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AMD Ryzen 5 3600X

Older Ryzen

AMD Ryzen 5 2600X

The newest Ryzen 5 3600 and 3600X processors improve upon the excellent 2000 series with enhanced efficiency and overall performance. If you want the outright best of the two, go with this CPU. Just bear in mind that this CPU craves for faster RAM.

$249 at Amazon

Pros

  • Better performance
  • Six cores and 12 threads
  • Unlocked
  • Includes stock cooler
  • PCIe 4.0 support

Cons

  • More expensive
  • Needs faster RAM

Even though AMD launched the 3000 series of Ryzen CPUs, the 2600X is still a compelling choice, offering six-core and 12-thread performance at an affordable price.

$160 at Amazon

Pros

  • More affordable
  • Six cores and 12 threads
  • Unlocked
  • Includes stock cooler

Cons

  • Slightly worse performance
  • No PCIe 4.0 support

Both the Ryzen 5 2600X and Ryzen 5 3600X are similar CPUs, but the latter comes out on top for being the newer processor with a smaller manufacturing process of 7nm, improved efficiency and performance, and competing against Intel counterparts in tests. The 2600X is a great deal if you're looking to save some money and don't fancy the PCIe 4.0 support for future-proofing your PC build.

AMD Ryzen 5 3600X vs AMD Ryzen 5 2600X specs

Ryzen 5 3600X Ryzen 5 2600X
Cores 6 6
Threads 12 12
Clock speed 3.8 GHz 3.6 GHz
Boost speed 4.4 GHz 4.2 GHz
Cache L2: 3 MB
L3: 32 MB
L2: 3 MB
L3 16 MB
RAM 3200 MHz 2667 MHz
TDP 95 W 95 W
Price $249 $160

What 3rd-gen Ryzen brings

Ryzen 5 2600

The Ryzen 5 3600X wins outright on the specs sheet. While it has the same core and thread count as the 2600X, it sports faster clock speeds, double the amount of L3 cache, and comes with support for PCIe 4.0 — the latter of which will future-proof your build. Interestingly, both processors have a TDP rating of 95W, which showcases the drop to 7nm manufacturing for AMD, bringing efficiency enhancements. It's a win-win for the processor, so long as you can afford the slight price hike compared to the 2600X.

The only drawback to the Ryzen 5 3600X — aside from the price — is the fact you'll need an AM4 motherboard that's up-to-date and supports the latest 3000 Ryzen processors. There's also the fact these newer CPUs from AMD work better with faster RAM, so you'll need to look at overclocking your modules or buying new ones to hit 3200 MHz and above. It's not the end of the day if you simply can't meet those speeds, however.

Ryzen 5 3600X is the choice for those seeking the best

The Ryzen 5 3600X takes what made the 2600X good and further enhances everything with a smaller manufacturing processor, better efficiency, thermals, and improved performance. AMD did such a job with the 3600X that it competes against Intel's Intel Core i5 9600K even in single-core tests.

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AMD Ryzen 5 3600X

The latest and greatest from AMD

The Ryzen 5 3600X is the perfect mid-tier processor for gamers and those who need a capable CPU in general. Not only with you be able to play games and get productive, but it'll perform better overall than compared to the older 2600X.

Go with the Ryzen 5 2600X if you want to save money

You can spend around $160 and enjoy a six-core processor with 12 threads ready to power through any game or productivity task you throw at it. While it's not as good as the 3600X on paper, nor does it match Intel Core-i5 counterparts, for the price it simply cannot be beaten.

Older Ryzen

AMD Ryzen 5 2600X

Offering even better value with discounts

You'll only want to go with the Ryzen 5 2600X if you don't need PCIe 4.0 support, don't mind taking a very slight performance hit, and want to save some money in the process.

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