AMD Ryzen 7600X
$299 USD (~$443 AUD)
September 27, 2022
With the arrival of a new range of CPUs or any new silicon for that matter, there’s a tendency to look at the top of the range and marvel at some of the things it can do. After all, it’s here where world records get broken, and for the AMD Ryzen 7950X everything from individual benchmark scores to clock speed records have been decisively shattered ahead of launch. And that’s before the hardware has even been put into the hands of the craziest of overclockers and speed freaks. The sort of tech-obsessed people that hoard liquid nitrogen like doomsday preppers hoard water.
For the AMD Ryzen 7000 Series launch line-up, the AMD Ryzen 7600X presents the current entry-level model, sporting fewer cores and threads than the likes of the AMD Ryzen 7900X - but still built on the same cutting-edge 5nm Zen 4 technology. This means the same performance and efficiency gains over the previous generation of Ryzen processors, the same 5N process, and similar clock speeds that can push over 5GHz whilst keeping the overall power rating within the realm of the normal.
For the AMD Ryzen 7000 Series launch line-up, the AMD Ryzen 7600X presents the current entry-level model, sporting fewer cores and threads than the likes of the AMD Ryzen 7900X - but still built on the same cutting-edge 5nm Zen 4 technology.
That said, as we found out when reviewing the Ryzen 7900X, idle and basic-task power levels for the entire Ryzen 7000 range are remarkably efficient.
But the real star of the show, especially for the AMD Ryzen 7600X, comes with the massive generational leap in single-thread, single-core performance. So much so that it makes the Ryzen 7600X - as of writing - the best all-around CPU for gaming. It does away with some of the creator-suite performance insanity we saw with the Ryzen 7900X and keeps the pure gaming goodness. With 1080p gaming pretty much staying on par with its older, beefier, sibling.
A Zen Garden - An AMD Ryzen 7000 Series Primer
The following is applicable to all AMD Ryzen 700 series GPUs
Like with all things computing, desktop CPUs have made major strides over the past couple of decades. As things have shrunk, more complex bits of silicon have arrived on the scene and one of the most impressive in recent times has been AMD’s Ryzen range. Multi-core, multi-thread processors that have seen major architectural advances as node sizes shrunk from 14nm with the original Ryzen, down to 7nm with the Ryzen 5000 series. With the new Ryzen 7000 series featuring cutting-edge TSMC 5N, we’re now at George-Costanza-after-swimming-in-the-pool level of shrinkage
And all of this paves the way for gains that go beyond simply doing the same thing, but more. The new node and increased clock speeds of the new Zen 4 architecture lead to a double-digit gain in IPC, which is shorthand for instructions per cycle/clock. This isn’t something you really need to get a handle on or understand, it’s simply a measure of raw CPU power. Like how the Emperor views the Dark Side of the Force
. So a 13% bump (as per AMD’s testing), is pretty big. Zen 4 also improves the management of AI workloads as new computational advances have been brought into the picture.
For gamers though, it’s the increase in clock speeds (well over 5.0 GHz) with plenty of room for overclocking that adds a significant layer to the story. Even though high-speed multi-threaded Zen technology lies at the heart of both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S consoles, not all games take full advantage of multi-core CPUs.
In the PC space, single core CPU performance can still be seen as the main driver for what a processor can bring. With Zen 4 increasing single-core performance by a whopping 29% compared to the still very-impressive previous generation of Ryzen CPUs, you can see how the Ryzen 7000 series makes a very convincing argument for being the
CPU range for PC gaming in 2022.
For gamers though, it’s the increase in clock speeds (well over 5.0 GHz) with plenty of room for overclocking that adds a significant layer to the story.
And even though the AMD Ryzen 7900X features a TDP rating of 170W compared to the Ryzen 5900X’s 105W, and the AMD Ryzen 7600X’s 105W is markedly higher than the Ryzen 5600X’s 65W, efficiency is still impressive. Those power ratings are mostly AMD flexing and pushing the technology to the point where the Ryzen 7600X can top the top-of-the-line competition in raw in-game performance across the entire range. With low idle power usage and specific ECO modes available, you can bring the power rating all the way down to previous generation Ryzen and still see sizable gains.
And with that AMD will be retiring its long-running AM4 Ryzen motherboards for the new AM5 standard that will support both PCIe Gen 5 for storage and graphics but also the latest in DDR5 memory. The later of which will be standard for AM5 and the Ryzen 7000 Series, as there won’t be support for DDR4. On the plus side DDR5 prices continue to drop and AMD has stated that all AM4 coolers (which have been around for several years now) will work with AM5.
Finally, the AMD Ryzen 7000 series also features RDNA 2-based graphics for those that don’t need discrete graphics. Though that scenario is mainly for businesses or users that don’t game, as the RDNA 2 is mainly here to offer up encode, decode, and troubleshooting – without the ray-tracing.
The Specs and Test System
AMD Ryzen 7600X
Max Boost: 5.3 GHz
Base Clock: 4.7 GHz
L2 Cache/L3 Cache: 6x1MB, 32MB
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7900X
Cooler: Corsair H100i RGB Pro XT
Motherboard: ASRock X670E Taichi
Memory: G.Skill Trident Z5 Neo DDR5-6000
Storage: Kingston FURY Renegade PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD
Graphics: GeForce RTX 3070
As a heavily creator-focused benchmark, Cinebench R23 positions the new Ryzen 7600X as a massive leap forward from the previous generation 5600X. For our AMD Ryzen 7000 Series launch coverage we managed to test both the high-end AMD Ryzen 7900X alongside the Ryzen 7600X, and with the Ryzen 7600X featuring half the cores and threads, a slower boost speed (but still really fast at 5.3 GHz) – the difference when going full-core wasn’t a surprise. It was to be expected, but it’s with this more mainstream CPU that you get a real sense of the efficiencies and performance improvements the new Zen 4 architecture brings.
Zen 4 and the Ryzen 7000 range not only deliver a 50% increase in performance per watt over Ryzen 5000, but AMD has kept the same physical size and overall footprint the same too - ensuring that all AM4 and existing Ryzen CPU coolers work out-of-the-box with the new range. So even though the shift to AM5 means a new socket and motherboard, one that supports fast DDR5 and PCIe Gen 5 storage, the good news is that you’ll be able to keep your cooler if you’re looking to upgrade. Which you might need on account of the entire Ryzen 7000 series pushing 90 degrees as normal when under load.
The other productivity test we ran, 7-Zip, the AMD Ryzen 7900X offered up 200.82 GIPS for decompression and 130.97 GIPS for compression. Comparatively speaking the AMD Ryzen 7600X offers up 104.31 GIPS for decompression and 87.37 GIPS for compression. These are just numbers but another example of what the jump to 12-cores versus 6-cores can bring. Again, as per the intro, the Ryzen 7600X delivers the goods when it comes to pure game performance. Where, as you can see, is right there with the 7900X.
This makes the AMD Ryzen 7600X one of the most powerful CPUs for gaming in 2022. Where you get the added benefit of DDR5 memory speeds and the bonus of PCIe Gen 5 for storage thanks to AM5. Though it’s worth noting that it’s with the Ryzen 7600X where the added cost of a brand-new motherboard feels a little more prominent than on the high-end, making it more of a new-build option than an upgrade option.
1080p gaming is still seen as the sweet spot for competitive titles, and the resolution (alongside 1440p) is where you get the most frames. Seeing a game run at well over 250 frame-per-second might seem like overkill, and it probably is, but even at 4K the CPU is still a key piece of the puzzle when it comes to keeping performance up at a certain level. With the AMD Ryzen 7600X, you’ve not only got an amazing CPU for games but something that opens the door to future upgrades and technologies that are either here or on the horizon.
With the AMD Ryzen 7600X, you’ve not only got an amazing CPU for games but something that opens the door to future upgrades and technologies that are either here or on the horizon.
With Zen architecture sitting at the heart of both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, the next couple of years is going to be interesting in terms of developers making full use of advanced CPU features, super-fast storage, and more. The Ryzen 7000 Series is as much about a shift and step forward for the entirety of PC hardware as it is the next generation in Ryzen CPU technology.
The highly modular and customisable nature of PCs is what brings so many people into the ecosystem, and with the new Ryzen 7000 Series, you’ve got something for all types of enthusiasts. Reviewing the AMD Ryzen 7600X (and AMD Ryzen 7900X) from the viewpoint of a gamer and creator is something we would have always done, so it's great news that AMD has delivered just about the best of both worlds with its latest range of impressive desktop CPUs.