Professionals, gamers, and even server administrators have enjoyed AMD’s Ryzen CPU lineup since it launched in 2017 due its wide variety of architectures and integration options.
Prior to releasing the Ryzen lineup, AMD made a name for itself in the computing space with several CPUs and chipsets performing better than competitor Intel’s similarly priced options.
By the time the third generation of Ryzen chips came along, including the Ryzen 7 3700x, AMD had well solidified their standing in graphical and data rendering and other productivity and high performance computing tasks.
The release and public adoption of AMD’s later generation Ryzen offerings, including the Ryzen 5 5600x proved they were a force to be reckoned with in gaming as well, with benchmarks and real world testing often leaving competing CPUs in the dust.
In this article we’ll describe and discuss two popular Ryzen CPU models, specifically the AMD Ryzen 7 3700x and the Ryzen 5 5600x, so let’s get started.
Ryzen 7 3700x Key Specs and Overview
The Ryzen 7 3700x, though originally released in AMD’s third generation Ryzen lineup in July of 2019, still packs a real punch in terms of cores and processing power.
This chip has 8 cores, 16 threads, and a base clock speed of 3.6GHz. All Ryzen chips are overclockable, however, so if you’re willing to tinker with some simple settings, you’ll reach 4.4GHz using the boost clock option.
Another feature you’ll find on this third generation Ryzen 7 is 32MB of L3 cache, aside the 4MB of L2 cache, of course.
These on-chip caches accommodate processing of graphical data, which is vital if you’re doing any 3D rendering or modeling.
This third generation Ryzen 7 also has native Windows and Linux support, which is important for users depending on open source 3D rendering applications, and can even utilize dual channel 3200MHz DDR4 RAM.
Ryzen 5 5600x Key Specs and Overview
One of the most sought-after CPUs in gaming is the Ryzen 5 5600x. That’s because it has an impressive boost clock speed of 4.6GHz, over the 3.7GHz base clock, and rips through most game titles with ease using 6 core and 12 distinct threads.
This fifth generation Ryzen chip also has 3MB of L2 cache and 32MB of L3 cache, which work in harmony to send data through the pipes as fast as the cores can translate it.
The Ryzen 5 5600x was first released in November of 2020, during a pending silicon shortage that left many gamers relying on CPUs alone for desktop gaming.
It’s no surprise the release came to be a favorite among casual and even serious gamers, as it could handle many titles at frame rates previous chips hadn’t dreamt of.
This CPU uses PCIe 4.0 connectivity, and can be used in systems alongside 3200MHz DDR4 memory. It’s supported by the favored AMD Zen 3 architecture, and has a 65W default Thermal Design Power (TDP) rating.
Comparing the Ryzen 7 3700x vs Ryzen 5 5600x
While the Ryzen 7 3700x is two generations behind the Ryzen 5 5600x, they both contain features and specs that make them comparable, including their price points.
Today, either chip can be purchased for about $225, give or take $25 depending on the retailer and promotions you happen upon.
The Ryzen 7 3700x does have an additional 2 cores over the 6 core Ryzen 5 5600x, meaning more processing power, especially for large data and power consumption tasks like rendering.
The Ryzen 7 chip mentioned here also wins out in terms of cache, but only with a 1MB difference on the L2 level.
Both chips use PCIe 4.0 and can support 3200MHz RAM, but only the Ryzen 7 listed here has native dual channel support on the official documentation from AMD.
Either chip is fairly known as a powerhouse, and can be overclocked in the spirit of AMD’s series-wide unlockable design, for those who like to squeeze the most of their hardware.
Keep in mind, however, that overclocking may require changes to your cooling system or software settings, and should only be done by those with the patience for changing configurations.
A notable difference between the two CPUs in their core architecture. The Ryzen 5 5600x is based on “Zen 3” Core Architecture which gives emphasis on single-core performance, low latency and energy efficiency. These key Core specs are essential for high gaming performance.
Which Ryzen CPU is Better for Gaming?
There’s really no comparison for the pickiest of gamers when it comes to CPUs. The clear winner in our comparison for gamers is the Ryzen 5 5600x.
Whether you’re supported with a dedicated GPU or not, you’re going to want to grab the Ryzen 5 5600x for it’s “Zen 3” Core Architecture, overclocking capabilities, L2 and L3 caches, and native PCIe 4.0 connectivity.
This chip has been put under serious pressure over the last couple years, and with the silicon shortage coming to a presumable end, the price and time is right to up your frame rates with the fifth generation Ryzen 5.
Which Ryzen CPU is Better for Rendering?
If rendering is your primary purpose, then Ryzen 7 3700x is the name – of your CPU, that is. Or at least it should be.
This chip has stood the test of time over the last few years, and if you can buy a sealed or gently used copy of it today then you’ll likely add double-digit benefits to your current 2nd or prior generation version CPU.
When comparing the two AMD models, the Ryzen 7 3700x is the better choice for anyone who does 3D rendering or modeling, whether you’re working with large data sets or visuals.
That’s largely due to the additional cores (8 cores compared to 6), each working in tandem to render multi-gig projects while you brew your next cup of coffee.
The Bottom Line
Both of the Ryzen chips reviewed here are amazingly fast and capable of playing most game titles you’d encounter today.
While the Ryzen 7 3700x is a bit older, it’s still part of the 7 series lineup and contains more cores than the fifth generation Ryzen 5 chips. That makes it ideal for rendering and other productivity tasks.
The newer Ryzen 5 5600x chip described here is well capable of 3D rendering, but really shines when it comes to gaming, as has been shown with popular titles including the intel-leaning Counter-Strike Global Offensive, and most other popular gaming titles listed on Steam.
The bottom line is, if you’re looking to render, its best to go for the higher core count and get your hands on a Ryzen 7 3700x, but those who strictly game or watch media should try to find a Ryzen 5 5600x.