AMD Ryzen 5 3600 Zen 2 Conquers Intel Coffee Lake In Benchmark And IPC Showdown

AMD 3rd Gen Ryzen
All indications so far is that AMD has brought the boom with its third generation Ryzen processor family launch, and that its Zen 2 CPU architecture based on a 7-nanometer manufacturing process is the real deal. The caveat is that most of the indications have come from AMD directly—at Computex, the company showcased a Ryzen 9 3900X outperforming an Intel Core i9-9920X. Whether it plays out that way once silicon gets in the hands of reviewers and embargoes are lifted remains to be seen. In the meantime, some encouraging benchmarks have leaked online.

AMD focused its keynote on the launch of the Ryzen 9 3900X ($499), Ryzen 7 3800X ($399), and Ryzen 7 3700X ($329). However, there are two other processors that comprise the initial launch, including the Ryzen 5 3600X ($249) and Ryzen 5 3600 ($199). It's the Ryzen 5 3600 that is the subject of recent leaks.

To recap, the Ryzen 5 3600 is a 6-core/12-thread processor with a 3.6GHz base clock and 4.2GHz boost clock. It also has 32MB of L3 cache, is built on the same 7nm node as the rest of the third-gen Ryzen lineup, and supports PCIe 4.0 x16.

Notorious leaker and Twitter user APISAK (@TUM_APISAK) posted a couple sets of Geekbench scores. One is from pairing the Ryzen 5 2600 with an X570 motherboard and the other is from an X470 setup. Here's a look at the X570 setup...

AMD Ryzen 5 3600 Geekbench

And here's a look at the scores when paired with an X470 motherboard...

AMD Ryzen 5 3600 Geekbench

The scores in the two platforms are similar, and just as importantly, they compare well with Intel's Coffee Lake processors. For example, in our own testing, a Core i7-8700K scores 5,669 points in Geekbench's single-core test, and 23,440 points in the multi-core test. Meanwhile, the previous generation Ryzen 5 2600 scores 4,511 points and 20,500 points, respectively, in those same tests.

Here are some other scores that we have personally obtained...

Geekbenc Scores

There is no doubt that the faster clocks on the Ryzen 5 3600 compared to the Ryzen 5 2600 are paying dividends. However, even accounting for that, the leaked benchmark runs show a nice IPC (instructions per clock) performance bump going from Zen+ to Zen 2. It seems that AMD has indeed brought IPC parity with Intel in single-core performance, and bests the mighty chipmaker in multi-threaded workloads. That said, we'll have to wait until we've tested the Zen 2 family ourselves before making a definitive statement.

Geekbench is not the only place where leaked third-gen Ryzen scores are showing up. There are more scores on Userbenchmark...

AMD Ryzen 5 3600 Userbenchmark
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Userbenchmark casts the Ryzen 5 3600 (and by extension, Zen 2) in an even more favorable light. Teh_Hammer noted on Reddit that these scores represent about a 7 percent IPC advantage over Intel's Core i7-7700K (Kaby Lake) in single-core performance. Here's how the math works out...
  • Ryzen 5 3600 @ 4.05GHz = 134
  • Core i7-7700K @ 5.1GHz = 157
  • 157 / 5.1 * 4.05 = ~125
Coffee Lake is similar to Kaby Lake, from an architectural standpoint. It's built on a refined 14nm++ manufacturing process, compared to Kaby Lake's 14nm+ node, so it's more of a revision. The single-core performance gains in Userbenchmark probably would not be on the same level if comparing to Coffee Lake, but it is impressive nonetheless.

Of course, it's still early and all of this should be taken with a grain of salt. We are eager to perform our own testing to see how Zen 2 stacks up to the competition. Until then, however, the leaked benchmarks are certainly promising.