When building a new computer, picking the best PC components can sometimes be a difficult task. It can often be easy to get carried away and purchase parts that are overpriced, or just plain unnecessary.
We did a bit of digging and took a closer look at AMD’s Ryzen 5 3600 series to see which product would be the best in terms of both value and performance.
AMD Ryzen 5 3600 vs 3600X vs 3600XT
The Ryzen 5 3600 boasts a 6-core, 12-thread processor and a max frequency of 4.2 GHz when overclocked (and base clocking at 3.6 GHz). The 3600X is also a 6-core, 12-thread processor but can go up to 4.4 GHz when overclocked.
The 3600XT is the strongest of the three, but it is not as noticeable of a difference as the 3600 to the 3600 X. It has the ability to overclock itself up to 4.5 GHz, making it the strongest CPU out of the bunch.
While the 3600 underperforms slightly when compared to the 3600 X and 3600 XT, it makes up for its lower performance with a lower price tag and lower power consumption.
Ryzen 5 3600: For any gamers out there looking for value over performance, this CPU still manages to do more than a great job. Most graphically demanding games hit above 60 FPS with this CPU, when paired with a competent graphics card.
For example, 2018’s Hitman 2 hit an average of 66 FPS while paired with an RTX 2080 Super, on high settings with 1440P resolution. Slightly older games ran with almost no issue, with Grand Theft Auto 5 averaging 139 FPS and hitting a minimum of 116 FPS while displayed at 1080p.
When displayed in 1440p, the same title still hit an average of 112 FPS and 89 FPS in the most hectic areas. More demanding games still managed to run well, with Red Dead Redemption 2 averaging at 67 FPS and hitting the minimum of 45 FPS while displayed in 1440p.
Ryzen 5 3600 X: When gaming, the 3600 X performs slightly better than its little brother, hitting an average of 69 FPS when running the aforementioned Hitman 2 on the same machine. It’s a marginal improvement, but an improvement, nonetheless.
Grand Theft Auto 5 also performed better, with it hitting a minimum of 120 FPS and averaging at 143 FPS on a 1080p display, verses the 3600’s average of 139 FPS. While displaying 1440p, it hit a minimum of 92 FPS, and reached an average of 115 FPS. Red Dead Redemption 2 averaging at 69 FPS and hitting the minimum of 46 FPS on a 1440p. While the differences are small, they are there.
Ryzen 5 3600 XT: When running test games, we found that the XT performed almost identically to the X, and in some cases it actually ran just as well with zero improvement.
Hitman 2 hit an average of 72 FPS on high settings, when displayed at 1440P resolution. Grand Theft Auto 5 averaged 145 FPS, and hit a minimum of 122 FPS while displayed at 1080p. When displayed in 1440p, it hit an average of 116 FPS and 94 FPS in the most hectic areas.
But most interestingly of all, it ran Red Dead Redemption 2 on a 1440p resolution at an average of 69 FPS and hit at least a minimum of 46 FPS. That’s correct – there was no improvement found here between the X and XT with this game: it performed identically here, with most other titles only seeing a couple of frames more per second compared to the 3600 X.
The Ryzen 5 3600 has lower power consumption than the others, with it using just 65 Watts. Both the 3600X and 3600XT use 95 Watts, which is something to keep in mind.
The Ryzen 5 3600 is the cheapest of the three models, launching at a $199 price tag and currently sitting at just over $150. The Ryzen 5 3600 X is the bigger brother of the 3600, launching with a $250 price tag and currently sitting at about $210.
The Ryzen 5 3600 XT is the priciest—but also the most powerful—out of the three products. It will currently set you back about $250, almost $100 more than the 3600, and $50 more than the 3600 X model.
So, which model is the best? Well in terms of raw power, the 3600 XT is obviously the best, but only very slightly. When calculating how quickly each CPU could complete tasks such as exporting videos from Adobe Premiere Pro, decompressing files, and other various tasks, it was found that the Ryzen 5 3600 X was roughly 3-4% faster than the Ryzen 5 3600.
The difference between the 3600 X and 3600 XT was even smaller, with the XT being only about 2% faster. And by comparing the 3600 to the 3600 XT, there is about 5-6% difference. A difference of $100 in price amounts to 5-6% performance difference.
So, in order to answer the question of which model is best, you must first ask yourself this: what is the most important?
Value, or performance?
As already previously stated, the XT is the fastest and most powerful but it’s performance increase from the X is so small, it hardly feelings like a significant improvement.
The Ryzen 5 3600 is arguably the best in terms of value. It underperforms by only a small margin, and the $100 saved by purchasing a 3600 could be better spent going towards additional RAM or a stronger graphics card instead.
For those building a PC primarily for gaming, the different in GPUs will always make a bigger difference than CPU’s and because of that the Ryzen 5 3600 holds the best value at its very low price of $150.