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Is the Ryzen 5 5600X CPU Good for Gaming?

Find out if AMD's Ryzen 5 5600X processor is good for gaming.

5600X Good for Gaming Chuck Fortner / Unsplash

Last Updated: August 25, 2022

Written by Kevin Jones

When selecting a CPU for gaming, the most important characteristics are the frequency (clock speed), core/thread count, cache size, and supported memory type. Additional considerations, such as integrated graphics and overclocking needs, may also influence your selection.

In addition to discussing the characteristics of the 5600X for gaming, this article will discuss recommendations for compatible motherboards, CPU coolers, and memory.

Check another CPU:
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X AMD Ryzen 5 5600X Check Price on Amazon Amazon Affiliate Link

Is the 5600X Good for Gaming?

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When using AMD's Ryzen 5 5600X CPU for gaming, you can expect good game performance with either a high-performance CPU cooler or a stock CPU cooler. This performance is based on the following characteristics of the CPU and their relevance to the latest graphics-intense games:

  • 32 MB of L3 cache is excellent for performance
  • 6 cores allow for good performance
  • 3.7 GHz base frequency is good for performance (when not boosting)
  • 4.6 GHz single-core max boost frequency is excellent for performance (requires a high-end cooler)
  • Max stock DDR4 speed of 3200 MHz can be good for performance
  • Overclocking support can be excellent for performance (requires a high-end cooler)
  • PCIe 4.0 support can be excellent for performance (with the fastest SSDs and GPUs)

The 5600X has integrated graphics support, but this performance assessment assumes you will use a graphics card. Integrated graphics support is mediocre or worse with the latest graphics-intense games.

Check out these AMD CPUs that are Good or Excellent for gaming:

Check out my article, Choosing the Best CPU Cooler for AMD's Ryzen 5 5600X, for recommended coolers that can maintain these boost frequencies.

Is the Cache Size of the 5600X Good for Gaming?

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A CPU's cache is a small amount of memory, close to the CPU cores, containing recently used data.

Games performance can improve as cache size increases, as it will reduce delays when retrieving commonly used game assets from memory.

An L3 cache capacity of at least 20 MB is ideal for game performance.

The AMD Ryzen 5 5600X has an L3 cache capacity of 32 MB.

The 5600X's impressive 32 MB of L3 cache is excellent for performance with the latest graphics-intense games.

Is the Core Count of the 5600X Good for Gaming?

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Increased core counts can improve the performance of games that use them, but most modern games don't benefit from having more than 6–8 cores. Remember that cache sizes often increase along with core counts, so if you want to increase your L3 cache, you may need to get a CPU with more cores.

AMD's Ryzen 5 5600X CPUs have 6 cores.

The 5600X's 6 cores allow for good performance with the latest graphics-intense games.

Is the Clock Speed of the 5600X Good for Gaming?

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Single-core performance is essential for some games, as many don't take full advantage of multiple cores.

Boost frequencies are only achieved under ideal circumstances. The safest strategy for consistent gaming performance with a basic cooler is to get a higher base clock speed processor. However, with adequate cooling, you may be able to maintain speeds near the max boost frequency.

When using a high-end cooler, the 5600X CPU's support for overclocking can be excellent for performance with the latest graphics-intense games.

The processor has a 3.7 GHz base frequency and supports a 4.6 GHz single-core max boost frequency.

The 5600X's 3.7 GHz base frequency is good for performance with the latest graphics-intense games, when not boosting. You can reach these base frequencies even without a high-end cooler.

With a high-end cooler, the 5600X's 4.6 GHz single-core max boost frequency is excellent for performance with the latest graphics-intense games. You can maintain these frequencies with a high-end cooler.

Check out my article, Choosing the Best CPU Cooler for AMD's Ryzen 5 5600X, for recommended coolers that can maintain these boost frequencies.

Is the DDR Support of the 5600X Good for Gaming?

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The 5600X CPU's support for DDR4 with a max stock speed of 3200 MHz can be good for performance with the latest graphics-intense games.

Faster PC memory can improve game performance and frame rates, but using the fastest RAM may not have as much of an impact as upgrading your CPU and graphics card or adding more RAM.

Learn about our recommended RAM for the 5600X in Choosing the Best RAM for AMD's Ryzen 5 5600X CPU.

What Does the X Suffix in 5600X Mean?

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Processor Name Suffix Meaning
X "X" means it is an extended frequency range CPU. These CPUs support higher frequencies than standard CPUs.

The 5600X model name doesn't have a G suffix. Non-G CPUs do not contain integrated graphics, and a separate graphics card is required.

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X AMD Ryzen 5 5600X Check Price on Amazon Amazon Affiliate Link

Cooling the 5600X

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A CPU cooler's TDP (Thermal Design Power) rating indicates how much heat it can dissipate in watts. If the cooler can't keep your CPU cool enough, your CPU may throttle (slow down), and your cooler will constantly run at full speed.

AMD CPU specifications indicate this power dissipation number as "TDP."

The Ryzen 5 5600X has a TDP of 65 watts.

A CPU cooler can still work with a lower TDP rating than the TDP of a CPU. However, the CPU will eventually throttle itself to a lower frequency to allow itself to cool.

The CPU may not achieve or maintain maximum boost speeds without adequate cooling.

Learn more in What is the Best Type of CPU cooler for a Gaming PC?

Motherboard Requirements for Ryzen 5 5600X Processors

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For AMD's Zen 3-based Ryzen 5 5600X processor, you'll need a motherboard with an AM4 socket and a compatible chipset.

Motherboards for AMD processors are made with chipsets provided by AMD. Each chipset offers a unique set of capabilities. However, motherboards must explicitly support features and capabilities for you to use them. Verify that a motherboard supports the features and capabilities you desire.

Ryzen 5000-series CPUs, which includes the Ryzen 5 5600X, are compatible with all 400 and 500-series consumer chipsets. Supported chipsets include the X570, B550, A520, X470, and B450.

To use Ryzen 5000-series motherboards with the 400-series chipsets, you'll need an updated BIOS. You either need to purchase one with an updated BIOS or perform the update with an older supported CPU installed.

Products that ship with a compatible BIOS are typically marked as "Ready" for Zen 3 / Ryzen 5000 series / 4th Gen processors.

If you plan to update the BIOS, motherboards with the USB BIOS Flashback feature simplify this process; they do not require an installed compatible processor.

The older X370, B350, and A320 300-series chipsets are generally not compatible, out of the box, with Ryzen 5000-series CPUs. However, these 300-series chipsets may be supported by some motherboard manufacturers, when using a specific compatible BIOS.

The X570 is our recommended chipset for the Ryzen 5 5600X CPU, as it provides the most functionality and full support for PCIe 4.0. The Ryzen 5 5600X CPU also supports PCIe 4.0.

Only the X570 chipset provides PCIe 4.0 lanes via the chipset.

When using motherboards with the B550 chipset, you still have PCIe 4.0 lanes from the CPU for PCI-Express slots; however, all PCIe or M.2 slots connected via these chipsets will run at PCIe 3.0 speeds.

For a detailed comparison of these chipsets and PCIe speeds, check out my article Which Chipsets Work With AMD's Ryzen 5 5600X CPU?.

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Best Value Motherboard: ASUS TUF Gaming X570-Plus (Wi-Fi)

Best Feature Motherboard: MSI MAG X570 TOMAHAWK WIFI

  • Our recommended feature-rich motherboard to pair with the Ryzen 5 5600X is MSI's MAG X570 TOMAHAWK WIFI Motherboard: MSI MAG X570 TOMAHAWK WIFI MSI MAG X570 TOMAHAWK WIFI Check Price on Amazon Amazon Affiliate Link
    • PCIe 4.0 support
    • One 2.5 Gb Ethernet port is faster than most Internet speeds, with room to spare for file transfers.
    • Two NVMe M.2 slots both run at PCIe 4.0 speeds.
    • Wi-Fi 6 provides great Wi-Fi speeds (not Wi-Fi 6E, but still really good).
    • USB 3.2 Gen 2 offers 10 Gbps USB speeds.
    • Check the latest price of the MSI MAG X570 TOMAHAWK WIFI Motherboard on Amazon (affiliate link).
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The boxed version of the Ryzen 5 5600X CPU comes with the Wraith Stealth CPU cooler. While stock coolers will prevent your CPU from overheating, your CPU will throttle its performance during games and other intensive tasks. Higher TDP coolers will keep your CPU at turbo speeds for longer durations. Stock coolers are often quite loud at their maximum speed.

Best AIO Liquid Cooler: Enermax Liqmax III 360

  • This Enermax liquid cooler has an excellent cooling capability with a 360-watt TDP (Thermal Design Power).
  • Supports a variety of CPU sockets, including Intel LGA 2066, 2011-3, 2011, 1700, 1200, 1366, 1156, 1155, 1151, 1150 and AMD AM4, AM3+, AM3, AM2+, AM2, FM2+, FM2, FM1.
  • Quiet operation at 14-27 dBA.
  • Make sure your computer case dimensions support this, as it will take up a decent amount of space! Enermax Liqmax III 360 Enermax Liqmax III 360 Check Price on Amazon Amazon Affiliate Link

Best Dual-Fan Air CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D15

  • Dual 140 mm fans provide 220-watt TDP (183 NSPR) of cooling capability.
  • Supports a variety of CPU sockets, including Intel LGA 1700, 1200, 1156, 1155, 1151, 1150, 2011, 2066 and AMD AM4, AM3, AM3+, AM2, AM2+, FM2, FM2+.
  • Quiet operation at 24.6 dBA. Noctua NH-D15, Premium CPU Cooler Noctua NH-D15, Premium CPU Cooler Check Price on Amazon Amazon Affiliate Link

Runner Up - Dual-Fan Air CPU Cooler: Thermaltake TOUGHAIR 510

  • This CPU cooler doesn't have any fancy LED lights, but the dual 120 mm fans do a great job of cooling AM4 CPUs.
  • Supports a variety of CPU sockets, including Intel LGA 1700, 1200, 1156, 1155, 1151, 1150 and AMD AM4, AM3, AM3+, AM2, AM2+, FM2, FM1.
  • Suppose you think this cooler will take up too much space. In that case, Thermaltake has a few single-fan TOUGHAIR variants which use different orientations.
  • This CPU cooler has a 2000 RPM max speed for optimal cooling.
  • 180-watt TDP (Thermal Design Power). Thermaltake TOUGHAIR 510 Thermaltake TOUGHAIR 510 Check Price on Amazon Amazon Affiliate Link
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Before purchasing memory, review your motherboard specification to verify which speeds are supported. For example, if a DDR4 motherboard stated that it supports "DDR4 3400(O.C.) / 3333(O.C.) / 3300(O.C.) / 3200 / 3000," that would mean that it could support DDR4-3400, DDR4-3333, and DDR4-3300 with memory overclocking, and DDR4-3200 and DDR4-3000 at stock speeds. Motherboard specifications also indicate the maximum capacity per stick of RAM (DIMM) and across all slots.

  • At an effective frequency of 3200 MHz, this memory hits the fastest DDR4 speed supported by AMD's Ryzen 5 5600X CPU without overclocking.
  • The low-profile form factor ensures that the heat spreaders don't get in the way of other devices, including your CPU heatsink. Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB (2X16GB) 3200MHz DDR4 Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB (2X16GB) 3200MHz DDR4 Check Price on Amazon Amazon Affiliate Link

Learn More About the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X

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Other Considerations When Building a PC

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Want to brush up on other new technologies to consider when building a computer? Check out these articles: