AMD Ryzen 5 5600X vs Ryzen 7 3700X - 6 or 8 Cores?

JT JT 16 December 2020
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X vs Ryzen 7 3700X - 6 or 8 Cores?

AMD’s new Ryzen 5 5600X is a great 6 core  processor, but can it’s fewer yet faster   Zen 3 cores beat the 8 in the Ryzen 7  3700X?

CPU spec differences

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X vs Ryzen 7 3700X - 6 or 8 Cores?The key difference between these CPUs is of  course the core and the thread counts. Both   have 32mb of L3 cache, but the 3700X has a little  more L2 cache. The 5600X has higher base and boost   clock speeds, and both are 65 watt parts. The  3700X is currently just $25 more than the 5600X,   but I’ve seen the 3700x under $310, and the 5600X  currently has availability issues close to launch.

Test PC specs

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X vs Ryzen 7 3700X - 6 or 8 Cores?Both processors were tested in  the same system. I’ve tested   with 32gb of DDR4-3200 memory  running in dual channel at CL14   and with MSI’s GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming X  Trio graphics card to minimize bottlenecks. Both processors come with an adequate  cooler in the box, but they’re different,   so I’ve tested with my Fractal S36 AIO with  Noctua NT-H2 thermal paste for comparable results.

Overclocks

I’ve tested both CPUs at stock, and with the  following all core overclocks applied.AMD Ryzen 5 5600X vs Ryzen 7 3700X - 6 or 8 Cores? I was able   to push the 5600X 400MHz higher than the 3700X,  granted the 3700X does have more cores to power. With that in mind we’ll first check out  the differences in various applications,   as well as power draw and thermals,  followed by gaming tests afterwards,   then finish up by comparing some  performance per dollar metrics.

Application tests

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X vs Ryzen 7 3700X - 6 or 8 Cores?Starting out with Cinebench R20 we  can see the 5600X was scoring 18%   higher in single core due to the improvements  associated with Zen 3. The 3700X was still   11% faster when it came to multicore though,  however this honestly doesn’t seem like that much   given it also has 33% more cores. Once  both are overclocked, the 3700X was only   8% ahead in multicore now, as the overclock  on the 5600X is able to go a bit further. AMD Ryzen 5 5600X vs Ryzen 7 3700X - 6 or 8 Cores?I’ve also tested the older Cinebench R15  as a lot of people still use it so you can   compare my results, the margins weren’t  too different to R20 so let’s move on.AMD Ryzen 5 5600X vs Ryzen 7 3700X - 6 or 8 Cores? I’ve tested Blender with the BMW and Classroom  benchmarks. This test makes use of all cores,   so it’s no surprise that the 3700X is completing  all tasks faster with its higher core count,   granted it was only around 15%  faster in the longer classroom test,   and a similar margin with both overclocked. AMD Ryzen 5 5600X vs Ryzen 7 3700X - 6 or 8 Cores?The V-Ray benchmark is another core heavy  rendering workload, however at stock the 3700X   was only 8% faster than the 5600X, and with both  overclocked the 3700X’s lead lowers to 6%, which   I think is a seriously impressive result when we  keep in mind that the 5600X has two less cores. AMD Ryzen 5 5600X vs Ryzen 7 3700X - 6 or 8 Cores?The Corona benchmark also uses the  processor to render out a scene,   and again the differences between the two  aren’t that big considering the 3700X’s   higher core count. It was less than 9% faster  at stock, and 8% faster with both overclocked. AMD Ryzen 5 5600X vs Ryzen 7 3700X - 6 or 8 Cores?Handbrake was used to convert one of  my 4K laptop review videos to 1080p.   Again the extra cores from the 3700X  allow it to do better, with an above   average difference here but still nothing too  large. The 3700X was completing the task 16%   faster at stock, then 12%  faster with both overclocked. AMD Ryzen 5 5600X vs Ryzen 7 3700X - 6 or 8 Cores?Adobe Premiere was used to export one  of my laptop review videos at 4K. I’ve   tested with both VBR 1 pass, which should  make better use of hardware acceleration   compared to 2 pass. The differences in 1 pass were  very small, the 3700X was only 4% faster at stock,   though in the 2 pass test it’s 12% faster. AMD Ryzen 5 5600X vs Ryzen 7 3700X - 6 or 8 Cores?I’ve also tested Adobe Premiere but  with the Puget Systems benchmark tool,   as this tests for more things like live  playback rather than just raw export times.   The 3700X was only scoring 8% higher at stock,  and just 5% higher with both overclocked, so   not too big of a difference  given this is 6 versus 8 cores. AMD Ryzen 5 5600X vs Ryzen 7 3700X - 6 or 8 Cores?Adobe Photoshop was also tested with the Puget  Systems benchmark tool. This test tends to favour   single core performance, and as we’ve seen  Zen 3 is certainly delivering in that regard,   so it was no surprise to see the 5600X  dominating this test and reaching a 17%   higher score than the 3700X at stock. AMD Ryzen 5 5600X vs Ryzen 7 3700X - 6 or 8 Cores?I’ve used 7-Zip to test compression and  decompression speeds. There was basically   no real difference in compression, the 3700X  actually backtracked a bit when overclocked   putting it behind the 5600X, however the  3700X was further ahead in decompression,   9% faster at stock and 7%  faster with the overclocks. AMD Ryzen 5 5600X vs Ryzen 7 3700X - 6 or 8 Cores?VeraCrypt was used to test AES  encryption and decryption speeds,   and this test saw the biggest difference out of  all applications in favour of the 3700X. At stock   the 3700X was over 33% faster, but then with both  overclocked this lead lowers to around 25% better,   so still a big win but the better overclock  on the 5600X allows it to gain some ground. AMD Ryzen 5 5600X vs Ryzen 7 3700X - 6 or 8 Cores?Microsoft Excel was tested using the  Hardware Unboxed large number crunch test,   and then they were both about the same at  stock, so it makes sense that the 5600X was   then faster with both overclocked due  to the superior overclocking result.AMD Ryzen 5 5600X vs Ryzen 7 3700X - 6 or 8 Cores? Like other single core tests, the 5600X  was doing better here in Geekbench single   core too. The 5600X was scoring more than 20%  higher than the 3700X at stock in single core,   and nearly 24% better with both overclocked.  The extra cores in the 3700X still give it the   win for multicore though, allowing  it to score 9% higher at stock.

Application differences - Stock

Here’s how these two processors compare  in all applications tested at stock.  AMD Ryzen 5 5600X vs Ryzen 7 3700X - 6 or 8 Cores? The 3700X was ahead in most cases, however  these are the multicore tests where the   extra cores are being taken advantage of.  The 5600X is doing significantly better   in terms of single core tests, which can  be seen towards the bottom of the graph.

Application differences - Overclocked

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X vs Ryzen 7 3700X - 6 or 8 Cores?Once both chips are overclocked  things swing over to the 5600X a bit,   as I was able to overclock  it better than the 3700X,   and this is something I’ve found possible with the  Zen 3 processors I’ve tested so far. It could of   course just be silicon lottery, but so far I’ve  been able to push Ryzen 5000 further than 3000.

Power draw, thermals, clock speeds

Here’s how total system power draw from the  wall looks with the blender test running.   AMD Ryzen 5 5600X vs Ryzen 7 3700X - 6 or 8 Cores?At stock, the 3700X system was  using about 13% more power,   and this was allowing it to complete the test  15% faster. With both overclocked though,   the 5600X was consuming more power, though  again I was able to overclock it a bit further,   and this will vary based on the voltage  you’re able to run the overclock at.

Higher power draw generally equals more heat,  and the temperatures closely matched what we   just saw in the power draw graph previously. AMD Ryzen 5 5600X vs Ryzen 7 3700X - 6 or 8 Cores? At stock the 3700X was running a little warmer,   but the 5600x temperatures really shot up with my  overclock, not too bad but it was now 10 degrees   Celsius warmer than the 3700X despite the 3700X  still completing the task faster with its 8 cores. AMD Ryzen 5 5600X vs Ryzen 7 3700X - 6 or 8 Cores?These are the clockspeeds being reached during  these same tests, so at stock the 5600X is able   to reach higher speeds. This combined with  numerous other improvements to IPC is why   the 5600X does better in single core, and when  overclocked the 5600X went a little further.

Gaming tests

Let’s get into the gaming results next, I’ve  compared both processors in 9 games at 1080p,   1440p, and 4K resolutions. The 1080p results will  of course be most useful for a CPU comparison,   I’ve just included the higher  resolutions so you can get an   idea of how little the processor starts to matter.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider was tested with  the games benchmark tool. AMD Ryzen 5 5600X vs Ryzen 7 3700X - 6 or 8 Cores?The improvement   seen at 1080p with the 5600X was one  of the best out of all titles tested,   with an average frame rate 30% higher  than the 3700X. At 1440p the 5600X is   still 15% faster, but then at 4K there’s  no difference between them, same result.

Microsoft Flight Simulator was tested  in the Sydney landing challenge. AMD Ryzen 5 5600X vs Ryzen 7 3700X - 6 or 8 Cores?  The 5600X had the biggest gains out of  all games tested in this one at both 1080p   and 1440p resolutions. Even its 1% lows were  ahead of the averages the 3700X could offer,   but again at 4K things change and there’s  really not a noticeable difference. I’ve said this before, but Zen3 is no match  for Ubisoft’s optimizations, or lack thereof.  

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey saw one of the smallest  differences regardless of resolution. AMD Ryzen 5 5600X vs Ryzen 7 3700X - 6 or 8 Cores?The   5600X was ahead for the most part, but it’s  only by a couple of frames, not a big deal.AMD Ryzen 5 5600X vs Ryzen 7 3700X - 6 or 8 Cores? Death Stranding was tested by running through  the same part of the game on both systems,   because that’s all you do for  the whole game. Like the others,   basically the same performance at 4K though a  little better 1% low from the 5600X, then at 1440p   the 5600X was 9% faster than the 3700X in  average FPS, and a larger 22% ahead at 1080p.AMD Ryzen 5 5600X vs Ryzen 7 3700X - 6 or 8 Cores? Battlefield V was tested in campaign mode,  and things were much closer together here,   however both were basically hitting  the 200 FPS frame cap at 1080p,   no major differences regardless  of the resolution in use. AMD Ryzen 5 5600X vs Ryzen 7 3700X - 6 or 8 Cores?AMD claimed some big gains with Zen3 in CS:GO so  I had to put that to the test, and sure enough the   5600X was reaching 24% higher average FPS at  1080p, 13% higher at 1440p, and even at 4K it   was still 8% ahead, though the differences in 1%  low performance were much smaller comparatively.

Red Dead Redemption 2 was tested with the games  benchmark. AMD Ryzen 5 5600X vs Ryzen 7 3700X - 6 or 8 Cores?Once more like most of the other   titles, the 5600X had a nice boost over the 3700X  at lower resolutions, with a 21% higher average   frame rate at 1080p, and 13% higher at 1440p, but  then 4K was just a couple of frames different.

Rainbow Six Siege was tested using the games  benchmark with Vulkan.AMD Ryzen 5 5600X vs Ryzen 7 3700X - 6 or 8 Cores? Again basically no   difference in average frame rate at 4K,  however the 1% low from the 5600X was 22%   faster than the 3700X, so a more stable  experience. Similar deal at 1440p, but   then at 1080p the 5600X had a 13% higher average  frame rate, with larger 26% boost seen to 1% low.AMD Ryzen 5 5600X vs Ryzen 7 3700X - 6 or 8 Cores?Far Cry New Dawn was also tested with the  games benchmark and tends to depend more on the   processor than some others from my testing, which  explains why even at 4K the 5600X is still 6%   higher in average FPS, the second biggest  difference at this resolution only behind CS:GO.

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X vs Ryzen 7 3700X - 6 or 8 Cores?Over all 9 games tested, the 5600X was around  20% faster than the 3700X in average FPS,   though this may be held back a little by the  200 FPS frame cap of battlefield V, which is   why it’s down the bottom. In any case, the 5600X  was definitely able to offer some nice gains.

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X vs Ryzen 7 3700X - 6 or 8 Cores?Stepping up to 1440p, the 5600X was still  10% faster than the 3700X on average,   though results could vary between no change to  20% depending on the specific game. Some titles   are seeing pretty nice improvements even  at this higher resolution with the 5600X.AMD Ryzen 5 5600X vs Ryzen 7 3700X - 6 or 8 Cores?At 4K the 5600X is now less than 3% faster than  the 3700X on average. The 3700X was never ahead,   but the differences at this higher  resolution just aren’t that major,   and this is because the GPU is able to get to  work making the processor selection matter less. AMD Ryzen 5 5600X vs Ryzen 7 3700X - 6 or 8 Cores?As the 5600X is both cheaper and outperforms the  3700X in all games tested, it’s no surprise that   it’s offering better value in terms of cost  per frame across all three resolutions tested,   though as mentioned earlier buying the  5600X at the moment close to launch for   this price could prove difficult  until supply issues are resolved.

Conclusion - 5600X or 3700X?

All things considered, I think the Ryzen  5 5600X offers serious gains over what   AMD had available last generation. It blows the  3700X away in games despite having fewer cores,   as 6 cores that are still fast is plenty for  gaming. It could be interesting to do this   comparison again a few years from now though,  when perhaps those extra cores might make a   bigger difference, but today if gaming is the  focus, the 5600X just makes more sense. It’s   cheaper and performs better. If you already have  the 3700X it could be worth upgrading for games,   especially if you’ve already got  a motherboard that can take Zen 3.

Outside of gaming, the 5600X wasn’t too far  behind the 3700X in multicore workloads.   Improvements in other areas just allow it  to make up significant ground over the 3700X   despite having 2 fewer cores. If you really  do need the best multicore performance though,   then the 3700X does still make more  sense there, but outside of that,   the 5600X was much better in single core  performance, and for less money, overall I   think the 5600X is the way to go for most people  who aren’t smashing all cores all the time. I’ve also compared the 5600X against  the 3600 in this video over here,   it’s definitely worth checking out if you want  to see how Zen 2 compares with Zen 3 when both   processors have the same core and thread count.

Comments (0)

    No comments yet

You must be logged in to comment.

Sign In / Sign Up