When it comes to choosing a CPU, it can be difficult to know which one is the best.
In this article, we will be comparing two of AMD’s CPUs, the Ryzen 5 2600 and the Ryzen 5 2660x. While they may appear similar at first glance, they do have some differences that you should consider.
We have taken a closer look at specifications such as architecture, clock speeds, cores, and threads to find out which is the better option overall.
When it comes to choosing a central processing unit, there are many options available. While it can be difficult to narrow down your search, there are two main companies you should consider – Intel and AMD.
The rivalry between Intel and AMD is very much known within the gaming world. When it comes to CPUs they are both fantastic companies to choose from. They both consistently release new and innovative CPUs to outrival each other.
As the years have progressed it has become significantly more difficult to choose between the two.
The choice you make when choosing between both competitors is important. This is because the choice you make will impact the different components you can choose at later stages of your build. Some components will only work with AMD CPUs and vice versa.
The number of cores that your processor has is important. They are responsible for multitasking. The more programs you are running, the higher number of cores you will need.
Both AMD CPUs have six cores. When benchmarked, the Ryzen 5 2660x performed better overall. It had a 5% better overall performance and speed.
When looking at single-core mixed speed, it was 5% better, with 115 pts, in comparison to the 2600’s 110 pts. While the 2600x is likely to perform better overall, it is worth noting that the differences between both are minimal.
The number of threads is equally as important. Threads are not physical like cores, rather they are virtual. They are an important element and allow the CPU to multitask effectively. Both CPUs have 12 threads.
While these two CPUs have the same specifications, the 2600x performed better overall when benchmarked. However, it is the more expensive of the two.
The clock speeds of your CPU are vital. Since AMD’s relaunch in 2017, their clock speeds have been highly rated, and these two CPUs are no exception.
The clock speed represents the physical speed of your CPU. As the CPU is what will run your PC, you want to have the best clock speeds your budget will allow. If you have low clock speeds, games will not run efficiently.
The clock speeds for the 2600 and 2600x are as follows:
Ryzen 5 2600
Base Clock – 3.4GHz
Boost Clock – Up to 3.9GHz
Ryzen 5 2600x
Base Clock – 3.6GHZ
Boost Clock – Up to 4.2GHZ
Overall, the Ryzen 5 2600x has a higher specification. However, they are not vastly different. To run games with no issues, a base clock speed of 3.4GHz is recommended. Given this, the Ryzen 2600x may be the better option.
Although clock speeds are vital, good single-thread performance is equally as important and needs to be considered too.
Both CPUs have an x86-64-bit Hexa core. They use a 12nm process and Zen+ Microarchitecture, which is a step up from the initial Zen architecture AMD created. This architecture was created in 2018 and since there has been a release of the Zen 2 and the Zen 3. Given this, these CPUs may not be the most future proof.
Both the 2600 and the 2600x use an AM4 Chipset. What is great about this chipset is that it is backward compatible with older motherboards. You will not need to upgrade your motherboard when using this CPU. This chipset is great for futureproofing.
These CPUs run on PCIe 3.0 x16. While this is currently suitable, with the recent release of PCIe 4.0 x16, there is no telling how long this PCIe will be futureproofed for.
The 2600 uses a Wraith Stealth cooling system. It provides a great thermal cooling solution and is quiet in its operation. The 2600x uses a Wraith Spire Cooler, which is an upgrade from the Stealth. It has a particularly good thermal performance.
Neither CPU contains integrated graphics and you will need to purchase a GPU for this purpose. However, both are unlocked to provide overclocking capabilities.
Both CPUs have the same amount of cache:
L1 Cache – 576KB
L2 Cache – 3MB
L3 Cache – 16MB
The cache memory is reasonable and can run games well without them feeling clunky or having buffering issues.
Overall the architecture for each CPU is very similar. The main difference is that the 2600x has a better cooling system, which will benefit you if you are looking to overclock.
Multitasking is important. In order for your games to run efficiently, your CPU needs to have the ability to multitask.
While multitasking relates to non-gaming programs, it is still important to consider in a gaming PC. It will still affect your gaming performance. If you are looking to stream while gaming, it is particularly important.
When looking at the thread specs for these CPUs, they both use 12 threads. The minimum needed for gaming is 8. Given this, you will be able to multitask while gaming without this affecting your overall gameplay. You should not experience stuttering.
A good number of cores needed for gaming is 6, which is what both CPUs use. While this is not the highest amount available, it will still allow you to multitask.
The more programs you have running in the background, even if this is YouTube or Spotify, these programs will use up some of the cores and threads. This is why it is important to have a good number so that your PC will not slow when running these programs in addition to games.
While these CPUs are fairly similar models, on the whole, some significant differences can be noted.
The main difference between both models lies in the clock speeds. If you are looking for a faster CPU, the 2600x would be the better option. While the base and boost speeds are not overly different when looking at the raw specs, there is a noticeable difference when both CPUs are benchmarked.
However, with the higher clock speeds, the 2600x comes with a price increase. Given this, 2600 is the more budget-friendly option.
When looking at overclocking, the Ryzen 2600x had a better benchmarking score overall. Overall it was 4% better than the 2600. However, if you are purchasing a CPU with overclocking in mind, the 2600 may be the better option.
The 2600 performed significantly better when it was overclocked in comparison to when it was run on average speeds. Its 8-core mixed average score was 673pts and increased to 762pts when overclocked. This is a bigger jump in the score when overclocked compared to the 2600x.
Even so, the cooling system of the 2600x is better than the 2600, which can impact overclocking.
They both use the same PCIe interface and architecture. They also run on the same cores and threads. While the 2600x is the better CPU overall, the 2600 is still worth considering. They are both a great starting point, especially if you are building a PC on a budget.