Introduction

“More Cores, More Cache, More Tech” is a tagline when it comes to AMD’s next generation of microarchitecture Zen2 which is based on their altogether new microarchitecture called Zen when launched in 2016 and followed by Zen+. With Zen 2, AMD has furthered the technological advancement and maturity of their highly popular Zen architecture for Ryzen series of CPUs. There are multiple advancements in Zen 2 over the predecessor. The new Zen 2 microarchitecture is based on the 7nm fabrication process. In addition to more IPC (Instructions per Core), the new Cores in Zen 2 have improved branch predictor based on TAGE and revised L1 cache structure. The L1 cache is 32K with the 8-way association and L2 cache is still 512K with the 8-way association. L3 cache has been doubled to 32MB In terms of Integer Execution, we have 92 entry integer scheduler using 4x 16-entry ALU queues and 1x 28-entry AGU queue. Previously it was 88 entry integer scheduler. The physical register file has been upped from 168 to 180 entry (rename space). It has 224 entry ROB upped from 192 with 7 issue per cycle upped form 6. One more AGU unit has been added making the count 3 with a total of 4 ALUs. Store queue has been increased to 48 from 44 entry and we have 2 loads and 1 store per cycle operation. AMD has doubled the Floating Point and Load/Store bandwidth from 128b to 256b which is quite beefy. A single-op support is provided for 256-AVX instructions. The Ryzen 3000 generation chips are soldered but differently as AMD has transitioned from solder bumps to 7nm CCD using copper pillars. According to their slide, the 12nm I/O die is still using the solder bump.

There is major transition from the previous generation of Ryzen chips as the new Ryzen 3000 chips have multi-chip architecture in addition to the I/O die which is fabricated on 12/14nm node(s). The I/O chip has a dedicated memory controller, Infinity Fabric and other I/O functions. Unlike the previous generations of Ryzen, the Zen 2 significantly improves the DRAM scalability and compatibility. In Zen 2 the FCLK, MCLK (Memory) and UCLK (Memory Controller) operate in the ratio of 1:1:1 till the memory frequency is 3600MHz. With a Memory clock of above 3600MHz, the FCLK and UCLK are halved and operate in the ratio of 1:2.FCLK here refers to the Infinity Fabric clock and the way the new structure is designed, the memory can work asynchronously of the memory controller which was not the case with the Zen and Zen+ architecture. Hence in previous architectures, these clocks were always in the ratio of 1:1:1 because of the synchronous nature of the operations.   The Zen 2 is using the same AM4 socket and the users of AMD X370 and X470/B450 chipsets will be able to use the Ryzen 3000 series CPUs for which they will need to update the UEFI/BIOS as well as the chipset drivers. Though there will be limited to no support for PCIe Gen 4 on the older sockets. Please, refer to your motherboard manufacturer’s website for more information on this aspect. To update the UEFI/BIOS on the older chipsets, the previous generation of Ryzen 1000/2000 series CPUs will be needed.

To leverage what the new Ryzen 3000 generation CPUs offer, AMD has launched a new chipset named X570 with the most significant improvement coming from 4th generation PCIe interface and USB 3.2 Gen 2. As has been the case, AMD has released and will be releasing multiple SKUs in the Ryzen 3000 series of the CPUs. These include:

  • Ryzen 3 Desktop Processors
    • Ryzen 3 3200G with Radeon Vega 8
  • Ryzen 5 Desktop Processors
    • Ryzen 5 3600
    • Ryzen 5 3600X
    • Ryzen 5 3400G with RX Vega 11
  • Ryzen 7 Desktop Processors
    • Ryzen 7 3700X
    • Ryzen 7 3800X
  • Ryzen 9 Desktop Processors
    • Ryzen 9 3900X
    • Ryzen 9 3950X

AMD Ryzen 5 3600

  • Product:               Ryzen 5 3600
  • Manufacturer:      AMD
  • Price:                   $199.99 [At the time of the review]

Specifications

We got our hands on the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 CPU and will be taking a spin on it to evaluate its performance. When it comes to budget segment of the market, AMD always brings the more juice to the fruit than it can produce. They have been doing that quite well and did not disappoint this time either. Under $199, they have brought an interesting proposition on the table for the budget gamers and users alike in the form of AMD Ryzen 5 3600 CPU. As the name indicates, this chip is a bit scaled-down version of their mid-range powerful chip 3600X. The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 packs 6 cores and 12 threads. There is more to it than meet the eyes when it comes to $200 CPU.

Looking at the other camp’s offering in this range, we have got Intel i5 9400 and i5 9500. Both come with Intel stock coolers and both have 6 Cores but 6 threads. Of course there is a variation in the clock speeds along with turbo boost but with 12 threads and better cooler, the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 may make more sense here. The advantage that Intel chips have in this price range is the integrated graphics which is not present in the AMD Ryzen 5 3600. Anyway, if a gamer is buying these chips, he/she is more likely to buy a discreet graphics card after all. Here is a quick rundown of the comparison of these chips:

AMD Ryzen 5 3600 Intel i5 9500 Intel i5 9400
Base Clock (MHz) 3600 3000 2900
Boost Clock (MHz) 4200 (only one core) 4400 (single-core) 4100 (single-core)
Memory Channel Dual Dual Dual
Memory Support DDR4-3200 DDR4-2666 DDR4-2666
Fabrication 7nm 14nm 14nm
Socket AM4 LGA-1151 LGA-1151
TDP 65W 95W 65W
No of Cores 6 6 6
No of Threads 12 6 6
Integrated Graphics No Intel UHD Graphics 630 Intel UHD Graphics 630
L2 Cache 3MB (Total) 6x256KB 6x256KB
L3 Cache 32MB (Total) 9 MB 9MB
PCIe Version Gen 4.0 Gen 3.0 Gen 3.0
Thermal Junction 95°C 100°C 100°C
Thermal Solution Wraith Stealth Intel Stock Cooler Intel Stock Cooler
Price US$ $199.99 $204 $182

 

The above table tells the tale where the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 with its SMT enabled (hyper-threading) sits in the overall picture and what value it brings to the consumers. The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 has higher base clock than both the Intel chips but Intel i5 9500 has better turbo core frequency. Similarly we have higher cache capacities with the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 as compared to the Intel chips which will benefit in the overall computational performance of the chip. The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 has support for DDR 4 3200MHz in the dual-channel as compared to the DDR-2666 support on the Intel chips. This does not mean that one can’t use the higher frequency kits but this is how the specifications are printed based on JEDEC standards. With Wraith Stealth cooler, this is an effectively a better thermal solution compared to the Intel stock coolers. This chip also gives the full access to 24 PCIe 4.0 lanes like the Ryzen 5 3600X and mind you, AMD has not locked the overclocking capability of their non-X chips. You can overclock the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 but the way they have binned their chips, the overclocking headroom might be less than the turbo bin frequency although the turbo frequency of the AMD Ryzen 3000 series chips will only be achieved on the favorite core only. Which core is favorite? AMD Ryzen Master will aid you in that. But the point here is that, with Precision Boost Overdrive (PBO), you are better off without the manual overclocking for your daily routine and gaming load as PBO favors the single-core performance boost which is also subjective to multitude of the factors like Voltages, Current, Thermal Solution, Ambient temperature, and obviously the headroom coming out of it. Since there are 2 CCX units with each having 3 cores and 6 threads, the ultimate control (without manual overclocking) will be at CCX level in determining which core/thread will get what boost.

If you want to access the PCIe gen 4.0 support and performance, you will need to install the AMD Ryzen 3000 series CPUs on the AMD X570 socket motherboards. Please, note that if you install the previous generation of AMD Ryzen CPU in the X570 socket motherboards, you will not get the PCIe 4.0 support. The AMD X570 socket motherboards also offer a plethora of I/O connectivity including the PCIe 4.0 and USB 3.2 Gen 2 in particular. Here is a table showing the supported DDR4 speeds based on the populated DIMM slots configuration:

No of DIMM Rank Supported Speed
2×2 Single 3200
2×4 Single 3200
4×4 Single 2933
2×2 Dual 3200
2×4 Dual 3200
4×4 Dual 2667

 

We have seen the specifications and the proposition, it is time to test the CPU to evaluate its performance caliber.

Packaging and Unboxing

The CPU is shipped inside the paperboard box along with the cooler.

AMD brand name and logo are printed on the top left. RYZEN and its brand logo are printed in the center. 3rd Gen Processor and PCIe Gen 4 Ready are printed at the bottom left side. 5 is printed on the bottom right side indicating the Ryzen 5 series CPU.

The backside of the packing box has a silver color background. Information on what is included in the box is printed in 5 languages. AMD brand name and logo are printed on the bottom right side.

The left side of the packing box has a cutout more towards the upper side. This is done to show the CPU IHS so that the user can verify the model of the CPU included in the box. AMD brand name and logo are printed on the top left side.

The right side of the packing box has a picture of the Wraith Stealth cooler. The contents of the box are printed at the bottom side.

The top side of the packing box has an AMD brand name and logo printed on the top left. There is a sticker pasted half on the top side and a half over the backside forming a seal.

Contents

Following are included in the box:

  • 1x AMD Ryzen 5 3600 CPU
  • 1x Wraith CPU Cooler
  • Installation Instruction Guide
  • 3-Years Limited Warranty Guide

Here is a picture of the Wraith Stealth cooler bundled with the CPU in the box. I did not use the cooler as I am using Asus ROG Ryujin 360 AIO cooler for CPUs testing.

Testing

Following is the configuration of the test benches that have been used for this content.

Intel Z390

  • Intel i5 9600k
  • Ballistix Elite 16GB @ 3000MHz
  • Asus Strix Z390-E Gaming Motherboard
  • Asus Ryujin 360 CPU Cooler
  • Asus GeForce RTX 2080 O8G
  • HyperX 120GB SSD
  • Seagate Barracuda 2TB
  • Thermaltake ToughPower RGB 750 Gold rated PSU

Intel Z370

  • Intel i7 8700k
  • Ballistix Elite 16GB @ 3000MHz
  • Gigabyte Ultra Durable Z370-HD3
  • Asus Ryujin 360 CPU Cooler
  • Asus GeForce RTX 2080 O8G
  • HyperX 120GB SSD
  • Seagate Barracuda 2TB
  • Thermaltake ToughPower RGB 750 Gold rated PSU

 AMD X470

  • Ballistix Elite 16GB @ 3000MHz
  • Corsair Vengeance RGB 16GB @ 3200MHz
  • Asus Ryujin 360 CPU Cooler
  • Asus GeForce RTX 2080 O8G
  • HyperX 120GB SSD
  • Seagate Barracuda 2TB
  • Antec HCP1300 PSU
  • Primochill Praxis Wetbench

Note: I don’t have the Intel i5 9400 and i5 9500 with me as a comparison with these chips would have been a better indicator of the performance in this price range so I will have to make do with Intel i5 9600k.

I have tried to use the same components for above all three test setups where possible. An exception is from the motherboards which is obvious and the PSUs.

Special note to thank our sponsors for the AMD test bench setup namely, AMD, Asus, Antec, Corsair, PCFanatics, and Easetec Pakistan.

Methodology

Following was ensured for each testing:

  • Each testing was done on the stock settings.
  • Default tweaking/performance enhancement options were disabled in the BIOS.
  • Most of the settings were left at Auto.
  • XMP was loaded for each testing.
  • Ballistix Elite DDR4 kit was used on all the platforms for the testing. The same was the case on the AMD platform. The same kit was to be used on these platforms for better understanding and standardization of the results. Corsair kit was sent only for the AMD platform. It was tested with AIDA64 Memory benchmark. All other testing was done with the Ballistix Elite kit. The AIDA64 Memory benchmark graph will show the results of both kits.
  • Voltages were left at Auto.
  • The pump and fans of the AIO were made to run at 100% during the testing.
  • Games were benched on the stock clocks.
  • Intel i5 9600k and i7 8700k were overclocked to 5.0GHz whereas AMD Ryzen 7 2700x was overclocked to 4.2GHz for games benching. AMD Ryzen 5 3600 was tested with PBO and with a manual overclocking of 4.05GHz.
  • The graphics card was not overclocked. During the testing, our Asus Strix GeForce RTX 2080 O8G Gaming graphics card malfunctioned probably due to the VRAM overheating or something as has been the case in the part for the early breeders of RTX cards which might something had to do with the PCB layout. Anyhow, I could not test the gaming performance of the CPU with overclocking and PBO. But, I have used Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Founder’s Edition graphics card to test the gaming performance of Car Fry 5 at stock, with PBO and with 4050MHz all core overclock to give you an idea about the performance of the chip. I had wanted to repeat the gaming performance for all the games on PBO and with manual overclocking but could not do so due to the graphics card failure. Unfortunately, I don’t have any other RTX card for that matter otherwise I would have tested accordingly.
  • Microsoft Windows x64 version 1903 was used on each test bench. After updating, the Windows Updates were paused.
  • Motherboards’ BIOS were updated to their latest.
  • Nvidia’s driver 417.71 was used for AMD Ryzen 7 2700, Intel i5 9600k, and Intel i7 8700k. For AMD Ryzen 5 3600, 431.60 drivers have been used.
  • HWinfo64 was used to monitor the sensors.
  • Testing on the AMD test bench was done with Windows Balanced profile only. The same was the case for the Intel benches.
  • AMD’s Cool n Quiet was disabled during the manual overclocking. It was left on Auto during the stock testing.
  • Each game was tested on the maxed out setting. As we all know, at lower resolutions, gaming is more CPU bound than GPU hence only for the sake of performance testing 720p results are also included. It is only to give an estimate of the CPU performance. The majority of the users are gaming at 1080p or higher resolutions anyway.

Following test suite has been used for the testing:

  • AIDA64 Extreme 6.0
  • Performance Test (for CPU and Memory)
  • PCMark 10
  • 7-Zip
  • Blender Benchmark (BMW27, Classroom)
  • FryBench FryRender
  • Corona
  • Indigo Benchmark
  • V-Ray
  • POV-Ray
  • Cinebench R15
  • Cinebench 20
  • Geekbench
  • Handbrake
  • X264 HD Benchmark
  • Kraken
  • Octane
  • Fritz Chess
  • Super-PI

Synthetic Gaming Benchmarks:

  • FireStrike
  • TimeSpy

Games:

  • Assassin’s Creed Origins
  • Grand Theft Auto – V
  • Far Cry 5
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider (DX11, DX12)
  • DOOM (Vulkan)
  • Ashes of the Singularity (DX12)

Let’s start with the results.

7-Zip

7-Zip is free software with open source. Most of the code is under the GNU LGPL license. Some parts of the code are under the BSD 3-clause License. 7-Zip has high compression ratio in 7z format with LZMA and LZMA2 compression with supported formats of Packing / unpacking: 7z, XZ, BZIP2, GZIP, TAR, ZIP and WIM and unpacking only: AR, ARJ, CAB, CHM, CPIO, CramFS, DMG, EXT, FAT, GPT, HFS, IHEX, ISO, LZH, LZMA, MBR, MSI, NSIS, NTFS, QCOW2, RAR, RPM, SquashFS, UDF, UEFI, VDI, VHD, VMDK, WIM, XAR and Z. For ZIP and GZIP formats, 7-Zip provides a compression ratio that is 2-10 % better than the ratio provided by PKZip This software has a built-in benchmark that tests the performance of the given CPU by compressing and decompressing the load. The results are in MIPS and the higher count is preferable.

The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is sitting between the Intel i5 9600k and Intel i7 8700k.

AIDA64

AIDA64 Extreme has a hardware detection engine unrivaled in its class. It provides detailed information about installed software and offers diagnostic functions and support for overclocking. As it is monitoring sensors in real-time, it can gather accurate voltage, temperature and fan speed readings, while its diagnostic functions help detect and prevent hardware issues. It also offers a couple of benchmarks for measuring either the performance of individual hardware components or the whole system.

Following built-in benchmarks were run in this software:

  • CPU AES
  • CPU Queen
  • Memory

CPU AES

This integer benchmark measures CPU performance using AES (a.k.a. Rijndael) data encryption. It utilizes Vincent Rijmen, Antoon Bosselaers and Paulo Barreto’s public domain C code in ECB mode. CPU AES test uses only the basic x86 instructions, and it’s hardware-accelerated on VIA PadLock Security Engine capable VIA C3, VIA C7, VIA Nano and VIA QuadCore processors; and on Intel AES-NI instruction set extension capable processors. The test consumes 48 MB memory, and it is HyperThreading, multi-processor (SMP) and multi-core (CMP) aware.

CPU Queen

This simple integer benchmark focuses on the branch prediction capabilities and the misprediction penalties of the CPU. It finds the solutions for the classic “Queens problem” on a 10 by 10 sized chessboard.

Memory

This test measures the system memory’s read, write and copy speeds as well as the latency.

AMD Ryzen 5 3600 has shown a good performance in the Read department but took a hit in the Write department. The graph is sorted on the read speed.

The latency was observed to be on a high side as well. Even on Auto the FCLK was reported to be at 1600MHz by the AMD Ryzen Master which sounds good as the ratio of 1:1 was ensured.

PCMark 10

PCMark 10 is the latest version in the series of industry-standard PC benchmarks. PCMark 10 features a comprehensive set of tests that cover the wide variety of tasks performed in the modern workplace. With express, extended, and custom run options to suit your needs, PCMark 10 is the complete PC benchmark for the modern office. It is the ideal test for organizations that are evaluating PCs for a workforce with a range of performance needs. The tests in this benchmark cover a wide range of activities from everyday productivity tasks to demanding work with digital media content.

The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 has a solid lead here.

AMD Ryzen 5 3600 Performance Test

PassMark PerformanceTest allows you to objectively benchmark a PC using a variety of different speed tests and compare the results to other computers. I have used only CPU and Memory benchmarks.

The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 has a lead in the CPU Score over the other chips in the graph.

Super-PI

Super PI is a single-threaded benchmark that calculates pi to a specific number of digits. It uses the Gauss-Legendre algorithm and is a Windows port of a program used by Yasumasa Kanada in 1995 to compute pi to 232 digits.

The reported results are converted into seconds from minutes and seconds. On stock clocks and settings, the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is sitting at the bottom of the graph.

wPrime

wPrime uses a recursive call of Newton’s method for estimating functions, with f(x)=x2-k, where k is the number we’re sqrting, until Sgn(f(x)/f'(x)) does not equal that of the previous iteration, starting with an estimation of k/2. It then uses an iterative calling of the estimation method a set amount of times to increase the accuracy of the results. It then confirms that n(k)2=k to ensure the calculation was correct. It repeats this for all numbers from 1 to the requested maximum. Each thread is designed to do 1/n of the work, where n is the number of threads.

I have used the 1024M calculation. The reported time is in seconds. Please, take a note that you would need to set the thread count manually. For i5 9600k, it was set to 6, for i7 8700k it was set to 12, for Ryzen 7 2700X it was set to 16 and for Ryzen 5 3600 it was set to 12. Without setting the proper thread count, the results would not be comparable.

The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 comes second in the graph.

Fritz Chess

Fritz Chess benchmark tests the CPU performance in terms of as many chess board positions as possible. It is using the Deep Fritz 12 engine.

AMD Ryzen 5 3600 Rendering Tests

I have run multiple rendering tests for evaluation. The results of these tests are mostly the rendering time and frames per second unless stated otherwise. Lower time and higher FPS are what we are looking for.

Blender

I have used the blender benchmark app for this purpose in addition to rendering the BMW27 scenario in the main Blender software. The Blender Benchmark will compute performance for CUDA, OpenCL, and CPU, along with GPU performance. Blender Benchmark is a new platform to collect and display the results of hardware and software performance tests. Blender is the free and open-source 3D creation suite. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline—modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, even video editing and game creation. For the purpose of this testing, a quick run method was used in the Blender Benchmark. BMW27 and Classroom rendering scenes have been used.

The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is sitting in between the Intel chips.

Corona

Corona is another simple to use rendering benchmark. It starts benching as soon as the software is run. It reports the results in the rendering time and rays per second.

The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is sitting in between the Intel chips.

FryBench

Frybench is a multi-core CPU benchmark based on fryrender. fryrender is a physically-based light simulator developed by RandomControl, a Spanish company located in Madrid. fryrender is a photo-realistic render engine where all elements involved in the generation of the final image (materials, lights, and cameras) are based on physically accurate models.

The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is sitting in between the Intel chips.

V-Ray

V-Ray Benchmark is a free stand-alone application to help you test how fast your hardware renders. The benchmark includes two test scenes, one for GPUs and another for CPUs, depending on the processor type you’d like to measure.

The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is sitting in between the Intel chips but closer to the Intel i7 8700k.

POV-Ray

The Persistence of Vision Ray Tracer, or POV-Ray, is a ray-tracing program that generates images from a text-based scene description and is available for a variety of computer platforms. It was originally based on DKBTrace, written by David Kirk Buck and Aaron A. Collins for the Amiga computers. There are also influences from the earlier Polyray[6] raytracer contributed by its author Alexander Enzmann. POV-Ray is free and open-source software with the source code available under the AGPLv3.

The result is in the points per second format. Higher the points, the better performance. The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 comes second in the graph.

Indigo

Indigo Renderer is an unbiased, photorealistic GPU and CPU renderer aimed at ultimate image quality, by accurately simulating the physics of light. State of the art rendering performance, materials and cameras models – it’s all made simple through an interactive, photographic approach with few abstract settings, letting you concentrate on lighting and composing your imagery.

The result is in M Samples/sec; higher the better. The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is sitting in between the Intel chips but closer to the Intel i7 8700k.

Cinebench R15

CINEBENCH is a real-world cross-platform test suite that evaluates computer’s performance capabilities. CINEBENCH is based on MAXON’s award-winning animation software Cinema 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Iron Man 3, Oblivion, Life of Pi or Prometheus and many more. CINEBENCH is the perfect tool to compare CPU and graphics performance across various systems and platforms (Windows and OS X).

On stock clocks, the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 has a lead over the Intel i7 8700k in the CPU score though the Intel i7 8700k has a better single core score thanks to its higher clock speed. But a single-core score is not that low for this price CPU.

Cinebench R20

Cinebench is a real-world cross-platform test suite that evaluates the computer’s hardware capabilities. R20 brings improvements over R15 to reflect the overall advancements to CPU and rendering technology in recent years, providing a more accurate measurement of Cinema 4D’s ability to take advantage of multiple CPU cores and modern processor features available to the average user.

Geekbench

Geekbench 4 measures your system’s power and tells you whether your computer is ready to roar. How strong is your mobile device or desktop computer? How will it perform when push comes to crunch? These are the questions that Geekbench can answer. In Geekbench the result is in the form of Single Core and Multi-Core performance.

Surprised! I was as well. In the Multi-threading department the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is sitting on the top of the graph.

Transcoding

I have used two software Handbrake and X264 HD Benchmark to measure the transcoding performance of the CPU.

X264 HD Benchmark

x264 HD Benchmark is a benchmark that allows you to measure how fast your PC can encode a 1080p video clip into a high-quality x264 video file. It allows for easy comparison because everyone running it will use the same video clip and software. The x264 video encoder has a fairly accurate internal benchmark (in frames per second) for each pass of the video encode and it also uses multi-core processors very efficiently. All these factors make the x264 HD Benchmark an ideal tool in comparing the video encoding performance of different processors and systems.

The reported result is in FPS. It is calculated by summing up the FPS count on each run of each pass and dividing it by 4 as there are 4 runs per pass. The average result is what is reported on the graph. Higher FPS count means better performance.

Handbrake

HandBrake is a tool for converting video from nearly any format to a selection of modern, widely supported codecs. I have transcoded a 4k sample video into 1080p and 720p using Matroska x264 presets. The result is reported in terms of frame per second and encoding time.

The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is sitting on the second spot in the graph.

The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is sitting on the second spot in the graph.

Web-based benchmarks

Just to give an idea of how the CPUs impact the general web browsing, I have used two JavaScript-based benchmarks.

Kraken

Kraken is a JavaScript performance benchmark created by Mozilla that measures the speed of several different test cases extracted from real-world applications and libraries.

Processing time is reported in seconds; lower is better. The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 has secured the top slot in the graph.

Octane

Octane 2.0 is a benchmark that measures a JavaScript engine’s performance by running a suite of tests representative of certain use cases in JavaScript applications. Please note that Octane is retired and no longer maintained. I have used it to give an idea of the performance only.

The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 comes second following the Intel i5 9600k.

AMD Ryzen 5 3600 Gaming Benchmarks

Let’s start with the synthetic benchmarks. For this purpose, I have used 3DMark Fire Strike and Time Spy benchmarks.

Fire Strike

Fire Strike is a showcase DirectX 11 benchmark for modern gaming PCs. Its ambitious real-time graphics are rendered with detail and complexity far beyond other DirectX 11 benchmarks and games. Fire Strike includes two graphics tests, a physics test and a combined test that stresses the CPU and GPU.

I have included the overall score and CPU score only to showcase the result coming from the CPU only and not the graphics card.

Time Spy

3DMark Time Spy is a DirectX 12 benchmark test for Windows 10 gaming PCs. Time Spy is one of the first DirectX 12 apps to be built the right way from the ground up to fully realize the performance gains that the new API offers. With its pure DirectX 12 engine, which supports new API features like asynchronous compute, explicit multi-adapter, and multi-threading, Time Spy is the ideal test for benchmarking the latest graphics cards.

I have included the overall score and CPU score only to showcase the result coming from the CPU only and not the graphics card.

Following games have been tested:

  • Assassin’s Creed Origins
  • Grand Theft Auto – V
  • Far Cry 5
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider (DX12)
  • DOOM (Vulkan)
  • Ashes of the Singularity (DX12)

As we know the on lower resolutions, the gaming is more CPU bound (relatively) so I have tested the gaming performance on 720P as well. It is there only to show the relative performance measure. For true gaming performance in terms of who is playing at what resolution, 1080p and higher is where the gamers are at. These resolutions are also present in the graphs. The average FPS are reported on the graphs. MSI AfterBurner version 4.62 has been used to bench the FPS.

Assassin’s Creed Origins

With 93 FPS the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 on stock clocks is sitting above the AMD Ryzen 7 2700X and Intel i5 9600k.

With 93 FPS the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is sitting between the AMD Ryzen 7 2700X and Intel i5 9600k on the stock clocks.

With 51 FPS there was a tie between both the AMD chips.

Far Cry 5

This game is showing us a significant difference in terms of average FPS for the chips with Ryzen 5 3600 sitting behind the Intel chips by as low as 19 FPS on stock clocks.

Again, we are seeing an almost similar result as is on the 720p. The lowest margin between Intel and AMD chip is 22 FPS.

The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is sitting at the bottom with 103 FPS. 103 FPS in itself is not a bad figure though but Intel chips are giving higher FPS.

All the chips were neck-to-neck.

Grand Theft Auto – V

The performance on 720p is almost similar to what we have seen in the Far Cry 5. This time the lowest margin is 9.14 FPS between the Intel i5 9600k and Ryzen 5 3600.

The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is trailing behind the Intel i7 8700k by 5.87 FPS.

The marginal difference of 2 FPS is between the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 and Intel i5 9600k.

Once again, all chips are neck-to-neck on 4k resolution gaming but AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is sitting right on the top.

DOOM

Just to have a Vulkan based game in the total result, DOOM was also benched with these chips.

Needless to say the result is self-explanatory.

Again, all runs are in the 199 average FPS score.

Almost all chips are neck-to-neck.

The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 has a lead over the other chips on stock clocks.

Ashes of Singularity

The Ashes of Singularity was the first title with the DX12 support. It has a built-in benchmark. I have benched this game on DX12 only. Under DX12 there are two benchmarks; one tests the CPU bound performance only and the other tests the graphics card performance. Both tests were used to determine the performance level. First, let’s take a look at the results from the CPU benchmark. This game does not have 720p listed in the supported resolutions so I chose the next available resolution which is 1280×768.

CPU Benchmark

The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 has a marginal lead over the Intel i5 9600k.

We have almost similar results on this resolution as are on the 768p.

Again, we are seeing similar results.

Yet, similar results.

GPU Benchmark

On stock clocks, the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 has a marginal lead over the Intel i5 9600k.

On stock clocks, the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 has a marginal lead over the Intel i5 9600k.

On stock clocks, the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 has a marginal lead over the Intel i5 9600k.

Again, we are seeing the marginal difference between.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is the second title in my test suite which is DX12 enabled. It is benched using DX12 only.

On stock clocks, the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 was trailing behind the Intel i5 9600k by 12 FPS.

On stock clocks, the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 was trailing behind the Intel i5 9600k by 6 FPS.

On stock clocks, the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 was trailing behind the Intel i5 9600k by just 1 FPS.

All chips were neck-to-neck.

Turbo Frequency

On stock clocks, with all the UEFI/ BIOS settings on Auto (stock settings), the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 was boosting to 4192MHz majority of the time. On a few occasions, I saw one core reaching the 4200MHz only for like a second or fraction of it. There has been quite a fuss about the turbo boost frequency on the AMD Ryzen 3000 series CPUs. For quite some time we have tuned ourselves to the Intel definition of the turbo boost. Even, unconsciously we will treat any architecture’s boost frequency in the light of the Intel’s definition. I really can’t blame the users for this phenomenon as it took exactly the same that much of the time to come back in the competition. But, what people need to realize is the very fact that Zen/Zen+/Zen2 are new architectures not revolving around Intel’s way of doing the things and AMD has found their own way of doing the turbo boost frequency. So what is changed then? First and foremost, AMD is only confirming the turbo boost frequency on a single core (not all cores) strictly. AMD Ryzen Master will aid you in knowing the favorite core per CCX. Secondly, the way Intel is binning their chips is different than how AMD is binning their chips. For any given silicon, the most important factor while fabricating the chip is its life time or longevity. This is kept in mind while binning the chip. It is quite possible that a given chip from may perform up to the (internally) required specifications of the Intel i7 8700k but if the determined life of the silicon is not meeting the 8700k requirement then Intel may mark this chip as 8600k after the binning. This is just a hypothetical example to give an example. What Intel is doing is that they are binning is done chip wide but AMD is binning Core wide which is very why the Ryzen 3000 series CPUs out of the box are already reaching their to maximum performance potential leaving little to less room for overclocking. Also, AMD is also specifying that in order for the Core to reach turbo boost frequency, the other related factors like Voltage, Current, Ambient temperature, thermal paste application, the cooling solution should have favorable condition warrant to reach those frequencies. They spotted the error and released an update but reportedly this update is helping with maximum of +50MHz increase in the boost clocks. There are numerous complaints where the users are experiencing up to 300MHz loss in the turbo boost frequency. Another critical factor is the workload balancing. The users are expected to experience the rated turbo boost frequency on a single load for not for a longer times though the situation changes with the heavy multi-load. This is due to how the smart algorithms are working by continuously monitoring the parameters and balancing the frequencies and allocation of resources subject to the loads, thermals, and voltages/current etc.

Thermal, Power and Overclocking

My Asus Strix X470-F Gaming motherboard was pumping in 1.475V on the stock settings which is definitely not what is needed. The thermal junction on the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is 95°C. Since this time around, the CPUs are already reaching their maximum silicon performance potential, you may find that all cores overclocking is less than the single-core turbo boost frequency. This is exactly what I have experienced here. In this particular scenario, PBO is your best bet to achieve optimal performance out of your chip. Please, keep in mind that every silicon is different and will act differently so silicon luck is still at play. I have not used stress test software but I will be showing the results using the following software:

  • Blender
  • CineBench R15
  • CineBench 20
  • Far Cry 5

I have tested each of the above-mentioned software and game on the stock settings, with PBO and OC and with manual overclocking. I was able to overclock the chip to 4050MHz all cores with Level 3 LLC. Any effort to take this clock up would either result in no boot or crashes as the system was unstable.

The above picture shows the HWInfo 64 screenshot after leaving the system on the idle state for more than 15 minutes. Please, note that the actual maximum CPU Package Power was 20.854W. The 35W shown in the picture is simply due to the fact that I loaded the Blender software at the time of taking the screenshot. The ambient temperature was 33.4°C. Idle temperature was 36.8°C.

The above picture shows the screen shot of the HWInfo 64 after running the Blender benchmark for you to peek at thermals, power, and frequencies. The run was made on the stock settings with Voltages at Auto.

The above is a screenshot of the HWInfo64 after a gaming session using Far Cry 5 at Ultra settings. On average, depending upon the gaming load, the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 was doing 60W on Package power and the average temperature was 59°C.

Above is the screen show of the HWInfo64 after a Blender run using PBO.

Above is the screen show of the HWInfo64 after a Blender run using manual overclocking.

I can’t emphasize enough that power consumption would vary from system to system depending upon the components in use and their own power draw coupled with other devices like fans, storage drive(s), optical drives, PCIe devices, etc. One simply can’t compare the results shown in the graph with their own to draw any conclusion hence it is imperative that one must read the testing methodology, configuration of the testbed beforehand.

Results

Here are the graphs showing the results with stock settings, PBO and manual overclocking:

Conclusion

Matisse is the name AMD has used for their Ryzen 3000 series Desktop CPUs as the company leverages their Zen architecture along the path with the release of new CPUs based on Zen2 microarchitecture. This is their third generation after making a strong comeback after quite some time. Ryzen has gained much more popularity among the enthusiast, gamers alike. With more IPCs (Instructions per cycle) over the Zen+ (second generation of Ryzen), the introduction of I/O die on the same package, same socket, hardware-level mitigation of security threats and with chips reaching as high a Core count as 16, the Zen2 is bringing much more than meets the eye.

The third generation has many distinctions from the previous generation. We have multiple chips on the same die package. Two chiplets fabricated on the 7nm node (TSMC) and a dedicated I/O chip fabricated on a 12/14nm node from Global Foundries. Please, note that two chips will only be found on the CPUs having 8 or more Cores. Since the I/O functionality has now been implemented on a dedicated chip the CCDs are now more compact. The central die now has the function of controlling the I/O operations of the CPUs which makes the implementation of the CCD independent and creates convenience in adding more cores without further consideration. The L3 cache on the third generation has been increased to whopping 32MB which is not all as the L2 cache is still 512K but with the 8-way association. The L1 cache is 32K with the 8-way association. AMD has doubled the Floating Point and Load/Store bandwidth from 128b to 256b which is quite beefy and allows for the AVX2 instructions.

We got the opportunity to take a look at their Ryzen 5 3600 CPU. This is a Non-X version of highly popular Ryzen 5 3600X but with overclocking enabled. The CPU comes with their Wraith Stealth Cooler which is specified to handle the 65W TDP. The Ryzen 5 3600 has 6 Cores and 12 threads with SMT enabled (Hyper-Threading). The Core Multiplier is unlocked. The base frequency is 3600MHz with a maximum turbo frequency of up to 4200MHz. L1 cache has 6 x 32 KB 8-way set associative instruction caches and 6 x 32 KB 8-way set associative data caches. L2 cache is 6 x 512 KB 8-way set associative unified caches and L3 cache has 32 MB 16-way set associative shared cache. The Cache latency is 4 for L1, 12 for L2 and 40 for L3. The Instruction set features include MMX instructions, Extensions to MMX, SSE / Streaming SIMD Extensions, SSE2 / Streaming SIMD Extensions 2, SSE3 / Streaming SIMD Extensions 3, SSSE3 / Supplemental Streaming, SIMD Extensions 3, SSE4 / SSE4.1 + SSE4.2 / Streaming SIMD Extensions 4, SSE4a, AES / Advanced Encryption Standard instructions, AVX / Advanced Vector Extensions, AVX2 / Advanced Vector Extensions 2.0, BMI / BMI1 + BMI2 / Bit Manipulation instructions, F16C / 16-bit Floating-Point conversion instructions, FMA3 / 3-operand Fused Multiply-Add instructions, SHA / Secure Hash Algorithm extensions, AMD64 / AMD 64-bit technology, SMT / Simultaneous MultiThreading, Precision Boost 2, AMD-V / AMD Virtualization technology.

The Ryzen 5 3600 does not have an integrated graphics. In terms of the memory controller, it supports Dual Channel with rated supported memory speed of DDR4-3200. The chip is using PCIe gen 4.0 and provides 16 these lanes. The thermal junction is rated at 95°C with the thermal design power of 65W. The features like PCIe lanes, Infinity Fabric, memory controller and I/O are on a dedicated chip as have been mentioned above.

The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is listed at $199.99 at the time of the review. As usual, AMD is bringing more value for the budget segment as they are offering multi-threaded CPU with 6 cores and 12 threads to this segment with two caveats only; one is no integrated graphics and the second is the 65W capable bundled cooler which is still better than the other camp’s stock cooler. It is understandable as AMD has to differentiate their own offerings and much capable cooler is bundled in the $249 Ryzen 5 3600X package. No complaint there. We have thrown a multitude of load at the chip during our testing to evaluate its performance and it has performed quite well in this price range.

In order to determine the value proposition of the CPU, we simply can’t compare their prices and make a head-on move as CPUs need a motherboard, RAM, Coolers to work. Since Ryzen 5 3600 comes with its own cooler and the user can select either from X570/X470/B450 chipsets the savings are quite apparent. And this time around, AMD has improved the DRAM scalability significantly. During our testing, we have seen this CPU sitting between the Intel i7 8700k and i5 9600k and in a few tests, this chip was on the top. Gaming performance is good as well. Unfortunately, we don’t have Intel i5 9500 and i5 9400 as they come in direct competition with this chip but having seen this chip taking heads on with the Intel i5 9600k, the results are quite impressive. Yes, it is not beating $240 CPU from the Intel but coming close in some titles. Ryzen 5 3600 is offering almost a complete package in terms of multi-threading performance and adequate gaming performance without breaking a bet. What else we could have asked for the budget users!

The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is definitely a best value for your buck as it is an all-rounder and has won our Recommended and Value Awards.

We are highly thankful to one of the leading local importers in Pakistan, Pakiyoungster for providing us the Ryzen 5 3600 for the review.