big deal, as it allows for much faster performance, especially when you’re shooting for high framerates in 1080p games, and will be especially effective in old esports titles like Counter Strike: Global Offensive.

Finally, the shrink down to 7nm allows for much better energy efficiency. Because of the Zen 2 architecture, AMD Ryzen 5 3 Generation processors like the Ryzen 5 3600 and Ryzen 5 3500 should be up to 58% more efficient than comparable Intel processors. This isn’t the most noteworthy feature here, but, hey, it should translate to lower electricity bills, and in today’s economy every little bit helps, right?

AMD's Zen 2 series has landed, upping the ante with Intel in its high-stakes game for desktop PC market dominance with a well-rounded lineup of new chips that push mainstream platforms to higher core counts and more raw compute than we've ever seen. As a result, Intel's commanding presence in the enthusiast space is threatened in a way we haven't seen in over a decade.

The Ryzen 5 3600 takes the basic ingredients of the Zen 2 microarchitecture, which brings an average of 15% more instructions per cycle (IPC) throughput, and 7nm process and melds them into a high-performance chip that is impressive across our test suite, especially when we factor in the competitive pricing, backward compatibility with most AM4 socket motherboards, unlocked overclocking features, and bundled cooler.

As we've seen, gaming remains an advantage for Intel, so if squeezing out every last frame is all you care about, Intel's processors are a good choice. Much of that performance advantage will be less noticeable when gaming at higher resolutions, or if you pair the processors with a lesser graphics card.

But, like most humans, if you do things other than gaming, the Ryzen 5 3600 offers a better mixture of performance in single- and multi-threaded applications. The Ryzen 5 3600 offers twice the threads of the price-comparable Core i5-9600, and it wields them to great effect in threaded workloads. As such, rendering and encoding remain a strong suit of the Ryzen 5 chips, and AMD's improvements to AVX throughput have yielded impressive results.

Value seekers who aren't afraid to press the Precision Boost Overdrive button and have sufficient cooling should look to the Ryzen 5 3500 for roughly equivalent performance to the Ryzen 5 3600, particularly if gaming factors heavily into the buying decision. That could save you money, reinforcing our decision to give the Ryzen 5 3500 an Editor's Choice award.

Out of the box, the Ryzen 5 3600 is a better all-arounder than the Core i5-9600 and offers incrementally higher performance than its downstream counterpart. The bundled cooler reduces platform costs, and a wide array of motherboards offers plenty of choices for builders.

AMD Ryzen 5 3 Generation is finally here, and the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 might just be the poster child for what this generation of processors has in store for consumers. Sure, it might have stuck with the 6-core, 12-thread setup, which it inherited from its predecessor, the Ryzen 5 2600. However, with the new 7nm manufacturing process, it delivers a far better performance at lower power consumption.

It gets more interesting, however, when you compare the Ryzen 5 3600 to its main competitor. The Intel Core i5-9600 is available for $213, an 6-core processor with no hyperthreading, which means that the Ryzen 5 3600 offers twice the processing threads at a lower price tag. Intel is still king when it comes to single-core performance, but when it comes to multi-core ones, the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is the absolute beast.

The AMD Ryzen 5 3600, like the rest of AMD's Matisse processors, is built on a 7nm manufacturing node – the smallest in a commercially available CPU. What this means for most people is lower power consumption and much improved performance at the same time.

This decision to 7nm has brought a beefy 15% boost to IPC (instructions per clock) performance. Effectively, compared to a Ryzen 5 2-Generation processor at the same clock speed, you will get a straight 15% increase in performance. That’s not big enough to be evident in day-to-day workloads, but it does still mean something.

What this all means is that the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is an absolute beast when it comes to multi-threaded workloads, especially at this price point. If you're counting on doing some video editing or compiling one hell of an Excel spreadsheet, you're going to see firsthand a performance boost with the Ryzen 5 3600.

Bear in mind, however, that if you already have something like the Ryzen 5 2600, this generation doesn't offer the biggest boost in performance. You might want to wait another year or so before dropping a few hundred bucks, or even opt to splurge on a higher-end but pricier chip.

AMD has been having some trouble as of late which has made it even harder to compete with the incoming wave of Core i5 processors. That has forced the chip maker to be a little more creative and make do with their current product lines. Today we have the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 on hand, which in itself isn’t anything new. It’s basically a refreshed Ryzen 5 2600 with a clock speed boost. We say basically because it’s not a straight refresh however, there’s another change.

If you're mostly playing games on your PC, you will be happy buying either processor. Both proved to be solid options and are evenly matched with a slight advantage to the Intel chip if you don't tune up the Core i5 processor. The base performance we showed for the Ryzen 5 3600 can be achieved with $90 memory, while the Core i5-9600 will require $110 - $120 memory in order to enable the frame rates shown here. It’s not a big cost difference and right now with anything less than an RTX 2070 or Vega 64 you’ll more than likely become GPU limited.

Today we’ll be taking a closer look at the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 6-core desktop processor that was released in Jun 2019. AMD offers the Ryzen 5 3600 without integrated graphics. It runs $167 shipped and is ideal for those that plan on using it a system with a dedicated graphics card.

One of the nice things about the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 processors is that the retail boxed models come with a CPU cooler. So, you can pick something like the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 up for $167 and don’t need to spend any extra money on CPU cooling.

The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 retail boxed processor comes with the traditional ‘pancake’ CPU cooler. Nothing fancy, but it gets the job done on this processor which is rated at 65W TDP. You do not need to have an aftermarket cooling solution unless you want to.

The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 seems to be a decent performing chip that is readily available for $167 at your favorite retailer. The main competition for this processor is the Core i5-9600 6-Core unlocked desktop processor with Intel UHD Graphics 630 graphics ($213 shipped).

For a 6-core processor, AMD’s $167 flagship Ryzen 5 3600 processor seems downright cheap. On paper, the cost of those 0 extra cores is almost an afterthought when you stack it up against its direct competitor, the $213 6-core Intel Core i5-9600.

Now the biggest question is can AMD’s Ryzen 5 processor play games? The answer is simply yes as it got a respectable gaming score of 93% in our benchmarks.

Regardless of those external factors, the Ryzen 5 3600 proves it has the chops to be your main gaming system and a just as effective media creation platform – two things that are becoming intrinsically connected in this age of live-streaming, eSports and uploading gameplay videos.

The Ryzen 5 3600 clocks up to 4.2Ghz just as it promises on the box, and with AMD’s software you can take one of the cores all the way up to 4.3GHz. However, don’t expect to get much beyond that without seriously upgrading your cooling solution and manually tweaking voltages behind the operating system level.

If you’ve been looking for an affordable, powerhouse CPU that both works and parties hard, this is it.

Fresh from a successful roll-out of mainstream Ryzen 5 CPUs, AMD's attack on Intel now extends down into the mid-range with its Ryzen 5 3600 processors, which the company is making available as of Jun 2019.

Although the 65W-rated cooler doesn't feature a copper base or the LEDs found on AMD's higher-end thermal solutions, it does handle Ryzen 5's heat output deftly enough to facilitate XFR-triggered frequencies. This gives you an extra 200 MHz. We were even able to overclock the Ryzen 5 3600 to 4.4 GHz within a reasonable temperature range. The fan also blows down onto the motherboard, which provide additional cooling around the socket. If you need more bling, AMD recently announced that it now offers the LED-equipped cooler separately.

Like all other Matisse chips, the Ryzen 5-series CPUs drop into any Socket AM4 motherboard. But most will find a home on boards equipped with the A320 chipset, which has provisions for overclocking and offers plenty of connectivity options. Unlike Intel, AMD plans to utilize its current socket until 2020, so upgrading to future models shouldn't require a new motherboard.