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AMD Ryzen 5 7600 review: at what cost?

A new cheaper entry-point to the Ryzen 7000 family.

A few days ago, AMD announced a trio of cheaper Ryzen 7000 CPUs at its CES 2023 showcase, featuring more modest 65W TDPs, bundled air coolers and a release date of January 10th. One of these CPUs, the $230/£230 Ryzen 5 7600, has made it to DF HQ where we've put it through our full test suite of the most processor-intensive games. Is this a cheaper entry point to the Ryzen 7000 family with effectively zero compromises, a la the Ryzen 5 5600, or are there still some reasons that you'd consider the more expensive Ryzen 5 7600X?

After all, the Ryzen 7000 'X' processors we've tested so far have demonstrated a larger than average gen-on-gen improvement, as a result of not only the new Zen 4 architecture, but also the switch to the AM5 socket, which can deliver more power - up to 230W. One of the reasons that the Ryzen 5600 is so strong compared to the Ryzen 5600X is that it operates at the same 65W TDP, with the same overclocking tools and Precision Boost 2 algorithm working to maximise performance. Here though, we're dropping from a 105W TDP with the 7600X to a 65W TDP with the 7600 - so it makes sense to imagine a performance differential beyond what the 200MHz drop in boost clocks would suggest.

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You can see that in the full spec table for Ryzen 7000 below. As a reminder, each of these Zen 4 designs benefits from a range of improvements over their Zen 3 counterparts, with a quoted 13 percent uptick to instructions-per-clock (IPC) and more internal improvements, like an improved execution engine and a better branch predictor. There's also DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 support, with 5nm CCDs and a 6nm I/O die, alongside the new AM5 socket we mentioned earlier - which unlocks additional power and performance, but also requires a new motherboard and potentially new cooling too.

CPU design Boost Base L3 cache TDP RRP
Ryzen 9 7950X3D Zen 4 16C/32T 5.7GHz 4.2GHz 128MB 170W TBA
Ryzen 9 7950X Zen 4 16C/32T 5.7GHz 4.5GHz 64MB 170W $699/£739
Ryzen 9 7900X3D Zen 4 12C/24T 5.6GHz 4.4GHz 132MB 120W TBA
Ryzen 9 7900X Zen 4 12C/24T 5.6GHz 4.7GHz 64MB 170W $549/£579
Ryzen 9 7900 Zen 4 12C/24T 5.3GHz 3.7GHz 64MB 65W $429
Ryzen 7 7800X3D Zen 4 8C/16T 5GHz 4.XGHz 96MB 120W TBA
Ryzen 7 7700X Zen 4 8C/16T 5.4GHz 4.5GHz 32MB 105W $399/£419
Ryzen 7 7700 Zen 4 8C/16T 5.3GHz 3.8GHz 32MB 65W $329
Ryzen 5 7600X Zen 4 6C/12T 5.3GHz 4.7GHz 32MB 105W $299/£319
Ryzen 5 7600 Zen 4 6C/12T 5.1GHz 3.8GHz 32MB 65W $229

For our testing, we're using the same setup as featured in our 7700X and 7950X review last week. That means an ASRock X670E Taichi motherboard, G.Skill Trident Z5 Neo DDR5-6000 CL30 RAM and Asus' RTX 3090 Strix OC for our graphics card. Cooling is provided by a 240mm Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora AiO, which is happily compatible with the new AM5 socket.

For storage, we're using three PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSDs to hold all of our games - a 4TB Kingston KC3000, a 1TB PNY XLR8 CS3140 and a 1TB Crucial P5 Plus. Our rig was completed with a 1000W Corsair RM1000x power supply.

As before, we're using using a pre-22H2 version of Windows 11, as this seems to offer the best performance for Ryzen 7000 processors. We're also using the latest BIOS for our ASRock X670E Taichi motherboard at the time testing took place, version 1.14.AS06.

For testing other platforms, we used an Asus ROG Crosshair 8 Hero for Ryzen 5000 testing, an Asus ROG Maximus Z590 Hero for 11th-gen Intel testing, an Asus ROG Z690 Maximus Hero for 12th-gen testing, and a Gigabyte Z790 Aorus Master for 13th-gen testing; all of these are high-end boards for their respective platforms. DDR4 motherboards used G.Skill 3600MT/s CL16 memory, the sweetspot for DDR4, while DDR5 motherboards used DDR5-6000 CL30 as noted previously.

Before we get into the gaming benchmarks that make up pages two to five, let's set the scene with some quick content creation benchmarks: a Cinebench R20 3D render and a Handbrake video transcode.

We can immediately see that there's a fair difference between the 105W 7600X and the 65W 7600, with a six to eight percent higher score in Cinebench R20 depending on whether you're looking at the single-core or multi-core result. However, the 7600's performance in both respects is still healthily clear of the last-gen 5600X, with a 17 percent single-core and 25 percent multi-core improvement - so we're still getting a noticeably faster processor here, it's just a half-step behind the 7600X.

Our Handbrake video transcode test results are a similar story, with the 7600's lower TDP and 200MHz lower rated boost clocks contributing to an eight percent performance lead for 7600X over 7600 in terms of both h.264 and h.265 (HEVC) encoding. Again, we're still comfortably ahead of the fastest six-core Ryzen 5000 part here, with performance that's closest to the eight-core Ryzen 7 5800X3D or Ryzen 7 5800X models.

CB R20 1T CB R20 MT HB h.264 HB HEVC HEVC Power Use
Ryzen 9 7950X 798 14837 105.15fps 45.10fps 368W
Ryzen 9 7900X 791 11324 79.38fps 33.77fps 288W
Ryzen 7 7700X 768 7894 56.69fps 25.95fps 266W
Ryzen 5 7600X 750 6063 44.35fps 20.28fps 236W
Ryzen 5 7600 706 5632 41.09fps 18.72fps 196W
Ryzen 9 5950X 637 10165 70.28fps 30.14fps 237W
Ryzen 7 5800X3D 546 5746 42.71fps 19.10fps 221W
Ryzen 7 5800X 596 6118 44.18fps 19.50fps 229W
Ryzen 5 5600X 601 4502 31.75fps 14.43fps 160W
Core i9 13900K 873 15570 104.67fps 41.20fps 473W
Core i5 13600K 767 9267 62.37fps 26.44fps 254W
Core i9 12900K 760 10416 70.82fps 29.26fps 373W
Core i7 12700K 729 8683 57.64fps 25.67fps 318W
Core i5 12600K 716 6598 44.27fps 19.99fps 223W
Core i5 12400F 652 4736 31.77fps 14.70fps 190W
Core i9 11900K 588 5902 41.01fps 18.46fps 321W
Core i5 11600K 541 4086 29.00fps 13.12fps 250W

Note that power usage, measured at the wall, does drop for the 7600 compared to the 7600X - we saw a 196W peak power draw during the h.265 encode, compared to 236W for the 7600X. That means total system power is around 20 percent lower for the 65W chip, not a bad innings - and presumably we'd see proportionally larger power savings on the 7700 versus the 7700X and the 7900 versus the 7900X.

Now, let's get into the fun stuff - the games. We've tested a range of titles, so pick out your favourites from the links below or just hit that next page button to continue the journey.

AMD Ryzen 5 7600 analysis