Difference Between Ryzen 5 2600 and 2600x

The AMD Ryzen 5 2600 and 5 2600X are impressive processors for gaming rigs and productivity. Unlike the previous FX generation, these new series perform excellently well whether you are working on multi-core or single setups.

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However, when it’s time to make a buying decision between both processors, that’s where the confusion sets in. And since Ryzen 5 2600 and 5 2600X come with similar features, it makes it even harder to choose one above the other.

Difference Between Ryzen 5 2600 and 2600x

As we have mentioned earlier, you may not notice any significant difference between Ryzen 5 2600 and  2600x apart from the more clock and base speeds in the 5 2600X model. The additional cores on 5 2600X may look like it can perform better than its non-X model.

But the question on everyone’s lips is which processor has better value for money. Yes, the more expensive 5 2600X processor comes with more features. But does the extra features on 5 2600X justifies the extra bucks you have to pay? 

We are going to look into their features and specifications to help us answer that question succinctly.

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Ryzen 5 2600 vs 2600X – features

As you might expect, Ryzen 5 2600 and 5 2600X share several features in common. They are both based on the same 12nm microarchitecture and they feature the same transistors.

They also have 12 cores and 6 cores, which puts them at the forefront of the best AMD Ryzen processor category.

But you will get a hint about their differences if you start talking about their speed when pushed to their limits. In the area of boost clock, the Ryzen 5 2600X stands out with more improved boost cores. The Ryzen 5 2600 comes with a base clock of 3.4GHz while its boost clock goes up to 3.9GHz. On the other hand, the Ryzen 5 2600X has a base clock of 3.7GHz with a boost clock of 4.2GHz. That means the X series is faster than the AMD non-x series.

As a result of the lower clock speed, AMD has also placed a lower TDP on the non-X model. While Ryzen 5 2600X has 95W, the non-X version has a considerably lower TDP at 65W, which means it doesn’t have better cooling features than its Ryzen 5 2600X counterpart.

As a result, you are more likely going to have a weaker CPU cooler for the Ryzen 5 2600 compared to its Ryzen 5 2600X counterpart. Again, the Wraith Spire from Ryzen 5 2600X is almost twice the depth of the Wraith stealth dept of aluminum heatsink for the Ryzen 5 2600 model.

The Ryzen 5 2600X series comes with better clock speeds because of the improvements made to the Precision Boost technology, which makes sure all threads are using the highest frequencies they can. Additionally, the Ryzen 5 2600X comes with an Extended Frequency Range 2 which is utilized across all cores.

One other feature both the Ryzen 5 2600 and Ryzen 5 2600X have in common is the 12nm Zen+ architecture, which has been reduced from the previous broader 14nm architecture.

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Ryzen 5 2600 vs 2600X – Performance

Obviously, because of the higher clock speeds of the Ryzen 5 2600X, it tends to perform better than its non-X counterpart.

As expected, the clock performance and speed levels of the Ryzen 5 2600 is off the pace compared with Ryzen 5 2600X, especially when you measure the CPU performance using Cinebench benchmarking.

In both multiple and single-threaded measurements, we found that the Ryzen 5 2600 processor was 10% slower than its Ryzen 5 2600X counterpart in the multi-threaded measurement. The gap in the single-threaded test is even wider between both processors.

When we look at the difference between the Ryzen 5 2600X and its non-X counterpart in performance terms, it’s almost the same as the difference between the Ryzen 5 series processors and the previous 1600X generation processors.

Ryzen 5 2600 vs 2600X – Gaming Performance

When it comes to multi-core performance, the Ryzen 5 2600X showed a slight improvement over the non-X version as it held a 48% advantage higher scores in Cinebench and a 7% advantage in GeekBench.

But when we measured the gaming performance between both CPUs, Ryzen 5 2600X gaming performance is not nearly as impressive.

In that case, if you want a system for streaming videos and encoding videos the Ryzen 5 2600X will outperform Ryzen 5 2600 by a good margin. But when it comes to gaming performance, it may not be too far off from Ryzen 5 2600.

In terms of power consumption, it’s obvious the Ryzen 5 2600X remains hotter and consumes more power than its non-X version. That’s understandable, considering that it holds higher clock speeds and higher frequencies.

But on a plus side for Ryzen 5 2600, you can tweak it a little to get a closer performance level as Ryzen 5 2600X. Although our initial testing shows that Ryzen 5 2600 was closer to 1600X in performance than Ryzen 5 2600X, a little tweak made a big difference.

We tweaked the processor’s clocks and BIOS with a little judicious overclocking. Our result showed that Ryzen 5 2600 left the 1600X in the dust and came relatively close to the Ryzen 5 2600X in performance. That is what a good tweak to the system can do.

When we used the same Corsair liquid chip-chiller to level the playing field, we were able to get an impressive 4.2 GHz clock speed from Ryzen 5 2600. On the other hand, its partner Ryzen 5 2600X managed an insignificant clock difference by hitting 4.25 GHz.

From our examination, a good cooler can make a lot of difference when boosting performance. So, if you have a good cooler, you can still raise the performance level of Ryzen 5 2600 and enjoy similar speed levels with the Ryzen 5 2600X CPU.

AMD’s Ryzen 5 2600 comes with 6 cores and the capability of executing two threads per core, which is the same as the Ryzen 5 2600X version. However, Ryzen 5 2600 operates at lower boost and base clock speeds than the X-version.  This is understandable, considering that the X-version is more expensive.

However, rather than having 95W AMD introduced in the 5 1600 version, the processor was installed with a 65W Wraith Stealth fan/heat sink combination. This surely reduces the overclocking potential of the new chip.

But Ryzen 5 2600 is still a great option for those building a compact system where the heat seems to be the main issue.

Ryzen 5 2600 vs 2600X – Benchmarks

The benchmark performance of both systems seems to be very close. We tested both the Ryzen 5 2600 vs 5 2600 using the Cinebench R15 benchmark for both the multiple and single-core performance. The Ryzen 5 2600X CPU was ahead of the non-X variant by 6%. But the 5 2600 was able to outperform the Ryzen 1600 versions by 12% margin in multi-threading and by 9% in single-thread performance.

This shows that Ryzen 5 2600X is slightly ahead, but Ryzen 5 2600 is far better than the previous Ryzen 5 generations.

We also tested both CPUs using the PCMark video editing benchmark. Our result shows that Ryzen 5 2600 scored about 4901 points while Ryzen 5 2600X scored 4998. This is only a 2% difference, which may not be easily noticeable.

But when we overclocked the Ryzen 5 2600 CPU to 4.2GHz, the score rose by 12% to reach 5509 points, surpassing the level of non-overclocked Ryzen 5 2600X.

Ryzen 5 2600 vs 2600X – Value for money

Some people may go all out to buy the Ryzen 5 2600X because of its increased features. For an additional investment, you will get a bigger and better box cooler and a better box performance because of the 8% increased clock speeds. This translates to improved memory support and performance.

But you can still get the non-X version and go for an extra cooler.

If you’re pushing both processors over their factory speeds, it will be vital to have a better cooling system. In that case, some users would rather buy a Ryzen 5 2600 and use the extra amount on top of 5 2600X to buy an aftermarket cooler. That works fine too.

As we’ve seen so far, both processors can make sense and, depending on what you need most, there is a justification for choosing either.

ProductBrandNamePrice
AMDAMD Ryzen 5 2600X ProcessorCheck Price on Amazon
AMDAMD Ryzen 5 2600 Processor with Wraith Stealth CoolerCheck Price on Amazon

* If you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. For more details, please visit our Privacy policy page.