The Ryzen 5 5600X is the most affordable of the Zen 3 family, and comes hot on the heels of our Ryzen 9 5900X and Ryzen 7 5800X reviews. If there’s one serious criticism of AMD’s Zen 3 so far it’s that the chips are a bit on the pricey side. This is less of a problem at the high-end, where time is money and high performance can claw back time, but as you head down the stack and focus more on gaming, the pay off needs to be more immediate.
Basically a good gaming CPU shouldn’t cost as much as a whole system.
Enter then the 5600X. While you couldn’t really call $299 a budget CPU, it is a more manageable mainstream price point that has historically seen plenty of competition. Currently you’re looking at the likes of the Core i7 10700K, which can be had for around $375, while a more direct comparison can be made with the Core i5 10600K, that will set you back $275.
As with the other Zen 3 chips, this update to the 3600X has seen a $50 price increase, although unlike the other chips, you do still get a cooler with this one. This gives it the value edge over Intel’s offerings (which don’t ship with coolers), all other things being equal.
The AMD Ryzen 5 5600X is a surprisingly awesome gaming chip. It’s not the monster in serious workloads that the more expensive chips are, but then this does only have six cores and 12 threads to play with. It’ll still see you fine if you want to dabble in 3D rendering, video encoding, and the like, but if that’s your focus, then you’re going to have to spend more.
It’s definitely in gaming where the Ryzen 5 5600X shines. It’s comparable to the Ryzen 9 5900X and Ryzen 7 5800X, but it costs significantly less than either of those, rolling in as it does at $299. This is a chip for anyone that enjoys gaming. It’ll trade blows with anything Intel has to offer, and keep your graphics card sated.
The cooler is fine for stock performance, although the way that Precision Boost 2.0 works means that you won’t hit the full potential of the 5600X until you throw a beefier cooler at it. This really only matters for serious number crunching, because in testing it didn’t hold back game performance at all, which is great news from a value for money perspective.
Overall, this is another win for the Zen 3 architecture and for AMD. Sure it’s $50 more than we would have like, but the inclusion of the cooler helps offset this. The more important win is for us gamers: we don’t have to pay over the odds for great gaming performance.