AMD Ryzen 5 2600X Review

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A mid-range processor, the AMD Ryzen 5 2600X, was first introduced more than two years ago. It is based on AMD’s Zen+ microarchitecture, which represents a minor but significant advancement over Zen. When compared to first-gen chips, it features a design that is more power-efficient, which results in faster performance, and the memory support is noticeably better.

The Wraith Spire cooler, which is included with the chip’s retail version, is more than capable of keeping it cool at factory settings. Although you’ll need to spend extra money on an aftermarket cooler if you really want to try for this, it is unlocked if you want to try your hand at overclocking.

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The 3600X, which uses the outstanding Zen 2 architecture, has supplanted the 2600X. The 2600X is still a fairly strong processor on its own, though. The Ryzen 3 3300X from AMD, which costs $120 and only has four cores and eight threads, is also available now. Finding one to buy is the only challenge you have.

The Intel Core i5 9400F, which costs around the same and has the same number of cores but no hyperthreading, has half as many threads and has trouble keeping up with multi-threaded applications.

AMD Ryzen 5 2600X Specifications

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Although AMD currently utilizes Zen+ terminology to reflect the architecture’s numerous advancements, Ryzen 2000-series processors, also known by their Pinnacle Ridge code name, are based on the same fundamental Zen core design as earlier models. Eight physical cores are produced by the dual-CCX design that the CPUs continue to use and are connected by Infinity Fabric. All eight of the cores in the top Ryzen 7 2700X are working. AMD disables two in the Ryzen 5 2600X, resulting in a system with six cores, 12 threads, and an unlocked ratio multiplier.

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As previously reported, Ryzen 5 2600X costs $230(on release) and replaces Ryzen 5 1600X, which cost $220 (on release). It fills the void left by the Core i5-8600K and the Core i5-8400, forcing Intel’s recently unveiled Core i5-8600 to compete with it. Even though we don’t currently have that model in our lab, the two closest rivals with offices in Coffee Lake are represented in today’s benchmark charts.

What do you get for the additional $10 in terms of performance? Similar to Ryzen 5 1600X, AMD Ryzen 5 2600X has a 3.6 GHz base clock and a slightly faster 4.2 GHz Precision Boost 2 frequency (+200 MHz). Although it might appear insignificant, our benchmarks demonstrate that the increases in threaded workloads are rather noticeable. The 2600X has the same 95W TDP and 16MB of L3 cache as its predecessor.

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AMD now includes coolers with its more expensive Ryzen X-series processors, despite not including thermal solutions with the earlier Ryzen X-series processors. On the one hand, it’s wonderful that the thermal design power of the 2600X and the 95W Wraith Spire cooler line up perfectly. On the other hand, we don’t anticipate the combo to offer much overclocking headroom.

Both the new X470 and older 300-series motherboards can accept Ryzen 5 2600X. As usual, AMD permits overclocking on budget-friendly B-series boards as well. Additionally, 400-series B-models will definitely provide a more affordable overclocking option even though they aren’t yet available.

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Similar to Ryzen 7 2700X, the AMD Ryzen 5 2600X is officially capable of supporting DDR4-2933 RAM. This surpasses the DDR4-2666 ceiling provided by Intel for Coffee Lake (with a few caveats). Additionally, AMD continues to use Indium solder to enhance thermal transfer performance between the Ryzen 5 die and heat spreader. Additionally, as we noted in our Ryzen 7 2700X review, these new CPUs feature StorMI Technology, a software-based tiering solution that combines the speed of an SSD, 3D XPoint (including Intel’s Optane components), or even up to 2GB of RAM, with the cheap cost and high capacity of a hard drive.

AMD Ryzen 5 2600X Specs

PlatformBoxed Processor
# of CPU Cores6
Base Clock3.6 GHz
L3 Cache16MB
Unlocked for OverclockingYes
Thermal Solution (MPK)Wraith Spire
*OS SupportWindows 11 – 64-Bit EditionWindows 10 – 64-Bit EditionRHEL x86 64-BitUbuntu x86 64-Bit
Product FamilyAMD Ryzen™ Processors
# of Threads12
L1 Cache576KB
Default TDP95W
CPU SocketAM4
Max. Operating Temperature (Tjmax)95°C
Product LineAMD Ryzen™ 5 Desktop Processors
Max. Boost ClockUp to 4.2GHz
L2 Cache3MB
Processor Technology for CPU Cores12nm FinFET
Thermal Solution (PIB)Wraith Spire
Launch Date04/19/2018

AMD Ryzen 5 2600X Gaming & Performance

Since the variance between benchmark runs is normally within 1-2 percent, there isn’t much of a difference between the 2600X and the 2700X—just it’s noise. With a 10 percent advantage in average framerate and an 11 percent advantage in lowest framerate (97 percentile frametime average), Core i5-8400 proves to be demonstrably faster, although the advantage is not insurmountable.

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If you switch to 1440p or downgrade to a GTX 1070 or 1080, the margin will often disappear completely unless you do benchmarks; even 10% is already on the edge. Please take note that after the 2700X review, I’ve retested a few of the titles (specifically, KCD, Civ6, and Hitman, due to updates and other factors invalidating the earlier results).

The possibility of performance being impacted by other background tasks is also a concern. What happens if you’re watching a YouTube or Twitch video while livestreaming or using a secondary display? These are valid concerns that I intend to look into more, but for the time being, we have the existing findings, with Intel having a slight advantage. The i5-8400 is still a sensible choice for mainstream gaming rigs given that it also costs less.

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The variations outside of games frequently depend on the software you use. Since the 2700X review here, I’ve also revised my testing methods, switching to a more recent version of 7-zip and using a new test set that scales better with multi-core CPUs. The VeraCrypt AES benchmark result is also included because it is used more frequently than some of the other cryptographic algorithms (and modern CPUs have AES instructions to improve its performance).

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Numerous CPU-intensive tasks are available for testing. Video editing and encoding are the most common and are most likely to be utilized by “regular” people; to depict this work, I used Handbrake 1.1.0 64-bit with H.264 and H.265 encoding. Since it effectively uses AVX (and even AVX512, if your CPU supports it), H.265 ultimately advantages Intel CPUs while H.264 strongly favors the Ryzen 5 2600X. Although H.264 is currently more prevalent, H.265 will probably become more prevalent in the future.

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You’ll discover that Ryzen 5 2600X and Core i5-8400 are essentially tied overall. Although some apps may favor AMD while others will favor Intel, overall performance across a wide range of software will be comparable. The 2600X has a six percent advantage if you prioritize multi-threaded apps, but again, this depends on the particular multi-threaded applications you use. Compiling code is a type of program that I did not test. Other websites demonstrate that Ryzen scales quite well and outperforms Intel once more, which is understandable given that code compilation is typically more integer intensive—AVX won’t help.

AMD Ryzen 5 2600X Final Thoughts

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When compared to the Ryzen 5 1600X, the AMD Ryzen 5 2600X gives a good little performance improvement. It isn’t as substantial and extensive as the 2700X is to the 1700X, but it is a step in the right direction with just a little die-shrinking and tweaking. Ryzen has grown and developed; the sum of all of these improvements, including lower latency, greater memory support, a faster base clock, and larger turbo bins, is Ryzen 2000. It is a collection of extremely quick threading processors.

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AMD Ryzen 5 2600X: Unveiling the Pros and Cons of a Processor Powerhouse

The AMD Ryzen 5 2600X stands as a formidable contender in the realm of processors, boasting a blend of performance, efficiency, and affordability. As we dissect its attributes, we’ll navigate through the pros and cons that define this CPU, providing you with a comprehensive overview to aid in your decision-making process.

Pros

  1. Performance Prowess:
  • The Ryzen 5 2600X impresses with its six-core, twelve-thread configuration, delivering robust multitasking capabilities. Its base clock speed of 3.6 GHz and the ability to boost up to 4.2 GHz ensure a swift and responsive computing experience.
  1. Zen+ Architecture:
  • Built on the Zen+ architecture, this processor inherits improvements over its predecessor, featuring enhanced Precision Boost technology and increased cache sizes. These refinements contribute to a more efficient and powerful performance.
  1. Wraith Spire Cooler:
  • Bundled with the Wraith Spire cooler, the Ryzen 5 2600X offers reliable thermal management without the immediate need for an aftermarket cooling solution. This not only adds value but also ensures stable temperatures during operation.
  1. Unlocked Multiplier:
  • Overclocking enthusiasts will appreciate the unlocked multiplier, providing the flexibility to tweak clock speeds for additional performance gains. This feature caters to users who seek to push the processor beyond its stock capabilities.
  1. Affordable Price Point:
  • Positioned at a budget-friendly price point, the Ryzen 5 2600X delivers remarkable value for its performance capabilities. It competes favorably with processors in higher price tiers, making it an attractive choice for cost-conscious consumers.
  1. Compatibility with AM4 Socket:
  • The processor is compatible with the widely adopted AM4 socket, ensuring a broad range of motherboard options. This compatibility adds versatility and simplifies the upgrade process for users with existing AM4-compatible systems.
  1. Simultaneous Multithreading (SMT):
  • With SMT support, the processor efficiently handles parallel workloads by allowing each core to execute two threads simultaneously. This contributes to improved multitasking and responsiveness in applications optimized for multithreading.
  1. Energy Efficiency:
  • The 12nm manufacturing process enhances energy efficiency, striking a balance between performance and power consumption. This feature is particularly advantageous for users aiming to build energy-conscious systems without compromising on performance.
  1. Wide Software Optimization:
  • As AMD processors gain broader acceptance, software developers are optimizing applications to harness the potential of Ryzen CPUs. This trend ensures that the Ryzen 5 2600X remains relevant and performs well across a spectrum of software.

Cons

  1. Integrated Graphics Limitations:
  • The Ryzen 5 2600X lacks integrated graphics, requiring users to invest in a dedicated graphics card. While common in gaming or enthusiast setups, it may be a drawback for those seeking a processor with integrated graphics for basic tasks.
  1. Competition from Successors:
  • With the release of newer Ryzen processors, the Ryzen 5 2600X faces competition from its successors within the Ryzen lineup. While it still offers commendable performance, users may be tempted by the enhanced features and capabilities of newer models.
  1. Potential Overkill for Basic Users:
  • For users engaging in basic computing tasks without pushing the processor’s limits, the Ryzen 5 2600X might be considered overkill. In such scenarios, a more budget-friendly processor could fulfill the requirements without unnecessary performance headroom.
  1. Limited PCIe 3.0 Lanes:
  • The Ryzen 5 2600X provides 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes, which might be limiting for users with extensive connectivity needs, such as multiple high-speed NVMe SSDs and GPUs. Users with specific requirements in this regard may find processors with more PCIe lanes more suitable.
  1. Dependency on Fast RAM:
  • To unlock the full potential of the Ryzen architecture, fast RAM is recommended. While this is not a unique drawback to the Ryzen 5 2600X, users should be aware that optimal performance may require an additional investment in high-speed memory modules.

Conclusion

In the realm of mid-range processors, the AMD Ryzen 5 2600X emerges as a compelling choice, blending performance, affordability, and overclocking potential. Its array of cores, precision boost technology, and compatibility make it suitable for a diverse range of users.

However, considerations such as the absence of integrated graphics and competition from newer models should guide users in aligning the processor with their specific needs and expectations. Whether you’re a multitasking enthusiast, a budget-conscious builder, or an overclocking aficionado, the Ryzen 5 2600X offers a commendable balance of features for an enriching computing experience.

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