It all started rather unexpectedly. My daughter complained to me that while playing The Last of Us Part I, she had a crash to the system with a complaint of low memory.

To admit, it was a surprise for me. After all, I did not consider the configuration of her “school” PC consisting of a Ryzen 5 1600X, 16 GB of DDR4-2666 RAM, a terabyte NVMe SSD, and a Radeon RX 6800 16 GB video card to be weak. Especially since the mentioned game ran perfectly on my laptop with an old GeForce GTX 1660 Ti and a modest Core i5-10300N.

However, taking into account that the daughter’s computer is already five years old, and during this time only the Radeon RX 580 video card was updated to the RX 6800 (after the purchase of a QHD monitor since the RX 580 frankly did not cope with the 1440p mode in games), and the SSD somehow “grew” from SATA 480 GB to NVMe 1 TB, so, in principle, you could think about an upgrade. First of all, it concerned increasing the amount of memory. But taking into account the fact that Ryzen 5 1600X does not support modern high-speed DDR4 modules, it was decided to upgrade the processor at the same time as increasing the RAM.

Pending +100%

Since the country now generally has other priorities, the upgrade had to meet 2 criteria: cheap and cheerful. And then I remembered one interesting video from Hardware Unboxed, with the telling title “Ryzen 5 5600 vs. Ryzen 5 1600, 100%+ Gains in Games!” Well, a 2x boost is not a bad result, especially considering that the Ryzen 5 5600 is a relatively inexpensive processor (~$150). The choice is obvious.

Replacing Ryzen 5 1600X with Ryzen 5 5600. +100% upgrade?
With a powerful graphics card, the minimum FPS on the Ryzen 5 5600 should be higher than the average FPS on the platform with the Ryzen 5 1600. This is encouraging. Diagram: Hardware Unboxed

And as a bonus, Ryzen 5 5600, unlike Ryzen 5 1600X, supports Smart Access Memory (SAM) technology and installation of Windows 11 without dancing with a tambourine.

Of course, some picky readers may have a claim that “ex” in the person of the Ryzen 5 1600X is not exactly the Ryzen 5 1600, but something a little faster. But the difference between these 6-core Ryzen 1st generation chips is only in the frequency formula – 3.6/4.0 GHz vs. 3.2/3.6 GHz.

It was decided not to change the motherboard. This is a modest GIGABYTE GA-A320M-H on the AMD A320 chipset. I don’t know who is spreading rumors on the Internet that AMD A320 boards do not support Ryzen 5000 series, but in fact, this is not true at all. The same applies to SAM technology. By the way, somehow GIGABYTE even added support for PCI-E 4.0 to the BIOS of this board. But then she “sawed it off”, unfortunately.


Once upon a time, in the ancient days of my bachelor youth, I preferred expensive fancy motherboards. But the problem was that they did not live long. Maybe just unlucky. And they refused to repair them even at decent service centers, referring to the lack of specific components.

On the other hand, inexpensive boards without bells and whistles, on which I assembled computers for relatives, lived a long time, and even then I successfully sold them to other people in good condition, and not for spare parts. Therefore, the last expensive overclocking board I had was a motherboard with an Intel P35 chipset for Socket LGA 775. It successfully survived a Core 2 Duo, then a Core 2 Quad Q6600, and finished with a Xeon X5450, after which it was sent to some antique connoisseurs.

After that, I had a Socket LGA 1155 platform on an inexpensive board with an Intel H61 chipset, which began its career with a simple Core i5-2500 and finished with a powerful Core i7-3770, which added support for the PCI-E 3.0 bus for graphics cards to the platform. Actually, after the 3770, my first switch in my life to the AMD AM4 platform happened, namely to the Ryzen 5 1600X processor with the GIGABYTE GA-A320M-H board.

Replacing Ryzen 5 1600X with Ryzen 5 5600. +100% upgrade?

The board is not without design flaws (unfortunate location of SATA ports, which are blocked by the video card), but it is affordable and has great support: the manufacturer “bakes” new BIOS to it like hotcakes. Even in 2023, firmware updates are still coming out. I hope that with the new Ryzen 5 5600, this motherboard will “last” another 2-3 years, and there will be time to find a decent replacement for this platform as a whole. Well, there is no possibility to overclock the processor on such a board, but it’s not a big problem.

I left overclocking in the past – with age comes the understanding that it is simply not needed. And sometimes it also comes back at you. Several motherboards prematurely sent to the trash and two in a row “burnt” super-duper video cards at $500 each won’t let me lie. Life experience is harsh.

Practical result

Let’s finally evaluate the real effect of the upgrade. To begin with, let’s use Cinebench R23 – a benchmark test that allows you to evaluate the computer’s computing power when calculating photorealistic scenes.

Ryzen 5 5600 vs. Ryzen 5 1600X Cinebench R23

As you can see, here the Ryzen 5 5600 outperforms the Ryzen 5 1600X by 55% in the single-threaded load and by almost 50% in the multi-threaded load. Not bad. If we take into account that the difference between the platforms is 5 years, then the average performance increase of AMD processors was about 10% per year. Quite impressive.

Let’s do a single-threaded and multi-threaded “control check” in CPU-Z.

Ryzen 5 5600 vs. Ryzen 5 1600X CPU-Z

Here, the growth results are somewhat more modest – +39% in single-stream and +36% in multi-stream.

But we are more interested in the results in specific games, not some synthetic. It was here that we were promised 100%+. What do we see in practice?

Let’s start with Shadow of the Tomb Raider (2560×1440, maximum quality).

Replacing Ryzen 5 1600X with Ryzen 5 5600. +100% upgrade?

In general, the increase in the overall average FPS was only 25%. But pay attention to the indicator of the minimum “FPS CPU Game” – it increased from 69 to 132 frames/s, that is, by 91%. Moreover, the minimum “FPS CPU Game” with Ryzen 5 5600 even exceeded the average “FPS CPU Game” with Ryzen 5 1600X by as much as 21%! And the average “FPS CPU Game” indicator itself increased by 79% after the upgrade. Pretty close to what was promised.

We see that with the Ryzen 5 5600, the “limiter” of the game is not the processor, but the video card, as evidenced by the “GP Dependency” indicator: if it is only 37% in the Ryzen 5 1600X (that is, 63% of the time,it is the processor that cannot achieve greater number of FPS), then with 5600 – all 99% of the time FPS is limited by the performance of the video card.

And what is happening in Cyberpunk 2077? Let’s look.

Replacing Ryzen 5 1600X with Ryzen 5 5600. +100% upgrade?

Average FPS increased by a miserable 7%. However, the minimum jumped as much as 59% and exceeded 60 fps, which is a very good achievement. However, it does not look like a 100% increase here. Where is it?

We search further and call Marvels Guardians of the Galaxy for help. Guardians of the Galaxy did not disappoint.

Replacing Ryzen 5 1600X with Ryzen 5 5600. +100% upgrade?

A real cosmic scale miracle happened here: the average FPS increased by 115%, the minimum by 258%(!), and the maximum by 125%. That is, performance in the game jumped 2-3.5 times. It even exceeded the most optimistic expectations!

Of course, it should be taken into account that Ryzen 5 5600 already worked with DDR4-3600 memory. However, you cannot blame the inequality of conditions here, because Ryzen 5 1600X is simply physically unable to work with such high-speed memory.


Upgrading the processor from the Ryzen 5 1600X to the Ryzen 5 5600 really gives a nice boost in gaming performance. Although not everywhere and not always a significant increase in the average frame is achieved, updating the processor brings an increase in the minimum FPS by a gigantic amount from 60% to 260%, which is no less, if not more important for pleasant gameplay, so the upgrade definitely makes sense. Not to mention that studying on such a computer is much more pleasant).

P.S. What do you think about the feasibility of such an upgrade and the balance of the updated platform? How do you upgrade your own hardware? Share the experience of successful upgrades!