AMD Ryzen 5 5600X (Zen3) Review & Benchmarks – CPU 6-core/12-thread Performance

What is “ZEN3” (Ryzen 5000)?

AMD’s Zen3 (“Vermeer”) is the 3rd generation ZEN core – aka the new 5000-series of CPUs from AMD, that introduces further refinements of the ZEN(2) core and layout. An APU version (with integrated “NaviX” graphics) is also scheduled to be launched later (as normal) but this time likely to keep the 5000-series moniker. The CPU/APUs remain socket AM4 compatible on desktop – thus allowing in-place upgrade (subject to BIOS upgrade as always) – but series 500-chipsets are recommended to enable all features (e.g. PCIe4, etc.). [Note this is the last CPU that will fit AM4 socket; future CPUs supporting DDR5 need a new socket]

Unlike ZEN2, the main changes are to the core/cache layout but they could still prove significant considering the cache/memory latencies issues that have impacted ZEN designs:

  • Claim +19% IPC overall improvement vs. ZEN2
  • Higher base and turbo clocks +3% [for 5600X vs. 3600XT]
  • Still built around “chiplets” CCX (“core complexes”) but now of 8C/16T and 32MB L3 cache (still 7nm)
  • Same central I/O hub with memory controller(s) and PCIe 4.0 bridges connected through IF (“Infinity Fabric”) (12nm)
  • Still up to 2 chiplets on desktop platform thus up to 2x 8C (16C/32T 5950X)
  • L3 is still the same 32MB but now unified (not 2x 16MB) still up to 64MB on 5950X
  • 20 PCIe 4.0 lanes
  • 2x DDR4 memory controllers up to 3200Mt/s official (4266Mt/s max)

1 chiplet (1 large CCX) + I/O hub

To upgrade from Zen2 (Ryzen 3000) or not?

Micro-architecturally there are more changes that should improve performance and security:

  • VAES 256-bit (vs. AES HWA 128-bit) [note that VAES/AVX512 is 512-bit]
  • Control Flow Integrity eXtensions (CFX) & Shadow Stacks (SSX)
  • Multi-Key Memory Encryption, e.g. individually encrypted VM memory
  • Inter-core latencies reduced through shared L3 (8C and less); no more trips to memory to share data
  • AMD processors have thankfully not been affected by most of the vulnerabilities bar two (BTI/”Spectre”, SSB/”Spectre v4″) that have now been addressed in hardware.

You also need to watch out for the compatibility issues especially for older boards:

  • X570, B550, A520 boards need AGESA 1.0.8.0 for Zen3 support
    • AGESA 1.1.0.0 Patch B/C or later recommended
  • X470, B450 boards need at least AGESA 1.0.1.0 to boot Zen3 and won’t receive full support for some time
  • X370, B350, A320 boards are not likely to be updated for Zen3

In this article we test CPU core performance; please see our other articles on:

Hardware Specifications

We are comparing the middle-range Ryzen 5 5000-series (Zen3 6-core) with previous generation Ryzen 5 3000-series (Zen2 6-core) and competing architectures with a view to upgrading to a middle-range but still high performance design.

CPU Specifications AMD Ryzen 5 5600X 6C/12T (Vermeer)
AMD Ryzen 5 3600XT 6C/12T (Matisse) AMD Ryzen 5 2600X 6C/12T (Pinnacle Ridge) Intel i9 9900K 8C/16T (Coffeelake-R) Intel i7 8700K 6C/12T (Coffeelake) Comments
Cores (CU) / Threads (SP) 6C / 12T 6C / 12T 6C / 12T 8C / 16T 6C / 12T Core counts remain the same.
Topology 1 chiplet, 1 CCX, each 6 core (2 cores disabled) + I/O hub 1 chiplet, 2 CCX, each 3 cores (1 core disabled) + I/O hub 2 CCX, each 3 cores (1 core disabled) Monolithic die Monolithic die Large CCX with 6 cores not 3
Speed (Min / Max / Turbo) (GHz)
3.7 / 4.6GHz [+2%] 3.8 / 4.5GHz 3.6 / 4.2GHz 3.6 / 5GHz 3.7 / 4.7GHz Base is lower but turbo 2% higher.
Power (TDP / Turbo) (W)
65W / 135W (PL2) 95W / 135W (PL2) 95W / 135W (PL2) 95 / 135W (PL2) 95 / 135W (PL2) Same TDP
L1D / L1I Caches (kB)
6x 32kB 8-way / 6x 32kB 8-way 6x 32kB 8-way / 6x 32kB 8-way 6x 32kB 8-way / 6x 64kB 4-way 8x 32kB 8-way / 8x 32kB 8-way 6x 32kB 8-way / 6x 32kB 8-way No changes to L1
L2 Caches (MB)
6x 512kB (3MB) 8-way inclusive 6x 512kB (3MB) 8-way inclusive 6x 512kB (4MB) 8-way 8x 256kB (2MB) 16-way 6x 256kB (1.5MB) 16-way No changes to L2
L3 Caches (MB)
32MB 16-way exclusive 2x 16MB (32MB) 16-way exclusive 2x 8MB (16MB) 16-way 16MB 16-way 12MB 16-way Unified L3 but not larger
Mitigations for Vulnerabilities BTI/”Spectre”, SSB/”Spectre v4″ hardware BTI/”Spectre”, SSB/”Spectre v4″ hardware BTI/”Spectre”, SSB/”Spectre v4″ software/firmware RDCL/”Meltdown”, L1TF hardware, BTI/”Spectre”, MDS/”Zombieload”, software/firmware RDCL/”Meltdown”, L1TF hardware, BTI/”Spectre”, MDS/”Zombieload”, software/firmware No new fixes required… yet!
Microcode (MU)
MU-xxx MU-8F7100-11 MU-8F0802-04 MU-069E0C-9E MU-069E0C-9E The latest microcodes have been loaded.
SIMD Units 256-bit AVX/FMA3/AVX2 256-bit AVX/FMA3/AVX2 128bit AVX/FMA3/AVX2 256-bit AVX/FMA3/AVX2 256-bit AVX/FMA3/AVX2 Same SIMD widths
Price/RRP (USD) $300 [+25%]
$240 [higher now due to demand] $220 [much cheaper now] $480 $380 [much cheaper now] Somewhat large price increase of 25% still better than Intel.

Disclaimer

This is an independent article that has not been endorsed nor sponsored by any entity (e.g AMD). All trademarks acknowledged and used for identification only under fair use. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE).

The article contains only public information (available elsewhere on the Internet) and not provided under NDA nor embargoed. At publication time, the products have not been directly tested by SiSoftware and thus the accuracy of the benchmark scores cannot be verified; however, they appear consistent and do not appear to be false/fake.

Native Performance

We are testing native arithmetic, SIMD and cryptography performance using the highest performing instruction sets (AVX2, FMA3, AVX, etc.). Zen3 supports all modern instruction sets including AVX2, FMA3 and even more like SHA HWA but not AVX-512.

Results Interpretation: Higher values (GOPS, MB/s, etc.) mean better performance.

Environment: Windows 10 x64, latest AMD and Intel drivers. 2MB “large pages” were enabled and in use. Turbo / Boost was enabled on all configurations. All mitigations for vulnerabilities (Meltdown, Spectre, L1TF, MDS, etc.) were enabled as per Windows default where applicable.

Native Benchmarks AMD Ryzen 5 5600X 6C/12T (Vermeer) AMD Ryzen 5 3600XT 6C/12T (Matisse) Intel i9 9900K 8C/16T (Coffeelake-R)
Intel i7 8700K 6C/12T (Coffeelake) Comments
CPU Arithmetic Benchmark Native Dhrystone Integer (GIPS) 341 [+15%] 297 366 273 Zen3 starts strongly with 15% faster than Zen2 in this legacy integer benchmark.
CPU Arithmetic Benchmark Native Dhrystone Long (GIPS) 347 [+16%] 300 347 255 With a 64-bit integer workload still 16% improvement.
CPU Arithmetic Benchmark Native FP32 (Float) Whetstone (GFLOPS) 221 [+26%] 176 243 173 Floating-point performance is even better, 25% better than Zen2.
CPU Arithmetic Benchmark Native FP64 (Double) Whetstone (GFLOPS) 183 [21%] 151 196 143 With FP64 nothing much changes again.
The 6-core Zen3 improves by 15-26% compared to the old Zen2-XT which is still decent considering almost the same Turbo clock. This means it is not quite enough to beat the 8-core CFL-R though it soundly outperforms the 6-core CFL.
BenchCpuMM Native Integer (Int32) Multi-Media (Mpix/s) 1,113 [+38%] 804 1,000 781 Zen3 is still 38% over Zen2 despite same width SIMD units.
BenchCpuMM Native Long (Int64) Multi-Media (Mpix/s) 446 [+56%] 286 435 320 With a 64-bit AVX2 integer vectorised workload, Zen3 is 56% faster.
BenchCpuMM Native Quad-Int (Int128) Multi-Media (Mpix/s) 87.4 [+31%] 66.5 83 62.2 This is a tough test using Long integers to emulate Int128 (now vectorised), Zen3 is still 31% faster.
BenchCpuMM Native Float/FP32 Multi-Media (Mpix/s) 1,131 [+38%] 820 998 746 In this floating-point AVX/FMA vectorised test, Zen3 is again 38% faster than Zen2.
BenchCpuMM Native Double/FP64 Multi-Media (Mpix/s) 670 [+39%] 481 573 427 Switching to FP64 SIMD code, Zen3 is 39% faster.
BenchCpuMM Native Quad-Float/FP128 Multi-Media (Mpix/s) 26 [+27%] 20.54 27 20.5 In this heavy algorithm using FP64 to mantissa extend FP128, Zen3 still manages to be 27% faster.
While Zen2 with its new 256-bit wide SIMD units was almost 2x faster (+100%) than Zen1/+, Zen 3 still manages to improve anywhere between 25-56%, even better than what we’ve seen in the lagacy benchmarks. As a result it even beats the 8-core CFL-R is just about all tests while it ties one. It shows that even with 2 more cores (+33%), the old Intel cores just cannot compete these days.
BenchCrypt Crypto AES-256 (GB/s) 26*** [+13%] 23 16.7 15.8 Zen3  support VAES (256-bit) but all CPUs are memory bandwidth bound – Zen3 is 13% faster.
BenchCrypt Crypto AES-128 (GB/s) 16.7 15.8 What we saw with AES-256 just repeats with AES-128.
BenchCrypt Crypto SHA2-256 (GB/s) 19.8** [+24%] 16** 12.3 9.3 With SHA/HWA Zen3 similarly powers through hashing tests leaving Intel in the dust – and is still 24% faster than Zen2!
BenchCrypt Crypto SHA1 (GB/s) 22.7 17.6 The less compute-intensive SHA1 does not change things due to acceleration.
BenchCrypt Crypto SHA2-512 (GB/s) 9 6.8
While streaming tests (crypto/hashing) are memory bound, Zen3 still manages a decent 13-24% improvement over Zen2, again enough to beat both Intel CPUs, even with more cores. As Zen3 can use even faster memory – performance can improve even further.

Note***: using VAES 256-bit (AVX2)

Note**: using SHA HWA not SIMD (e.g. AVX512, AVX2, AVX, etc.)

BenchFinance Black-Scholes float/FP32 (MOPT/s) 285 212 The stadard financial algorithm.
BenchFinance Black-Scholes double/FP64 (MOPT/s) 244 [+24%] 196 254 183 Switching to FP64 code, Zen3 is 24% faster than Zen2.
BenchFinance Binomial float/FP32 (kOPT/s) 60.5 43.8 Binomial uses thread shared data thus stresses the cache & memory system;
BenchFinance Binomial double/FP64 (kOPT/s) 71.27 [+46%] 48.9 63.13 46.8 With FP64 code Zen3 is now 46% faster.
BenchFinance Monte-Carlo float/FP32 (kOPT/s) 218 162 Monte-Carlo also uses thread shared data but read-only thus reducing modify pressure on the caches;
BenchFinance Monte-Carlo double/FP64 (kOPT/s) 99.21 [+16%] 85.82 88 66.8 The cache improvements show here, Zen3 is 16% faster.
Ryzen always did well on non-SIMD floating-point algorithms and here it further cements its dominance: 6-core Zen3 anywhere between 16-46% faster than Zen2 and again beats the 8-core CFL-R in most tests (or at least ties). Intel will need more cores to match its performance and that is not easy to do.
BenchScience SGEMM (GFLOPS) float/FP32 411 370 In this tough vectorised algorithm that is widely used (e.g. AI/ML).
BenchScience DGEMM (GFLOPS) double/FP64 147 [-3%] 152 231 179 With FP64 vectorised code, we have an outlier here.
BenchScience SFFT (GFLOPS) float/FP32 20.5 20.26 FFT is also heavily vectorised but stresses the memory sub-system more.
BenchScience DFFT (GFLOPS) double/FP64 8.79 [+33%] 6.59 9.41 9.89 With FP64 code, Zen3 is 33% slower likely memory related.
BenchScience SNBODY (GFLOPS) float/FP32 483 368 N-Body simulation is vectorised but fewer memory accesses.
BenchScience DNBODY (GFLOPS) double/FP64 177 [+18%] 150 172 126 With FP64 precision Zen3 is 18% faster.
With highly vectorised SIMD code Zen3 still improves by a decent amount, although memory-access latency sensitive algorithms (not streaming) like FFT/N-Body are still problematic. We saw in our other reviews that GEMM is faster on Zen3 and here we have an outlier for some reason that needs to be investigated.
CPU Image Processing Blur (3×3) Filter (MPix/s) 2,709 [+43%] 1,892 2,590 2,000 In this vectorised integer workload Zen3 starts 43% faster than Zen2!
CPU Image Processing Sharpen (5×5) Filter (MPix/s) 1,074 [+46%] 735 1,000 766 Same algorithm but more shared data makes Zen3 46% faster.
CPU Image Processing Motion-Blur (7×7) Filter (MPix/s) 533 [+41%] 378 524 390 Again same algorithm but even more data shared still 41% faster
CPU Image Processing Edge Detection (2*5×5) Sobel Filter (MPix/s) 858 [+33%] 646 879 657 Different algorithm but still vectorised workload Zen3 is 33% faster.
CPU Image Processing Noise Removal (5×5) Median Filter (MPix/s) 88.5 [+29%] 68.7 77.82 58.33 Still vectorised code but Zen3 is “only” 29% faster.
CPU Image Processing Oil Painting Quantise Filter (MPix/s) 28.5 [+50%] 19 43 31.92 This test has always been tough for Ryzen but Zen3 still manages 50% improvement!
CPU Image Processing Diffusion Randomise (XorShift) Filter (MPix/s) 2,656 [+2.18x] 1,220 4,000 3,330 With integer workload, Intel CPUs seem to do much better but Zen3 is over 2x faster than Zen2.
CPU Image Processing Marbling Perlin Noise 2D Filter (MPix/s) 341 [+52%] 224 610 455 In this final test again with integer workload Zen3 is 39% faster.
While Zen2 brought almost 2x improvement due to its 256-bit wide SIMD units, Zen3 still manages anywhere between 29-52% improvement, generally enough to beat Intel’s 8-core CFL-R or at least be competitive with it. This is something Intel always used to win by a big margin and now seems to be firmly AMD’s favourite.
BenchCpuAI SCNN Inference (Samp/s) float/FP32 88.45 [+13%] 78.46 46.79 46.33 Zen3 is 13% than Zen2 in inference.
BenchCpuAI SCNN Training (Samp/s) float/FP32 17.1 [+3%] 16.57 6.46 5.64 Traning only improves by a measly 3%.
BenchCpuAI SRNN Inference (Samp/s) float/FP32 126.24 [+58%] 80.08 75.03 55.51 Zen3 is 58% faster than Zen2 and much faster than Intel.
BenchCpuAI SRNN Training (Samp/s) float/FP32 3.83 [+31%] 2.93 3.48 2.69 Training also improves by a generous 31%.
Zen3 does extremely well overall with neural networks, with large speed increases (13-58%) depending on the task. The unified L3 caches helps inter-core data transfers greatly which is widely used in neural networks.

Note*: using AVX512 not AVX2/FMA3.

Aggregate Score (Points) 8,240 [+16%] 7,130 8,150 6,520 Across all benchmarks, Zen3 is 16% faster than Zen2!
Overall the 6-core Zen3 (X) is only about 16% faster than the old Zen2 (XT), as it can cannot rely on much faster Turbo as we’ve seen with its other siblings. While we may have hoped for more, the XT Zen2 have too good performance rather than Zen3 not improving enough.
Price/RRP (USD) $300 [+25%] $240 [higher now due to demand] $480 $380 [lower now due to age] Somewhat large price increase, larger than improvement over Zen2.
Price Efficiency (Perf. vs. Cost)  (Points/USD) 27.46 [-8%] 29.70 16.97 17.15 Zen3 is 8% less cost efficient vs. the old Zen2.
Due to the (modest) performance gains, the 5600X price efficiency is lower (-8%) than the old 3800XT due to the relatively large price increase (+25%). On the other hand the current prices of 3000-series is up by $50+ which makes the new part better value all things considered. While Intel does not seem price efficient, the cost is lower today and likely to be reduced further soon.
Power/TDP (W) 65 (135 PL2 turbo) [=] 65 (135 PL2 turbo) 95 (135 PL2 turbo) 95 (135 PL2 turbo) Zen3 keeps the same TDP as Zen2.
Power Efficiency (Perf. vs. Power) (Points/W) 126.77 [+16%] 109.69 85.79 68.63 Zen3 is 16% more power efficient than Zen2.
Despite the (modest) performance gains, Zen3 is 16% more power efficient as the TDP remains the same as Zen2. Still, due to better Turbo (Boost) and higher clocks, Zen3 will spend more time closer to the power limit than the old Zen2.

SiSoftware Official Ranker Scores

Final Thoughts / Conclusions

Executive Summary: Zen3 (5600X, 6-core) is ~16% faster than Zen2 (3600XT, 6-core) across all kinds of algorithms but 25% more expensive. We’ll give it 8/10.

Despite no major architectural changes (except larger 8-core single CCX layout (2 cores disabled here) and thus unified L3 cache) over Zen2 – Zen3 manages to be quite a bit faster across legacy and heavily vectorised SIMD algorithms, though in the case of the 6-core (aka 5600X) due to its almost identical Turbo compared to old Zen2 (3600XT) –  it cannot beat it so soundly as the other siblings have as we’ve seen in the other reviews. The Zen2 XTs performance is just too good!

Still, it is enough to overtake the Intel competition, even the old top-end 8-core i9 9900K which is a massive win – and naturally leaves the older 6-core i7 8700K in the dust.

Again, in effect it is like getting a 8-core CPU for the price of the 6-core and despite of the higher cost vs. older CPUs; it is a big upgrade especially for older AM4 boards likely still using Zen1/Zen+ CPUs (e.g. 1600, 2600 or so). At this level, PCIe3 performance (on 400, 300-series boards) is just fine and you are getting a relatively cheap system that can beat older top-of-the-range systems  of the past. [Note: as long as there is a BIOS update available or you can mod one]

As before – if you want one of these CPUs, make sure you buy or even pre-order one now to avoid disappointment, though watch out for the relatively large price increase!

Please see the other reviews on how the 8-core (5800X) and the top-end 16-core (5950X) variants perform:

Disclaimer

This is an independent article that has not been endorsed nor sponsored by any entity (e.g AMD). All trademarks acknowledged and used for identification only under fair use. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE).

The article contains only public information (available elsewhere on the Internet) and not provided under NDA nor embargoed. At publication time, the products have not been directly tested by SiSoftware and thus the accuracy of the benchmark scores cannot be verified; however, they appear consistent and do not appear to be false/fake.

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