Ryzen 5 3600X: performance analysis

Crysis 3, Kingdom Come Deliverance, Metro Exodus, The Witcher 3.

Next up, we have four games that all lack an integrated benchmark: Crysis 3, Kingdom Come Deliverance, Metro Exodus and The Witcher 3. That means we need to get creative, finding a spot of gameplay that requires relatively little input (so it's repeatable many times), challenges the CPU over the GPU and doesn't take too long to capture.

Despite a few technical gremlins popping up during the capture process, we're left with some fascinating results that solidify our overall impressions of the 3600X as part of the current AMD stack and as a competitor to the Core i5 9600K.

As always, remember that you can mouse over the results in the tables below in order to get dynamically generated performance differentials between all processors, while clicking the graph swaps you into percentages, which is perhaps a more worthy metric for judging relative performance.

Crysis 3

Crysis 3 is the first game on our to-do list, with our usual GPU testing sequence on an explosive-laden train swapped out for an earlier part of the same level. Here, AI teammate Psycho lives up to his name with a particularly intense reaction to some bad news. Also, there are explosions.

It's a rare win for the 3600X here, with the AMD CPU claiming both a higher worst one per cent score and a higher average frame-rate - by 26 per cent and 3 per cent, respectively. Crysis does enjoy using plenty of CPU cores - to a point - and thrives with 12 threads available up against the 9600K's six. That said, Intel's CPUs otherwise outpace their closest AMD competitors, with the 3900X losing to the 9900K and the 3700X coming up short against the 9700K. There's not a lot in it though, and the differences slowly evaporate as resolution is ramped up.

Crysis 3: Very High, SMAA T2X

  • 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

Kingdom Come Deliverance

We always love to see future-minded graphical presets in new games, and Kingdom Come Deliverance... delivers with its ultra high option. Despite the warning messages, the game is largely playable at this setting - as long as you have a 2080 Ti - although you're unlikely to make full use of a high refresh rate monitor.

The CryEngine game shows the 9600K leading the 3600X by just nine per cent in terms of average 1080p frame-rate, but the AMD chip actually leads by the same margin when it comes to the worst one per cent score. That means you get a more stable experience on AMD, if only by a bit. The 3600X is some ways behind the 3700X and 3900X though, with these CPUs holding about a 13 per cent lead on average. That advantage shrinks to seven per cent at 1440p and disappears completely at 4K, where the 3600X run we recorded actually manages to claim the top spot - though the win sits within margin of error.

Kingdom Come Deliverance: Ultra High, SMAA

  • 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 RR
  • Core i5 9600K
  • Ryzen 9 3900X
  • Ryzen 7 3700X
  • Ryzen 5 3600X
  • Ryzen 7 2700X

Metro Exodus

This recent release seems to weirdly favour mid-tier CPUs in our testing, with the 3700X and 9700K claiming the overall performance crowns - perhaps too many threads are bad? Regardless, the trends we've observed in other titles remain in place: the 3600X is a viable choice amongst third-gen Ryzen, but Intel holds a consistent 10 to 20 per cent lead over the competition. This is largely down to performance in the more exciting latter stage of the benchmark, which see Artyom called into action when the gang discovers someone has foolishly built an encampment on top of the railroad tracks.

Metro Exodus: Ultra, DX12

  • 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

The Witcher 3

Our final title is an old favourite, The Witcher 3. While this game can somehow be shrunk down to the size of a pin to work on the Nintendo Switch, it can also challenge even high-end CPUs when played at high settings in NPC-heavy areas like Novigrad city.

The 3600X acquits itself well here, equalling the 3700X, but the Core i5 9600K remains the mid-tier performance champ with a 15 per cent average frame-rate advantage. It's a bit of a reversal if you look at the worst one per cent frame-rates though, with the AMD offering holding a strong 50 per cent lead over the competition. With frame-rates as high as they are at 1080p, you wouldn't be crazy to prefer Team Red for this one. The 3600X does even better at 1440p, with the 9600K exhibiting the same slowdowns that are largely avoided by the AMD alternative.

Witcher 3: Ultra, Post-AA, No Hairworks

  • 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

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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.

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