AMD Ryzen 9 3800X 16-Core 3.9GHz
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AMD Ryzen 5 2600
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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Ryzen 9 3800X 16-Core 3.9GHz Ryzen 5 2600

In terms of overall gaming performance, the AMD Ryzen 9 3800X 16-Core 3.9GHz is massively better than the AMD Ryzen 5 2600 when it comes to running the latest games. This also means it will be less likely to bottleneck more powerful GPUs, allowing them to achieve more of their gaming performance potential.

The Ryzen 9 3800X has not been released yet, so any comparisons on this page are likely to be unreliable.

The Ryzen 9 3800X has 10 more cores than the Ryzen 5 2600. 16 cores is probably excessive if you mean to just run the latest games, as games are not yet able to harness this many cores. The cores in the Ryzen 5 2600 is more than enough for gaming purposes. However, if you intend on running a server with the Ryzen 9 3800X, it would seem to be a decent choice.

The Ryzen 9 3800X has 20 more threads than the Ryzen 5 2600. Both the Ryzen 9 3800X and the Ryzen 5 2600 use hyperthreading. The Ryzen 9 3800X has 2 logical threads per physical core and the Ryzen 5 2600 has 2.

Multiple threads are useful for improving the performance of multi-threaded applications. Additional cores and their accompanying thread will always be beneficial for multi-threaded applications. Hyperthreading will be beneficial for applications optimized for it, but it may slow others down. For games, the number of threads is largely irrelevant, as long as you have at least 2 cores (preferably 4), and hyperthreading can sometimes even hit performance.

More important for gaming than the number of cores and threads is the clock rate. Problematically, unless the two CPUs are from the same family, this can only serve as a general guide and nothing like an exact comparison, because the clock cycles per instruction (CPI) will vary so much.

The Ryzen 9 3800X and Ryzen 5 2600 are not from the same family of CPUs, so their clock speeds are by no means directly comparable. Bear in mind, then, that while the Ryzen 9 3800X has a 0.5 GHz faster frequency, this is not always an indicator that it will be superior in performance, despite frequency being crucial when trying to avoid GPU bottlenecking. In this case, however, the difference is enough that it possibly indicates the superiority of the Ryzen 9 3800X.

Aside from the clock rate, the next-most important CPU features for PC game performance are L2 and L3 cache size. Faster than RAM, the more cache available, the more data that can be stored for lightning-fast retrieval. L1 Cache is not usually an issue anymore for gaming, with most high-end CPUs eking out about the same L1 performance, and L2 is more important than L3 - but L3 is still important if you want to reach the highest levels of performance. Bear in mind that although it is better to have a larger cache, the larger it is, the higher the latency, so a balance has to be struck.

The Ryzen 9 3800X and the Ryzen 5 2600 have the same L2 cache size, and the same L3 cache size, so in terms of cache-related gaming performance, we have to look back to the clock rate, where the Ryzen 9 3800X wins out.

The maximum Thermal Design Power is the power in Watts that the CPU will consume in the worst case scenario. The lithography is the semiconductor manufacturing technology being used to create the CPU - the smaller this is, the more transistors that can be fit into the CPU, and the closer the connections. For both the lithography and the TDP, it is the lower the better, because a lower number means a lower amount of power is necessary to run the CPU, and consequently a lower amount of heat is produced.

The Ryzen 5 2600 has a 60 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Ryzen 9 3800X. However, the Ryzen 9 3800X was created with a 5 nm smaller manufacturing technology. Overall, by taking both into account, the Ryzen 5 2600 is likely the CPU with the lower heat production and power requirements, by quite a wide margin.

The Ryzen 9 3800X has an on-board GPU, which means that it will be capable of running basic graphics applications (i.e., games) without the need for a dedicated graphics card. The Ryzen 5 2600, however, does not, and you will probably have to look for a dedicated card if you wish to use it at all.

For in-depth GPU comparisons with the Radeon RX Vega 11, click on the following GPU overview comparison icon (visible throughout Game-Debate), and choose a GPU from the list to compare against:

On-board GPUs tend to be fairly awful in comparison to dedicated cards from the likes of AMD or Nvidia, but as they are built into the CPU, they also tend to be cheaper and require far less power to run (this makes them a good choice for laptops). We would recommend a dedicated card for running the latest games, but integrated GPUs are improving all the time and casual gamers may find less recent games perform perfectly acceptably.

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CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameZen 2Zen+
MoBo SocketSocket AM4Socket AM4
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date30 Apr 201930 Apr 2018
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores16vs6
CPU Threads32vs12
Clock Speed3.9 GHzvs3.4 GHz
Turbo Frequency4.7 GHzvs3.8 GHz
Max TDP125 Wvs65 W
Lithography7 nmvs12 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size512 KBvs512 KB
L2 Cache Size3072 KBvs3072 KB
L3 Cache Size16 MBvs16 MB
Max Memory Size-vs64 GB
Memory Channels-vs4
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

GraphicsRadeon RX Vega 11
Base GPU Frequency1063 MHzvs-
Max GPU Frequency1190 MHzvs-
DirectX12vs-
Displays Supported-vs-
Comparison

CPU Package and Version Specifications

Package Size-vs-
Revision-vs-
PCIe Revision-vs-
PCIe Configurations-vs-

Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

CPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewThe Ryzen 9 3800X is a top-end CPU based on AMD's 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture. It offers 16 physical cores (32 logical), initially clocked at 3.9GHz, which may go up to 4.7GHz using Precision Boost. It has an unlocked multiplier, therefore, it can be overclocked using traditional methods. As an AMD 'X' CPU, the Ryzen 9 3800X can use eXtended Frequency Range (XFR) for automated overclocking. It has 16MB of L3 Cache. Level 3 cache is a static memory bank of a processor and it is used to feed it instructions. This processor also supports DDR4 based RAMs with maximum memory support of 64GB. It has a maximum Thermal Power Design of 125W. This makes the Ryzen 9 3800X a relatively power-hungry CPU, although this is in-line with the high core count. Among its many features are Simultaneous Multithreading, Cool n Quiet, CoolCore Technology, Extended Frequency Range (XFR), Pure Power and Precision Boost are enabled. It features an integrated AMD Radeon Vega GPU with 11 Compute Units that offers low-end graphical performance.The Ryzen 5 2600 is a mid to high-range CPU based on AMD's 12nm Zen+ microarchitecture. It offers 6 physical cores (12 logical), initially clocked at 3.4GHz, which may go up to 3.8GHz using Turbo Boost. It has an unlocked multiplier, therefore, it can be overclocked using traditional methods. It has 16MB of L3 Cache. Level 3 cache is a static memory bank of a processor and it is used to feed it instructions. This processor also supports DDR4 based RAMs with maximum memory support of 64GB. It has a maximum Thermal Power Design of 65W. It is on par with competitor processors. Among its many features, Simultaneous Multithreading, Cool n Quiet, CoolCore Technology, Extended Frequency Range (XFX), Pure Power and Precision Boost are enabled. It features an integrated AMD Radeon Vega GPU with 11 Compute Units that offers low-end graphical performance. This CPU is likely to offer excellent computational performance and will not be the bottleneck in any modern gaming PC.

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