The six-core Ryzen 5 5600X is easily the standout CPU of AMD’s new crop of Ryzen 5000 processors, offering nigh-on identical gaming performance across all resolutions as the more expensive Ryzen 7 5800X and Ryzen 9 5900X. It’s also quite a bit faster than Intel’s Core i5-10600K, and much more power efficient to boot. It’s a great choice for new PC builders, and it’s currently my CPU of choice for those looking to upgrade right now.
You’ll want to pair it with one of AMD’s B550 or X570-based AM4 motherboards to get the most out of it, but select 400-series AM4 motherboards are also compatible with AMD’s new Ryzen 5000 processors after a BIOS update. If you’re upgrading from an existing 400-series motherboard, be sure to check if there’s an update available for your particular board before you get rid of your old processor. X570 and B550 motherboards, on the other hand, will work with all Ryzen 5000 CPUs straight out of the box.
Alas, the Ryzen 5 5600X is still pretty much out of stock almost everywhere over in the US, but UK stock levels seem to be slightly better at the moment. Indeed, Currys have the best price for the 5600X at the moment, as Scan currently have it for £310, while Overclockers UK are even more expensive at £320. Even better, it’s not just limited to a handful of local Currys stores around the country either, as it’s available for both online purchase and local pick-up via drive-through because, you know, lockdown and all that.
I should note that Intel are due to release their 11th Gen Rocket Lake CPUs before the end of March this year, so you may prefer to wait and see how they compare before taking the plunge. Intel’s 11th Gen Rocket Lake CPUs will finally support the super fast PCIe 4.0 standard when they come out later this year, just like AMD’s Ryzen 5000 chips, making them a much better foundation for a new PC than Intel’s existing 10th Gen Comet Lake processors. PCIe 4.0 support will become increasingly important going forward, and I wouldn’t recommend anyone try and build a PC without it this year.
In the meantime, though, AMD’s Ryzen 5 5600X is still an outstanding CPU in its own right, and well worth picking up at £280 if you’re in the middle of building a new PC right now.