The AMD Ryzen 5 5600 is a surprisingly capable processor, with the single-core grunt of the rest of the Zen 3 family and only slightly lower clock speeds than the top-end six-core processor, the Ryzen 5600X. The Ryzen 5600X costs the best part of £200, but the vanilla 5600 is down to £145 at Ebuyer - a great value in my book.
RPS (and indeed Digital Foundry, from which I hail), haven't reviewed the 5600, but looking at some online benchmarks (and the specs of the processor) things are laid bare. The 5600X has a 200MHz higher rated base and boost frequency, but AMD's optimistic boost algorithms ensure that any differences are minimal at best. Otherwise, these are the same lumps of silicon!
That's borne out by reviews too. You're looking at extremely minor differences, normally only a handful of frames per second at 1080p in AAA games - and even less at 1440p or 4K. It's highly unlikely that you'll receive a significantly better experience with the 'X' chip, even if there is a technically measurable difference.
So: the question is not 5600 or 5600X, but is it worth investing in Ryzen 5000 at all? I reckon it does make sense if you're building a budget PC, as you get significantly better single-core performance than earlier Ryzen generations. You also get to use much cheaper AM4 motherboards and DDR4 RAM compared to Ryzen 7000 CPUs, which require expensive 700-series motherboards and DDR5. You could make a case for the 5800X3D as offering superior performance, but that is at least double the price even when it's discounted.
So - what do you think? I reckon this CPU could be a good shout for any budget-minded gaming PC, especially as it comes with a free Wraith Stealth Cooler, but I'd be curious to read your thoughts in the comments below!