AMD Ryzen 5 7600X review

For $299, the AMD Ryzen 5 7600X offers compelling performance and forward-looking features but the high price of the AM5 platform hurts its immediate value.

The AMD Ryzen 5 7600X CPU, leaning against its retail packaging

Our Verdict

Wider platform costs associated with the AMD Ryzen 5 7600X and potentially better value options are small blemishes on a processor that delivers great performance and cutting edge features

The AMD Ryzen 5 7600X sits towards the lower end of the Zen 4 family tree, but this processor packs more gaming performance than you might think. As a matter of fact, it’s got all the power your gaming PC will likely need for the foreseeable future, but I do have a few misgivings about it that stop us from outright recommending this processor to everyone.

Competition between AMD and Intel for the best gaming CPU crown has heated up in recent years, with both chip manufacturers finally providing builders compelling options for their next processor upgrade. As such, the Ryzen 5 7600X has a lot to prove against team blue’s offerings and its own predecessors.

Thankfully, it has plenty going for it in the performance department as well as the cutting-edge features offered by the AM5 platform. Most people picking up a Ryzen 5 7600X will be happy with their purchase (as they should be), but it’s worth remembering that there are other processors in the Ryzen 700 series that may be better suited to your budget or needs.

The AMD Ryzen 5 7600X processor, atop a Lego bonsai tree

AMD Ryzen 5 7600X specs

Featuring six cores built on the all-new Zen 4 architecture, the AMD Ryzen 5 7600X specs contain several improvements versus the previous generation equivalent. Neither core nor thread count have increased, but the performance of each certainly has.

Here is the AMD Ryzen 5 7600X spec list:

AMD Ryzen 5 7600X specs
Cores 6 (Zen 4)
Threads 12
Base clock 4.70GHz
Max. boost clock Up to 5.30GHz
L2 cache 6MB
L3 cache 32MB
TDP 105W
Overclockable Yes
Included cooler None
MSRP /  RRP $299 USD / £299 GBP

For starters, the Ryzen 5 7600X boasts a higher base clock and maximum boost clock compared to its predecessor, the 5600X. Despite the chip’s official specs topping out at 5.30GHz, it’ll often boost slightly above that in single-threaded workloads like gaming, with my sample regularly hitting around 5.45GHz.

You can take boosting behaviours and clock speeds into your own hands since the Ryzen 5 7600X is unlocked for overclocking, but this isn’t something we’d necessarily consider a selling point as performance gains will generally be minimal. With this in mind, the X-less AMD Ryzen 5 7600 could be the better buy, but we’ll need to get it in for testing before we can say for sure.

One thing that does sting with the AMD Ryzen 5 7600X is the lack of an included cooling solution. This may be partly explained by this chip’s comparatively higher 105W TDP, but be prepared to grab the best CPU cooler if you fancy this model for your next processor upgrade.

The AMD Ryzen 7600X resting against a red material

Thankfully, those looking to save a buck will be glad to hear that many AM4 cooling solutions are compatible with the AMD Ryzen 5 7600X and its siblings. Just don’t expect to bring your motherboard or DDR4 RAM along for the ride too, as this CPU supports neither.

While it’s unfortunate that the AMD Ryzen 5 7600X will cost that bit more once you add the cost of its supporting components, the advent of a new platform does come with some advantages. Key among them is support for DDR5 RAM and PCIe 5.0, the latter of which gives team red the edge over Intel in supporting the best SSD models (at least for now).

The value of these features isn’t particularly high now, but it’s a relatively safe bet that their usefulness in terms of gaming performance will only increase in the coming years. Just bear in mind, these standards are still in their infancy and buying into them naturally comes at a premium.

AMD plans to support the AM5 socket through 2025 and beyond, meaning you shouldn’t need to grab a new motherboard to upgrade your processor in 2-3 years time. Team red did previously come through on their promise to support AM4 for as long as it has, and I’ve no reason to doubt them now. So, there is prospective value in the platform, which helps makes its associated costs a little easier to swallow.

AMD Ryzen 5 7600X benchmarks

Our AMD Ryzen 5 7600X benchmarks mainly focus on gaming performance. However, we’ve also included some synthetic tests that should help illustrate the capabilities and constraints of the processor for creative and production workloads.

Here are the specs of our test system:

  • OS: Windows 11 Pro (22621.1105)
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 7600X
  • Cooler: Corsair H100i Pro
  • Motherboard: Asus TUF Gaming X670E-Plus
  • RAM: Corsair Vengeance 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR5 6,000MHz
  • GPU: AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT
  • SSD: SK Hynix Platinum P41 2TB
  • PSU: Corsair HX1200i

The AMD Ryzen 5 7600X processor resting atop a white wooden table

AMD Ryzen 5 7600X performance

Pairing the AMD Ryzen 5 7600X with the Radeon RX 7900 XT feels like something of a mismatch, with the GPU’s price coming in at three times the cost of the processor. Regardless, the Zen 4 chip more than proves itself in the face of a blinding barrage of triple digit frame rates.

The fact of the matter is that it’s actually very difficult to introduce CPU bottlenecks in many modern games, even at 1080p. It’s hard to believe, but even when our test bench is pumping out a frankly absurd average frame rate of 337fps in F1 22, we’re still predominantly GPU bound.

Looking at minimum frames across both resolutions we tested, the AMD Ryzen 5 7600X didn’t buckle under pressure and create a stuttery experience. This should theoretically work in the chip’s favour versus its more expensive brethren, as I can’t imagine they offer much in the way of improvement here. However, I’ll wait until I’ve had a chance to go hands-on with the other CPUs before making any firm conclusions.

As you may have heard, the AMD Ryzen 7000 series runs rather hot, and the 7600X is no exception. I regularly saw temperatures in the range of 80-96°C, particularly in multi-core workloads such as Cinebench, despite slapping a 240mm radiator on the thing. This isn’t a defect and is instead a deliberate move on AMD’s part. In a nutshell, team red’s configured its latest CPUs to basically boost as high as they can, temperature be damned, until your cooling gives.

Suffice to say, you’ll need a powerful cooler to squeeze as much performance as possible out from the 7600X. Alternatively, you can make use of ‘AMD Eco Mode’ to reduce temperatures by lowering the chip’s TDP to 65W. In my limited testing, I noticed this didn’t significantly impact performance and helped keep things much cooler, to the point I haven’t reverted my changes. You’ll need to go into the BIOS and manually configure PBO (Precision Boost Overdrive) for now, but team red is hoping to simplify this process via a future update to the AMD Ryzen Master application.

The AMD Ryzen 5 7600X against a drinks globe

AMD Ryzen 5 7600X price

Ultimately, it’s not performance but price that brings the CPU down a peg or two. At $299 USD / £299 GBP, the lack of complimentary cooler and wider AM5 platform costs ultimately make switching to the Ryzen 5 7600X more expensive than its individual price tag lets on.

Its closest competitor, the Intel Core i5 13600K, is more expensive at first glance and also doesn’t come with a cooler. However, you can expect to pay less for a compatible motherboard, but you won’t be able to make use of PCIe 5.0 SSDs if that’s important to you.

You don’t have to look across the aisle to bring the value of the AMD Ryzen 5 7600X into question now, either. It could be argued that with its reduced price and included cooler, the non X model is potentially a smarter buy.

Despite all this, I don’t think the AMD Ryzen 5 7600X is overpriced, as there’s a lot to like here. Just bear in mind it may not offer the best value for money.

The AMD Ryzen 5 7600X processor lying atop a white stone table

AMD Ryzen 5 7600X verdict

The AMD Ryzen 5 7600X is a peppy processor that is more than capable of taming the sky-high frame rates produced by the best graphics cards. Realistically, however, it’s more likely to appeal to those looking to build a budget or mid-range system, and it’ll equally shine there.

Pros: 

  • Enough power to handle flagship GPUs
  • Outperforms previous generation flagship
  • Support for PCIe 5.0 SSDs

Cons: 

  • No included cooler
  • Upgrading to AM5 can be expensive
  • Other Ryzen 7000 CPUs offer better value

Check out our guide on the best gaming CPU for alternatives to the AMD Ryzen 5 7600X, including cheap champions and fancy flagships.