AMD Ryzen 5 3600X vs AMD Ryzen 5 2600X : Which CPU should you buy in 2019?
The Ryzen 5 2600X was launched last year and still holds its ground even though the Ryzen 5 3600X is out and when it comes to gaming the 3600X is clearly the champion for mid to high level builds.
Both the Ryzen 5 2600X and Ryzen 5 3600X are similar CPUs though, but the 3rd generation comes with a newer architecture and 7nm manufacturing process, which brings improved performance and efficiency. The 2600X is still a great deal is you want to save some money for your new build but since it is already 1 year old, it does not support the new tech such as PCIe 4.0 and other improvements that come with the Ryzen 3000 series.
Spec wise both CPUs come with 6 cores, 12 threads, same TDP of 95W, both are overclockable and here is where the similarities end (see more details below).
The Ryzen 5 3600X is the clear winner specwise, and while it comes with the same core count as the older brother, it has faster clock speeds, double the amount of cache and supports PCIe 4.0.
The drowbacks of the Ryzen 3600X are of course the price as it is almost $90 more expensive than the Ryzen 5 2600X, and the fact that the newer series need faster RAM to take advantage of its full potential, meaning that you need to look for more expensive RAM modules that are capable of hiting 3200MHz or more. It is not the end of the world if you don’t get these kind of RAM though, but do note that performance will suffer because of it.
The 2600X also benefits from faster RAM but a 3000 MHz kit (which is common now) will be enough to squeze all the performance out of it.
You have to look at the 3600X as an improvement of the 2600X, because it takes what made the 2600X a great CPU and further enchances everything. AMD did a great job with the 3600X that it can take Intel’s Core i5 9600K heads on and win without breaking a sweat even in single-core tests.
Why the talk about the Ryzen 5 2600X?
We feel like this CPU can still live in current gaming builds and if you don’t want PCIe 4.0 support (which let’s be honnest we don’t need it right now), don't mind taking a very slight performance hit (around 5% in most cases), and want to save some money in the process this might be the CPU for you.
You can spend around $160 and enjoy a six-core CPU with 12 threads ready to chew through any game or productivity task you throw at it. While it's not as good as the 3600X on paper, nor does it match Intel Core-i5 counterparts, for the price it simply cannot be beaten.
So which AMD mid-tear CPU is right for you for gaming in 2019?
Well it is up to you. The 3600X is simply an awesome CPU but the 2600X is still punching hard. It all comes down to budget in the end. From our point of view, you better save some money and get a better graphics card, or an NVMe SSD. But if raw performance is your thing and you want only the best of the best parts in your new build then the 3600X will never let you down.
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