As the competition between Intel and AMD is heating up again with the recent release of Intel’s Alderlake Processors, we’re hoping to see another great release from AMD in their upcoming Zen 4 architecture. Looking back at previous releases in the Ryzen series, we see a continuous trend of advancements from AMD that add new and improved features to their Ryzen CPUs with every new generational release. Today, we’ll be comparing two excellent Ryzen CPUs with very different architectures but the same number of overall cores and threads, the 3600 vs 5600x.
Last time we compared the Ryzen 7 3700x vs Ryzen 5 5600x which was a close match-up that ultimately went in favor of the newer Zen 3 processor in terms of gaming. We’ve done similar comparisons like the Ryzen 5 3600 vs Ryzen 7 3700x one before. To that effect, this comparison will overlap some of the points made in those since these are also processors from the same Zen 2 and Zen 3 generations. With that said, let’s start the comparison for Ryzen 5 3600 vs 5600x.
What is Ryzen 5 3600
Before jumping into the actual Ryzen 5 3600 vs 5600x comparison, we must discuss the backgrounds of both CPUs. While we know that the Ryzen 5 3600 runs on the older Zen 2 architecture, it is by no means a bad processor. In fact, for gaming and rendering, the 3600 is one of the best value processors out there. To discuss the capabilities of the 3600, we must first learn a bit more about the Zen 2 architecture.
AMD released their Zen 2 architecture in mid-2019 and several Zen 2 architecture-based processors soon came out under the Ryzen 3000 name. Zen 2 was a huge improvement from AMD that pushed their processors to be on par with Intel’s which was the main dominator in the CPU market for the time. The Zen 2 architecture improved many features in their 7nm process including branch prediction, cache distribution, and core-to-core communication.
From the specs, we can see that the 3600 consists of 6 cores and 12 threads with a base clock of 3.6GHz which can go up to 4.2GHz on overclock. Along with that, the 3600 also comes with a Wraith Stealth stock cooler with a default TDP of 65 W. Also, the L2 and L3 cache are at 3 MB and 32 MB respectively so each core complex is consuming a decent chunk of memory.
For gaming and productive use, the 3600 is a very good processor which will last for a long time. Another thing to note with the Zen 2 based Ryzen processors is the price point. AMD’s Ryzen 3000 series processors are widely regarded as one the best-priced products out there. They’re reliable, high-performing, well-priced, and all in all, a complete package for an average gamer.
What Is Ryzen 5 5600x
The Ryzen 5 5600x is a great high-end gaming processor that is based on the Zen 3 architecture. It came out mid-2020 and quickly became a mainstream CPU. With incredible gaming and productivity performance, AMD’s 5000 series Ryzen processors surpassed Intel’s 10th generation CPUs by a landslide. This was all thanks to the Zen 3 architecture implemented in these 5000 series processors.
The Zen 3 architecture packed with it a bunch of noteworthy features. Instead of just adding more transistors in a smaller microarchitecture, AMD made a few key changes to the previous Zen 2 architecture enhancing that performance by a whole 19%. Overall, the changes they made here were of similar nature to the improvements in Zen 2 architecture. Branch prediction was upgraded to allow faster rewriting in case of a wrong prediction, each core complex now has access to larger portions of the L3 cache and overall faster communication.
Seeing the specs, the R5 5600x has the same core and thread count as the 3600 with 6 cores and 12 threads. Also, the 5600x has a great overclocking capacity with a 3.7GHz base clock and 4.6GHz boost clock speeds. The Level 2 cache comprises 3 MBs of memory but more importantly, the Level 3 cache has a memory of 32 MB. Along with that, the 5600x comes with the same Wraith Stealth stock cooler.
In the end, the Ryzen 5 5600x is one of the fastest AMD processors out there. For gaming and productive use, there are few other processors that can provide a decent challenge for this CPU. Although, with Zen 3 processors, AMD has priced their products a whole lot higher in comparison to the Zen 2 processors which is to be expected given the absolute best performance that these processors deliver. Obviously, with the release of 12th Generation, you also have competitors that make a valid argument, like the i5-12600k vs Ryzen 5 5600x.
Ryzen 5 3600 & 5600x Specifications Difference
Unlike the 3700x vs 5600x comparison, this time both the processors have an equal number of cores and threads matching with their rivals. For now, we should first discuss the specifications of Ryzen 5 3600 and Ryzen 5 5600x and find out the key differences and similarities between the two.
Last update on 2022-12-06
From the specifications, we can clearly see that both 5600x and 3600 have the same number of cores and threads. In spite of that, they both run on different AMD architectures. While the Ryzen 5 3600 runs on the older Zen 2 architecture, the Ryzen 5 3600 is running on the Zen 3 architecture which was released a year later. Although the core and thread counts are the same for both processors, the 3600 is at a disadvantage here in single-core performance because of its older architecture.
Thanks to the newer Zen 3 architecture, the 5600x has an overall higher base and turbo clock speeds compared to the 5600x. We see the 5600x at a base clock of 3.7GHz and a turbo clock speed of 4.7GHz which is comparatively larger than the 3600’s 3.6GHz base clock and 4.2GHz turbo clock. This means that overall, the 5600x is a bit faster than the 3600.
Moreover, the 5600x and 3600 also have the same L2 and L3 cache speeds at 3 MB and 32 MB respectively. Although both CPUs have the same amount of cache, the way they utilize that memory differs in each architecture. Also, with each core complex having access to higher amounts of memory, the Zen 3 architecture is better in terms of overall performance. Keep in mind, we did not mention common Motherboard Support for both of them, like the B550 and X570.
Furthermore, both CPUs also have the same TDP at 65W at base clocks. So, the power draw is not an issue if you’re looking to upgrade your processor from 3600 to 5600x. Along with that, they both also run on the same AM4 socket and come with the Wraith Stealth stock cooler. Apart from their microarchitectures, these two CPUs are virtually identical with regard to specifications. How much have AMD’s CPUs improved from the last generation? We’ll find that answer in the 3600 vs 5600x comparison benchmarks down below.
Ryzen 5 5600x vs Ryzen 5 3600 Gaming Benchmarks
Below, you’ll find the Ryzen 5 3600 vs 5600x benchmarks in different games and applications. No doubt, testing processors on various games and applications is one of the best ways to find out which one outperforms the other. For testing the Ryzen 5 3600 and Ryzen 5 5600x, the following equipment was used by Jarrod Doing Benchmarks.
- CPU: Ryzen 5 3600 / Ryzen 5 5600x
- Motherboard: ASROCK X570 Taichi
- Memory: 32 GB DDR4-3200 CL14 Dual Channel
- Graphics Card: MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio
- CPU Cooler: Fractal S36 AIO Cooler
- Thermal Paste: Noctua NT-H2
- Storage: 2 TB Seagate Firecuda NVME M.2 SSD
- Case: NZXT H700i
- Power Supply: Corsair HX850i
As both the 3600 and 5600x run on the same AM4 socket, both processors were tested on the same system. To minimize the bottleneck, we used the RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio and ASROCK X570 Taichi motherboard for maximum compatibility. Although we have a stock cooler named “Wraith Stealth” provided by AMD for both processors, it isn’t optimal for overclocking tests that is why we used the Fractal S35 AIO cooler and Noctua NT-H2 thermal paste.
Also, both CPUs were tested with both base and overclocked speeds. We reached a 4.7GHz overclock speed from the 5600x and a 4.2GHz speed from the 3600. This means that the 5600x is at least 500MHz or 5GHz faster than the 3600. But there are Ryzen 5 3600 processors out there that can go up to 4.4GHz but will still come short when compared to the 5600x. For now, the 4.2GHz was the safest bet for the 3600 we had on hand. Lastly, for gaming benchmarks, we’ll be comparing both processors at 1080p, 1440p, and 4K resolutions to find average results across the spectrum. On the other hand, for application tests, we’ll be comparing OC and base clock speeds to find the faster CPU.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Shadow of the Tomb Raider gave the best comparison results in all of the tests that were conducted. The game was tested using its benchmark tool provided by Square Enix. Firstly, at a standard 1080p resolution, the 5600x outperforms the 3600 by an overwhelming margin with a difference of 51 FPS which is a whole 37% faster. This is a giant leap in performance from the last generation. Moreover, the 5600x is also ahead with a 1440p resolution performing at least 21% faster and a difference of 28 FPS. Lastly, at 4K resolution, there’s no change to be noted with CPUs locked at 95 FPS.
Microsoft Flight Simulator
Microsoft Flight Simulator used the Sydney landing mission as a catalyst for the benchmarks. To begin with, the 5600x has an overall 21% higher average FPS at 1080p with a gradual decrease in that difference as we climb up the resolutions. The 1440p was also practically the same with 5600x having a lead of 14 FPS. Lastly, with 4K resolution, the 5600x and 3600 were pretty much tied. Also, from the observations, it’s easy to tell that the 1% lowest FPS across all resolutions was also in favor of the 5600x with a higher average FPS.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey continues the trend of Ubisoft’s badly optimized games but as it turns out, it’s a great way to test how 3600 and 5600x compare in bad optimizations. The test was conducted using the game’s own benchmark tool. Smaller margins of difference were made in this test as can be observed in the graph. To start off, in the 1080p test the 5600x gave only a 4% higher average FPS, followed by a similar difference in 1440p and 4k resolutions. There were similar results in the 1% low average FPS tests as well.
Death Stranding test was conducted by running through the same landscape for both CPUs. We can observe huge gains from the 5600x compared to 3600 with an average FPS that’s a whole 35% higher. Alongside that, we have the 5600x again beating the 3600 with an average 17% higher FPS in the 144p resolution. Continuing the trend, the results are matched closely in the 4K resolution test. Even the 1% lows are always higher across all resolutions for the 5600x. All in all, the Death Stranding test shows huge margins in favor of the 5600x at lower resolutions.
Battlefield V benchmarks were obtained from the campaign mode. Looking at the results, it can be observed that there weren’t any huge differences between 5600x and 3600. Battlefield V does have a 200 FPS lock that limits the 5600x. Although, the 5600x is still ahead by small margins at all resolutions. With 1080p we have an average 3% higher FPS but that would be because of the frame cap. Next up, the 1440p shows a 5% higher FPS further proving that 1080p would’ve shown larger margins of difference had there not been a frame cap. Lastly, with 4K the results are pretty much tied. Also, the 5600x is still better in all 1% low FPS drops.
CS:GO test was conducted using the elliptical benchmarking tool. AMD bragged huge FPS boosts with Zen 3 in this game and the results show exactly that. The 5600x was a whole 37% faster in 1080p resolution. Along with that, there was a 19% higher FPS in 1440p resolution concluding with a 13% increase in 4K. The 4K resolution had the highest FPS difference in this test out of all titles yet. As for 1% lows, the 5600x was ahead by a small margin.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Once again, the Red Dead Redemption 2 benchmark was obtained using its own benchmarking tool. Like others, this one should have similar results with 5600x being ahead at every resolution setting. Overall, the 5600x was achieving a 25% higher average FPS at 1080p resolution. That difference was reduced to 16% in the 1440p resolution but still a great boost. Lastly, with 4K we have basically no difference in performance.
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege was tested with its own benchmark using the Vulcan benchmarking tool. Once again, in the 1080p test the 5600x gave a 24% higher frame rate than the 3600. It was also ahead in 1440p resolutions by just a hair which was one of the closest results for 1440p. Even smaller differences were observed in the 4K resolution. Although, there were huge differences in the 1% lows compared to the average FPS. Overall, the 5600x was ahead of the 3600 in all resolutions.
Far Cry New Dawn
Almost getting tired of repeating the same thing but the 5600x was ahead in all resolutions by a big margin. With 1080p we have a difference of 25% between the two with 5600x in the lead. Then the same thing in 1440p resolution with a slightly lower difference and an even lower one on 4K. Also, the 1% lows had huge gains for the 5600x as well for all resolutions. Overall, the differences shown were more even across all resolutions compared with other tests as the game’s more CPU dependent.
Out of all the 9 games tested, the 3600 vs 5600x made it clear that the 5600x is better than 3600 by a landslide. It beat the 3600 in every single test we conducted on here. By statistics, we can come to the conclusion that the 5600x was 23.97% faster than the 3600 on average FPS on 1080p resolution. We had the highest gains from the Shadow of the Tomb Raider test with it being 37% better and the lowest difference came from the Battlefield V test with only a 3.29% difference in performance. Although, the Battlefield V test is a bit unreliable because of the 200 FPS frame cap. Overall, the 3600 never beat the 5600x in 1080p resolution even once.
For the 1440p test across all games, Zen 3 offered huge gains with the 5600x giving a 14.54% higher average FPS over the 3600. In just a year, AMD has made such a huge number of improvements in its processors. Getting the highest difference in 1440p from Microsoft Flight Simulator with a 27% higher average FPS, and the lowest one comes from Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege at just 1.22% FPS difference. Like the 1080p test, the 5600x is still ahead in every single test.
On the 4K resolutions, the 5600x was outputting a 13% higher average FPS compared to the 3600 in CS:GO test. On the other hand, 5600x actually scaled back and 3600 took the lead by a hair in the Microsoft Flight Simulator test with the 3600 being 0.4% faster. The 4K test illustrates that you don’t really need to upgrade from the 3600 to the 5600x if you plan to game on higher resolutions, as they’re much more GPU-dependent rather than the CPU.
Ryzen 5 3600 vs 5600x: Rendering Benchmarks
Starting off the Ryzen 5 3600 vs 5600x Application benchmarks by testing both processors on the Cinebench R20. As can be observed, the 5600x beats the 3600 in both multi-core and single-core performance with huge margins in both bases and overclocked speeds. For single-core performance., we can note that the 5600x was at least 24% faster at stock clocks and a similar 20% difference when overclocked. When talking about multi-core performance, the 5600x showed similar results although the 3600 had It worse because all cores from both CPUs were overclocked as a whole, which made the 5600x’s higher core count be able to perform better.
Cinebench R15 is still a popular benchmarking tool among the tech community which is why it was used for 3600 vs 5600x benchmarks. Although there weren’t any significant changes from the Cinebench R20 test, it was still worth mentioning because a lot of people still use it to test out their CPUs.
Blender’s 3D benchmark comprises Blender Classroom and Blender BMW tests. Both of these use all cores so single-core performance can’t be obtained in this test. This time, the differences in performance were much closer compared to the Cinebench tests. For the Classroom test, the 5600x was completing the tasks at a 15% faster speed on stock and 18% faster at OC. There were similar results from the Blender BMW test with 5600x being ahead on both stock and OC.
V-Ray Benchmark is also a good tool for testing both processors on heavy loads. Quickly covering all areas, the 5600x was 22% faster than the 3600 on stock and 26% faster on both overclocked. This is because the 5600x was overclocked better. Other than that, the differences in performance with both processors weren’t much different from others.
The Corona Benchmark was tested by rendering the time it took to render out a scene. From the graph, we can see that the 5600x was performing much better on both stocks and overclock speeds. The time it took for 5600x to complete the task on the stock clock was 4 seconds less than the 3600. Similarly, the 5600x also reduced the time by 1 second on stock clocks. This really outlines the overclocking capabilities of the Zen 3 processors compared to Zen 2. There were few differences in performance between this and the V-Ray test.
HandBrake benchmark was obtained from converting 4K videos to 1080p in a 16:3 aspect ratio. Although no huge differences in performance, the 5600x was still faster than the 3600. The 5600x was 9% faster on the base clock and an exponential 16% faster on both overclocked. As you can see, the overclocked test showed much more gains than the base clocked one.
Adobe Premiere was tested by exporting a video file. The total composited and edited video was exported in VBR 1 and VBR 2 passes. The difference between them is that the VBR 1 pass utilizes hardware acceleration to export the files much faster than the VBR 2 pass. The difference here wasn’t anything special either, as the 5600x was quicker in completing the task on both passes. On base clocks, the 5600x was faster than the 3600 with a difference of 14% on the VBR 1 pass and 15% faster for the VBR 2 test. The difference increased up to 20% with overclocked tests with almost no real difference between the two passes.
Adobe Premiere Puget Systems Benchmark
Adobe Premiere was tested again using the Puget Systems Benchmark tool. Using this tool, we can find more things about the process like the live playback instead of raw exporting time. Overall, the 5600x was on average, 9% faster at base speeds and a similar 11% on both overclocked, which was one of the lowest differences in all of the benchmarks. Puget Benchmark gave widely different results from the previous VBR 1 pass and VBR 2 pass tests.
Similar to Premiere, Adobe Photoshop was tested with the Puget System Benchmark Tool. This test was conducted by exporting images in large sizes. As can be seen, the tests show huge differences in performance between 5600x and 3600. This is because of Zen 3’s higher single-core capabilities over the Zen 2 architecture. The 5600x was reaching an average 30% faster processing time over the 3600 in stock and overclocked speeds.
O7-Zip was used to test out the compression and decompression speeds of both processors. On average, the 5600x was compressing files 26% faster on stock and overclocked speeds and a similar 22% faster decompression speed on both stock and overclocks. The 7-Zip benchmark showed how the AMD processors are more capable in these kinds of compression/decompression tests compared with Intel as well. So, it was no surprise when the Zen 3 got huge gains in this test over the last generation.
VeraCrypt was quickly tested for AES encryption and decryption speeds. In both encryption and decryption tests, the 5600x was 10% faster than the 3600 on base clock speeds. A similar 9% difference was obtained in both decryption and encryption speeds on overclocked speeds. Not a big difference, but still a win nonetheless.
Microsoft Excel was tested using Hardware Unboxed Large Number Crunch Test. Huge gains were observed from the 5600x in this one over the 3600. With an average 65%, faster speed on stock clocks and a gigantic 85% boost on both processors overclocked. These are all excellent improvements from the Zen 3 if you’re looking to compile spreadsheets on Microsoft Excel.
Geekbench utilized a lot more single-core performance proving to be advantageous for the 5600x. For single-core tests, the 5600x was 27% faster than the 3600 at stock and overclocked speeds. The 3600 still lost in the multi-core performance with 5600x being 14% faster on both base and turbo speeds. Although the gains from multi-core performance were bad, the 5600x was still much better at single-core performance.
For stock speeds, the 5600x was ahead by a landslide compared to its counterpart from the last generation. The highest difference comes from the Microsoft Excel test with a huge 65% faster-processing speed compared to the 3600. Alongside this, the 3600 reached the closest with the HandBrake test with an 8% faster average performance.
In the case of overclocked speeds, the 5600x was again much better than the 3600 across all 13 applications that were tested. We got the biggest gains by the 5600x on Microsoft Excel with an 85% improved performance and the lowest difference was 6% in the VeraCrypt Encryption test.
Next up, the TDP rating of both processors in the Blender test specifically is worth a mention. Firstly, the 5600x was 15% faster at stock but used less power than 3600 which is quite impressive. On the other hand, with overclocked settings, the 5600x was consuming more power but not a huge performance boost was obtained as it was only 18% faster than the 3600.
Moving on, as the power consumption of both processors increases, so do the temperature levels. The graph shown is very similar to the TDP one with the 5600 being cooler than the 3600 at stock and much hotter at both CPUs overclocked.
Which One You Should Get?
AMD’s Ryzen 5 3600 and Ryzen 5 5600x are both excellent processors built for high-end gaming. In this comparison, we’ve come to know that the 5600x was much better in both multi-core and single-core performance compared to the 3600. This has been repeated numerous times but however fast the 3600 is, the 5600x has a much faster-overclocking capacity and showed incredible leaps in performance over the last generation in all the benchmarks. The 3600 never beat the 5600x in all the tests that were conducted. Clearly, the Ryzen 5 5600x’s Zen 3 architecture is the cause of this huge boost in performance over the previous Zen 2 generation.
When talking about upgrading from the 3600 vs 5600x, you should keep in mind that the differences shown here weren’t anything special considering the pricing. As the 5600x is priced much higher on the MSRP than the 3600. Additionally, the 3600 is also praised for its great price to value ratio in the entire market and is regarded as one of the best performing and budget-oriented higher-end CPUs. With that said, if you really are an enthusiast-level gamer, then however your budget isn’t quite that big, then you can stick with the 3600. Along with that, for gaming on higher resolutions, the difference in performance isn’t that big.
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