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AMD Ryzen 5 7600 review: at what cost?

What difference does RAM speed make?

After taking a closer look at DDR4 versus DDR5 in analyses past, it's now time to focus entirely on DDR5. We've actually done more RAM testing than normal for a CPU review, as our previous Intel 12th-gen results were based on a DDR5-5200 system but AMD recommended DDR5-6000 for our Ryzen 7000 testing... so we ended up testing both frequencies for our previous CPU reviews, adding quite a bit to the total runs required but hopefully providing some useful data in the process.

You've therefore seen the performance differential between 5200MT/s and 6000MT/s on all the games we've tested so far, so let's start this section with a new title: Ashes of the Singularity Escalation. This is a great DX12 game with a benchmark that greatly depends on CPU performance, with fast RAM typically offering a noticeable performance improvement. We see the biggest difference between the 7600 and 7600X here - seven percent! - but the focus here is the RAM performance. We see a five percent increase for DDR5-4800 to DDR5-5200, or around 11 percent from DDR5-4800 to DDR5-6000. That's among the largest increase we've seen for faster RAM, but as we'll see this not always typical.

Ashes of the Singularity: CPU Test

Far Cry 6 is a game that is quite single-threaded, with a lot of processing limited to a single thread, so it's a good test of how faster RAM affects performance in this sort of a more thread-naïve title. We see a fairly tiny shift from 4800 to 5200MT/s, but then a bigger jump to 6000MT/s good for about six percent extra performance.

Far Cry 6: Ultra, TAA

Crysis 3 Remastered's benchmark turns in very reliable and repeatable performance, making it a good choice for seeing even minor performance variations. Improvements here measurable, especially between 4800MT/s and 6000MT/s, but the 2.5 percent maximum performance gain observed means that faster RAM isn't worth the extra cash - at least in terms of running Crysis 3!

Crysis 3 Remastered: Very High, RTX, DLSS Perf

So again, DDR5-6000 as an upgrade path proves highly situational, with some games where it is nearly worthwhile (Cyberpunk 2077, Ashes of the Singularity, Flight Simulator 2020), but many others where it's more or less irrelevant (Crysis 3 Remastered, Hitman 3, Metro Exodus EE, CS:GO). For that reason, our recommendation remains as it has been for our other Ryzen 7000 content: don't overpay for faster DDR5, put the money towards a better GPU or CPU instead as this will make a much bigger difference to your frame-rates.

AMD Ryzen 5 7600 analysis

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About the Author
Will Judd avatar

Will Judd

Deputy Editor, 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. Will also tweets the latest tech deals at @DigitalFoundry.

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