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In a Nutshell
Powerful and affordable, the Ryzen 5 5600G is the best budget APU we’ve seen so far. Its graphics performance is impressive, but we wish its processing power would’ve been slightly better.
Although it has passed more than half of year since AMD released its new generation of mobile Ryzen CPUs featuring integrated graphics, the company has only recently decided to release their counterpart desktop versions for use in mainstream PCs. Thus the 5000G series of Ryzen CPUs arrives as a successor to the less known 4000G series, which AMD only made available for purchase as part of OEM PCs of its partners.
The main feature of this new generation of APUs is the implementation of the Zen 3 architecture, which replaces the Zen 2 architecture from older solutions. However, the graphics part of the new APUs remains the same, as its based on the tried and tested Vega architecture. Although combining the Zen 3 architecture and the new RDNA2 graphics architecture would result in a more complete and powerful processor, it was more important for AMD to quickly deliver chips to the market, and thus meet the high demand of its OEM partners. Accordingly, the 4000G and 5000G series are designed to be maximally compatible with each other, which means replacing the Zen 2 CCX (CPU Core Complex) with the Zen 3 CCX is extremely easy.
Compared to the Zen 2 architecture, the Zen 3 brings on average 19% better performance at the same clock speed, as well as twice as large and unified L3 cache, which further helps in certain situations. On the other hand, AMD has decided to keep the old 20-channel PCIe 3.0 controller on the new graphics processor, while the existing Ryzen 5000 series CPUs without integrated graphics feature a 24-channel PCIe 4.0 controller. When it comes to motherboard compatibility, the new APUs will certainly be supported by a majority of X570 chipsets, as well as on the new X570S, and B550 and A520 chipsets. Boards with X470 and B450 chipsets are also likely to be supported, but the availability of new and compatible versions of UEFI will depend on goodwill of motherboard manufacturers.
AMD Ryzen 5 5600G Specifications
|Specifications||AMD Ryzen 5 5600G|
|Base/Boost Clock||3.9 GHz/4.4 GHz|
|L3 Cache||16 MB|
|iGPU||Radeon Vega (7 CUs)|
Speaking in terms of market positioning, AMD has has released its new generation of APUs in order to fill out the holes in its existing product portfolio. The 8-core Ryzen 7 5700G, with a suggested retail price of $359, is positioned slightly below the Ryzen 7 5800X, which costs $449. The weaker, 6-core Ryzen 5 5600G, which costs $259, stands below the $299 Ryzen 5 5600X. Both of these two APUs will be the most interesting to users who do not want invest in a discrete graphics card, or to those who are building a new PC configuration, but plan to buy a GPU sometime later. In this regard, the new processors are positioned very competitively against Intel’s solutions, despite the fact that they still feature iGPUs based on ageing Vega architecture. The new 11th gen Intel Core processors come equipped with iGPUs based on the new Intel Xe architecture, however, their graphics performance is still quite limited, which hardly justifies their price.
In practice, a weaker APU imposes itself as a more interesting solution due to its more affordable price. However, instead of buying Ryzen 5 5700G, it may be more affordable to buy a used CPU and GPU, which will probably deliver much better gaming performance than the single 5700G itself. For that reason, AMD probably opted to also release a more affordable 5600G in order to gain a little bit more of market share.
Both the Ryzen 5 5700G and Ryzen 5 5600G ship with a Wraith Stealth cooler, which is another factor that could interest potential buyers. The Ryzen 5 5600X is the only AMD’s CPU without integrated graphics card that comes with a cooler, so buying an aftermarket cooler is mandatory if you opt for a more powerful model. By choosing the Ryzen 5 5600G you can avoid buying an aftermarket cooler, and potentially save a few dozen dollars. Here, it must be said that AMD considers working CPU temperatures of up to 95°C safe, so a Wraith Stealth cooler should be enough to efficiently cool a 65-watt Ryzen 5 5600G.
AMD Ryzen 5 5600G Performance
We compared the Ryzen 5 5600G to two processors from the same price segment – the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X, and the Intel Core i5-11600K. Based on its TDP and system specifications, the Ryzen 5 5600G presents itself as a slightly cheaper alternative to the Core i5-11600. However, most users in this market segment don’t care too much about the price-to-performance ratio, so we’ve decided to compare the 5600G to the more powerful i5-11600K. For purposes of this review, we’ve tested AMD’s CPUs on an X570 motherboard, and Intel’s CPU on a Z590 motherboard. Both testing rigs featured 16 GB of DDR4 RAM running at speed of 3,600 MHz, and a GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card. Our benchmark results are shown below.
|Benchmark||Ryzen 5 5600G||Ryzen 5 5600X||Core i5-11600K|
|Cinebench R23 (Multi)||10,815||11,250||11,225|
|Cinebench R23 (Single)||1,437||1,536||1,569|
|7-Zip (Compression)||60.21 kMIPS||72.33 kMIPS||63.43 kMIPS|
|7-Zip (Decompression)||77.89 kMIPS||86,95 kMIPS||70,11 kMIPS|
|Blender v2.8 (bmw27)||239 s||225 s||211 s|
|PugetBench (Photoshop 20)||1,015||1,075||1,099|
|PugetBench (Premiere Pro 20)||719||745||739|
As you can see, the Ryzen 5 5600G is the weakest among all three processors we’ve tested, however, the difference in performance results isn’t too big. The Ryzen 5 5600G seems to be struggling quite a lot under longer periods of full stress, partly due to its lower TDP and power consumption limit. Next up, we’ve tested its gaming performance in a combination with GeForce RTX 3060 at 1080p on ultra settings.
|1080p @ Max. Settings||Ryzen 5 5600G||Ryzen 5 5600X||Core i5-11600K|
|Borderlands 3||75 FPS||84 FPS||88 FPS|
|Horizon Zero Dawn||90 FPS||97 FPS||94 FPS|
|Metro Exodus||61 FPS||67 FPS||66 FPS|
|Shadow of the Tomb Raider||119 FPS||134 FPS||125 FPS|
Combined with a discrete GPU, the new Ryzen 5 5600G doesn’t shine compared to the Ryzen 5 5600X and Core i5-11600K. Of course, we have to keep in mind that we’ve tested performance at 1080p resolution, where CPU is clearly bottlenecking the GPU. If we had tested at 1440p resolution, the performance gap between CPUs would have been much closer. However, the Ryzen 5 5600G’s main feature is its integrated graphics solution, so we’ve also tested its performance without a discrete GPU.
|1080p @ Min. Settings||Ryzen 5 5600G||Ryzen 5 5600X||Core i5-11600K|
|League of Legends||185 FPS||–||159 FPS|
|Fortnite||97 FPS||–||38 FPS|
|Metro Exodus||44 FPS||–||23 FPS|
|Shadow of the Tomb Raider||29 FPS||–||14 FPS|
Here we can clearly see Ryzen 5 5600G showing its teeth. The CPU easily outperforms i5-11600K at 1080p resolution, and can deliver an impressive 97 FPS on average in Fortnite. The CPU also seems perfectly suitable for playing other online multiplayer games, such as League of Legends or Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, which means Ryzen 5 5600G will be very interesting to gamers who don’t want to spend a fortune on buying a new graphics card. Performance in Metro Exodus is also quite impressive. Provided that you lower the display resolution to 720p, you can expect to achieve fairly satisfactory gaming experience if you don’t mind playing games at lowest settings.
From all that we’ve seen, we can conclude that the Ryzen 5 5600G is an optimal solution for users who don’t want to invest in a discrete graphics card. Otherwise, the Intel Core i5-11600K seems like a much better option, partly because it’s fairly affordable, and partly because it’s iGPU performance is also quite decent.