AMD Ryzen 5 5600 and 5500 review: response to Alder Lake

Intel’s competitive Alder Lake chips have upended AMD’s dominance with its Ryzen CPUs, especially at lower price points, but the new $199 six-core 12-thread Ryzen 5 5600 and $159 Ryzen 5 5500 $ are designed to fill the main gaps in the company’s portfolio. These new chips are part of AMD’s broader launch of seven new Ryzen 5000 models that aim to solidify the company’s ranking in CPU benchmarks and reclaim its position on the list of best processors for gaming.

AMD’s Ryzen 5000 chips completely eclipsed Intel’s performance lead in desktop PCs when they launched in 2020, but the company has long neglected to launch sub-$250 chips with the mighty Zen architecture. 3. It kept the entry bar at an unreachable level for value seekers.

AMD’s new chips are long overdue, arriving a year and a half after the first wave of Ryzen 5000 chips, but they’re badly needed. Intel’s Alder Lake launch caught AMD in an unusual way, snatching AMD’s performance lead. Intel’s aggressive pricing also provided superior value across the price range while exploiting AMD’s glaring lack of Zen 3 chips under $250.

AMD’s solution is quite simple: the company is bringing back its non-X models, but with a twist. As a reminder, AMD’s non-X models are the cheapest and lowest performance versions of the “X” models (like the Ryzen 5 5600X), but they have historically offered about the same performance as their counterparts, in especially after overclocking. AMD is also putting a new twist on the practice: some of these new models, like the Ryzen 5 5500, are repurposed APUs with an integrated GPU disabled.

AMD Ryzen Spring 2022 Update
Street Price/MSRP Design – Arch. E/P – Core|Thread P-Core Base/Boost (GHz) TDP/PBP/MTP L3 cache
Ryzen 7 5800X3D $449 Zen 3 – Vermeer 8P | 16T 3.4 / 4.5 105W 96 MB
Ryzen 7 5700X $299 Zen 3 – Vermeer 8P | 16T 3.4 / 4.6 65W 32 MB
Ryzen 5 5600 $199 Zen 3 – Vermeer 6P|12T 3.5 / 4.4 65W 32 MB
Ryzen 5 5500 $159 Zen 3 – Cezanne 6P | 12T 3.6 / 4.2 65W 16 MB
Ryzen 5 4600G $154 Zen 2 – Renoir 6P | 12T 3.7 / 4.2 65W 8 MB
Ryzen 5 4500 $129 Zen 2 – Renoir 6P | 12T 3.6 / 4.1 65W 8 MB
Ryzen 3 4100 $99 Zen 2 – Renoir 4P | 8T 3.8 / 4.0 65W 4 MB

The four new non-X models are designed to address Intel’s dominant low-end lead, and AMD has also slashed the prices of its existing Ryzen 5000 models. AMD is even enabling support for Ryzen 5000 chips on older 300-series motherboards, opening up a value option that’s a good fit for the new low-end Ryzen lineup. Here’s how AMD’s new mainstream competitors rank.

AMD Ryzen 5 5600 and 5500 specs and price

Mid-range AMD and Intel specs and pricing
Price – Street/MSRP Design – Arch. E/P – Core|Thread P-Core Base/Boost (GHz) E-Core Base/Boost (GHz) TDP/PBP/MTP Memory Support L3 cache
Ryzen 5 5600X $230 ($299) Zen 3 – Vermeer 6P | 12T 3.7 / 4.6 65W DDR4-3200 32 MB
Ryzen 5 5600G (APU) $220 ($259) Zen 3 – Cezanne 6P | 12T 3.9 / 4.4 65W DDR4-3200 16 MB
Ryzen 5 5600 $199 Zen 3 – Vermeer 6P|12T 3.5 / 4.4 65W DDR4-3200 32 MB
Core i5-12400/F $192 – $167 (F) Alder Lake 6P+0E | 6C/12T 4.4 / 2.5 65W / 117W DDR4/5-3200/4800 18 MB
Ryzen 5 3600X $250 ($240) Zen 2 6P | 12T 3.8 / 4.4 95W DDR4-3200 32 MB
Ryzen 5 3600 $229 ($200) Zen 2 6P | 12T 3.6 / 4.2 65W DDR4-3200 32 MB
Ryzen 5 5500 $159 Zen 3 – Cezanne 6P | 12T 3.6 / 4.2 65W DDR4-3200 16 MB
Ryzen 5 4600G (APU) $154 Zen 2 – Renoir 6P | 12T 3.7 / 4.2 65W DDR4-3200 8 MB
Core i3-12100/F $122 – $97 (F) Alder Lake 4P+0E | 4C/8T 3.3 / 4.3 60W / 89W DDR4/5-3200/4800 12 MB

The Ryzen 5 5600 and 5500 have drastically different designs, but there are a few commonalities. Like their fuller counterparts, both chips come with a Wraith Stealth cooler which is sufficient for stock operation. They also support up to DDR4-3200 memory. Moreover, these chips are fully unlocked for overclocking CPU cores, memory and fabric. By contrast, Intel’s non-K models only support memory overclocking, and the company’s absurd decision to keep certain voltages locked limits DDR4 overclocking headroom.

The $199 Ryzen 5 5600 is a new Vermeer model, which means it comes with the standard chip-based Zen 3 architecture. This chip is the long-awaited and much-needed “non-X” version of the Ryzen 5 5600X, so it shares the same feature set, but with reduced clocks. The 5600 has a 3.5 GHz base and 4.4 GHz boost, so you only lose 200 MHz for base and boost clock frequency compared to the 5600X. This chip will compete with Intel’s popular Core i5-12400.

For its lowest-end Zen 3 chip, the $159 Ryzen 5 5500 finds AMD using a new tactic of reallocating its Cezanne monolithic silicon it typically uses for APUs, but the company has disabled the Radeon integrated graphics engine. Chip vega. . This six-core, 12-thread chip slots in to compete with Intel’s $167 Core i5-12400F without a graphics card.

Aside from the disabled iGPU, the 5500 has the same design as the Ryzen 5 5600G, including support for PCIe 3.0 instead of PCIe 4.0. As a result, this chip will be a great pairing for older low-end AM4 motherboards (you definitely don’t want to pay for features you don’t need by pairing it with a motherboard that supports PCIe 4.0).

The 5500 is very similar to the 5600G which has the same architecture, but an active iGPU – there’s only a 200 MHz difference in CPU base/boost clock frequencies between the two chips. Like its counterpart, the Ryzen 5 5500 also comes with 16MB of cache, which is half that of the chip-based Ryzen 5 5600 which has the same number of cores and threads. This will cause reduced performance in several workloads.

The Ryzen 5 5600 and Ryzen 5 5500 would make excellent matches for inexpensive 300 and 400 series motherboards. These chips are already supported on 400 series boards and, starting with AGESA 1207 , most 300 series motherboards will support Zen 3 Ryzen 5000 processors after a BIOS update (make sure BIOS has AGESA 1207 or newer). AMD says Ryzen 5000 support will vary by vendor, as will the timing of new BIOS revisions. However, we should see updates coming in the April-May period. Notably, these BIOS revisions will also include AMD’s fix for fTPM stuttering issues. Let’s move on to CPU benchmarks.

Abdul J. Gaspar