So with all of our tests in the bag, where does this leave us? Despite the worry over its reduced TDP and relatively slow performance in content creation, the Ryzen 5 7600 is surprisingly similar to the 7600X where it counts - in gaming. We saw a maximum of a seven percent difference between the two CPUs, but normally this was far closer, in the region of one to three percent. That makes the $230/£230 Ryzen 7600 the obvious value choice, especially as you get the AMD Wraith Stealth cooler in the box - something that wasn't provided with the 7600X.
We also saw slightly higher than average improvements from faster RAM, but the best pick here is still the base DDR5 spec - 4800MT/s. Faster RAM does show performance benefits in some titles, but with DDR5-6000 costing around £40 more for a 16GB kit than equivalent DDR5-4800, we're still not quite at the point that it makes sense - especially for a presumably budget-focused build.
While we now have a good understanding of the performance of the Ryzen 5 7600, there are still questions to be answered, namely over the performance of other 65W CPUs in the lineup, the 7700 and the 7900. Sadly we haven't been able to test the CPUs for launch, but I have a sneaking suspicion that we might see larger performance differentials against their 'X' counterparts, given the fact that the 7700 and 7900 might have more difficulty fitting within that nominal 65W spec.
For now though, if motherboard and DDR5 prices can come down, then the 7600 could become a nice pickup for anyone looking for a good value, mid-range and relatively future-proof system - with room to slip in a 7950X, 7950X3D or even a theoretical 8950X3D for a big performance improvement later on.
Great AM4 CPUs like the Ryzen 5600 and 5800X3D (and Intel's lower-tier 12th/13th-gen offerings) remain the best value propositions in the here and now, thanks in no small part to their cheaper motherboards and RAM, but the tide of price/performance is slowly shifting to the new generation - and that's exciting to see.
AMD Ryzen 5 7600 analysis
- Introduction, test rig and content creation benchmarks
- Gaming benchmarks: Flight Simulator 2020, Hitman 3
- Gaming benchmarks: Counter-Strike: GO, Metro Exodus EE, Black Ops Cold War
- Gaming benchmarks: Cyberpunk 2077, Far Cry 6, Crysis 3 Remastered
- Gaming benchmarks: Memory bandwidth analysis
- AMD Ryzen 5 7600: the Digital Foundry verdict [this page]
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