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Don’t Buy a Ryzen 5 3600 Until You Read This

Ryzen 3600 vs 5600x

Don’t Buy a Ryzen 5 3600 Until You Read This

Key Points

  • The Ryzen 5 3600 offers impressive performance for its budget-friendly price.
  • With 6 cores and 12 threads, it has a base clock speed of 3.6 GHz (4.2 with boost), making it a great choice for multitasking and gaming.
  • While lacking integrated graphics, the Wraith Stealth cooler that comes with the CPU is sufficient for basic usage.
  • For overclocking or lower temperatures, a separate cooler is recommended.
  • While slightly dated, the Ryzen 5 3600 is still a solid choice for extremely budget builds, but consider alternatives with integrated graphics for easier troubleshooting and future-proofing.

The Ryzen 5 3600 is known for being one of the best value processors on the market. You might be eyeing the Ryzen 5 3600 but want a clearer idea of the pros and cons of this processor. Does the CPU hold up for modern games? Are there any downsides you need to know about? Continue reading our Ryzen 5 3600 CPU review to learn exactly what to expect from this product.

You might have noticed that the price of the Ryzen 5 3600 has dropped significantly over the years. You may be hesitating to buy it because it seems a little too cheap. There’s a reason for that. I’ll talk about it later on in this review.

Ryzen 5 3600: Overview

Best Overall
AMD Ryzen 5 3600
$113.50
  • AMD's Wraith Stealth cooling ensures temperatures no higher than 95°C
  • Boost Speed: 4.2GHz
  • PCIe 4.0 support (x570 motherboards only)
  • Up to 100 FPS gaming support
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/08/2024 08:04 am GMT

Features

As far as features go, the Ryzen 5 3600 doesn’t offer much besides raw processing power. It has 6 cores and 12 threads with a base clock speed of 3.6 GHz (4.2 with boost). However, it does not have integrated graphics or any other special features.

Release Date

The Ryzen 5 3600 was released on Jule 7, 2019, and it was designed as an entry-level CPU. While the product targeted the entry-level market, it manages to deliver impressive performance.

Specifications

When it comes to specifications, it’s hard to find an equivalent CPU from Intel for the same price.

CPU Cores6
Threads12
TDP65 Watts
Base Clock3.6 GHz
Boost Clock4.2 GHz
Memory SupportDDR4, 3200 MHz
Internal GraphicsNo
Cache32 MB L3

Ryzen 5 3600 Review

The Ryzen 5 3600 is still one of the best value CPUS on the market. It’s capable of keeping up with modern PC requirements and will continue to do so for several years. Whether you need a processor for video editing or intense gaming, the Ryzen 5 3600 can generally keep up with the demands. There are still some important points to keep in mind, however.

Wraith Stealth Cooler

The Ryzen 5 3600 comes with a cooler by Wraith Stealth which provides enough airflow to prevent overheating under basic usage. However, if you plan to overclock the CPU or you just want lower temperatures (and quieter fans), it’s recommended to buy a separate cooler. Plenty of great CPU coolers will keep the Ryzen 5 3600 much cooler than its stock fan.

Overclocking

Speaking of overclocking, the Ryzen 5 3600 can be overclocked, assuming your motherboard also supports it. As we noted, the 5 3600 has a base clock of 3.6GHz and a max boost of 4.2GHz. If you really want to squeeze out more performance from the processor, overclocking is an option, but keep the cooler in mind.

Lack of Integrated Graphics

The main downside to the Ryzen 5 3600 is the lack of integrated graphics. What that means is won’t be able to get a video signal from your motherboard’s display output. To get a video signal, you need an external graphics card. Most gamers will put most of their budget towards a graphics card but not everyone needs a PC for gaming purposes.

Many people simply need a computer for office tasks, where an external graphics card isn’t really needed. Granted, you can always use an old external graphics card for the video signal. However, you could also buy a CPU with integrated graphics and avoid a graphics card altogether. If you need a PC for basic office tasks, we recommend getting a CPU that has integrated graphics. Keep reading for a few alternatives with integrated graphics.

Ryzen 5 3600 Variations

There’s only one other variation of the Ryzen 5 3600 which is the Ryzen 5 3600X. The Ryzen 5 3600X has a 200 MHz faster clock speed than the base model. The 3600X also costs about $50 more than the base model. While the Ryzen 3600X is slightly faster than the Ryzen 5 3600, most PC enthusiasts agree that it’s not worth the extra price.

To give you an idea, the Ryzen 5 3600 has a 1557 Geekbench score, while the Ryzen 3600X scored 1603. That’s about an increase of 2.95% which is not a lot. You may see a slight performance increase on certain tasks such as video games but it’s not very noticeable.

A common misconception is there’s a Ryzen 5 3600G but that’s not the case. The G series is found in other Ryzen products, such as the Ryzen 5600G. The G means the CPU includes integrated graphics.

Why Is Ryzen 5 3600 So Cheap?

The Ryzen 5 3600 can be found on Amazon and other marketplaces for around $100 or even lower. It might seem a little strange that a CPU that offers this much raw power has such as low price, but there are a few good reasons for that.

It’s Dated

Since the Ryzen 5 3600 series launched in 2019, AMD already released four new series of CPUs. While it still can keep up with most tasks, there are lots of better options on the market. Most people aren’t interested in buying a CPU that is a few years old. The demand is lower.

During the crypto-boom and supply chain shortage of 2019-2021, when this processor was released, the price for PC components was quite high.

Release of AM5

AMD recently released its new AM5 socket which offers support for PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 RAM with speeds of up to 6,000 MHz. The AM5 products are still in the high-end category and not many people can afford to move to it at the moment.

AM4 will continue to be supported but it makes sense to shift the focus to the newer products and platforms. Most AMD sockets receive support for around 4 years and it has already been longer than that since AM4 was released, in 2016. AM4 is not obsolete and will still receive support but it will take a step back.

Ryzen 5 3600 Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Excellent performance with 6 Cores and 3.6 GHz clock speed
  • Cost-efficient; Best for budget builds
  • PCIe 4.0 support
  • Includes a stock cooler
  • Overclockable
  • Support for DDR4 3200 MHz
  • Backward compatible with AM4 motherboards (some motherboards require a BIOS update)

Cons:

  • Slightly dated
  • Single-thread performance is a little slow (when compared to equivalent CPUs)
  • No integrated graphics
  • Weak stock cooler
  • Limited overclocking

AMD Ryzen 5 3600: Should You Buy It?

While the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is a solid CPU, it has been surpassed by other processors. We only recommend this CPU for extremely budget PC builds. Granted, it will still keep up with all tasks, even triple-A games, but there are better options on the market. If you’re planning to build an entirely new PC, we would recommend a faster CPU with integrated graphics that can future-proof your build.

Having integrated graphics is important because it makes it easier to troubleshoot your computer, especially when your external graphics card is having issues. In other words, it’s easier to fall back to integrated graphics than it is to replace an external GPU.

An equivalent CPU with integrated graphics would be the Ryzen 5 5600G:

Best Budget CPU
AMD Ryzen 5 5600G 6-Core 12-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor with Radeon Graphics
$137.98
  • Enjoy 1080p gaming with no graphics card required
  • AMD Wraith Stealth cooler included
  • Unlocked to allow overclocking up to 4.4GHz
  • Supports DDR4-3200
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/08/2024 08:04 am GMT

Or consider an Intel equivalent, such as the i5-10400, which also has 6 cores. (All Intel CPUs have integrated graphics). If you’re curious about the differences between the brands, our Intel vs. Ryzen article will help you. For a full list of alternatives, you can also read our Ryzen 5 3600 alternatives article.

Best Premium
Intel Core i5-10400F Desktop Processor
$113.99
  • Boost speed: 4.3GHz
  • Comes with included cooler
  • Supports Optane memory from Intel
  • Power: 65W
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/08/2024 08:04 am GMT
  1. AMD Ryzen 5 3600
    $113.50
    • AMD's Wraith Stealth cooling ensures temperatures no higher than 95°C
    • Boost Speed: 4.2GHz
    • PCIe 4.0 support (x570 motherboards only)
    • Up to 100 FPS gaming support
    Buy Now on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/08/2024 08:04 am GMT
  2. AMD Ryzen 5 5600G 6-Core 12-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor with Radeon Graphics
    $137.98
    • Enjoy 1080p gaming with no graphics card required
    • AMD Wraith Stealth cooler included
    • Unlocked to allow overclocking up to 4.4GHz
    • Supports DDR4-3200
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/08/2024 08:04 am GMT
  3. Intel Core i5-10400F Desktop Processor
    $113.99
    • Boost speed: 4.3GHz
    • Comes with included cooler
    • Supports Optane memory from Intel
    • Power: 65W
    Buy Now on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/08/2024 08:04 am GMT

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Ryzen 5 3600 Good for Gaming?

Yes. When paired with a high-end graphics card, the Ryzen 5 3600 can deliver high frame rates on modern games.

How Much RAM is Needed for the Ryzen 5 3600?

It depends on your needs. The Ryzen 5 3600 can support up to 128 GB of DDR4 RAM clocked at 3200 MHz.

Is Ryzen 5 3600 Enough for 144 Hz?

On older games, the Ryzen 5 3600 can work at 144 Hz with no issues. Newer games may require a faster processor.

Which is Better Ryzen 5 or Intel i5

Certain i5 CPUs can outperformance the Ryzen 5 3600 and they include integrated graphics too. However, they’re usually a little more expensive. The Intel i5-11300 is the closest equivalent.

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