Ryzen 5 3600X: performance analysis

Assassin's Creed Odyssey, Battlefield 5, Far Cry 5

If you've read our Ryzen 3700X and 3900X reviews, you'll be familiar with our selection of games: smaller in number than for our GPU results, but still including a wide range of engines and release dates that use gaming CPUs in very different ways. For example, older titles might rely heavily on just a few threads, while more modern games might continue to gain strength with each new core added to the mix.

From these games, we've opted for sections of gameplay that often cause lesser CPUs to dip below the 60fps threshold, even when paired with the champion-tier RTX 2080 Ti. Often, these scenes require plenty of AI calculations, on-screen geometry or extremely frequent game world updates, causing extra GPU power to go unused.

Assassin's Creed Odyssey

Assassin's Creed Odyssey is perhaps the most well-known CPU sapper from the library of recent game releases, especially when its graphics are set to their most demanding ultra high preset. CPU bottlenecking can cause an unnerving stutter here, so we recommend limiting your frame-rate to give a better chance of evenly paced frame-times, eliminating the worst of the stutter in most instances. If you continue to get periodic slowdowns, dropping your graphical settings (or fps limit) further should eventually solve the issue, as long as the stutter isn't being caused by another limitation (eg storage speed limits).

So - how does the 3600X perform? Well, at an average of 80fps at 1080p, it's within the margin of error compared to the Core i5 9600K's 81fps. Look at the worst one per cent frame-rates though, and it's a different story - the 3600X only manages 43fps here, while the 9600K hits a much more reasonable 59fps - that's 40 per cent faster. This indicates that the 3600X dips much lower than its competitor in moments of stutter or challenging scenes, despite virtually equalling it when both chips are running at full tilt.

Compared to its AMD brothers though, we see a similar story - it's within the margin of error when it comes to average fps, but its worst one per cent frame-rates are noticeably poorer. The 3700X leads here by 13 per cent, while the 3900X holds a whopping 45 per cent advantage. As you go up the tiers, you're paying for a much more consistent experience.

Assassin's Creed Odyssey: Ultra High, TAA

  • Core i9 9900K
  • Core i7 9700K
  • Core i5 9600K
  • Ryzen 9 3900X
  • Ryzen 7 3700X
  • Ryzen 5 3600X
  • Ryzen 7 2700X
  • Core i9 9900K
  • Core i7 9700K
  • Core i5 9600K
  • Ryzen 9 3900X
  • Ryzen 7 3700X
  • Ryzen 5 3600X
  • Ryzen 7 2700X

Battlefield 5

The excellent Tirailleur war story makes its return to our benchmarks once again, with our test scene consisting of the opening in-engine cinematic and several seconds of flagrant disregard for incoming fire or arboreal barriers. We first used this moment in the game for our RTX tests, and even with RTX disabled it still provides a stern challenge to top-tier CPUs.

Looking once again to the performance of the 3600X, the baby of our comparison acquits itself well. It comes just eight per cent behind the top-performing Ryzen 7 3700X, although once again worst one per cent frame-rates are substantially different with the 3700X holding a 54 per cent advantage here. The Core i5 9600K also outperforms the 3600X, with a 17 per cent advantage in terms of average frame-rate and a 55 per cent lead in worst one per cent frame-rates. At 1440p and 4K, the impact of the CPU is lessened, with the 3600X trailing its bigger brothers by only one or two frames on average and a correspondingly slight disadvantage in worst one per cent frame-rates.

Battlefield 5: Ultra, RTX off

  • Core i9 9900K
  • Core i7 9700K
  • Core i5 9600K
  • Ryzen 9 3900X
  • Ryzen 7 3700X
  • Ryzen 5 3600X
  • Ryzen 7 2700X
  • Core i9 9900K
  • Core i7 9700K
  • Core i5 9600K
  • Ryzen 9 3900X
  • Ryzen 7 3700X
  • Ryzen 5 3600X
  • Ryzen 7 2700X
  • Core i9 9900K
  • Core i7 9700K
  • Core i5 9600K
  • Ryzen 9 3900X
  • Ryzen 7 3700X
  • Ryzen 5 3600X
  • Ryzen 7 2700X

Far Cry 5

The fifth main-line Far Cry title moves the action to rural Hope County and incorporates one of our favourite benchmarks: suitably challenging, surprisingly relaxing and quick to run. The game hasn't been engineered to take full advantage of multi-core CPUs though, with a primary thread doing most of the heavy lifting here. That caused past-gen Ryzen CPUs to face a severe disadvantage, but third-gen Ryzen's instruction-per-clock (IPC) improvements should see it more competitive than ever.

In actuality, while third-gen chips do see solid improvements over their forbears, Intel still holds a commanding lead here with significantly higher average frame-rates, to the tune of a 20 per cent lead for the 9600K over the 3600X. The good news for 3600X owners is that the chip is effectively tied with the more expensive 3700X here at 1080p, while offering better worst one per cent frame-rates than all but the 9900K in Intel's lineup. Move to 1440p, and Intel's frame-rate advantage drops to just 10 per cent, and at 4K it disappears.

Far Cry 5: Ultra, TAA

  • Core i9 9900K
  • Core i7 9700K
  • Core i5 9600K
  • Ryzen 9 3900X
  • Ryzen 7 3700X
  • Ryzen 5 3600X
  • Ryzen 7 2700X
  • Core i9 9900K
  • Core i7 9700K
  • Core i5 9600K
  • Ryzen 9 3900X
  • Ryzen 7 3700X
  • Ryzen 5 3600X
  • Ryzen 7 2700X
  • Core i9 9900K
  • Core i7 9700K
  • Core i5 9600K
  • Ryzen 9 3900X
  • Ryzen 7 3700X
  • Ryzen 5 3600X
  • Ryzen 7 2700X

AMD Ryzen 5 3600X analysis

Read the Eurogamer.net reviews policy

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. For more information, go here.

Jump to comments (37)

About the author

Will Judd

Will Judd

Senior Staff Writer, Digital Foundry

A bizarre British-American hybrid, Will turns caffeine into technology articles through a little-known process called 'writing'. His favourite games are Counter-Strike, StarCraft and Fallout 2.

Related

You may also enjoy...

Comments (37)

Comments for this article are now closed. Thanks for taking part!

Hide low-scoring comments
Order
Threading