AMD has been killing it with their third generation Ryzen CPUs, and now with the recent release of AMD’s new, entry-level, options: the Ryzen 3 3100 and Ryzen 3 3300X, there are even more respectable choices available for builds on a budget.
Whether it be gaming, a home theater PC, or general desktop use, one of the most popular of the Ryzen 3000 series CPUs is the Ryzen 5 3600, and rightfully so. Depending on the GPU, the Ryzen 5 3600 can handle gaming on 1080p resolutions for current generation single player and competitive multiplayer games with ease, at well over 100 FPS.
Though the Ryzen 3 3300X may lack in terms of specifications versus the Ryzen 5 3600, it makes up for it in price differential. Also, there are some slight differences in the architecture of the 3300X that may reduce the gap between these two CPUs, making it more price effective. Therefore, the choice between which option to shoot for to best optimize a new budget build is still in contention.
Hence, the question arises: Is the Ryzen 5 3600 worth the extra cost? Can you get the same, or more, out of the Ryzen 3 3300X in the long run? Let’s take a look:
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Ryzen 3 3300X vs Ryzen 5 3600: Specifications
|Ryzen 3 3300X||Ryzen 5 3600|
|Base Clock||3.8 GHz||3.6 GHz|
|Boost Clock||4.3 GHz||4.2 GHz|
|L3 Cache||16 MB||32 MB|
|TDP||65 W||65 W|
|Stock Cooler||Wraith Stealth||Wraith Stealth|
AMD’s Ryzen 5 3600, Zen2, AM4, processor features a 6 core and 12 thread build, with a level 3 cache of 32 MB, and a lithographical structure of 7nm, which is standard with the Ryzen 3000 series architecture, similar to PCIe 4.0 compatibility. In terms of processing speeds, the Ryzen 5 3600 operates at 3.6 GHz, and can be overclocked to above 4.2 GHz. In addition, the Ryzen 5 3600 has a thermal design power of 65 watts, including a thermal solution in the form of a Wraith Stealth CPU cooler. Finally, this CPU supports DD4 RAM of 3200 MHz speeds in two memory channels.
The newly launched Zen2, AM4, AMD Ryzen 3 3300X CPU has a more modest 4 core and 8 thread structure, with a level 3 cache of 16 MB and the same aforementioned 7nm CMOS. Accordingly, the Ryzen 3 3300X has the same TDP with the Ryzen 5 3600, and includes the same CPU cooler: The Wraith Stealth. Where the Ryzen 3 3300X one-ups the Ryzen 5 3600 is its processing speeds. It operates at 3.8 GHz and can be overclocked to above 4.4 GHz. RAM wise, it again uses a DDR4 memory type, and supports 3200 MHz speeds.
Taking a look at the deeper specifications, we can see how the Ryzen 3 3300X has another advantage to its Ryzen 5 3600 cousin; an advantage inherited in the structure of the placement of cores, threads, and cache. The core chiplet die (CCD) contains 7nm CPU core complexes (CCX) of which the cores, threads, and L3 caches are included. The inter-communication between these complexes will contain an inherent amount of latency, which can be quite noticeable in benchmarks; in particular to FPS counts of more hardware-demanding video games.
Ryzen 3 3300X vs Ryzen 5 3600: Comparison
The architecture of the Ryzen 5 3600’s CCD contains two enabled CCXs, with each containing 3 cores, 6 threads, and 16 MB L3 caches. This means that these two CCXs have to communicate between each other when using more than these core/thread counts. On the other hand, the Ryzen 3 3300X only has one enabled CCX of which all four cores, eight threads, and 16 MB L3 cache are situated upon, thus relieving it from the aforementioned intercore latencies.
Now, does this mean that the Ryzen 3 3300X can actually rival the Ryzen 5 3600, despite the latter having double the core and thread count, and double the cache? Indeed, it could be, especially in regards to current generation gaming. The fact that most games will not use more than 4 cores and 8 threads on average gives the Ryzen 3 3300X an advantage over the Ryzen 5 3600, as it lacks the inter-communicational latencies between the cores.
In terms of empirical benchmarks to substantiate this claim, we refer to TechPowerUp’s benchmarks which show that the difference in overall FPS scoring of several gaming benchmarks show a favor of only 0.7% for the Ryzen 5 3600. This slight advantage is but an average of several scores, as there are games such as Assassins Creed: Odyssey where the two stock CPU’s had the exact same FPS scores of 76.3, whereas for Battlefield V the Ryzen 5 3600 had a 1.1 FPS advantage (138.2 vs 139.3), yet for the game of the year award recipient Sekiro, the advantage is on the side of the Ryzen 3 3300X, scoring 138.2 FPS versus the 135.3 FPS of the Ryzen 5 3600. It is important to mention that these benchmarks relate to a 1440p resolution, and use the means of a Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti GPU.
Other benchmarks made by the appropriately named YouTube channel Benchmark, using the same GPU, but this time overclocking the Ryzen 3 3300X to 4.5 GHz and the Ryzen 5 3600 to 4.3 GHz on a 1080p resolution, we see that the frame refreshing advantage lies with the Ryzen 3 3300X; ranging from 5 to 17 FPS differentials depending on the game being benchmarked.
It must be mentioned, that if the computer to be made will also be used for light workstation applications, or for streaming, then there will be a slight difference in favor of the Ryzen 5 3600, due to the overall higher core and thread counts which make for faster multicore speeds. For desktop applications, the differences will be negligible.
Ryzen 3 3300X vs Ryzen 5 3600: Our Verdict
Comparing the two CPUs, we see that the differences are minimal – in fact, almost negligible – though we are basing this off benchmarks of the current games available in the market, that have not made full use of high core and thread counts, due to the specifications of the current generation of consoles: the Playstation 4 and Xbox One. This will soon change with the arrival of the next generation of consoles which will be made available towards the end of 2020. The specifications of the Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X do outmatch those of the Ryzen 3 3300X and Ryzen 5 3600, but the games to be released for these consoles will most likely not take full advantage of the consoles’ hardware soon after launch.
If you are looking to keep the CPU you purchase for a while before replacing it, and are interested in single-player, triple A games, then the Ryzen 5 3600 is worth the $70 price difference for you.
On the other hand, if you care more so about existing competitive multiplayer games, then the Ryzen 3 3300X will more than suffice for your needs.
What is more, about the Ryzen 3 3300X’s price, is that it allows for a more significant investment to be made toward a better GPU, which will allow for higher framerates on higher resolutions. If Techspot’s benchmarks show us anything, it is that the Ryzen 3 3300X can even support 4K resolution gaming for certain titles, going beyond 100 FPS in some cases, which is absolutely incredible, and unheard of, for a $120 CPU.
Another suggestion that can be made in favor of the Ryzen 3 3300X, given its uncostly price, is that it can be purchased and used until either the next generation of Ryzen CPUs are released, or until the CPU cannot handle the applications you wish it to run and would like to replace – which will be far beyond the release date of the Ryzen 4000 series set to release at the end of 2020. This will allow for a better budget allocation towards the motherboard and GPU, creating a better rig to place the next upgraded CPU purchase.
The beauty of these newly released CPUs is that they still carry the AM4 chipset, and can be placed onto any motherboard from the B350 to the newest B550, and X370 to X570 motherboards. This means that if you do take the, previously mentioned, recommended course of action, you can always later place the Ryzen 3300X into an inexpensive ITX B450 motherboard and have yourself a great home theatre PC for streaming 4K videos, or for casually playing multiplayer games with friends and family.
All in all, the overall favor would lean towards the purchase of the Ryzen 3 3300X, with the Ryzen 5 3600 holding its advantage in regards to futureproofing the overall build. Either way, both CPUs are great options that will give you years of entertainment and usefulness to come.