Well, I may be a little late to the party with the Ryzen 5000 series, but we didn’t get one in at the launch. But here we are a little over a month later and we can finally check out the Ryzen 5 5600X which is the mid-range CPU of the new Zen 3 CPUs. This is also one of the most sought after models as well, with its MSRP being $299 and being much more reasonable for a build. Availability is still a constant issue, as it has been with ALL of the launches packed into the end of the year this year. But I’m excited to see the performance improvements promised, especially the single-core/IPC improvements which play a big role in gaming performance. Is the Ryzen 5 5600X going to be what is in your next build? Let’s find out.


Product Name: AMD Ryzen 5 5600X

Review Sample Provided by: AMD

Written by: Wes Compton

Amazon Affiliate Link: HERE


Ryzen 5 5600X

Boost Clock

4.6 GHz

Base Clock

3.7 GHz





L2+L3 Cache

3MB L2
32MB L3



Included Cooler

Wraith Stealth


1x CCD
1x IOD

Process CCD/IOD



24x PCIe® Gen 4




So the 5600X is a 6 core 12 thread CPU that consists of one CCD or core complex die and one IOD or IO Die. They have it clocked at 3.7 GHz for the base clock across all cores and it has a boost clock of up to 4.6GHz. The CCD is built on the 7nm process while the IOD is built on the older 12nm process. The 5600X has 3MB of L2 cache and 32MB of L3 and it has a TDP of 65 watts. The new Zen 3 CPUs include other models that scale up significantly farther including the 5950X which has 16 cores and 32 thread and the 5900X with 12 cores and 24 thread with those having boost clocks at (5900X)4.8 and (5950X)4.9 GHz which may make the 5600X seem small in comparison, but for most people, 6 cores are more than enough which is why the 3600X also had 6 cores, but pulled more wattage at 95 watts and had a lower boost clock as well. I did double check the specs using CPUz which is pictured below to make sure we were running there before testing. This also documents the BIOS I tested with which is the new 3003 BIOS for our ASUS Crosshair VIII Hero WiFI and that our memory clocks were correct at 3600 MHz.

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We don’t have a full picture section because CPUs don’t have too much going on. But I did get pictures of the packaging which looks just like past Ryzen CPU launches with the 5 on the front. I do wish the full model number would be on the box, not just on the sticker up top though.

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The 5600X does come with AMD's Wraith Stealth Cooler which is their lowest profile cooler. I’ve taken a look at their coolers in the past and tested, them be sure to check that out HERE. But I do like that this cooler uses the screw down mounts rather than the old AMD hook tiedowns that AMD still includes on their motherboards. 

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The CPU itself looks the same as expected. It does run on the same AM4 socket as previous Ryzen CPUs. 5000 series CPUs however are only supported on later generation boards. Specifically, the X570, B550, and A520 with older X470 and B450 chipsets sometimes supporting them with a BIOS update. You do want to make sure the board supports it, even our X570 board needed a BIOS update for support.

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Test Rig and Procedures

Test System (with affiliate links)

Motherboard: Asus Crosshair VIII HERO WiFi


Corsair H100i RGB Platinum for testing

Noctua NH-U12S for air cooling testing

Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Paste

Memory: G.Skill Trident Z Royal 3600MHz 16-16-16-36

Storage: Corsair MP600 2TB

Video Card: Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti

Power Supply: Corsair TX750M

Case: Dimastech Test Bench

OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit



CPU Performance

For testing, I updated our X570 Crosshair Hero WiFi so it would support the Ryzen 5 5600X and then put it through our standard benchmark suite. This starts with the two X264 HD benchmarks, the older 4.0 and the “newer” 5.0 tests. These take a look at encoding performance, averaging out the FPS when encoding different videos for the scores. The “mid-range” 5600X jumped ahead of a lot of the higher-end CPUs here to come in behind the 3900X in the 5.0 benchmark and in 4.0 it did even better topping the chart. That is huge given that it outperformed the 10900K and other higher-end CPUs but it is an early look at the IPC performance of Zen 3 as well because 4.0 likes clock speed and IPC.



My next test was in Blender which is an open-source 3D modeling software. I used their default benchmark tool with the BMW and Classroom tests for a timed render test so lower numbers here are better. The 5600X shows an improvement from the 3600X here but is still in the range that you would expect a mid-range CPU to be in. This was however faster than the 10600K which isn’t far off in pricing from the 5600X.


Continuing with the video encoding theme I also have handbrake which is a which is an open-source transcoder. For this test I am taking a 4k video down to 1080p 30 FPS, the results are the average FPS of that task. This test has the 5600X close to the 3700X which has two extra cores and catching up to Intel’s last few higher-end CPUs.


For the always popular Cinebench, I ran the older R15 test which better fits a 4 core CPU, and the new R20 for high core count CPUs. I love Cinebench because it is one of a few benchmarks that let us get a look at the single-threaded performance which in the case of the 5600X, is exactly what I’m most interested in. So in R15 multicore, the 5600X did well, coming in not that far behind the 9900K which was Intel’s flagship gaming mainstream CPU that launched with an MSRP of $488 and sold for even more. The 10600K is also 452 points behind the 5600X as well here. For the R20 multicore, the 9900K did better with the 5600X coming in between the now dated 2700X and the 3700X but still ahead of the 10600K by a good margin. As for single-core performance though the 5600X which is the only Zen 3 CPU I have tested here was way out in front of everything in both benchmarks.





Next up were ray tracing focused rendering benchmarks. Here I tested the 5600X in POV-Ray and V-Ray. POV-Ray was also tested with a single core and across all of the cores. The single-core result, like in Cinebench, is the highest on the chart. With all 6 cores, the 5600X came in behind the 3700X. In V-Ray, we saw the same result as well, but it is also important to point out the 10600K is far behind on both tests which is a more direct comparison to the 5600X.



I tested using the CPUz built-in benchmark which does run on a single thread and with all threads. The single-thread performance was amazing and at the top of the chart. Multi-thread performance was back sitting in between the 2700X and 3700X.



Next, we have wPrime which is a classic overclocking benchmark that calculates pi out to 1024 million digits and is timed. This is a multi-thread heavy test and the 5600X surprisingly was right with the 3600X. The fast single-core performance made no difference here.


7 Zip is another open-source program, this time for compressing and decompressing all of your files. Here I have run the benchmark and we have three results. The combined MIPS which is a combination of compressing and decompressing performance. Then I have it broken down between the two. This workload likes extra cores which can be seen with the CPUs that are up at the top being some of the older high core count CPUs that I have tested in the past. The 5600X is still sitting right behind the 3700X here but is right with the 9900K which was also a 6 core CPU. The same goes for the decompressing and compressing results as well though the 9900K did do slightly better on the compressing side and the 5600X was better at decompressing.



Jetstream 2 is a compilation benchmark that takes a long list of HTML5 and Java in-browser tests and runs them all three times and puts together an overall score. I love this benchmark because let's be honest, most people are using their browser more than any other game or program. Jetstream gives some interesting results sometimes though but it tends to prefer high IPC or single-core performance and there are some situations where it prefers lower core count CPUs. Here the 5600X is far ahead of the two latest Intel CPUs.


In Passmark Performance Test 9 I run the full CPU benchmark which favors core counts which is why the high core count CPUs are up at the top. But what is impressive is the 5600X coming in just behind the 10900K which has 10 cores.


PCMark 10 is a great test because it tests things like video calls, browser performance, excel, and word performance to give an idea of real-world performance. It tends to like higher clock speeds and that is clear when you see that the 10900K is still at the top. But the 5600X still did well, outperforming the 9900K and getting closer to the 10900K even with its lower boost clock speed.


Dolphin 5.0 is a Wii emulator and like most emulators, it doesn’t care about high core counts at all. In fact, it only runs two in total. Clock speeds are king here, in addition to Dolphin favoring Intel in general. But the IPC improvements for Zen 3 have the 5600X all the way up in the top few, competing with the 9900K and 10900K.


Before diving into game testing I wanted to check out synthetic performance using 3DMark Fire Strike, focusing specifically on the Physics Score which is CPU dependent. Here the 5600X wasn’t running with the 10900K but it did outperform the 3700X which it was running with previously and it well above the 10600K.


For in-game performance testing on the 5600X, I ran it through a variety of new and old games. TF2, for example, is an oldie but a goodie which at this point is highly limited by CPU performance. The TF2 performance blew me away with the 5600X coming in 16 FPS ahead of the 10900K, even with a lower boost clock speed. You can see the IPC improvements made a big difference in gaming performance compared to the last generation of Ryzen CPUs with even the higher end 3900X coming in well behind the 5600X in all of the games. Some of the games do still have the last few 4.9/5.0GHz flagship CPUs out ahead but we do have to keep in mind the 5600X isn’t AMD's flagship Zen 3 CPU. Its 4.6GHz boost clocks are good, but the 4.9GHz of the 5950X for example is going to do even better with IPC performance. What we are seeing here is the gap getting very small on a lot of the games tested and with TF2 Ryzen passing Intel.







I did also run the whole series of tests in AIDA64 which let us take a look at aspects like memory speeds, latency, and cache performance. There are so many results though I am unable to graph them all and keep them readable but they are an important look at some of the changes we have seen generation to generation that explain the improvements in gaming and programs. AMD has L1, L2, and L3 cache levels depending on the core count. So for L1 each core gets 32 KiB for data and the same for instructions, For L2 each core has 512 KiB per core, and then for L3 the 5600X and 5800X have 32 MiB and the 5900X and 5950X both have 32 MiB per CCD which they have two of. L1 and L2 were done the same on Zen 2 CPUs as well and you can see how they scale up at the models add more cores. So it's not a surprise that the 5600X performs a little lower on those tests, at least the L1 test. For L2 it is surprisingly close to the 10900K even with the lower cache amount. Memory performance seems unchanged from the 3000 series CPUs. But then we see the IPC improvements on the last page with tests like the single and double precision FLOPS and the Integer IOPS tests. The Integer IOPS tests are WAY ahead of all of the 3000 Series CPUs and right with the top-end Intel 10900K which is impressive.





Power Usage and Temperatures

With the new Zen 3 architecture, I was also curious about both power usage and temperatures. Both are important in smaller builds which I tend to prefer but even in big builds, we have reached the point where cooling performance plays a big role in overall performance. Over the last few generations, I’ve even had to move to doing all CPU testing with an AIO cooler because of the difference in performance it makes. Which I hate having to do because I feel like the standard in cooling should be a larger air cooler with an AIO being an optional upgrade.

The 5600X has a listed TDP of 65 watts. So to check out performance I did a few of our normal tests but I also did some other testing as well. I first took a look at overall power usage. For this, I tested the total system draw of our test bench at idle, while under load in wPrime, and again using the AIDA64 FPU stress test. The idle performance I saw was around 86 watts which isn’t great but is similar to what I saw with last generation's Ryzen CPUs. The wPrime test brought the total system up to 147 watts which isn’t bad actually but was a little higher than the 3600X. This is still 14 watts lower than the Intel 10600K and interestingly enough right with the 3700X which has performed right with the 5600X in non-IPC dependent tests. Using AIDA64’s FPU Stress Test the wattage was at 149 which is close to the wPrime result and here the 5600X did much better than the 3700X and even came in below the 3600X.



For thermal testing, I again ran the AIDA64 Stress Test on the FPU setting. I did this testing twice, once with the Noctua NH-U12S that I normally test with and again with the Corsair H100i. In the past, I only tested with the Noctua but given that I’ve gotten to the point that for performance you need the AIO did need to do both. The 5600X ran a lot cooler than I thought it would, running at only 70c with the air cooler, though with that same cooler I also saw lower performance across the board as well. The AIO gives a better idea with all of the CPUs being tested being able to boost clock freely. Here the 5600X reached 67c which remember with the air cooler it was at 70c, which further shows that it was boosting less with the air cooler. 67c was less than the i5-10600K and WELL below the 10900K which ran extremely hot.




Overall and Final Verdict

It's been a long crazy road from years ago when AMD was pushing out Bulldozer based CPUs, to the launch of Ryzen, and now with the new Zen 3 based CPUs, they have finally caught up with Intel on the IPC side of things. This was the final thing needed to push Ryzen over the edge as their price and performance has been amazing with just single-core performance holding them back. In my testing, the 5600X which is AMD's lowest-end Zen 3 CPU right now performed near the top of the charts across the board. Even blowing Intel’s flagship 10900K away in TF2 which has had Intel at the top forever now. The 5600X was ahead in every one of the single-core or single thread tests I ran, even though the 6 cores weren’t enough to pass some of the high thread count CPUs in the highly multi-core tests.

Beyond the performance, the Ryzen 5 5600X did well for power usage as well as temperatures when compared to the i5-10600K. The 5600X even comes with the Wraith Stealth cooler where the 10600K doesn’t come with a cooler at all. One of my only complaints and this isn’t exclusive to the 5600X at all, but I do wish that you wouldn’t need to run an expensive 240mm AIO cooler to see the best possible performance out of the CPU. But do keep that in mind, if you run the included cooler or any air cooler that isn’t huge you will be giving up a little bit in performance. It won’t overheat, Ryzen CPUs do a great job of keeping that under control.

Beyond that, the other downside to the Ryzen 5 5600X is the availability and again this isn’t exclusive to the 5600X at all. Like all of the new GPUs and both new game consoles, the new Zen 3 CPUs are just extremely hard to find. So I guess us being late to the Zen 3 coverage isn’t all bad. A lot of people will be looking for them going into the new year. Especially with the MSRP that AMD has given the 5600X. It comes in at $299 which is a little higher than the i5-10600K which is $269. But you do get a cooler and more importantly it blows the 10600K out of the water in nearly every performance test. This is the new sweet spot for gamers in my opinion. Once availability free’s up you will be able to build a monster gaming PC for half of the cost that PS5s are being scalped for currently and for less than one RTX 3090 would run you.


Living Pricing: HERE





Author Bio
Author: garfi3ldWebsite: https://lanoc.org
You might call him obsessed or just a hardcore geek. Wes's obsession with gaming hardware and gadgets isn't anything new, he could be found taking things apart even as a child. When not poking around in PC's he can be found playing League of Legends, Awesomenauts, or Civilization 5 or watching a wide variety of TV shows and Movies. A car guy at heart, the same things that draw him into tweaking cars apply when building good looking fast computers. If you are interested in writing for Wes here at LanOC you can reach out to him directly using our contact form.

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