If you’re looking to give your PC a shot in the arm, the Ryzen 5 3600 is one of the most cost-effective processors around. Even at its original £200 asking price it was great value, and now it comes in even cheaper, available at £155 at Amazon, or even cheaper via Currys Ebay, when you apply the code PRICE8 and PRODUCT5 at checkout.
This is undoubtedly brilliant value for anyone building a PC to keep off the tedium of lockdown, but if money is tight and you’re happy to wait a little, then you should probably turn your attention towards the freshly released Ryzen 3 3300X. It’s £115 at Amazon – currently out of stock, but dispatched as soon as it’s available, with no charge in the meantime.
While dropping from a Ryzen 5 to a Ryzen 3 might sound like a big step backwards, Katharine found that they were a surprisingly close match for each other – indeed, she called it a “Ryzen 5 and Core i5 killer” and “arguably one of the most impressive CPUs I’ve ever tested.”
In gaming benchmarks, she found the two were practically neck and neck on FPS: 102 to 103 in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, 99 to 101 in Total War: Warhammer II and slightly in front at 138 to 134 in Forza Horizon 4. Yes, in multicore general desktop performance it was a bit behind – 2460 to 3273 – but that’s unsurprising given it has two fewer cores to begin with, and single-core performance was actually superior, clocking in at 497 to 452.
So while new Intel chips might be just around the corner, it would be surprising if they offered quite as much bang for your buck as their AMD-branded brethren. It’s just a question of whether better multicore desktop performance is worth an extra £35 to you...