AMD Ryzen 5 2600X
The system score bettered the Core i5-8600K
The sweet spot of AMD’s first Ryzen CPUs were found in its range of 6-core Ryzen 5 models, and thankfully, the replacement for the Ryzen 5 1600 and 1600X is one of the first chips out of the starting blocks with 2nd Gen Ryzen. Incredibly, AMD’s launch price for the Ryzen 5
2600X means that it can be found for under £200 inc VAT, which is barely any more than the quad-core Ryzen 5 1500X cost at launch, and a substantial
£50 less than its predecessor. The higher frequencies and improved boosting algorithms found in the 2700X (see opposite) are also present with the Ryzen 5
2600X. Its base frequency is the same as its predecessor at 3.6GHz, but its maximum boost frequency is 100MHz higher at 4.2GHz. Critically, it can boost more cores to this frequency too. The cache amounts stay the same at 16MB L3 and 4MB L2, as does the TDP at 95W, and we’re still dealing with a 6-core, 12-thread product.
As there are two quad-core Core Complexes inside this CPU, with two cores disabled, AMD’s Ryzen Master software will also identify the two best cores for overclocking, as with the Ryzen 7 2700X.
We saw a similar performance boost between the Ryzen
5 1600X and 2600X as we saw between the Ryzen 7 chips, with a 12 per cent boost to the image editing score, a 10 per cent boost to the video encoding score and a 14 per cent increase to the multi-tasking score. The system score of
169,556 was also enough to better the Core
i5-8600K, which scored 156,104, although the Intel CPU was quicker in the multi-tasking test.
The additional threads compared to Intel’s
6-core CPU also saw the Ryzen 5 2600X retain its lead in Cinebench, with a score of 1,372 compared to 1,003. In Fallout 4, the small gains added by AMD’s higher frequencies and better boosting saw the Ryzen 5 2600X come close to matching the Core i5-8600K as well, and it wasn’t far behind in Ashes of the Singularity either. However, in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, the Intel CPU managed a minimum frame rate of 75fps compared to 66fps for the Ryzen 5
2600X. That said, it’s still an improvement on the
61fps managed by the Ryzen 5 1600X.
In terms of overclocking, we managed to push the CPU to 4.2GHz across all cores using a vcore of 1.425V. We also managed to push its starred core in Ryzen Master all the way up to 4.35GHz, but we didn’t have time to test the performance improvement before we went to press. With all cores pushed to 4.2GHz, though, we ended up having to force them to stick to their maximum boost frequency, which saw 1fps added to the minimum frame rates in Deus Ex and Ashes of the Singularity, and 3 per cent added to the system score.
With a lower maximum boosting frequency than its Ryzen 7 sibling, the Ryzen 5 2600X isn’t quite as impressive in some of our benchmarks, but it’s still significantly quicker than its predecessor across the board, and is also superior to Intel’s Core i5-8600K in all but a couple of tests. Even overclocking the Intel CPU to 5GHz couldn’t see it get close to the AMD CPU’s multi-threaded prowess, making the Ryzen 5 2600X a great CPU for the cash unless you’re building a PC purely for games.