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Ryzen 5 3600 vs 3600x – What are the differences between these CPU processors?

AMD’s Ryzen lineup consists of their Ryzen 3, 5, and 7. For entry-level gaming and light photo and video editing, Ryzen 3 is a great choice due to its also entry-level price tag. For competitive triple-A title gaming and streaming, most people choose Ryzen 5 for its price-to-performance ratio. Lastly, people choose Ryzen 7 if you want the best of the best Ryzen processor. And then there’s AMD’s Threadripper, it is entirely a topic on its own because it is designed for extreme content creators such as 3D animators. 

In today’s comparison, we are going to look at AMD’s midrange processing solutions: Ryzen 5. Aside from their price-to-performance ratio, it is loved by everybody because of its all-around use. It can be used for gaming, streaming, and video editing. If you are a content creator on YouTube or Twitch, the Ryzen 5 will suffice your needs, yet it won’t break the bank. We are going to weigh in the strengths and weaknesses of the Ryzen 5 3600 and 3600X to determine which of them is the better Ryzen 5 processor. Let’s get started!

Ryzen 5 3600 vs 3600x – Similarities

Let’s review the specifics in a side by side chart.

Comparison Chart

Name

AMD Ryzen 5 3600

AMD Ryzen 5 3600X

Image
Microarchitecture Zen 2 Microarchitecture Zen 2 Microarchitecture
# of CPU Cores 6 Cores 6 Cores
# of Threads 12 Threads 12 Threads
Base Clock 3.6 GHz 3.8 GHz
Max. Boost Clock Up to 4.2 GHz Up to 4.4 GHz
Unlocked Yes Yes
Motherboard Socket AM4 AM4
PCI Express Version PCIe 4.0 x16 PCIe 4.0 x16
Thermal Solution Included Wraith Stealth Wraith Spire
TDP 65 Watts 95 Watts
Cache Memory 32 MB 32 MB
Max. Memory Capacity 128 GB 128 GB
Memory Frequency Up to 3200 MHz Up to 3200 MHz
Memory Type DDR4 DDR4
Memory Channels 2 2
Price Check Price on Amazon Check Price on Amazon

 

Zen 2 Microarchitecture

The Ryzen 5 3600 and 3600X are based on the next-generation Zen 2 architecture. Compared to the previous generation, these 3000-series processors offer a massive performance increase due to the improvements to core count, clock speed, and instruction per clock. These Ryzen 5 processors fit into an AM4 motherboard.

Number of Cores and Threads

The 3600 and 3600X are hexa-core processors which means it has six physical cores baked into these processors. These cores are coupled with 12 threads. Essentially, physical cores are split into virtual cores or threads to increase performance. AMD calls it simultaneous multithreading or SMT, while Intel refers to it as hyper-threading. With all these physical and virtual cores, gaming and productivity is a breeze with both Ryzen 5 processors. Within the price range, Intel only offers 4 cores with 8 threads which makes the Ryzen 5 processors a better value proposition.

Compatible Memory

RAM is one of the fundamental components of a computer. As consumers, we should know the compatibility of RAM sticks. Otherwise, the computer will not run. Both these Ryzen 5 3000-series processors can accommodate up to 128 GB of DDR4 memory. While it can reach up to 128 GB, 32GB is enough for gamers and content creators. Moreover, both are compatible with 3200 MHz RAM kits. This memory speed is not anything impressive considering that there are memory kits already reaching 5000 MHz. Then again, it will suffice most people’s use cases.

 

AMD Ryzen 5 3600 vs 3600X – Differences

Overclocking Capability


Although Ryzen 5 processors have unlocked multipliers, one of them has a better overall overclocking capability than the other. 

AMD Ryzen 5 3600

The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 has an unlocked multiplier which means you can easily overclock it to get better performance. With its stock cooler, some of its users overclocked theirs from 3.6 GHz to 3.8 GHz. Some even seen improvements up to 4.3 GHz which is impressive considering the Ryzen 5 3600 was not designed for extreme overclocking. With an aftermarket cooler, you can easily crank the multipliers up to 4.3 GHz. Your mileage may vary since overclocking is dependent on many factors such as the motherboard used. It is not called a silicon lottery for no reason, after all.

AMD Ryzen 5 3600X

On the other hand, if we are talking about overclocking, Ryzen 5 3600X is the king. AMD claims their X variants are better at overclocking. Additionally, it comes at a higher frequency than non-X variants. With the stock cooler, you can increase your clock speeds from 3.8 GHz to 4.3 GHz. Although it is identical to the 3600, you don’t have to buy an aftermarket cooler with the 3600X just to hit that speed.

The Winner Is- AMD Ryzen 5 3600X

 

Thermal Solutions

AMD has been putting beefy stock air cooler with their Ryzen processors which put Intel’s air cooler to shame. 

AMD Ryzen 5 3600

The Ryzen 5 3600 comes with a Wraith Stealth which is the base model of all Wraith coolers. The Wraith Stealth is indeed the inferior model compared to the 3600X’s. However, the Stealth is all the 3600 needs in terms of cooling because it only has a TDP of 65 Watts. Again, you can use the Wraith Stealth for decent overclocking. 

AMD Ryzen 5 3600X

The Ryzen 5 3600X includes the beefier Wraith Spire air cooler. This is different from the Wraith Spire included with 2000-series processors. You will notice, if you compare it with the older Wraith Spire, that it does not have the copper core. This is a cost-cutting measure on AMD’s part. Nevertheless, it still performs better than the Stealth that comes with 3600.

The Winner Is- AMD Ryzen 3600X

Buy Ryzen 5 3600 on Amazon

Buy Ryzen 5 3600X on Amazon

 

Performance


At last, the segment you all have been waiting for – their performance. Let’s see how they fare against each other.

AMD Ryzen 5 3600

As expected from its lower base frequency, the Ryzen 5 3600 performs worse than 3600X. It also performs worse even when overclocked. However, here’s a kicker: more people bought the 3600 over the 3600X. You may wonder why. It is because the 3600 has a better price-to-performance ratio. 

AMD Ryzen 5 3600X

Of course, the Ryzen 5 3600X has a better overall performance. However, the increase in performance from 3600 to 3600X is very marginal. Thus, you will never notice it much when using them in real-world situations. You get marginally better performance for a significantly more expensive processor. This is another reason why people choose to build around Ryzen 5 3600. However, an increase in performance is still better, nonetheless.

The Winner Is- AMD Ryzen 5 3600X

Also read: AMD Ryzen 7 2700X vs Ryzen 5 3600X: Which Ryzen Processor is Better?

 

Pros and Cons

The pros and cons of the processors Ryzen 5 3600 and 3600X will help us determine which is the best option.

AMD Ryzen 5 3600


Pros:

  • The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 has a better overall price-to-performance ratio.
  • Its 6 cores and 12 threads are more than enough for most use cases.
  • The included Wraith Stealth is enough even for decent overclocking purposes.

 
Cons:

  • If you are not planning to overclock, you will surely take a hit due to its lower base clock at 3.6 GHz.

 

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AMD Ryzen 5 3600X


Pros:

  • The AMD Ryzen 5 3600X has a faster base and boost clock speeds at 3.8 GHz and 4.4 GHz.
  • The 3600X comes with a beefier and more capable overclocking Wraith Spire air cooler.
  • Although marginal, it performs better in non-overclocked and overclocked situations.

 
Cons:

  • Aside from its worse price-to-performance ratio, the new Wraith Spire that it includes 

 

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The Final Verdict

The period before the release of Ryzen processors is dominated by Intel processors. Nowadays, Ryzen processors are preferred by most people concerned about the value for the money. Even enthusiasts-level processors such as the Threadripper and EPYC are now favored by content creators because of all the advancements that AMD did. In this comparison between Ryzen 5 processors, it is dominated by the Ryzen 5 3600X. It is surely the better Ryzen 5 processor. But the value for the money is not its strongest suit. If you want the better processor between the two, there is no doubt that the Ryzen 5 3600X wins. However, if you are concerned about the bang for the buck, I would suggest you get the Ryzen 5 3600, instead.