Should I get Ryzen 2600 or i5 9600K?

tim9317

Junior Member
Jul 31, 2018
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#1
I will be building a new PC and I'm not sure which of these processors I should get. My budget is around $1,000. I want to build a PC that will last me about 5 years. I'd like to be able to play the latest games in 1080p at high settings and want a processor that will emulate Gamecube/Wii and PS2 well. I'm more of a casual gamer so I will likely be playing on a 60 Hz monitor and I don't need 100+ frame rates and everything being run on ultra settings. For a video card, I was thinking of going with a GTX 1070 as that is the most I'd be willing to spend on a video card that will last me for a while.

I know when it comes to emulation, I need good single thread performance and for PS2/Wii/Gamecube emulation, the 2600 seems to be fast enough to run most games at 100 % speed. I can get the Ryzen 2600 for only $160, whereas the 9600K will be $280. I also like that AM4 motherboards will support AMD processors through 2020. My thought process is that I would spend less on a CPU now and in 2 years, I would upgrade to whatever the mid-range AMD processor is then. As far as I can tell, in terms of performance per dollar, this makes the most sense for the next 5 years but I'd still like your opinions on which processor would suit me better.
 

epsilon84

Senior member
Aug 29, 2010
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#2
On that kind of budget, I would favour the 2600 too, especially if you plan on upgrading in a couple of years.

The 9600K is the stronger gaming CPU, but you won't really see the advantages with a 60Hz panel and GTX 1070.

I would suggest overclocking the 2600 to around 4GHz to give it that extra bit of ST oomph in games. It's stock clocks are rather underwhelming.
 

tim9317

Junior Member
Jul 31, 2018
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#3
On that kind of budget, I would favour the 2600 too, especially if you plan on upgrading in a couple of years.

The 9600K is the stronger gaming CPU, but you won't really see the advantages with a 60Hz panel and GTX 1070.

I would suggest overclocking the 2600 to around 4GHz to give it that extra bit of ST oomph in games. It's stock clocks are rather underwhelming.
Is the stock cooler of the 2600 good enough for overclocking?
 

epsilon84

Senior member
Aug 29, 2010
931
104
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#4
Is the stock cooler of the 2600 good enough for overclocking?
The stock 2600 cooler is rather small, but should still be OK to up around 4GHz - I would just increase clocks without touching the core voltage and see how high you can get. You might not exactly get 4GHz, but even 3.9GHz would be a nice little boost for ST performance.

With aftermarket cooling and additional voltage 4.2GHz should be achievable on a 2600.
 

TheGiant

Senior member
Jun 12, 2017
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#5
buy the 2600 definitely...
but as for the board, it may by compatible but who knows if the VRMs/power circuit will be enough for the 2020 CPUs and for overclocking
so with your budget, buy medium class board, better RAM, 2600 and a simple 40 EUR air cooler and you have the best bang for the buck IMO
 
Aug 11, 2008
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#6
Doesnt make sense to me to try to save money on the cpu now and upgrade in two years. the 9700k with 8 cores, 4.6 ghz all core turbo, and good overclocking headroom is only about a hundred dollars more than the 9600 or the 2600. The 9700k is certainly faster for gaming than any AMD cpu available now. There is lots of hype about Zen 3, but nobody really knows if it will be a better gaming cpu than the 8 core intel cpus coming out in a couple of weeks. The only caveat is how good will be availability of the 9700k and whether it will sell at close to MSRP.
 

Thunder 57

Senior member
Aug 19, 2007
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#7
Another vote for the 2600. Clearer upgrade path plus it has SMT. If the price difference between the 2600 and 2600X is small enough, go for the X. You probably wouldn't even have to bother overclocking. And if you do, it comes with a beefier cooler that will get you further.
 

Thunder 57

Senior member
Aug 19, 2007
577
16
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#8
...the 9700k with 8 cores, 4.6 ghz all core turbo, and good overclocking headroom is only about a hundred dollars more than the 9600 or the 2600...
The 9700k is over $200 more than the 2600, and that's without adding in the cost of a HSF for the 9700k.

I would also consider the number of threads. Battlefield has proven that 4C/4T are not good enough, whereas 4C/8T are. With the 2600 you will have 6C/12T and be able to upgrade to 8C/16T. With the 9700k you will be at 8C/8C, with the ability to upgrade to 8C/16T. By the time you are upgrading though, Zen 2 will be around and put up a better fight to Coffee Lake refresh.
 

scannall

Golden Member
Jan 1, 2012
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#9
I'm typing this on a new 2600X. Just put the pieces together, turned it on using the stock cooler and am getting 4.2 Ghz on all cores. Haven't overclocked at all. The only thing I did was turn off cool and quiet in bios. On lightly threaded things I'm seeing single cores jump to 4.3 and 4.4 Ghz. It was $180. No effort, no fuss. Runs really well.
 
Feb 23, 2017
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#10
Casual gamer playing at 1080p on a 1070. Do you even need the K variant of any CPU?
 

alcoholbob

Diamond Member
May 24, 2005
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#11
Doesnt make sense to me to try to save money on the cpu now and upgrade in two years. the 9700k with 8 cores, 4.6 ghz all core turbo, and good overclocking headroom is only about a hundred dollars more than the 9600 or the 2600. The 9700k is certainly faster for gaming than any AMD cpu available now. There is lots of hype about Zen 3, but nobody really knows if it will be a better gaming cpu than the 8 core intel cpus coming out in a couple of weeks. The only caveat is how good will be availability of the 9700k and whether it will sell at close to MSRP.
It makes sense if you are playing 60hz at 1080p.
 
May 11, 2008
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#12
Definitely go for the 2600 and if you can go for the 2600x.
The added heatsink is quite enough.
I personally like it when my cpu runs as cool as possible so instead of using the added stock cooler, for my 2600 system i have a shadow rock TF2 cooler from be quit but that requires a lot of checking if you have the space to mount it and the memory sticks being not too high.
This cooler is rated for 160W loads and thus more than enough for either 2600 or 2600x if you wanted an 3rd party cooler.
It seems ryzens run particulary well at their boost clocks when using watercooling. Even a ready to use water cooling system is great for ryzen.
And read reviews what motherboards run great with a 2600x.
 

Indus

Diamond Member
May 11, 2002
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#13
2600X is better.
 

chrisjames61

Senior member
Dec 31, 2013
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#14
Doesnt make sense to me to try to save money on the cpu now and upgrade in two years. the 9700k with 8 cores, 4.6 ghz all core turbo, and good overclocking headroom is only about a hundred dollars more than the 9600 or the 2600. The 9700k is certainly faster for gaming than any AMD cpu available now. There is lots of hype about Zen 3, but nobody really knows if it will be a better gaming cpu than the 8 core intel cpus coming out in a couple of weeks. The only caveat is how good will be availability of the 9700k and whether it will sell at close to MSRP.

$410 without a cooler vs $159 with a decent bundled cooler. I don't know how you can suggest that to a person on a budget.
 

scannall

Golden Member
Jan 1, 2012
1,284
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#15
$410 without a cooler vs $159 with a decent bundled cooler. I don't know how you can suggest that to a person on a budget.
Total for this 2600X and included cooler, Asrock motherboard and 16 gig of fast ram was just $420. Or about the same as just the 9700k
 

Insert_Nickname

Diamond Member
May 6, 2012
3,378
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#16
I would suggest overclocking the 2600 to around 4GHz to give it that extra bit of ST oomph in games. It's stock clocks are rather underwhelming.
On the other hand, precision boost does an excellent job on the 2600X. So if the OP doesn't want to bother with OC, he can just get the 2600X. An OC is also very unlikely to give better ST performance, then the X has at at stock.
 

epsilon84

Senior member
Aug 29, 2010
931
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#17
On the other hand, precision boost does an excellent job on the 2600X. So if the OP doesn't want to bother with OC, he can just get the 2600X. An OC is also very unlikely to give better ST performance, then the X has at at stock.
Agreed, if he can afford a 2600X it basically negates the need to overclock, IIRC it already boosts to 4GHz all core turbo?
 

scannall

Golden Member
Jan 1, 2012
1,284
106
136
#18
Agreed, if he can afford a 2600X it basically negates the need to overclock, IIRC it already boosts to 4GHz all core turbo?
Without overclocking, or anything. Stock settings except for Cool and Quiet turned off I am getting all core boost of 4.2.
 
Oct 27, 2006
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#19
60hz? Definitely 2600.

Are you married to your monitor? Because if you are happy with 1080p, then 165hz displays are pretty affordable, and for high refresh rate gaming my vote would probably change to the i5.

4k = go with Ryzen
1440p 60 = Ryzen
1440 100+ = flip a coin
1080 100+ = Intel
1080 60 = go cheap, lol. Even an i3 or 2400 will max you at 60fps in so many cases
 

Malogeek

Golden Member
Mar 5, 2017
1,387
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yaktribe.org
#20
Another vote for 2600X at that budget and don't manually overclock, let it manage it's own boost clock. Make sure your don't skimp on RAM and try to get something that is on the motherboards QVL.
 

tim9317

Junior Member
Jul 31, 2018
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#21
60hz? Definitely 2600.

Are you married to your monitor? Because if you are happy with 1080p, then 165hz displays are pretty affordable, and for high refresh rate gaming my vote would probably change to the i5.

4k = go with Ryzen
1440p 60 = Ryzen
1440 100+ = flip a coin
1080 100+ = Intel
1080 60 = go cheap, lol. Even an i3 or 2400 will max you at 60fps in so many cases
I'm not sure if playing at a refresh rate higher than 60Hz would be worth it for me because I am a casual gamer. I will be playing a range of games online but I don't plan on playing competitively. I also play just as many single player games as multiplayer games.
 

tim9317

Junior Member
Jul 31, 2018
9
0
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#22
Would it be possible to overclock the 2600 enough to achieve the same single core performance as the 2600x. If so, how much would a decent cooler cost for the 2600? I would mainly be doing this to improve emulation performance.

I can currently get the 2600x for $220 and the 2600 for $160. Considering that the following options are the same price, I'm wondering if I bought a $60 cooler and the 2600 if I could get the same performance as the 2600x with its stock cooler?
 

Thunder 57

Senior member
Aug 19, 2007
577
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#23
Would it be possible to overclock the 2600 enough to achieve the same single core performance as the 2600x. If so, how much would a decent cooler cost for the 2600? I would mainly be doing this to improve emulation performance.

I can currently get the 2600x for $220 and the 2600 for $160. Considering that the following options are the same price, I'm wondering if I bought a $60 cooler and the 2600 if I could get the same performance as the 2600x with its stock cooler?
Nah, you don't need a $60 HSF. A Hyper T4 for about $25 is plenty.
 

Thunder 57

Senior member
Aug 19, 2007
577
16
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#25
Thunder, would the 2600 and Hyper T4 give the same single core performance as the 2600x and stock cooler?

Which option would you go with?
The T4 gives you a bit more flexibility as you can also add a second fan if you wanted. I got it when I broke a mount on my stock Intel HSF for my 3570k (back when they came with a HSF). The Hyper T4 will be a better cooler, but the Wraith Spire complements the 2600X very well.

If you just want to just plug and play, I would say go for the 2600X and the Wraith. The CPU is already tuned rather well and you wouldn't gain much from overclocking. If you are willing to do a bit of tuning, the 2600 plus the Hyper T4 would probably be better. Either way I don't imagine there would be much of a difference performance wise.

So it looks like there would be about a $30 difference between the two once you add in the Cooler Master HSF. It's a tough call. If you do plan to upgrade to a future Zen (probably 7nm Zen 2) with 8C/16T, you could use the Hyper T4 and keep it rather cool, or increase your ability to overclock. On the other hand, the 2600X will probable hold it's value a bit more when you go to resell it.

There probably is more value with the 2600 + aftermarket HSF, so I guess I would go with that. With that money you would save you could possibility get some better RAM, as that seems to be important for Zen.
 


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