Recently we compared the v-year-old Ryzen v 1600 to the new Ryzen 5 5600 on an sometime B350 motherboard to see just how much of an upgrade the Zen 3 processor is — and spoiler — it’southward a massive upgrade that’s well worth it for anyone who jumped on the AM4 platform early. A no brainer, with the 5600 now down to just $175.

But what if you have the Ryzen 5 3600? This is the question many have asked the states later seeing the to a higher place results, so nosotros went back to the test demote to get for information technology. For those that missed the previous review, we’ve got a 25 game benchmark at 1080p and 1440p using the Radeon RX 6950 XT and the more mid-range 6600 XT, with SAM enabled.

The motherboard used for testing is the old MSI B350 Tomahawk using the latest BIOS revision based on the AGESA i.ii.0.7 microcode, which enables Resizable BAR support forth with support for Ryzen 5000 series processors. Then we have 32GB of DDR4-3200 CL14 dual-rank dual-aqueduct memory, and this aforementioned configuration was used for testing all Ryzen processors.

With those details out of the way, let’s go over near a dozen of the games tested and and so nosotros’ll take a look at the 25 game average.


Starting with Fortnite we see that although the Ryzen 5 3600 is plenty fast, the 5600 is much faster, boosting functioning with the 6950 XT at 1080p by a whopping 56% at 1080p.

Even with the 6600 XT, the R5 5600 was 47% faster than the 3600 at 1080p, though that margin was reduced to 16% at 1440p. Still, for Fortnite players it looks like Zen 2 is fast enough, pushing frame rates well over 250 fps on average with 1% lows of over 160 fps.

Side by side upwardly nosotros accept Assetto Corsa Competizione and here the 3600 performs really well, boosting average frame rate functioning over the original 1600 by up to 52%. Moreover, information technology was just 15% slower than the 5600 when paired with the 6950 XT at 1080p.

Big gains for Zen ii over Zen here, while Zen 3 was up to 18% faster which admittedly is nevertheless a reasonable performance advantage, but might non warrant the $175 investment in the 5600.

The Ryzen 3600 performed even ameliorate in Cyberpunk 2077 relative to the 5600, typically trailing by a 7% margin. That means it was significantly faster than the 1600 when more CPU-express with the 6950 XT. Another impressive consequence that shouldn’t meet 3600 owners in need of a 5600 upgrade.

As we’ve found previously Dying Light 2 isn’t a heavy CPU user and as a result even the Ryzen 5 1600 does well here. That said, the 3600 was meliorate when paired with high-cease GPUs as it was able to friction match the 5600 at both 1440p and 1080p using the 6950 XT.

Moving on, we accept F1 2021 and this is a game that despite running at much lower frame rates with the Ryzen 5 1600, information technology was very playable with well over 100 fps at all times. That existence the case, 3600 owners who predominantly play F1 2021 won’t feel the need to upgrade given performance hither has been additional by up to 37% over the 1600. The fact that it’due south still 32% slower than the 5600 is of no consequence given we’re talking about average frame rates in backlog of 200 fps.

The Far Cry half-dozen results are interesting as they go GPU spring speedily using the high quality preset, all the same there’south no operation difference between the 3600 and 5600, which is odd, but the functioning of Far Weep games has always been a bit foreign and don’t utilise CPUs very well. Merely when compared to the 1600, the Ryzen 3600 is up to 57% faster, which is a sizable improvement.

The Forza Horizon 5 results are more than typical. Using the 6950 XT at 1080p, the 3600 was 46% faster than the 1600 and 16% slower than the 5600. That margin is reduced to just 11% at 1440p and although that even so makes the 5600 a good bit faster, the 3600 is still averaging over 200 fps which is plenty fast.

Then with the 6600 XT, the Ryzen 3600 and 5600 are evenly matched due to the GPU limitation, though at 1080p the 3600 was 26% faster than the 1600. For those wanting to push button over 144 fps, the 3600 is more than than capable of that in Forza.

Moving on to Hitman 3, we find that the Ryzen 3600 is able to match the 5600 for the nearly part, with the exception of the 1080p data with the 6950 XT where it was 13% faster. For most playing Hitman 3 the functioning difference between the 3600 and 5600 will be minimal, only from the 1600 to the 3600, well, that’s a huge upgrade netting players upwards to 53% more performance.

The Riftbreaker was a game that actually bankrupt the Ryzen 5 1600, leading to stuttery gameplay that wasn’t at all enjoyable. The Ryzen 5 3600 is a large step upwards with far fewer frame pacing issues only the upward to 36% meliorate 1% low performance you’ll receive from the 5600 was noticeable. The Zen 3 part delivered perfectly polish performance so this is an instance where the upgrade from the 3600 to the 5600 would be worth information technology.

Next we have Rainbow Six Extraction and here the Ryzen 5 1600 had no outcome providing smooth playable operation, with at to the lowest degree 170 fps on boilerplate when paired with a high-end GPU. Needless to say, the 3600 was fine, generally matching the 5600 with the biggest margin seen at 1080p with the 6950 XT where the Zen 2 part was 8% slower.

The last game nosotros’re going to expect at the individual results for is Watch Dogs Legion. This is a CPU demanding game that tended to overwhelm the Ryzen 5 1600. The Ryzen 3600 had no issue though, keeping frame rates higher up 60 fps when functioning was CPU limited and was never more than 12% slower than the 5600.

25 Game Average

Using a high-end GPU such equally the Radeon 6950 XT at a low 1080p resolution, the Ryzen 5 3600 was on boilerplate 43% faster than the start-gen 1600, which is a massive performance uplift.

The 5600 was only 19% faster than the 3600 though, and while that is a notable improvement, we often institute little to no difference between the 2 in gaming tasks as even in this scenario some titles were GPU limited using dialed down quality settings.

Nosotros’re sure many of you could easily justify a CPU upgrade for ~nineteen% more performance on average, given for years multiple new CPU generations lead to maybe a v% functioning increase.

At present, for those gaming with a slower GPU, something along the lines of the mid-range Radeon 6600 XT, the Ryzen 3600 was on average 23% faster than the 1600 at 1080p, while the 5600 was 14% faster than the 3600. At 1440p we’re looking at single-digit margins equally performance was generally heavily GPU limited.

Here’southward a wait at the 1% low margins seen beyond all 25 games when comparing the 5600 to the 3600 with the 6950 XT at 1080p. On average the Ryzen 5600 was just 17% faster, though we did find 7 instances where the margin exceeded twenty%, with gains equally high as 59%, seen in Fortnite.

Primarily, for those playing competitive multiplayer games the upgrade to the 5600 from the 3600 will probably be worth it. Simply if y’all’re playing single player titles such as Far Cry half dozen and Dying Light 2 to cite two examples, information technology’ll make sense to stick with the 3600.

Using the 6600 XT at 1080p, nosotros notice that the margins for the 1% lows are reduced further and at present the 5600 was on average just 12% faster. Titles such equally Fortnite using competitive quality settings volition all the same profoundly benefit from the faster CPU, but around half of the games tested saw little to no performance improvement.

Zen 2 vs. Zen 3 Gaming: Upgrade or Not?

Information technology’due south pretty clear that anyone running a Zen or Zen+ processor on an old 300 series motherboard should look into snagging a new affordable Ryzen 5 5600 or Ryzen vii 5700X processor. No existent surprises here based on what nosotros’ve seen from previous testing, merely it was nevertheless cool to compare the new Ryzen 5 5600 on an old B350 motherboard with the R5 1600 and 3600.

For Zen 2 owners running something similar the Ryzen five 3600, it’s less obvious what you should do though, and in many instances the upgrade for the 5600 isn’t worth it. But once again, that will depend on the games you’re playing and how you lot play them, so that will be for you to work out.

Assuming your games are often heavily CPU limited, and so the upgrade to the 5600 will deliver large functioning gains, and if you’re looking to heave functioning outside of simply gaming then the Ryzen seven 5700X for only $300 is a smashing way of doing that.

Otherwise for truly massive gaming performance gains y’all’d exist looking more than at the 5800X3D and at the time of making this video information technology is available at the $450 MSRP, just that’s a serious investment, especially for those using older motherboards. Granted, it does work well as we’ve already shown and tested, simply when talking well-nigh larger investments nosotros experience it may also be worth waiting for AM5 to go far and assess your options so.

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