Is the AMD Ryzen 5 3600X good for gaming?

AMD Ryzen 5 2600
AMD Ryzen 5 2600

Is the AMD Ryzen 5 3600X good for gaming?

Best answer: While AMD traditionally lagged behind Intel in gaming, the latest 3000 series CPUs are matching Intel's processors when it comes to playing modern titles. You'll have no issue playing games on the Ryzen 5 3600X, so long as you match it with a good GPU.Buy your Ryzen: AMD Ryzen 5 3600X ($249 at Amazon)Recommended GPU: ZOTAC Gaming RTX 2060 ($370 at Amazon)

Gaming on the mid-range Ryzen CPU

The CPU is an important part of any gaming rig since the processor is what sends the frames to the GPU for further processing. If you have a sluggish CPU that cannot keep up with the GPU, you'll be wasting away valuable resources on the GPU as it waits for the CPU to throw it more frames to render. Thus, it's important you choose a CPU that can keep up with most GPUs available today, and the Ryzen 5 3600X is one of those CPUs.

What makes this CPU so good for gaming? It's a six-core processor with hyperthreading — resulting in a total of 12 threads — with a base clock speed of 3.8GHz and a boost of around 4.4GHz. That's without overclocking, which you can easily do with AMD's software suite or your motherboard BIOS. All this performance allows you to use anything up to an RTX 2080 Ti and the CPU may only struggle in extreme cases, like when you're trying to play at high settings on a monitor with a high refresh rate.

As good as Intel at gaming

It was the case with AMD's older FX processors and even the first two generations of Ryzen that Intel simply outperformed Ryzen processors when it came to single-core testing and gaming. This is no longer the case when comparing the newest 3000 Ryzen processors against Intel counterparts. It's neck and neck, which is a commendable achievement for AMD considering just how behind the company was just a few years ago.

The latest Ryzen 5 3600X comes rocking some considerable improvements over the Ryzen 5 2600X, including:

  • Double floating point with a redesigned engine.
  • Double the amount of cache.
  • 15 percent IPC (instructions per-clock) uplift.

What this means for the new family of Ryzen processors is a substantial increase in efficiency and performance. Couple the Ryzen 5 3600X with a GPU like the RTX 2060 and you have an amazing combo that can handle most games at high settings on a 1440p monitor with a solid frames-per-second (FPS) rate.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

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.