AMD Ryzen 5 3600X CPU
AMD Ryzen 5 3600X CPU

The Ryzen 5 3600X is the next CPU from AMD that we will take a look at. Our previous coverage of the new AMD CPUs focused on their 12 and 8 core versions. The Ryzen 5 3600x is a 6 core 12 thread CPU running at a base clock of 3.8 GHz with a boost clock of 4.4GHz. Over the summer, AMD released their new line up of CPUs. The new CPUs are built on a 7nm process. The Ryzen 3600X retains the “chiplet” design. The CPU cores and I/O are separate chiplets. While the CPU core chiplet is built on the 7 nm process, the I/O for the CPU is 14nm. The move to 7nm helps with thermals and power efficiency and the generational changes to the CPU architecture bring performance improvements to the Ryzen lineup.

Along with the new CPU, a new chipset for the motherboards was launched. The  X570 chipset compliments the Ryzen 2 CPU’s feature set very well. Most notably, the CPU and the chipset feature PCIe 4.0. Faster memory speeds and timings for memory get a boost as well with the new X570 chipset. While a new chipset is nice, AMD is still using the AM4 socket which also means that you can install the new Ryzen CPUs in an X470 motherboard as well.


# of CPU Cores 6
# of Threads 12
Base Clock 3.8GHz
Max Boost Clock 4.4GHz
Total L1 Cache 64KB
Total L2 Cache 3MB
Total L3 Cache 32MB
Unlocked Yes
Package AM4
PCI Express® Version PCIe 4.0 x16
Thermal Solution Wraith Spire
Default TDP / TDP 95W
Max Temps 95°C

The packaging for the Ryzen 5 3600X features the large Ryzen symbol font and center on the box. In the lower right corner, you’ll see the number 5 which indicates this is a Ryzen 5 series CPU. On the back of the box, you’ll find more information on the CPU housed inside.


After opening up the top, you’ll find a quick install pamphlet on top of a thin plastic spacer. Below that, you’ll find the CPU and the included AMD Wraith Spire CPU cooler.

Both the CPU and the CPU cooler come packaged in separate containers within the box. A thin plastic clamshell houses the CPU and the majority of the space is consumed by the CPU cooler located in the black box.

The included Wraith Spire is a no-frills cooler. The heatsink is made all from aluminum. The fan sitting on top of the cooler does not contain any lighting. On the bottom of the cooler, there is pre-applied thermal paste. Overall, I’m not overly impressed with the included CPU cooler but it should do the job well enough to keep the Ryzen 5 3600X cool. I wish that AMD would offer a no cooler option for those of us that will never actually install it and maybe save a few bucks in the process.

As far as the CPU itself, the heat spreader sits on top of the chiplets. The model name and number are located here as well. You can see this is the Ryzen 5 3600X CPU. Underneath, AMD still uses the pin grid array.

Test System and Benchmarks

AMD Ryzen 5 3600X Test Bench
Product Name Provided By
Processor AMD Ryzen 5 3600x AMD
Motherboard ASRock Taichi X570 ASRock
Memory G.Skill Trident Royal F4-3600C16D-16GTRG 16-16-16-36 (XMP) G.Skill
Drive Samsung 240 EVO 256GB SSD, Crucial MX500 1 TB SATA III SSD Samsung/Crucial
Video Cards Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 TI Founders Edition Nvidia
Monitor BenQ EL2870U 28 inch 4K HDR Gaming Monitor 3840×2160 @ 60 Hz
Case DimasTech EasyXL DimasTech
Power Supply Cooler Master Silent Pro M2 1500W Cooler Master
Operating System Windows 10 1903 x64 Pro with latest patches and updates
Intel Core i7-8700k Test Bench
Product Name Provided By
Processor Intel Core i7-8700K (Retail) Intel
Motherboard Aorus Z390 Pro Gigabyte
Memory G.Skill Trident Royal F4-3600C16D-16GTRG 16-16-16-36 (XMP) G.Skill
Drive Samsung 240 EVO 256GB SSD, Crucial MX500 1 TB SATA III SSD Samsung/Crucial
Video Cards  Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 TI Founders Edition Nvidia
Monitor BenQ EL2870U 28 inch 4K HDR Gaming Monitor 3840×2160 @ 60 Hz
Case DimasTech EasyXL DimasTech
Power Supply Cooler Master Silent Pro M2 1500W Cooler Master
Operating System Windows 10 1903 x64 Pro with latest patches and updates

The Ryzen 5 3600X is configured similarly to the setup when I reviewed the Ryzen 7 3700X and the Ryzen 7 3900X. The CPU is water cooled in a loop that features a 360mm radiator and the EKWB AMD Velocity water block.

For synthetic benchmarks, each benchmark was run on each system three times. Then we picked the best of the three results. The system was allowed to idle in between each benchmark for no less than 30 minutes. This gives the processor time to rest and cool down a bit before the nest test is performed. The ambient temperature is kept as close to 21°c, or 70°f as possible. We use both Core Temp and Hardware Monitor to record temperatures and CPUZ to validate clock speeds and voltages.

At the top of the charts, I put the AMD Ryzen 5 3600X in direct comparison with the Intel i7 8700K as they closely match in configuration with both CPUs being 6 core/12 thread CPUs. The only hardware difference between the two systems is the CPU, motherboard, and the water blocks.

Testing and Performance


AIDA64 has a set of several 64-bit benchmarks to measure how fast the computer performs various data processing tasks and mathematical calculations. Multi-threaded memory and cache benchmarks are available to analyze system RAM bandwidth and latency. Benchmark pages of AIDA64 Extreme provide several methods to measure system performance. These benchmarks are synthetic, so their results show only the theoretical maximum performance of the system. The AIDA64 suite has various benchmarks for CPU, FPU, GPU, storage and memory testing.

The Ryzen 5 3600X CPU can come extremely close to the higher tier AMD CPUs at 51999 MB/s read speed, 28798 MB/s write speed and 48932 MB/s copy speed. As you can see, the Ryzen 5 3600X suffers a penalty in the write performance category in the same manner as the Ryzen 7 3700X. According to AMD, there is very little pure memory write workloads so, the CCD to IO link is 32B per cycle for reads and 16B per cycle for writes vs 32B per cycle for both read and write operations on the Ryzen 7 3900X. It is nice to see that AMD can keep consistent performance between the 5 and 7 series CPUs.

CPU Test
FPU Test

The Ryzen 5 3600X competes very well in the CPU and FPU tests. Here we have a slugfest between the 8700K and the Ryzen  5 3600X. The different tests go back and forth between the two 6 core CPUs.

Cinebench R20

Cinebench is a real-world cross-platform test suite that evaluates your computer’s hardware capabilities. Improvements to Cinebench Release 20 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.

The Ryzen 5 3600X has a good showing in Cinebench. Testing shows it just slightly ahead of the 8700K and a bit behind the higher-end CPUs.

POV-Ray 3.7

The Persistence of Vision Ray Tracer, or POV-Ray, is a ray-tracing program which 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.

POV-RAY was an interesting test to run. In the single-threaded test, the Intel i7 8700k comes out just ahead of the AMD Ryzen 5 3600X. The results are reversed when we test multi-threaded. I think this is because of AMD’s boost algorithm and the opportunistic boosting that the AMD CPUs perform.

Multimedia, Compression, Synthetic, and Gaming


HandBrake is a free and open-source video transcoder, originally developed in 2003 by Eric Petit to make ripping a film from a DVD to a data storage device easier. Essentially, it can convert video to almost any modern format. HandBrake is available for Linux, macOS, and Windows. The workload video file is a file that I’ve used for years called Sintel. It is a 1.09-gigabyte file that is full HD. I used the Apple 240p preset for this test.

The 8700k gets edged out slightly as the Ryzen 5 3600 finished the scene in 86 seconds whereas the 8700K took 99 with an average FPS for the Ryzen 5 3600X at 248 and 240 FPS for the 8700K.


The 7-zip benchmark shows a rating in MIPS (million instructions per second). The rating value is calculated from the measured speed, and it is normalized with results of Intel Core 2 CPU with multi-threading option switched off. So, if you have modern CPU from Intel or AMD, rating values in single-thread mode must be close to real CPU frequency. There are two tests, compression with LZMA method and decompression with LZMA method. Once the total passes reach 100, the score is taken. 7-Zip gives the resulting score for decompressing, compressing and an overall score.

The Ryzen series of CPUs perform well in the 7 ZIP tests. The Ryzen 5 3600X scores 53153 MIPS in compressing and 69663 MIPS in the decompressing tests.

PCMark 10

PCMark 10 is a system benchmark for Windows PCs which focuses on common tasks performed in the office. PCMark 10 offers a variety of workloads categorized into four groups. The Essentials group includes web browsing, video conferencing, and app start-up time. The Productivity group includes tests based on spreadsheets and writing. The Digital Content Creation group includes photo editing, video editing, and a rendering and visualization test. The final group, Gaming, includes tests for real-time graphics and physics. It has three different benchmarks, PCMark 10, PCMark 10 Express and PCMARK 10 Extended.

When looking at the two six-core CPUs, the Ryzen 5 3600x loses to the 8700K but just a very little bit. This happens as well between the 3900x and the 9900K. Still, AMD’s performance here is commendable as the results are extremely close.


3DMark is a computer benchmarking tool created and developed by Futuremark used to determine the performance of a computer’s 3D graphic rendering and CPU workload processing capabilities. It does this through a series of graphics and physics and or CPU tests. I ran the extreme and ultimate version as I wanted to see how well AMD could handle the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080ti and keep the testing platform consistent. It’s not inconceivable to think someone would purchase a 6 core CPU and a 2080 TI GPU.

Firestrike Ultra
TimeSpy Extreme

In the 3D Mark test, the results are a tie between the Ryzen 5 3600X and the Intel i7 8700K. Performance is impressive on both systems and runs right in the middle of the pack with the comparison CPUs.


For gaming, I chose to mix it up a little bit from what we’ve done in the past. Most games we test are first-person shooters, so I chose to throw a flight simulator in the mix. Xplane 11 depends heavily on single-thread performance, even more so than newer modern games. Games are slowly starting to use more and more cores. I also used the Sid Meier’s Civilization VI: Gathering Storm AI benchmark.

When it comes to gaming, ANY of the CPUs on the chart above will do well. However, the Intel i7 8700K edges out the Ryzen 5 3600X in terms of performance although, not by much. We talking range of between 5 and 10 frames per second depending on the game. That’s not a large difference and as graphic fidelity and resolutions increase, these numbers rely more on the GPU rather than the CPU.

The last gaming test I chose was Sid Meier’s Civilization 6 and the Gathering Storm Benchmark. This benchmarks the artificial intelligence portion of the game and measures the time it takes to complete each turn.

As far as the Civilization 6’s AI benchmark goes, it’s a dead tie between the two six-core CPUs. Both CPUs turned in an average time of 35 seconds.

Final Thoughts

After I reviewed the Ryzen 7 CPUs, I really couldn’t wait to get my hands on the 6 core version. I know that sounds a bit strange however, I have years of daily use under my belt with the 8700K as it was the CPU in my main system for a very long time. I have plenty of experience with how the system should “feel”, for the lack of a better term. The 8700K is the last 6 core/12 thread CPU Intel produced before the 9000 series. After benchmarking the Ryzen 6 3600X, I tossed it into my daily driver for the last month to see how it “feels”. Really, I couldn’t tell the difference between the two. Both the AMD and Intel systems felt like they performed the same and both systems were rock solid as far as stability goes.

Overclocking the 3600X yielded very little for me. The same was true in my 3900X & 3700X reviews. AMD seems to be running these chips right at the edge of their max performance. Which for some users is perfectly fine. Although, a little bit of meat left on the bone would be fine too. My only complaint about the Ryzen 5 3600X is the included CPU cooler. For me, I’d prefer not to have it included or at least offer a SKU for a bit less that doesn’t include it. Aside from system integrators, I highly doubt  DIYers are going to use it.

Where AMD wins is on price with the Ryzen 5 3600X. At the time of this review, the Ryzen 5 3600X is $100.00 cheaper than the Intel I7 8700K. That sounds great. If you have an X470 motherboard, all you’ll need is a BIOS update and you can rock along with the new CPU. However, if we look at the cost of the motherboard and CPU, the X570 motherboards are more expensive than the X470s. So depending on your choice of motherboard, the total cost may be a bit higher. As more motherboard options are becoming available, less expensive X570 motherboards can be purchased.

While Intel’s i7 8700K is an older CPU, it is by no means a slouch and is still extremely popular. I mentioned earlier that I’ve been running one in my main for years. The AMD Ryzen 5 3600X gives it some major competition. More so than the 3900x and 9900k battle, I think. In every test, both CPUs were fairly close in terms of performance and neither one just ran away with the results. There are going to be winners and there are going to be losers in performance battles however, I have to say, I like it when things are close like this. Why? Because as consumers, it gives us a choice. There’s not really a penalty for choosing the Ryzen 5 3600X over the Intel i7 8700K or vice versa. Having the option to choose one or the other and not suffer for it is great. It’s been a long time since we could say that. Since Ryzen launched AMD has been making improvements little by little. I hope they keep it up. Competition only makes the market better and it forces companies to innovate and that benefits us as consumers.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *