Three AMD Ryzen 5 Processors to Avoid!

Introduction

As we get closer to the release of the upcoming AMD Ryzen 7000 Series desktop processors, current AMD Ryzen processors are seeing large discounts from many retailers. This is a repeating pattern that opens up opportunities for some great bargains. It is also possible to waste your money on a very poorly performing processor if you don’t do some research. I’m going to discuss three AMD Ryzen 5 processors that you should avoid!

My intent here is to try to warn people off of the three worst choices and try to explain why they are bad choices. I will also point out two much better choices.

In case you are confused about AMD Desktop CPU naming, I have a popular post about it here.

AMD Ryzen 5 Processors at Micro Center

Right now, Micro Center is selling six different Ryzen 5 processors from three different families that range in price from $109.99 to $189.99. Two of these have integrated graphics, while the rest do not. All six SKUs have six cores and twelve threads and include a stock Wraith Stealth CPU cooler.

If you are considering a budget new build or a budget CPU upgrade, you have a lot of different choices available. Unfortunately, three of these Ryzen 5 offerings sacrifice a LOT of performance for some pretty marginal cost savings.

Three AMD Ryzen 5 Processors to Avoid!
Ryzen 5 Processors at Micro Center

You might be wondering which of these six are the bad choices and which are the good choices.

Three Bad CPU Choices

Here are the bad choices:

  • Ryzen 5 4500 – Renoir
  • Ryzen 5 5500 – Cezanne
  • Ryzen 5 4600G – Renoir

Let’s talk about why these are bad choices.

Ryzen 5 4500

The AMD Ryzen 5 4500 is a 7nm 6C/12T Zen 2 CPU. It has a base clock speed of 3.6GHz and a boost clock of up to 4.1GHz, with an L3 cache of 8MB. This SKU has PCIe 3.0 support and can use DDR4-3200 RAM. It does not have integrated graphics. This is a Renoir family SKU.

What it does have going for it is its low price of $109.99. AMD wanted to have a SKU to compete at the lower end of the market, so this model was launched in April of 2022.

The main problem with this SKU is that you still need a discrete GPU. The GPU market has dramatically improved over the past several months, but you still need to spend a decent amount of money to get a decent GPU. Sacrificing so much CPU performance to save $20-$40 on the CPU cost is simply not a wise choice.

If your budget is such that saving $20-$40 is very important, you would probably be better off getting a used CPU on the secondary market.

Ryzen 5 5500

The AMD Ryzen 5 5500 is a 7nm 6C/12T Zen 3 CPU. It has a base clock speed of 3.6GHz and a boost clock of up to 4.2GHz, with an L3 cache of 16MB. This SKU has PCIe 3.0 support and can use DDR4-3200 RAM. It does not have integrated graphics. This is a Cezanne family SKU.

This processor is a decent improvement over the Ryzen 5 4500 for only $20 more. It is Zen 3 instead of Zen 2. This SKU has twice the L3 cache and a slightly higher boost clock speed. Even so, it is still a very bad choice compared to the Ryzen 5 5600 for $149.99. This model was also launched in April of 2022.

You still need a discrete GPU with this SKU, which makes its low price much less compelling.

Ryzen 5 4600G

The AMD Ryzen 5 4600G is a 7nm 6C/12T Zen 2 CPU. It has a base clock speed of 3.7GHz and a boost clock of up to 4.2GHz, with an L3 cache of 8MB. This SKU has PCIe 3.0 support and can use DDR4-3200 RAM. It does have integrated graphics, as indicated by the G suffix. This is a Renoir family SKU.

This model was launched in July of 2020, but it has not been widely available until recently. Using this SKU lets you have a functioning system without a discrete GPU. It will be fine for general purpose work, but the integrated graphics are not suited for anything but very casual gaming.

If you want to get away without a discrete GPU, stepping up to a Ryzen 5 5600G for only $20 more would be a very good decision.

Three Good CPU Choices

Here are the three good choices:

  • Ryzen 5 5600 – Vermeer
  • Ryzen 5 5600G – Cezanne
  • Ryzen 5 5600X – Vermeer

Let’s talk about why these are good choices.

Ryzen 5 5600

The AMD Ryzen 5 5600 is a 7nm 6C/12T Zen 3 CPU. It has a base clock speed of 3.5GHz and a boost clock of up to 4.4GHz, with an L3 cache of 32MB. This SKU has PCIe 4.0 support and can use DDR4-3200 RAM. It does not have integrated graphics. This is a Renoir family SKU.

This is my favorite Ryzen 5 SKU! It is Renoir, so it has PCIe 4.0 support and a 32MB L3 cache. It compares quite well to the more expensive Ryzen 5 5600X for $40 less.

If you are going to use a discrete GPU, the Ryzen 5 5600 is a MUCH better choice than the Ryzen 5 5500 or the Ryzen 5 4500. It is definitely worth the extra $20-$40 compared to those two SKUs.

Ryzen 5 5600G

The AMD Ryzen 5 5600G is a 7nm 6C/12T Zen 3 CPU. It has a base clock speed of 3.9GHz and a boost clock of up to 4.4GHz, with an L3 cache of 16MB. This SKU has PCIe 3.0 support and can use DDR4-3200 RAM. It does have integrated graphics as indicated by the G suffix. This is a Cezanne family SKU. This model was launched in April of 2021.

If you want to get away without a discrete GPU, the Ryzen 5 5600G is definitely worth $20 more than the older Ryzen 5 4600G. But if you are going to use a discrete GPU, the Ryzen 5 5600 is a MUCH better choice, for $10 less.

Ryzen 5 5600X

The AMD Ryzen 5 5600X is a 7nm 6C/12T Zen 3 CPU. It has a base clock speed of 3.7GHz and a boost clock of up to 4.6GHz, with an L3 cache of 32MB. This SKU has PCIe 4.0 support and can use DDR4-3200 RAM. It does not have integrated graphics. This is a Renoir family SKU.

This SKU was introduced back in November of 2020, and it is still a little beast of a processor. It has plenty of power for gaming and for light productivity tasks. At a price of $189.99, it is a bargain. But it is not really worth $40 more than the Ryzen 5 5600. It is slightly faster stock, but with PBO enabled, the less expensive Ryzen 5 5600 performs just about the same.

Final Words

To recap, if you care about performance, you should absolutely avoid the Ryzen 5 4500, Ryzen 5 5500, and Ryzen 5 4600G. The best two choices for most people are the Ryzen 5 5600 or Ryzen 5 5600G, depending on whether you want to use a discrete GPU or not.

If you currently have a Ryzen 5 1600, 2600, 2600X, 3500, 3600 or 3600X, a Ryzen 5 5600 or 5600X would be a significant upgrade for you.

If you have any questions about this post, please ask me here in the comments or on Twitter. I am pretty active on Twitter as GlennAlanBerryThanks for reading!

PC Hardware ,

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: