AMD Ryzen 5 3600 beats Intel Core i9 9900K in single-thread performance in PassMark benchmark

AMD CEO Lisa Su presenting the keynote at CES 2019 in January

AMD CEO Lisa Su presenting the keynote at CES 2019 in January

AMD's Zen architecture has, until now, trailed in single-core while excelling in multi-core tasks

A leaked benchmark has shown AMD's Ryzen 5 3600 beating Intel's Core i9 9900K in a PassMark CPUMark single-thread performance test.

Furthermore, the Ryzen 3 3600 is expected to cost around $199/£199 when it launches on 7 July - less than half the price of the Core i9-9900K, which retails in the UK at around £500.

The benchmark shows the Ryzen 5 part achieving a score of 2,979 against the Intel Core i9 9900K's 2,899 in single-threaded operation, but losing out marginally in terms of overall performance rating - 20,209 for the Intel Core i9 against 20,134 for the Ryzen 5 3600. The Ryzen 5 3600 even beats out Intel's 5GHz Core i9 9900K/

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However, the benchmark was based on just three runs of the CPU and, while it is not unlikely that the CPU might have been overclocked, the device does not appear on PassMark's ‘Overclocked CPU' performance leaderboard. Topping that leaderboard is the Intel Xeon W-3175X with a score of 39,073, although that chip costs around £2,740.

The Ryzen 5 3600 CPU is the base offering of AMD's third-generation Ryzen microprocessors, which were unveiled during the Computex trade show in May.

The top-10 in PassMark's single-threaded performance league table

It will offer six cores and 12 threads running at a base speed of 3.6GHz, but capable of boosting to 4.2GHz. Across the line-up, running on an X570 motherboard it will support 40 lanes of PCIe 4.0 interconnectivity, making it the first mainstream CPU to support PCIe 4.0. This will support much greater bandwidth for graphics cards, SSDs and other components connected to the motherboard.

The third-generation Ryzen range tops out at $749/£720 (including VAT) with the Ryzen 9 3950X, which AMD has pitched squarely at gamers. Held back for an unveiling at the E3 gaming industry event in June, it bears 16 cores and 32 threads, a base clock speed of 3.5GHz and a boost clock of 4.7GHz. It has twice the Level 2 and Level 3 cache of AMD's third-gen Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 at 72MB, although a TDP of 105 watts to the Ryzen 5 3600's 65 watts.

  Ryzen 5 3600 Ryzen 5 3600X Ryzen 7 3700X Ryzen 7 3800X Ryzen 9 3900X Ryzen 9 3950X
Cores/threads 6/12 6/12 8/16 8/16 12/24 16/32
Clock speed 3.6/4.2GHz 3.8/4.4GHz 3.6/4.4GHz 3.9/4.5GHz 3.8/4.6GHz 3.5/4.7GHz
Cache 35MB 35MB 36MB 36MB 70MB 72MB
TDP 65W 95W 65W 105W 105W 105W

The Ryzen 3000 series is the first mainstream CPU offering built on 7nm process technology (by TSMC, rather than Global Foundries) enabling AMD to crank up performance as its Zen architecture matures. Intel, meanwhile, has struggled to make the manufacturing shift from 14nm to 10nm, although it promises to finally start manufacturing in volume at 10nm later this year with products based on its Ice Lake architecture - around four years late.

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