AMD Ryzen 5 5500 vs Ryzen 5 5600: Which entry-level CPU should you buy?

AMD Ryzen 5 5500 vs Ryzen 5 5600: Which entry-level CPU should you buy?

AMD announced a handful of new Ryzen CPUs as a part of its Spring update. In addition to the more powerful Ryzen 7 5800X3D processor, we also got a couple of relatively less powerful, entry-level chips too. The Ryzen 5 5500 and the Ryzen 5 5600 are the new entry-level processors we got from AMD this week. And in this article, we’re going to take a look at the AMD Ryzen 5 5500 vs Ryzen 5 5600 CPUs, to find out which one’s the better entry-level CPU to buy in 2022.

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Specifications

Before we begin the comparison, here’s a quick look at the specifications of each processor to find out what each of these chips brings to the table:

Specification AMD Ryzen 5 5500 AMD Ryzen 5 5600
CPU Socket AMD AM4 AMD AM4
Cores 6 6
Threads 12 12
Lithography TSMC 7nm FinFET TSMC 7nm FinFET
Base Frequency 3.6GHz 3.5GHz
Boost Frequency Up to 4.2GHz Up to 4.4GHz
Unlocked for overclocking? Yes Yes
L3 Cache 16MB 32MB
Default TDP 65W 65W
Max. Operating Temperature (Tjmax) 90°C 90°C
Memory Support DDR4 up to 3200MHz
Up to 128GB
DDR4 up to 3200MHz
Up to 128GB
Integrated Graphics NA NA

Performance Difference

Both the Ryzen 5 5500 and the Ryzen 5 5600 processors, as you can see, are very similar to each in terms of specifications. We’re looking at a Hexa-core processor with twelve threads. Essentially what we’re looking at here are two lower-clocked versions of the Ryzen 5 5600X. Even when you compare the Ryzen 5 5500 vs the Ryzen 5 5600, you’ll notice that the 5600 has a slightly higher boost clock whereas the 5500 has a high base frequency. This means the Ryzen 5 5600 may yield slightly better overall performance due to the short burst of boost frequency.

Just to put things into perspective, the Ryzen 5 5600X is also a six-core processor with twelve threads. However, it boasts slightly faster clock speeds coming 3.6Ghz base and 4.6Ghz boost frequency. It’s, however, worth pointing out that it doesn’t come bundled with a stock cooler. It’ll be interesting to see how the Ryzen 5 5600 compares against the Ryzen 5 5600X processor. There’s also the Ryzen 5 5600G that comes with an integrated GPU, which makes things a lot more interesting in terms of options.

The Ryzen 5 5600 chip also has double cache memory coming in 32MB. This also means the Ryzen 5 5600 chip should be better for gaming and other similarly threaded tasks too. Cache memory plays a huge role in improving the overall performance output, and it’s one of the main reasons why the new Ryzen 7 5800X3D is said to have a significant performance improvement over the Ryzen 7 5800X. We’re yet to get our hands on this either of these chips, we’ll have a more detailed comparison once we have a chance to test them.

AMD Wraith Stealth Cooler

Another thing to note about these processors is that they both come bundled with a Wraith Stealth CPU cooler. This particular CPU cooler should have absolutely no issues keeping the thermal output of these processors in check. Not having to buy a separate CPU cooler for your PC build will definitely save you a lot of money. The AMD Wraith Stealth cooler is also known to be quite powerful in keeping the thermal output in check, so we think you’ll have no issues running these chips at stock settings.

Ryzen 5 5500 limited PCIe 3.0

While the Ryzen 5 5500 is going to attract a lot of attention, there’s one thing that we wanted to point out. This particular CPU tops out at PCIe 3.0 which means you’ll not be able to take advantage of PCIe 4.0 peripherals including the new SSDs. Even a lot of graphics cards have limited performance while running at PCIe 3.0. In comparison, the Ryzen 5 5600 supports PCIe 4.0, making it a better option. We recommend picking up the Ryzen 5 5600 over the Ryzen 5, assuming you want to build a PC that can last for at least a few years before giving up on you.

An RTX 2080 Super being installed on a motherboard

Pricing & Availability

The AMD Ryzen 5 5500 is priced at $159, whereas the Ryzen 5 5600 costs slightly more coming in at $199. Both chips, however, are ideal for an entry-level to mid-range PC build. They’re best paired with a budget B550 motherboard. Both the Ryzen 5 5500 as well as the Ryzen 5 5600 processors will be available to purchase starting early April. We’ll add buying links for the new chips as soon as they are available to purchase. In the meantime, you can check out the Ryzen 5 5600G that comes with integrated graphics for $219 right now.

    The AMD Ryzen 5 5600G is a great APU for those who are currently struggling to buy a GPU on the market.

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Which one should you buy?

One of the main differences between these two entry-level chips, as we mentioned above, is the fact that the Ryzen 5 5500 tops out at PCIe 3.0 This could be a deal-breaker for many who are looking to build a long-lasting gaming rig. But if that’s not a deal-breaker for you then we think the Ryzen 5 5500 is a solid entry-level processor that’ll get you into the world of PC gaming. You can easily pair it with one of the budget B550 or even an older motherboard to build a solid PC that’ll set you up well. Both of these chips are definitely making their way to our collection of the best CPUs you can buy in 2022. If none of these chips have your attention, then we suggest you wait for the new Ryzen 7000 series processors that are slated to come out in a few years. Alternatively, you can also check out the Ryzen 6000 series mobile processors that are available in a variety of flavors.

About author

Karthik Iyer
Karthik Iyer

Karthik covers PC hardware for XDA Computing. When not at work, you will find him yelling at his monitors while playing video games.

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