AMD Ryzen – AMD Ryzen 5 5600G Review: The Value iGPU Gaming King
The six-core 12-thread Ryzen 5 5600G comes to market as part of AMD’s first salvo of 7nm ‘Cezanne’ APUs for desktop PCs that AMD plans to use to plug big price gaps in its Ryzen 5000 lineup that dominates our Best CPU list and CPU Benchmark hierarchy. We’ve already taken the more expensive eight-core 16-thread Ryzen 7 5700G for a spin, and today we’re giving the $259 Ryzen 5 5600G the same treatment. When it comes to gaming on integrated graphics, the Ryzen 5 5600G takes the shine off its more expensive Ryzen 7 5700G counterpart by serving up ~96% of its performance but for 30% less cash, making it the CPU to get if you’re looking to weather the GPU shortage with a potent APU for gaming.
The Cezanne APUs come with Zen 3 execution cores paired with the Radeon Vega graphics engine for iGPU-powered gaming rigs, and their arrival is long overdue. Cezanne will be the first new AMD APUs available at retail since the quad-core Zen+ “Picasso” models came to market in 2019. AMD actually augmented that lineup with the more modern eight-core Zen 2-powered Ryzen Pro “Renoir” series in 2020, but limited those chips to OEM systems only. Now, three chip generations after it launched its last round of APUs (Zen 2, XT, Zen 3), AMD is finally replacing its 12nm quad-core Zen+ APUs.
|Arch.||Price||Cores/ Threads||Base/ Boost Freq.||GPU Cores||GPU Freq. (MHz)||TDP||L3 (MB)|
|Ryzen 7 5700G||Zen 3||$359||8 / 16||3.8 / 4.6||RX Vega 8||2000||65W||16|
|Ryzen 5 5600G||Zen 3||$259||6 / 12||3.9 / 4.4||RX Vega 7||1900||65W||16|
|Ryzen 3 5300G||Zen 3||N/A||4 / 8||4.0 / 4.2||RX Vega 6||1700||65W||8|
Cezanne comes to market during the worst graphics card shortage in history. As such, a potent yet affordable APU could be a godsend for enthusiasts looking for a stopgap chip for basic gaming while they wait for discrete GPU pricing to normalize. The new Ryzen 5000G models also pack much more performance than their prior-prior-gen brethren, so even after the shortage recedes, they’ll still be a big step forward for budget gaming, small form factor, and HTPC rigs.
Instead of its traditional separation of the CPU and APU lines, AMD drops the 5000G models right into the Ryzen 5000 stack — AMD says they fill the role of the standard “non-X” models that traditionally offer more attractive price points at a given core count by sacrificing peak clock speed for a lower TDP.
If the numbers hold out in our performance testing, the 5600G could also address AMD’s premium pricing with its Zen 3 chips: AMD’s shift from being the budget brand to the market leader resulted in a $299 cost of entry into the Ryzen 5000 family. The $259 six-core Ryzen 5 5600G reduces that steep price of entry and also comes with a bundled Wraith Stealth cooler, sweetening the deal. AMD is still holding back some of its lower-priced 5000G models, though, so our list of the best cheap CPUs probably won’t change for some time.
The GPU shortage appears to be improving ever so slowly, thanks in part to the collapse of mining profitability and China shutting down mining firms, but we expect it to persist to some extent over the next several months. If the 5600G slots in well under its X-equipped counterpart, the Ryzen 5 5600X, it could be a tough chip to beat. However, that isn’t an easy task given the tradeoffs associated with Cezanne’s monolithic die design, which differs significantly from the chiplet-based Ryzen 5000 chips.
AMD Ryzen 5 5600G Specifications and Pricing
The Ryzen 5000G family spans from four to eight cores and has the Zen 3 architecture that provides a 19% IPC uplift over the Zen 2 architecture used in the previous-gen Ryzen 4000G models. AMD is only bringing the eight-core 16-thread Ryzen 7 5700G and six-core 12-thread Ryzen 5 5600G to retail, at least for now. In addition, AMD currently hasn’t announced when it will bring the four-core eight-thread Ryzen 3 5300G or the 35W GE-Series models to retail, meaning we won’t see any significant change to our list of the Best Cheap CPUs any time soon.
|Arch.||Price||Cores/ Threads||Base/ Boost Freq.||TDP||L3 (MB)||GPU Cores||GPU Freq. (MHz)|
|Ryzen 7 5800X||Zen 3||$449||8 / 16||3.8 / 4.7 GHz||105W||32 (1×32)||N/A||N/A|
|Core i7-11700K (KF)||Rocket Lake||$374 – $349||8 / 16||3.6 / 5.0||125W||16||UHD Graphics 750 Xe 32EU||1300|
|Ryzen 7 5700G||Zen 3||$359||8 / 16||3.8 / 4.6||65W||16||RX Vega 8||2000|
|Ryzen 7 4750G||Zen 2||~$310||8 / 16||3.6 / 4.4||65W||8||RX Vega 8||2100|
|Ryzen 5 5600X||Zen 3||$299||6 / 12||3.7 / 4.6 GHz||65W||32 (1×32)||N/A||N/A|
|Core i5-11600K (KF)||Rocket Lake||$262 (K) – $237(KF)||6 / 12||3.9 / 4.9||125W||12||UHD Graphics 750 Xe 32EU||1300|
|Ryzen 5 5600G||Zen 3||$259||6 / 12||3.9 / 4.4||65W||16||RX Vega 7||1900|
|Ryzen 5 3600||Zen 2||$200||6 / 12||3.6 / 4.2||65W||32||N/A||N/a|
|Core i5-11400 (F)||Rocket Lake||$182 – $157||6 / 12||2.6 / 4.2||65W||12||UHD Graphics 750 Xe 24EU||1300|
|Ryzen 3 5300G||Zen 3||N/A||4 / 8||4.0 / 4.2||65W||8||RX Vega 6||1700|
|Ryzen 5 3400G||Zen+||$149||4 / 8||3.7 / 4.2||65W||4||RX Vega 11||1400|
The $259 Ryzen 5 5600G lowers the price of entry to the Ryzen 5000 family by $40, plugging the $100 gap between the $299 Ryzen 5 5600X and, well, AMD’s entire sub-$299 product stack. For now, the previous-gen $200 Ryzen 5 3600 represents the next step down AMD’s product stack.
Based on suggested pricing, the 5600G grapples with the Core i5-11600K, meaning AMD has yet to address the Intel Core i5-11400, which is the current value budget gaming champ if you plan on using a discrete GPU. The six-core 12-thread Ryzen 5 5600G comes with a 3.7 GHz base and a 4.4 GHz boost clock, 16MB of L3 cache, and seven Radeon RX Vega CUs that operate at 1.9 GHz. The chip has a configurable TDP (cTDP) that stretches from 45W to 65W, though most desktop PCs will operate at the latter threshold.
As with all Zen 3 processors, the Ryzen 5000G chips step up from DDR4-2933 to DDR4-3200 interface, which will help boost gaming performance with the integrated GPU. Surprisingly, the majority of the Ryzen 5000G ‘Cezanne’ SoC comes from the Ryzen 4000 ‘Renoir’ SoC. To improve time to market, AMD essentially swapped in new Zen 3 cores, leaving the I/O, 7nm Radeon RX Vega integrated graphics engine, and SoC design intact. As such, the 5600G has 24 lanes of PCIe 3.0 connectivity compared to 24 lanes of PCIe 4.0 found on the Ryzen 5000 models for the desktop PC. AMD also chose to reuse the 7nm Vega graphics engine instead of incorporating newer RDNA variants.
Compared to the six-core Ryzen 5 5600X, you gain the Radeon RX Vega graphics engine but sacrifice 200 MHz of peak CPU boost clock and half the L3 cache. The 5600G does have a 200 MHz higher base clock, though. Stepping down $100 from the $359 eight-core Ryzen 7 5700G requires trading off one graphics CU and 100 MHz of GPU frequency along with 1MB of L2 cache, two CPU cores, and 200 MHz of peak CPU clock rates. The loss of GPU cores and clocks should mean about 15% less graphics performance, though it might be less of a difference than that since both GPUs are still likely limited at least in part by the shared memory bandwidth. The Cezanne desktop chips will find their way into 500-series and some 400-series motherboards, though support on the latter will vary by vendor.
We took a deeper look at the Cezanne architecture in our Ryzen 7 5700G review. Now, on to the testing.
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