When we think of a high-performance CPU these days, it's all about the processing cores. I mean sure, 5.3 gigahertz is more than 5.0 gigahertz, but if you've only got four cores versus eight, you're getting left behind.
But that's not how things used to be. Just three short years ago, 4 cores were all you needed on the desktop, mostly because a single company decided that for you.
Why is everyone buying Ryzen 5 3600?
We're gonna see why the invisible hand of the free market thinks that the Ryzen 5 3600 is the indisputable sweet spot.
It's because it's the best bang for the buck.The Ryzen 5 3600 is currently the number one bestseller on amazon.com with third gen Ryzen in general, making up 7 of the top 10, which is just an unbelievable coup for AMD.
It's a similar story on Newegg.com with third-gen only eclipsed by previous-gen chips from both AMD and Intel that frequently end up on clearance specials.
But how did these multi-core rising CPUs come to dominate the market in the first place?
To answer this, we have to go way back to the mid-2000s. The last time that AMD was a competitive threat to Intel.
AMD had the Athlon X2 and Intel had the Core 2 Duo. And even back then the advantages of having more CPU cores in those cases, two, were mostly in making sure that background tasks wouldn't suddenly spike your CPU and grind whatever you were doing in the foreground to a screeching halt. When Phenom II flopped and AMD's disastrous FX CPUs failed to provoke a response out of Intel, the industry kind of settled into the quad core as the top of the line while software continued to play catch up.
That meant that despite multi-threading becoming more mainstream as older single-core CPUs became obsolete, most software could only really count on there being two to four cores in the typical computer sold at your local Best Buy. So that is what most games and desktop software got optimized for.
Now Intel kept going with the easy to produce and easy to remember product lineup all the way until 2017 when generational improvements became so meager that something had to give. Enter AMD Ryzen with up to double the CPU cores for roughly the same price. I mean sure, early software struggled to take advantage of the new cores not to mention AMD's unique core layout, but today this has been mostly resolved and AMD has not only caught up with Intel but have actually surpassed them in many ways.
Not that it was easy. At the root of the trouble, was GlobalFoundries, AMD chip production partner who struggled with 14 nanometer and later 12-nanometer production that led to stability issues due to poor quality Silicon and even consumers who wanted Ryzen CPU, couldn't always find one on the shelf due to product shortages.
With today's third-gen rises though, AMD has two big things going for them. First, is TSMC's much improved seven nanometer process. This is big. Well, metaphorically speaking. While nanometers aren't always relevant, seven-nanometer was a major leap forward and provided a much needed shot in the arm for Ryzen and enabled the second big improvement, the chipset design that's used throughout the lineup.
Chiplets are Core Complex Dies or CCDs, are made much smaller than traditional all-in-one processor dies because what they do is they move all the complex I/O to a separate die altogether, allowing AMD to essentially just produce one type of small CCD and then thanks to the magic of binning, bundled them with whichever I/O die they need since they're essentially the same physical design across the entire product stack. This means that overall performance, stability, and yields, all improve and the number of core combinations increases. So a single CCD chip like our Ryzen 5 3600 can have anywhere from four to eight cores, and those exact same CCDs can be combined and rearranged in an array of up to eight of them to create up to a 64 core thread ripper. That's a very streamlined from a production standpoint.
Why you should buy Ryzen 5 3600?
Now back to the 3600 for a moment though, this is a CPU that kind of straddles the line between the old and the new with six reasonably fast multithreading capable cores and with a very attractive price, about $205.
Not to mention, that it comes with a cooler in the box. Although we wouldn't recommend using that if you wanna overclock, which of course though, you're free to do on all Ryzen CPUs. AMD's older CPUs are still strong contenders though, so it all comes down to compatibility. No matter what generation of Ryzen motherboard you have, you can actually run any of these CPUs. So if you're waiting for Zen 3, you can buy a Ryzen 52600 and save a buck today with the option of upgrading later on, and the cool thing is it works the another way around too.
If you've got a first-gen Ryzen system, you can actually get a significant increase in performance by upgrading to a Ryzen 5 3600 today, and then just drop it in with a simple BIOS update.
This is a huge advantage for AMD right now because the Intel Z370 chipset actually broke compatibility on older CPUs with their Z490 successor on a completely new socket. So if you're like most people, you'll probably feel a bit burned about only getting two generations of compatibility with team blue for all these years, when for the past several years, AMD has done a much better job of maintaining intergenerational compatibility.
As for the performance of Ryzen 5 3600, well, there's a reason why a budget 4K video editing PC used a Ryzen 5 3600. Taking advantage of a compatible previous generation motherboard, anyone can get the cost of their whole video editing workstation down below a 1000$ and without any overclocking getting impressive performance.
And don't take just my word alone. Gamers Nexus found that in general productivity, the performance of this chip is roughly in line with Intel's Core I5, 10600K, a CPU that costs nearly $100 more and doesn't even have a cooler in the box. And it's no secret that the Ryzen 5 3600 will handle gaming too, albeit with the performance that below, but not far below team blue, especially at this price point.
This combination of acceptable gaming performance and stellar productivity has attracted tinkerers, content creators, and of course thrift seeking gamers.
It just straight up is the best all-rounder, do everything CPU. It's not you know, star of the show at anything, but it doesn't have to be, it can go wherever you need it, and it comes with everything you need to run. It's just great value.