[SOLVED] Ryzen 3600 vs 3600X vs 2700X: Which to Pick?

Aug 27, 2019
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I am looking to replace a very old PC build for my primary computer (currently has a i7 2700K) for my primary computer desktop build I use. I used to be more "with it" on tech knowledge and knowing what is best, but I am having a horrible time deciding which CPU to get.

Here are my options:
  1. Ryzen 5 3600 ($159)
  2. Ryzen 5 3600X ($179)
  3. Ryzen 7 2700X ($179)
I use my PC for the following:
  1. Video Games: Emulating via many different consoles old and new; old 2000 era computer games. (Read: needs to meet criteria and demands of modern day gaming, but likely no hardcore games)
  2. Occasional Heavy-Duty Professional applications (Solver toolds to solve complex equations, Sibelius, Photoshop)
  3. Basic Every-Day Tasks (20+ tab browsing, e-mails, stream music)
I am fine buying any of those three and do not necessarily mind the price differences but would tend to prioritize future-proof and best performance for my needs. I'm also likely not going to dabble with overclocking very much if not at all because I will have constraints on cooling for my desktop.

What should I get?
 
I would actually recommend the 3600 or 3600X.

Emulation typically benefits most from higher performance per core, and the 3000-series will be faster on that metric due to its roughly 15% higher IPC. That goes for modern games as well, and while many games are getting more multithreaded, the 12-threads of the 3600 and 3600X are likely to be suitable for gaming for quite a while.

I'm not sure about the solver tools and Sibelius, but they sound like they might be lightly-threaded, and Photoshop also tends to benefit much more from per-core performance rather than more cores, so again, the 3000-series processors should be better for that.

And that applies to the vast majority of software. Aside from the relatively small number of applications that manage to utilize all of the 2700X's available cores, the 3600 and 3600X should be around 10-15% faster. In certain heavily multithreaded applications that can evenly divide their load across the 2700X's 16-threads, it can potentially be the faster option by a similar margin, but those applications tend to be few and far between. Unless you were to care most about CPU-based rendering or video encoding performance, the 6-core 3600 and 3600X would likely serve you better than the 8-core 2700X, due to their faster cores benefiting far more of today's software.

As for whether to go with the 3600 or the 3600X, they actually perform quite similar to one another. The 3600X uses slightly better-performing chips, but it tends to not be much more than 2% faster than the 3600. It does come with a somewhat better stock cooler though. Whether that's worth paying over 10% more for is up to you. Considering the total cost of a system, it's not exactly a huge price difference between the two currently, so either are probably reasonable options.
 
I would actually recommend the 3600 or 3600X.

Emulation typically benefits most from higher performance per core, and the 3000-series will be faster on that metric due to its roughly 15% higher IPC. That goes for modern games as well, and while many games are getting more multithreaded, the 12-threads of the 3600 and 3600X are likely to be suitable for gaming for quite a while.

I'm not sure about the solver tools and Sibelius, but they sound like they might be lightly-threaded, and Photoshop also tends to benefit much more from per-core performance rather than more cores, so again, the 3000-series processors should be better for that.

And that applies to the vast majority of software. Aside from the relatively small number of applications that manage to utilize all of the 2700X's available cores, the 3600 and 3600X should be around 10-15% faster. In certain heavily multithreaded applications that can evenly divide their load across the 2700X's 16-threads, it can potentially be the faster option by a similar margin, but those applications tend to be few and far between. Unless you were to care most about CPU-based rendering or video encoding performance, the 6-core 3600 and 3600X would likely serve you better than the 8-core 2700X, due to their faster cores benefiting far more of today's software.

As for whether to go with the 3600 or the 3600X, they actually perform quite similar to one another. The 3600X uses slightly better-performing chips, but it tends to not be much more than 2% faster than the 3600. It does come with a somewhat better stock cooler though. Whether that's worth paying over 10% more for is up to you. Considering the total cost of a system, it's not exactly a huge price difference between the two currently, so either are probably reasonable options.
 

gingerrankin

Estimable
Apr 3, 2018
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You can continue to use your PSU.

With the GPU that you has (RX 570) the best option is the ryzen 7 2700x because any of the three cpu will perform the same in games with this gpu and the ryzen 7 2700x is better at multitasking.

In addition keep in mind that with the chosen mob (B450 one), the ryzen 7 2700x will work directly and, instead, the 3600 / 3600x require a bios update prior to usage.

Remember that you may need a new w10 license. Investigate the possibilities of transferring your current license to the new computer.
 
If you are buying the RAM, you might as well go for something faster. You can get a 16GB kit of DDR4-3600 CAS 16 from G.Skill for about the same price, and Ryzen 3000 processors should be able to handle that speed...

https://pcpartpicker.com/product/jBZzK8/gskill-ripjaws-v-16-gb-2-x-8-gb-ddr4-3600-memory-f4-3600c16d-16gvkc

Even for Ryzen 2000 processors, you should be looking at DDR4-3200, as it tends to cost about the same or a little less than that Corsair kit...

https://pcpartpicker.com/product/Cf98TW/gskill-memory-f43200c16d16gvkb

One thing to note if going with a Ryzen 3000 processor though, is that you will want to make sure you get a B450 board that supports the 3000 processors out of the box, such as one of MSI's "MAX" versions of their boards.
 
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logainofhades

Titan
Moderator
I would do something more like this.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 3.6 GHz 6-Core Processor ($174.99 @ B&H)
Motherboard: ASRock B450M/AC Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard ($84.95 @ Amazon)
Memory: Team T-FORCE VULCAN Z 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Crucial P1 500 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($68.95 @ B&H)
Video Card: XFX Radeon RX 570 4 GB RS XXX Video Card (Purchased For $0.00)
Case: In Win 301 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($69.98 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: XFX XTR 550 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply (Purchased For $0.00)
Case Fan: Kingwin CF-012LB 40 CFM 120 mm Fan ($4.99)
Case Fan: Kingwin CF-012LB 40 CFM 120 mm Fan ($4.99)
Case Fan: Kingwin CF-012LB 40 CFM 120 mm Fan ($4.99)
Total: $483.83
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-04-10 14:53 EDT-0400
 
With the GPU that you has (RX 570) the best option is the ryzen 7 2700x because any of the three cpu will perform the same in games with this gpu and the ryzen 7 2700x is better at multitasking.
Better multitasking performance seems questionable, considering the 3600 and 3600X are already 12-threaded processors. Again, at the vast majority of applications, they will be faster than the 2700X due to their better IPC, and even most typical heavy multitasking scenarios won't be heavily utilizing more than a handful of threads.

As for the RX 570 not pushing these processors to their limits in modern games, sure, but they are likely to upgrade their graphics card at some point down the line to something that will. And again, in emulators, per-core performance of CPUs is likely to matter a lot more than graphics hardware.
 
Aug 27, 2019
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Good to know, appreciate the discussion.

This is probably a dumb question, but what's the best DDR4 memory I can do with 3600X and 2700X and which motherboard should I do with them from a compatibility end? I was not originally planning to overclock my system due to cooling constraints (see: https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/properly-venting-a-micro-atx-mini-tower-inside-a-desk-cabinet.3591585/ ), MicroCenter currently has Asus B450M-A/CSM, AsRock 450M Pro4, Gigabyte B450M DS4H, B450 AorusM AMD, Asus B450M-PLus Tuf, MSI B450M Pro-M2 Max, or MSI B450M Pro-VHD Max for motherboards. All are in price points and I am fine with getting any of those. Really not familiar with how to pick DDR4 or frankly Mobos.

My guess is if I can get significantly better DDR4 memory with a 3rd-gen Ryzen and one of those Mobos is compatible with it, that might be the route to go.
 
Aug 27, 2019
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Decided that for right now I have a lot more questions than CPU, so I'm going to mark this as solved and open a new topic. Thanks y'all!

 

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