To judge whether the Ryzen 5 3600 still constitutes a good upgrade in 2021, we need to delve deeper and consider a few essential factors: What is the current processor in your system? How much enhancement in your system’s performance can you realistically expect out of the upgrade? What would the future upgrade path look like once you do decide to upgrade? Etc. This introductory article is the first of a multi-part article series we have published, discussing at length a host of questions you might care about as a consumer.
Throughout these articles, we have also considered other factors, such as do you need to change any other component in your system if you decide to upgrade? If yes, what would that cost, and does it make sense? What use case will benefit the most out of the upgrade? Upgrading from what kind of system makes sense? So on and so forth.
Along with the technical discussions, we have also briefly discussed questions such as who AMD is as a company? And what is the architecture that powers the Ryzen 5 3600? which the more curious amongst you might find very interesting. Finally, we have condensed all of these factors to give you a nuanced idea of what constitutes a sensible upgrade in 2021.
So, who is AMD as a company?
AMD, or Advanced Micro Devices, is an American company based in Santa Clara, California that designs cutting-edge silicon technology in the world today. They have a leading presence both in the CPU and the GPU space and are the only company that can boast such an achievement. Their latest in the CPU and GPU segment is the Ryzen 5000 series processors launched in late 2020 and the RX 6000 series launched in early 2021, respectively.
AMD has also been the generous provider of the CPU sample we received to perform our testing, which we have discussed in the later sections. Having said so, this is not meant to be a review of the processor itself. Instead, the CPU’s performance figures in the later sections only highlight the gains or losses observed while testing the same on various workloads. Henceforth, this serves those who currently have relatively weaker CPUs and who want to upgrade to a solid system without shelling out a fortune for the marked-up silicon we see nowadays. Said upgrade should not compromise on future upgradability while avoiding unnecessary costs such as switching to a new motherboard to make the processor function. In a single sentence, this series of articles is for those who want a simple drop-in upgrade to ensure that the old and the upgraded system’s performance delta would be as maximized and cost-effective as possible.
So how do we go about addressing the same? There are three main points we would be addressing throughout this series, by the end of which it would be evident if the Ryzen 5 3600 remains a processor worth upgrading today. Said questions are, is the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 a sound processor, to begin with in 2021? What can you expect to gain by upgrading from a relatively weaker system such as the Ryzen 3 1300X while keeping the Graphics Card (Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB) unchanged? Lastly, if you decide to upgrade, what would future upgradeability look like for your shiny new system?
In the later sections, especially in the “Testing Setup” section, we have elaborated on our rationale behind choosing the parts as they appear. In the sections following “Testing Setup,” we have included various benchmarks and performance metrics to give you an exact and objective idea of what you can expect to gain from the upgrade and support the conclusions we draw in the last section of the series. The following section, titled “Architecture,” gives a brief overview of the architecture powering the Ryzen 3000 series processors. It will also include die-shots of the same and discuss in brief how and why the Matisse architecture is better or worse than the preceding architectures from AMD powering the Ryzen processors.
Matisse is the codename for the processors based on the Zen 2 microarchitecture. Zen 2 has been implemented on mainstream and HEDT (High-End Desktop) platforms and is based on TSMC’s 7nm process. Processors based on the Zen 2 architecture start at the entry-level AMD Ryzen 3 3000 series, going all the way up to the enthusiast-level Ryzen 9 3000 series.
Matisse is the successor to Pinnacle Ridge– a successor to AMD’s first-ever microarchitecture design for Ryzen – Summit Ridge. The Ryzen 1000 and 2000 chips were based on Summit Ridge and Pinnacle Ridge, respectively. Even though Pinnacle Ridge was more of a refresh over Summit Ridge on GlobalFoundries enhanced 12 nm process, Matisse is based on an entirely new 7nm process as mentioned and features a revamped microarchitecture. The new architecture design enabled AMD to feature multiple improvements over Pinnacle Ridge, such as greater clock speeds, massively improved IPC as compared to Zen (Ryzen 1000 or Summit Ridge), PCIe Gen 4 support, and perhaps the most monumental of all, a switch to a modular chiplet design.
What do we mean by Chiplet Design?
The basic unit of processing in a processor based on chiplet design is a quad-core CCX or Core Complex sharing a common L3 (Level-3) Cache. A CCD or a Core Chiplet Die, on the other hand, consists of two quad-core CCXs paired together using the Infinity Fabric Interconnect. On processors with core counts greater than 8, multiple CCDs can be paired together to form astonishing core-counts from 12, going all the way up to 64 as we see in the 3000-series Ryzen 9s and Threadrippers. The amount of L3 cache in the 3000 series CPUs has also been doubled compared to Pinnacle Ridge and Summit Ridge, which further brings down latency during processing.
On the other hand, the IO chip is separated from the densely packed cores and uses the cheaper 12 nm process for improved cost-efficiency. Said decision facilitates AMD to reduce the cost of the CPU package since IO does not require the transistor density that the more expensive 7 nm manufacturing process offers. The increased density is better utilized in the powerful compute complexes.
This design enables AMD to cram an astonishing number of cores in a single package while retaining tight control over the CPU package’s power draw. Simultaneously, a streamlined manufacturing process due to the modular design bolsters silicon yields and drives down the cost per manufactured CPU. However, the negative factor to such an approach can be the high entry cost as AMD needs to pay up for a minimum of 4-cores for every processor it manufactures. So, what do you do if you need a 6-core processor? You get two CCXs in a single CCD as described above and disable a single core in each, leaving you with six usable cores. Each core is also capable of Simultaneous Multi-Threading or SMT, which enables addressing two logical threads for every real core.
Other features of the Zen 2 architecture include:
- Dual-channel Memory support
- Memory frequency support up to DDR4-3200
- Memory capacity supports up to 128 GiB.
- Up to 16 cores / 32 threads
- 65 W / 105 W or greater TDP
- Support for everything up to AVX2 (i.e., SMM, FPU, NX, MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE4.1, SSE4.2, AES, AVX, FMA3, and AVX2), and SHA instruction sets.
- Precision Boost 2, SMEP, 2-way SMT, AMD-Vi, XFR 2
Although we do take a brief look at the performance figures of the Ryzen 5 3600, this series is not meant to be a full-fledged review. Instead, we intend to provide an objective understanding of how the processor performs under various workloads. If you are based on an older quad-core system, we highlight the improvements it would bring to the table.
The following table describes the hardware configuration used for drawing the required comparison:
|PROCESSOR||AMD Ryzen 5 3600 (Hexa-core), compared against Ryzen 3 1300X|
|MOTHERBOARD||Gigabyte B550M Gaming|
|RAM||2×8 GB Adata XPG Gammix D30 3200 MHz, CL16|
|GRAPHICS CARD||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB (+225 MHz Core, +330 MHz Memory OC)|
|POWER SUPPLY||Corsair CX500 500W|
|CPU COOLER||Stock Cooler (Wraith Stealth)|
So, what is our rationale behind using the mentioned parts? Why even choose the Ryzen 3 1300X as the competition to beat when the 1st gen counterpart of the Ryzen 5 3600 is the Ryzen 5 1600? Why is the outdated GTX 1060 being used as the GPU for all these benchmarks?
This series aims at helping someone in the process of choosing parts for their upgrade make the most cost-effective choice in the present scenario of grave uncertainty, with soaring silicon prices and a global chip shortage in effect. It is common knowledge that the 3600 will be way faster than the 1300X in every workload imaginable, but we intend to show in detail what one might stand to gain from such an upgrade instead of a vague “It is faster.” Also, such a buyer might not be looking to upgrade the GPU at the same time as the CPU. So, let’s go over every component choice one by one.
The Ryzen 3 1300X, a first-gen Ryzen processor based on Zen, is very similar in performance to the Intel Core i5 6500, which was a very popular mid-range CPU back when it was released. However, since the Ryzen 3 1300X was released relatively recently, it was cheaper and more readily available. It was more accessible to source for our testing purposes for simulating an average mid-range quad-core CPU from 5 to 6 years ago. It also serves as a good baseline for early adopters of Ryzen who require an upgrade. Further, suppose you are on such an AMD platform already. In that case, upgrading is even more straightforward since AMD has made it very easy to switch between various generations by maintaining excellent inter-generational compatibility.
The Gigabyte B550M Gaming has no feature to write home about. Being an entry-level B550 motherboard, it only features a 5+3 Phase VRM design which we would not depend on for an eight-or-more core processor. However, it is easier to procure, and both the Ryzen 3 1300X and the Ryzen 5 3600 are just 65 W parts and thus not very power-hungry. The motherboard’s power delivery system does a decent enough job supplying the same.
We use the Adata XPG Gammix D30 for a host of tests. They are rated for 3200 MHz, reliable, and most crucially, they maintain compatibility with 1st Gen Ryzen. Overall, no complaints here.
The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB remains the most popular Graphics Card, according to Steam. Although the GTX 1060 is a 5-year-old card from the Pascal era, it can still deliver a decent gaming experience at 1080p medium to high settings, even in modern titles. 1080p also remains the most popular resolution for games. Thus, there is a fair chance that you, the reader, might own a GTX 1060 and perhaps you do not want to upgrade your CPU and GPU simultaneously. Thus, it would be easier for you to base your decisions on our testing.
Again, our choice to use the stock Wraith Stealth cooler bundled with the CPU is to better reflect the majority of the customers in the mid-range market who generally do not have the overhead budget to spend behind a separate cooler. Also, for a 65 W part, especially a Ryzen processor, it is generally not worth it, although there is a slight drawback to this approach. We have discussed the same in the next segment of this series.
Case and Power Supply
An open-air test bench is used to prevent thermal limitations as far as possible during testing, and a 500W 80+ bronze power supply such as the CX500 gets the job done perfectly well. No complaints here as well.
ARCHIVING AND RENDERING PERFORMANCE
When discussing the overall performance of the Ryzen 5 3600, we start with some well-known benchmarks such as Cinebench, 7-zip, and Blender. The scores obtained by the Ryzen 5 3600 and the Ryzen 3 1300X, along with the maximum core power draw and package temperatures observed while testing the processor during the benchmarks, are as follows:
|BENCHMARK||SCORE||MAX POWER DRAW||MAX TEMPERATURE|
|7-zip||53797 MIPS||21170 MIPS||35.28W||30.94W||79 deg. C||56 deg. C|
|Cinebench R20 (Single-Core)||470||371||9.925W||19.20W||66 deg. C||61 deg. C|
|Cinebench R20 (Multi-Core)||3444||1361||50.24W||40.39W||90 deg. C||69 deg. C|
|Blender 2.91||266 seconds||669 seconds||47.08W||38.28W||89 deg. C||69 deg. C|
Cinebench R20 (Single-Core)
The Ryzen 5 3600 manages to score 470 points in the Single-Core Test during our testing. To put the scores into perspective, as compared to the competing Intel processors, the Ryzen 5 3600 is more or less on par with the Intel Core i5 10500 and the Core i7 9700k. The Intel Core i7-8700k, on the other hand, manages a slight 4% lead over the same. The Ryzen 5 3600 trade blows with its main rival in this price segment – the Intel Core i5 10600, with the 10600 only managing a very narrow 4% win over the 3600.
Compared to the previous-gen Ryzen 5 2600, scoring 374 points in the same test, the 3600 secures a 25% performance delta, which is a very impressive jump in single-core performance over a single generation. On the other hand, the Ryzen 3 1300X scores 371 points in the single-core test placing it 4.5% ahead of the Intel Core i5 6500, and comparing against the R5 3600, the latter leads by a remarkable 27%.
Cinebench R20 (Multi-Core)
Multi-threaded performance is where AMD Ryzen processors shine. The Ryzen 5 3600 manages to score 3444 points in the Multi-Core Test during our testing. Comparing the scores against Team Blue, the Ryzen 5 3600 slightly edges out the Intel Core i5 10500 and slightly underperforms when compared to the Intel Core i7-8700 and its main rival in this price segment – the Intel Core i5 10600.
Compared to the previous-gen Ryzen 5 2600, which scores 2736 points in the same test, the 3600 secures a 26% performance delta and manages to stay on par with the Ryzen 7 2700, which features eight cores while the 3600 is only limited to six. On the other hand, the Ryzen 3 1300X scores 1361 points in the multi-core test, placing it 5% ahead of the Intel Core i5 6500. The Ryzen 5 3600 leads the 1300X by an incredible 153%.
The 1.53x uplift in performance can be attributed to a combination of factors. The Ryzen 5 3600 has a 27% higher single-core performance and supports SMT (Simultaneous Multi-Threading), absent in the Core i5 6500 and the Ryzen 3 1300X. Add to that two extra cores in the R5 3600 CPU package, and the results make sense. Professional workloads such as video rendering, content creation, CAD, etc., are generally very well optimized for taking full advantage of the entire core count of a CPU. Thus, if you use your computer for any such applications, even at novice or casual capacity, you stand to gain massive savings in terms of time and energy spent behind each project.
Blender is another prevalent benchmarking software for testing the rendering performance of given hardware by comparing how long said hardware takes to finish the test. Thus, in this test, a lower score is better. We ran the bmw27 benchmark in CPU mode on both the 1300X and the 3600. The Ryzen 5 3600 managed to finish the test in 266 seconds, or 4 minutes and 26 seconds, putting the Ryzen 5 3600 ahead of the Intel Core i5 10600 by 9%. The R5 3600 also beats out the Intel Core i7 8700 by a margin of 4.5%.
The Ryzen 3 1300X, on the other hand, manages to finish the same test in 669 seconds, or 11 minutes and 9 seconds. This score puts the 1300X around 5-7.5% ahead of the Intel Core i5 6500. When compared against the Ryzen 5 3600, the 3600 leads by a whopping 151%.
The 7-zip benchmark is a widely used tool to judge the compression/decompression performance of a CPU in terms of Million Instructions per Second or MIPS. Thus, a higher score is better. The Ryzen 5 3600 manages to attain a combined score of 53797 MIPS in this test, putting it 2.3% ahead of the competing Intel Core i5 10600 and similarly ahead of the Intel Core i7 8700.
The Ryzen 3 1300X, on the other hand, obtains a score of 21170 MIPS in the same test, putting it 6% ahead of the Intel Core i5 6500. When the 1300X and the 3600 are compared side-by-side, the Ryzen 5 3600 manages to lead by a staggering 154%.
Points to note
The benchmark results supplied in this article do not reflect the ‘maximum’ capability of the processor. Instead it only reflects what the Ryzen 5 3600 is capable of, given a thermally limited system similar to ours.
Said thermal limitation is due to the use of the stock cooler bundled in the processor package. It does an inadequate job of cooling the processor during these intensive tests when it generates a lot of heat. Since Ryzen processors are highly opportunistic based on the available thermal headroom, the processor dials back to manage the heat output. This throttling results in 5-8% inferior performance compared to an adequately cooled Ryzen 5 3600.
We have mentioned our rationale for choosing to stick with the stock cooler in the previous section. However, when the Ryzen 5 3600 is paired with a GTX 1060, the cooling inadequacy does not impede gaming performance significantly. The GTX 1060 is a bottleneck in a Ryzen 5 3600 system, which means during games, the processor is rarely pegged at 100% utilization continuously and hence does not generate an unmanageable amount of heat. Thus, an aggressive cooling system isn’t significantly beneficial in such a case.
We have tested a total of 7 games to highlight what improvements one might expect by upgrading to the Ryzen 5 3600. The testing resolution is 1920×1080 or 1080p and The games tested are majorly open-world sandbox type games since they tend to be more CPU intensive. The metrics used for performance analysis in various games are Average FPS, 1% percentile, and 0.1% percentile. What do percentiles mean? Take, for instance, 1% percentile. The value for that metric states that 1% of all the remaining values are lower than the said value. So if a graph has 45 as its 1% percentile value, then that means 1% of the recorded values are lower than 45.
The 1% percentiles and 0.1% percentiles are used to judge how stuttery the gameplay is. For instance, you play a game for 1000 seconds where a data point is recorded each second and has a 1% percentile of 30. Then one might loosely infer that the gameplay has stuttered for roughly 10 seconds overall since for 1% of the recorded values, the frame rates dropped below 30. This analogy forms the basis for understanding frametime consistency, or how opposed your system is towards sudden changes in how quickly or slowly a frame is served. Inconsistent frame times negatively impact gameplay experience.
We tested AC Odyssey at High settings across the board on DX11. On average, in this game, the Ryzen 5 3600 outperforms the Ryzen 3 1300X by about 10%. The 1% percentile is lower on the Ryzen 3 1300X by approximately 17.45%, and the 0.1% percentiles are lower by about 12.5%. However, the gameplay experience was more or less satisfactory, with occasional stutters on both the tested CPUs.
The frame time comparison chart shows a similar observation. The spikes in the frame times generally tend to indicate lag or micro-stutters during the actual gameplay. Although there were occasional lags on both the CPUs, the 3600 maintains tighter consistency overall. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was a playable experience on both CPUs.
Battlefield V was tested at High settings across the board, on DX11 at 1080p with motion blur turned off. On average frames, the Ryzen 5 3600 outperforms the 1300X by about 5.4%. In 1% percentiles and 0.1% percentiles, we observe a stark contrast with the 3600 outperforming the 1300X by a staggering 31.6% and 25.25%, respectively.
From the frame time comparison chart, we observe that although there were a few spikes during gameplay on both the CPUs, the 3600 generally maintained far more consistent frame times. Overall, Battlefield V was a playable experience on both the CPUs but was smoother on the Ryzen 5 3600.
We tested Crysis Remastered on both the CPUs at Medium quality on DX11, with only the Texture quality at High and Water Quality at Very High. On average, the 3600 leads the 1300X by a margin of 22%, but in the 1% percentiles and 0.1% percentiles, the difference becomes enormous. In 1% percentiles, the 3600 smokes the 1300X with a gigantic 130.5% performance delta, while a staggering 81.35% difference is maintained in the 0.1% percentiles. Naturally, the gameplay experience on the 3600 was far smoother than on the 1300X.
The frame-time comparison chart speaks for itself. The 3600 shown in red maintains tight frame time consistency throughout the gameplay, while the 1300X stutters far more and is generally all over the place.
Next up on our list is Cyberpunk 2077, which we tested at Medium settings on DX12. Cyberpunk 2077 is one such title where moving from the 1300X or a similar 4 to 5-year-old quad-core to the Ryzen 5 3600 makes the difference between a playable and a completely unplayable experience. Even the average frame rate hovers on the border of motion pictures and slideshow in the case of the 1300X. Overall, the 3600 maintains an impressive 30% lead over the 1300X in average frame rates, but from the 1% percentile and the 0.1% percentile, we see the entire picture. The 3600 outperforms the 1300X by an incredible 125.5% and 152%, respectively.
As is clear from the frametime comparison chart, the 3600 maintains tight frametime consistency. The gameplay experience was also playable with only a single stutter that we could notice in the 10 min test run. On the other hand, with the 1300X system, almost throughout the entire session, our experience suffered from massive lags and stutters. The omnipresent spikes in the chart depict the reason for the same. Overall, the game was playable on the 3600 and utterly unplayable on the 1300X.
Doom Eternal is one of the more recent games, released in March 2020, and a prime candidate for testing gameplay in the FPS genre. During the same, the game ran on Vulkan, with High settings across the board. On average, the 3600 leads the 1300X by 4.5%, while in the 1% percentile and 0.1% percentile, the 3600 secures a comfortable 16% and 18.5% lead, respectively. The systems delivered a very smooth gameplay experience during testing, with the 3600’s feeling slightly smoother.
The frame-time comparison chart demonstrates that the Ryzen 5 3600 maintains more consistent frame rates. Said consistency is evident because we did not face a single stutter during the entire test run. The smooth gameplay experience and relatively tighter performance delta between the two processors are majorly due to two factors:
- The game’s use of the Vulkan API enables excellent low-level hardware optimization, letting a developer exploit the system’s maximum potential.
- The GTX 1060 acted as a bottleneck. The 3600 has far greater potential, which remains unutilized since the GTX 1060 is not fast enough. In the case of a faster GPU, the performance delta would have been massive.
However, said underutilization of the 3600 does not mean the gameplay experience suffered. As mentioned previously, the system maintained north of 100 FPS on average, delivering a very smooth experience throughout the test run.
Far Cry 5
Far Cry 5 was tested at High setting across the board on DX11. The Ryzen 5 3600 outperforms the 1300X by 22% in average frame rates, 22% in 1% percentiles, and a whopping 65% in 0.1%percentile.
From the frame-time comparison chart, we see that the R5 3600 system had better frame-time consistency than the 1300X system. Although there were stutters on both the systems, the 1300X system performed comparatively worse during our testing. The gameplay experience was more or less playable across the board.
Horizon Zero Dawn
With a strong female protagonist, HZD is a marvel in both technological prowess and masterful storytelling. The game used DX12 and was tested at High settings across the board. In average frame rates, the Ryzen 5 3600 outperforms the 1300X by a margin of 24%. In 1% percentiles and 0.1% percentile, the gap widens as the 1300X falls behind the 3600 by 41% and a staggering 86%, respectively. The gameplay experience suffers similarly.
As the frametime comparison chart depicts, there is a significant lag in both the systems, especially when entering the city of Meridian at the beginning of the test run. However, on the 3600 system, the lags are relatively occasional, while in the remaining time, it maintains tight frame-time consistency, resulting in a far smoother experience. On the 1300X system, however, the frame times remain all over the place, and the game lags far more frequently. In terms of gameplay experience, the 3600 is far smoother, while the game, although playable in the 1300X system, is unsatisfactory at best.
Points to note
- Throughout every game, the GeForce GTX 1060 acted as a bottleneck when paired with the Ryzen 5 3600. Thus, even though the 3600 had the horsepower to spare, the system could not reap its benefits since the GTX 1060 was not fast enough. Said inadequacy resulted in the 3600’s utilization hovering around 50-80% throughout most of the tests.
- On the other hand, the Ryzen 3 1300X acted as the bottleneck in its system. In Cyberpunk 2077, the GTX 1060 is severely limited by the R3 1300X. This limitation is evident when the GTX 1060 delivered upto 30% better performance once we swapped the processor with the faster R5 3600.
- Running the games at Medium or Low settings would have made the benchmarks more CPU bound. However, we wanted to highlight what are the highest settings you could play your games at while getting decent frame rates. In that process, make a case for the older 1300X i.e. the 1300X can still run games at High, albeit not some of the more CPU intensive titles. Nonetheless, if you are ready to compromise on a few settings and skip some modern titles, the 1300X might still be useful.
- The cooling on the 3600 system is also inadequate since we used the Wraith Stealth cooler bundled with the processor package. However, this inadequacy does not affect the gaming results significantly since the processor does not get utilized enough to generate an unmanageable amount of heat.
- The Ryzen 3 1300X, on the other hand, uses the same cooler and has the same TDP at 65 W. However, due to having only 2/3rd the number of cores and many other factors such as lower boost clocks, etc., it generates relatively less heat. The included Wraith Stealth cooler is thus able to cool the 1300X adequately.
- It is also not worth overclocking the Ryzen 5 3600 for the same reason, i.e. lack of thermal headroom. For any overclock whatsoever, a beefier cooling system would be required which is not present for reasons mentioned previously. Also, the 3rd gen Ryzens are already very good at boosting dynamically whenever thermal headroom is available. So there would be very minimal improvements of an overclock, if at all.
- The 1% and 0.1% percentiles are a good pointer for your system’s frame-time consistency. A lower frame-time or higher FPS is ofcourse better, however, if said frames are served erratically, it negatively impacts immersion and the experience becomes choppy and frustrating.
Inferring from the previous sections, it is evident that the Ryzen 5 3600 is still a very competent processor in 2021. Said competence is apparent because its performance figures are very close to an Intel Core i5 10600, often beating out the same, and is priced very competitively. It also has far tighter frametime consistency than the 1300X and higher frame rates in every title. It is also a competent processor for light productivity workloads thanks to its per-core solid performance and excellent multi-threaded performance.
Essentially, the Ryzen 5 3600 is a go-anywhere-do-anything CPU and maintains its title as the best bang-for-the-buck processor even in 2021, especially amidst the global CPU shortage. You can pick one up today for around 18k INR.
From the previous section’s gaming benchmarks, it is also evident that the 1300X does not hold a candle to the 3600 in terms of performance. However, it still delivers a decent experience in older titles such as Assassin’s Creed Odyssey or highly optimized FPS titles such as Doom Eternal.
Why should you buy it?
- You are on a 4 to a 5-year-old quad-core processor such as the Intel Core i5 6600 or an early adopter of Ryzen, and you require an upgrade.
- If you are already on Ryzen, upgrading to the R5 3600 should not be an issue since even the entry-level A320 motherboard can support the 3600 with a simple BIOS upgrade. However, we do not recommend using an A320 motherboard for this processor.
- If you are on Intel, B550 or B450 motherboards are very affordable, and the CPU itself is also very competitively priced. Thus, your cost of entry into the AMD ecosystem is minimal. As an Intel customer, you would anyways have to purchase a new motherboard for any upgrade whatsoever since Intel does not maintain inter-generational compatibility.
- The new Ryzen 5000 processors such as the Ryzen 5 5600X are still way more expensive than they should be due to global silicon shortages. Even at MSRP, the 5600X is far costlier than the 3600, and rumors speculate the non-X 5600 does not launch until 2022. Hence, the 5000 series does not make much sense for someone looking for an immediate and cost-effective upgrade.
- If you want to use your computer for anything other than gaming, e.g., light content creation, editing, 3D modeling, etc., the 3600 will give you up to 150% improvements over a quad-core similar to the 1300X in performance.
- If you want a computer that can handle modern games without needing to change your GPU simultaneously. Even if you upgrade your GPU to something faster than the GTX 1060, you will get the same frame rates since the 1300X already bottlenecks the GTX 1060.
- If you want to have a solid upgrade path for the future, i.e., you want a CPU that will deliver playable frame rates for the next 3-4 years with simple GPU upgrades along the way.
Why should you not buy?
- You mainly play older titles or are ready to compromise on quality settings in your games or skip some modern games altogether.
- You don’t need an immediate upgrade, and you are willing to withhold for a year or for as long as it takes for silicon prices to normalize.
To summarize, switching to the Ryzen 5 3600 is a simple drop-in upgrade to your system if you are already on the AM4 platform or a reasonably priced alternative if you are on Intel. The 3600 also remains the top dog for the maximum performance you can get for a given amount. Such an upgrade also diversifies the use cases your computer can cater to, such as video editing, 3D modeling, etc., not to mention, it can game far better than a 1300X or an equivalent system.
If you plan on upgrading, your new system would be able to deliver a playable experience in modern AAA titles such as Cyberpunk 2077 while retaining great future upgradability. Getting more frame rates would constitute simple GPU upgrades later on down the line. However, if you do not have any immediate need for an upgrade, the 1300X is still a great CPU for the tasks it was designed to perform and might be worth holding on to.