Windows Central Verdict
The AMD Ryzen 5 7600X is an excellent processor for gaming and medium workloads. It can get seriously hot when pushed to its limit, but AMD has created something truly special here.
Great gaming performance
Can be overclocked
Offers excellent value
Supports DDR5 RAM and PCIe 5.0
Can run warm
No included cooler
Requires new motherboard
DDR5 RAM only
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The AMD Ryzen 5 and Intel Core i5 processors were considered mid-range before the Ryzen 9 and Core i9 SKUs were established for enthusiasts and heavy workload use. Now, AMD isn't even launching a Ryzen 3 on day one, and therefore the AMD Ryzen 5 7600X processor we're reviewing today can be considered the entry-level CPU for the time being.
The new AMD Ryzen 5 7600X replaces the old Ryzen 5 5600X, keeping the same core and thread counts but bumping the clock speeds up considerably. AMD is also using the new Zen 4 architecture and is able to supply more power to the chip by swapping the pin location to the motherboard socket. The end result is a processor that's mightily impressive on paper.
Let's see if the AMD Ryzen 5 7600X is good enough to be ranked among the best CPUs.
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X: Price, specs, and availability
AMD launched the Ryzen 5 7600X at $299, making it the most affordable processor in the Ryzen 7000 series. It's competitively positioned to tackle the Intel Core i5-12600K and what the company may unleash as part of the 13th Gen launch. The six-core processor has 12 threads, a boost of 5.3GHz, and an impressive 38MB of cache.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Ryzen 5 7600X|
|Integrated Graphics||AMD Radeon|
|Manufacturing Node||5nm TSMC|
It's jarring to think we're now at the point in desktop processor development where a CPU with six cores, a boost frequency beyond 5GHz, and more than 30MB of cache is an entry-level SKU.
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X: Zen 4
To take the fight back to Intel and its 12th Gen (and upcoming 13th Gen) processors, AMD came out with the Zen 4 architecture. This is what the AMD Ryzen 5 7600X and other 7000 series processors are based on, delivering as much performance per watt as possible. AMD wanted to focus on utilizing all the available thermal headroom with the new processors, allowing the new AMD Ryzen 7000 series to run hotter (and faster).
At launch, AMD boasted a 13% IPC improvement across the board for Ryzen 7000. All five AMD Ryzen 7000 processors, including the Ryzen 5 7600X, boost higher than 5.0GHz, allowing even those on tighter budgets access to powerful chips. Combining the IPC gains and frequency boost together allows AMD to promise a full 29% improvement in overall performance.
AMD states the typical load temperature of the new 7000 series to range between 70 degrees Celsius (C) and 90 degrees Celsius (C), and we've seen this in our own testing. You'd typically expect to see such temperatures on processors like the Ryzen 9 range with their impressive core arrays, but even something like the new AMD Ryzen 5 7600X can get really warm when pushed hard.
Let's take a quick look at the new family of processors from AMD.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Ryzen 5 7600X||Ryzen 7 7700X||Ryzen 9 7900X||Ryzen 9 7950X|
|Integrated Graphics||AMD Radeon||AMD Radeon||AMD Radeon||AMD Radeon|
|PCIe||PCIe 5.0||PCIe 5.0||PCIe 5.0||PCIe 5.0|
|Manufacturing Node||5nm TSMC||5nm TSMC||5nm TSMC||5nm TSMC|
The AMD Ryzen 5 7600X is the least powerful processor of the four, though it does have the fastest base frequency, tied with the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X. The amount of cache is just shy of what's present in the Ryzen 7 7700X, and the TDP is the same so we can expect to see similar results but with the Ryzen 7 7700X coming out ahead in games and some benchmarks.
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X: Benchmarks and performance
To put the AMD Ryzen 5 7600X to the test, we employed numerous synthetic benchmarks to see how the processor compares to the competition (as well as other AMD CPUs). We used the same test bench setup as our Ryzen 7 7700X review. This consisted of G.SKILL DDR5-6000 RAM, Gigabyte X670E Aorus Master motherboard, as well as NVIDIA GTX 1070 and RTX 3060 Ti graphics cards.
So what does all this mean for the average Joe who may be looking to purchase the AMD Ryzen 5 7600X? The processor performed well in tests. Taking GeekBench 5.0 results as an example, the Ryzen 5 7600X beat the Intel Core i5-12600K comfortably in single-core scores, but lost in the multi-core test, as expected with fewer cores and threads.
In the same text, the Ryzen 5 7600X decimated the older (and more powerful SKU) Ryzen 7 5800X, showing just how much of a step-up Ryzen 7000 is from the previous generation. Other tests were about in line with what we recorded from the AMD Ryzen 7 7700X. Temperatures were lower when in use with an average of approximately 65C when playing various PC games with a 360mm AIO.
Like the AMD Ryzen 7 7700X, this processor was more than happy to leap up to 95C and sit there when handling heavier loads. Clock speeds were pulled slightly but the CPU remained in boost territory. So long as you have adequate cooling, the Ryzen 5 7600X will boost high and maintain said clock speeds. Power draw was recorded at 122W using software measurements.
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X: Competition
Direct competition for the AMD Ryzen 5 7600X comes in the form of the Intel Core i5-12600K. On paper, the Ryzen 5 has a weaker spec sheet if you focus on the core and thread counts. AMD packs in only six cores with 12 threads while Intel went all out with 10 cores and 16 threads. Where AMD manages to pull it back with the smaller process and more efficient design is with the core speeds.
The base frequency is 4.7GHz, compared to 2.8GHz and 3.7GHz for the Intel efficient and performance cores, respectively. Boost is a similar story with AMD able to push the Ryzen 5 all the way to 5.3GHz, before you even think about overclocking, while Intel stops at 4.9GHz, and that's only with the performance cores. This allows the Ryzen 5 7600X to have more performance per-core.
|Header Cell - Column 0||AMD Ryzen 5 7600X||Intel Core i5-12600K|
|Base Frequency||4.7GHz||P: 3.7GHz|
|Row 2 - Cell 0||Row 2 - Cell 1||E: 2.8GHz|
|Boost Frequency||5.3GHz||P: 4.9GHz|
|Row 4 - Cell 0||Row 4 - Cell 1||E: 3.6GHz|
|Integrated Graphics||AMD Radeon||Intel UHD Graphics 770|
|PCIe||PCIe 5.0||PCIe 5.0|
|Manufacturing Node||5nm TSMC||Intel 7 (10nm)|
For gaming, you're going to have a great time with either processor. The Ryzen 5 7600X sees up to approximately 20% boost to in-game frame rates compared to the Intel processor, depending on the title. Not many games are able to take advantage of numerous threads, which is how the CPU is able to shine with higher clock speeds, more cache, and other advanced features.
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X: Should you buy?
You should buy if...
- You plan on building a PC primarily for gaming.
- You don't need any more performance than eight cores.
- You don't want to spend more than $300 on a CPU.
You shouldn't buy if...
- You don't want to buy a new motherboard.
- You plan on using the processor for heavier workloads.
If you're looking to build a new gaming PC or a machine for doing some work and browsing websites, the AMD Ryzen 5 7600X offers more than enough performance headroom. Even more demanding PC games and software will be able to take advantage of the higher clock speeds, so long as you have adequate cooling.
AMD doesn't include a cooler with the Ryzen 5 7600X, but to counter this we do have an integrated GPU inside the CPU so there's no need to use a dedicated card with the processor unless you want to play some titles. The best part is the price, coming in just shy of $300 for a six-core processor that boosts above 5GHz.
It's not all good news, however. There's the requirement of a new AM5 motherboard, which AMD should be supporting for at least two years, and the processor can run a little hot when pushed hard. You can expect to see the TjMax temperature limit reached at 95C with all cores ramped up.
AMD's Ryzen 5 7600X is also hot on performance, taking on more powerful processors from the previous generation. Overall, this is one solid workhorse.
AMD's entry-level processor "only" has six cores and 12 threads. The chip is able to boost up to 5.3GHz and it'll only throttle back slightly if you really push it hard in a stress test, heavy workloads, or synthetic benchmarks.
Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.
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