The computing industry is making rapid advances that affect all markets.
Even though you might be satisfied with your current CPU, once a new generation is released, you will start to question if you have enough. There are two options when you’re looking for new options: go for older CPUs that have stood the test of time well or look at more expensive, but future-proof, alternatives.
This is the main problem when comparing Ryzen5 2600 vs. 3600, AMD’s processors are of the same family but from different generations.
As you will see, there may not be as much difference between these CPUs as you might think.
Ryzen 2600 vs. 3600: The basics
Ryzen 5 2600 motherboard processor is a hexacore (6-core) processor of AMD’s second generation. This processor is a substantial improvement from the previous generation, particularly in terms of base and max boost clock speeds.
- The older counterpart has the same number of threads and cores as its younger counterpart.
- Speeds of high base and boost clocks
- Large amounts of cache memory allow for faster data retrieval
- More economical
- Supports less RAM memory
- Could be obsolete soon
Ryzen 5 3600 motherboard (Zen 2 microarchitecture), is a third-generation processor. It was released in mid-2019. It boasts high clock speeds, lots of cache memory, and more RAM, all while consuming very little power.
- Increased clock speed without additional energy costs
- Smaller semiconductor size provides for better performance
- You can have more RAM (and it will be faster).
- Better single-core performance
- More expensive
- Same memory latency as its older counterpart
|Ryzen 5 2600||Ryzen 5 3600|
|Launch date||April 19, 2018||July 7, 2019,|
|Series (CPU architecture)||Zen+||Zen 2|
|Number of cores||6||6|
|Base clock||3.4 GHz||3.6 GHz|
|Maximal boost clock||3.9 GHz||4.2 GHz|
|RAM speed||2933MHz||3200 MHz|
Let’s now look at the main specifications of Ryzen 2600 & 3600 to see how they compare against one another.
A numbers game: Cores and Threads
The most important indicator of a CPU’s processor power is its number of cores or threads. The more cores and threads a CPU has, the higher the performance. This can be seen in the clock speeds, memory latency, and other indicators.
Even though these numbers may be similar, it is safer to choose a processor with more cores. A 6-core processor is likely to run new programs faster than a 4-core processor, particularly if they are demanding like 3D modeling or video rendering.
Threads are code (virtual components) that split the processor’s physical cores into multiple virtual cores. A CPU can have as many as two threads per core. Although they aren’t as important as cores, having more threads can make it easier to run multiple tasks simultaneously on your computer.
The 2600 and 3600 in this area are tied. They both have 6 cores and 12 threads.
Performance results for single-core and multi-core processors
It doesn’t matter how many cores or threads a CPU has. This is just one factor that will determine how much computing power it can get from these components.
It is important to compare the core performance of these CPUs in both single-core and multi-core tests.
The Ryzen 5 3600 performs better than the older model. Although 2600 has some impressive results, it is not as fast as its predecessor in single-core, dual-core, or quad-core tests.
This category is the clear winner as the 3600 gets more power from the same number of cores.
Comparing clock speeds
When comparing CPUs, another “juicy” stat people love to see is the base clock speed and maximum boost clock speeds.
The CPU’s clock speed is the speed at which it can retrieve instructions from memory and interpret them. While it is generally agreed that faster clock speeds lead to better performance, the issue can be complicated when comparing processors that have different core counts.
This is not the case so Ryzen 2600 can be compared to Ryzen 3600 with solid accuracy. The base clock speed of 2600 is 3.4 GHz but can be boosted to 3.9 GHz. The base clock speed of the 3600 is 3.6 GHz but can be increased to 4.2 GHz.
Max boost is the maximum frequency that your CPU can run a demanding program. Although it is a burst, rather than a default state, it is still good to know that your computer can deliver these moments.
All these factors combined make the Ryzen 3600 the clear winner of this category. It has a faster base clock speed, but it also offers a marginally higher boost (a 0.6GHz increase in comparison to the 2600s 0.5GHz).
Semiconductor size: The smaller the better
The Ryzen 5 3600 is more efficient than 2600 in nearly every category because it uses smaller semiconductors.
Although people don’t talk as often about transistors and semiconductors, they are crucial components of a CPU. Silicon Valley, a global tech hub, was named after semiconductors.
So, smaller semiconductors offer better performance and lower power consumption. They are smaller, which means that more can be fit onto one chip. This leads to higher performance. This is a complex science that becomes more precise and impressive with time. That’s why you often see newer CPUs in this category.
This is exactly why Ryzen 3600 wins in this category. It boasts 7-nanometer semiconductors, compared to the 12nm of 2600 which are almost standard.
There is a small difference in cache memory
Cache memory is a small and easily accessible memory slot that your CPU uses. It is used to retrieve frequently-accessed data, or to speed up basic processes your CPU executes more often.
The three levels of cache memory are usually L1, L2, or L3. The L1 level is the smallest, and fastest, and L2 is the opposite. You won’t notice a significant difference in performance between processors with identical cache sizes, particularly if L1 is the same.
This category is very close between the Ryzen 3600/2600, with their L1/L2 being almost identical. Although the 3600 has a slight advantage due to its 32 MB L3 (compared with 16 MB for 2600), this is unlikely to be a significant difference.
TDP and CPU temperature
Both CPU temperature (and TDP) are related to power consumption and temperature.
CPU temperature is the temperature at which a processor can withstand before it experiences problems such as sudden shutdowns. TDP is the measure of how much heat a CPU can produce under maximal theoretical load.
These two metrics can be used to determine how much power or heat a processor generates. Higher-powered CPUs are more likely to generate heat and will require more cooling power.
Despite Ryzen 3600 being the faster processor, its TDP (total CPU power) is 65W. It’s also tied at 95oC for maximum CPU temperature. This shows that AMD has done a fantastic job in creating a powerful processor by simply innovating without increasing its power consumption.
It’s a tie in the category, but we are still impressed by the 3600!
Before we can reach our final verdict, here are some important points: The standout features that really make a difference.
Ryzen 5 3600 has a huge RAM advantage
The 3600 supports up to 128GB RAM, while 2600 can only support 64GB.
While 64GB is not enough for gaming, it’s sufficient if you are running complicated programs such as Cinema 4D or After Effects. The performance will be significantly different if you have 128 GB.
It is also worth noting that the 3600 supports slightly faster RAM speeds, 3200 MHz in comparison to 2933MHz.
Are the Ryzen 5 3600’s future-proof features really so great?
You’ve likely already concluded that Ryzen 3600 has a faster processor. Although this may be true, the key question is: Does it make sense to pay more in the long term?
Although the answer is not clear, here’s one thing that the Ryzen 2600 will have: Both of these CPUs use the AM4 socket. The Zen4 generation will be released and it will bring us to the AM5 socket. This will make your AM4 motherboard obsolete.
So if you want to take a leap of faith, wait for the next generation before jumping in. Ryzen 2600 may be enough for now.
Ryzen 5 2600 vs. 3600 is the final word
Our Ryzen 2600 Vs 3600 Review was not inconclusive. The 3600 is clearly the better choice when it comes to performance.
It is still a question whether the increase in processing power of 2600 (which already has a very good CPU) justifies paying more, especially when you consider that both will soon become a bit less outdated.
Ryzen 3600 is the best choice if you are looking for an extra edge and more RAM to run heavy programs.
The Ryzen 2600 is a great choice if you are looking for a processor that can handle high-end gaming at a reasonable price. The Ryzen 2600 is a great option to upgrade your GPU and save some cash!
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