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After years of stagnation from AMD, AMD brought out their new line of Ryzen processors in 2017, bringing them back into real competition with Intel’s Core series of processors. AMD has seriously shaken up the game of desktop processors by hopping to a new socket (AM4), making sure every Ryzen chip is overclockable, and even shipping the 2018 refresh with stellar integrated graphics.
Among the most popular choices among the Ryzen line is the Ryzen 5 series in particular. Made to compete with Intel’s Core i5 series, Ryzen 5 processors offer stellar price-to-performance and have become a mainstay in gaming rigs all over.
Today, we’ll tell you all you need to know about Ryzen 5 processors, from what they’re good at to what they aren’t. We’ll be listing our top 5 picks for Ryzen 5 processors, alongside detailed explanations for each processor, so you can decide which one is right for you.
With no further ado, let’s begin.
The Ryzen 5 series excels in the following areas:
The Ryzen 5 series may not be enough in these situations:
The AMD Ryzen 5 5600X has got to be the best Ryzen 5 processor you can get in 2022 because it promises excellent power while having a reasonable price tag. The CPU features an impressive 6-core processor and 12 processing threads. It’s capable of giving gamers 100+ FPS performance when playing some of the top games available on the market. Its base frequency is at 3.7GHz, and its maximum boost frequency reaches an impressive 4.6GHz. Its total cache, on the other hand, is at 35MB. The 5600X supports PCIe 4.0 on motherboards like B550 and X570. It features a built-in Wraith Stealth Cooler, which delivers a powerful performance. You don’t have to worry about hearing unnecessary fan noise because its cooler has a quiet operation. Users can say this processor is somehow future-proof since it supports technologies like StoreMI technology, Ryzen VR-Ready Premium, Ryzen Master Utility, and “Zen 3” Core Architecture. The only thing that might be a deal-breaker for some is how the 5600X doesn’t have integrated graphics, but this won’t matter if you already planned to buy a graphics card anyways.
If you happen to find no stock of the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X, the next best option you can go for is the Ryzen 5 3600X. It promises a fantastic performance for gamers on a budget, especially for multithreading, but it’s still lacking if you’re the type who plans to play demanding games. The processor comes with 6 cores and 12 processing threads, and it delivers 100+ FPS performance in many famous games. Its base clock is at 3.8GHz, and its maximum boost clock goes as high as 4.4GHz. The CPU doesn’t disappoint when it comes to cooling because it comes with AMD’s Wraith Spire cooler. You can expect the processor to give your gaming performance an extra boost thanks to its sizeable 35MB GameCache. Like other Ryzen 5 processors, the 3600X doesn’t come with integrated graphics.
The Ryzen 5 2600X is quite the powerhouse. First, let’s go ahead and drop the benchmark. The 2600X outperforms the 2400G by about a 25% margin. That’s a pretty significant increase in processing power. It also boosts the core count from 4 to 6, allowing for 12 threads via hyperthreading, making it by far the best Ryzen processor for game streaming and video rendering. There are a few notable downsides, however. First of all, the price. The price isn’t entirely worth the performance increase and isn’t very competitive with the i5 8600K., which is a downside worth noting. Additionally, there are no integrated graphics in this one. If you liked the excellent integrated graphics of the 2400G, you’d miss them here- you’ll want to buy your gaming GPU alongside this processor. No real option to wait for it this time around. Aside from those downsides, the Ryzen 5 2600X also has a solid upside in its Wraith Spire cooler. The Spire cooler is larger than the Stealth cooler since it focuses on cooling performance rather than size. It’s undoubtedly excellent at cooling, and we think it’s one of the few stock coolers on the market worth overclocking with. The processor comes with 6 cores and 12 threads, and its maximum boost is at 4.2GHz. It has a total combined cache of 19MB. If this processor ever dips below $200, it will instantly become a steal. For now, it’s a pricier but a superb choice.
The Ryzen 5 2400G was the best value pick at one point, but its price continues to get higher due to the decrease in stock availability. While boasting the same core and thread count as the Ryzen 5 1400, the 2400G offers a slick 9% performance bump and a pretty powerful integrated GPU. With the onboard Radeon RX Vega 11 Graphics, you should be able to handle 4K media streaming and light gaming just fine, especially if you’re playing last-gen titles that aren’t particularly graphically intensive. In addition to onboard graphics and hyperthreading, the 2400G offers the same excellent overclocking headroom as the Ryzen 5 1400. It has a base clock of 3.6GHz, which reaches a 3.9GHz maximum boost clock. The total cache memory for the processor is 6MB. Unfortunately, it comes packed with the same Wraith Stealth Cooler as well, which means if you want to make the most of its overclocking capabilities, you’ll need to upgrade your cooling setup. At its current price point, the Ryzen 5 2400G is still an excellent chip to have, but we wish it were as affordable as it used to be.
The AMD Ryzen 5 1400 used to only cost around $140, but limited stock pushed its price up to $225 in 2022. This processor will offer a comparable performance to its 1400X big brother and plenty of overclocking headroom with the suitable cooler. It offers decent performance and a maximum boost clock of 3.4GHz. The included Wraith Stealth cooler may not be the best for overclocking, but it should give you some stable temperatures. With 8 threads via 4 hyper-threading enabled cores, you will find that the Ryzen 5 is much more readily equipped for multi-threaded applications than Intel processors in this price range. That’s the significant benefit of the Ryzen 5 line in general. While the i5 may edge it out in gaming performance here and there, overall performance is superior on Ryzen chips with tasks like rendering and streaming. The only real downside to this chip is its lack of integrated graphics, which can be a problem if you can’t afford to snag a gaming GPU right off the bat.
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