AMD launched their Ryzen 5000G processors earlier this year for system integrators and OEMs—the DIY market had to wait a bit longer, until August. In our launch-day coverage, we brought you a review of the Ryzen 7 5700G. Today, we have the review of the Ryzen 5 5600G. The new processors are designed to fill important gaps in AMD's Ryzen 5000 series desktop processor lineup without stepping on or being stepped over by existing 5000X-series "Vermeer" desktop processors that lack integrated graphics. The 5000G series processors come with up to eight CPU cores based on the latest "Zen 3" microarchitecture, along with an integrated graphics solution based on "Vega," which has since been updated with display and codec improvements and dialed up in clock speeds.
At the heart of the Ryzen 7 5700G and Ryzen 5 5600G is the new 7 nm "Cezanne" silicon that made its debut with the company's Ryzen 5000 series mobile processors. This monolithic die features an 8-core/16-thread CPU, a Vega iGPU with up to eight compute units, updated display and media-engines, and the latest-generation memory. For the Ryzen 5 5600G in today's review, AMD has disabled two of the CPU cores, and set the IGP shader count to 448, down from 512 on the 5700G.
Besides the IPC uplift of the new Zen 3 CPU core, Cezanne benefits from the biggest design change of this generation, which is AMD effectively doing away with quad-core complexes and putting all eight cores into a single, large CCX with a common L3 cache. This significantly improves inter-core communication, handing over of threads between the cores, and multi-threaded performance in general. Also, since the CCX "partition" is done away with, the 8 Zen 3 cores share a single 16 MB L3 cache. This means the whole processor has only half the cache of Ryzen 5000X Vermeer, which offers 32 MB L3.
Unlike the other Zen 3 processors which feature PCIe 4.0, the Ryzen 5000G APUs come with a PCI-Express 3.0 interface. There's 16 lanes for the PCI-Express graphics slot, plus four for a CPU-connected M.2 NVMe slot, and four toward the chipset bus. Compared to older Ryzen APUs and even mobile Cezanne, this is still an improvement because those only had PCIe 3.0 x8 for external graphics. The other big change is optimizations to the dual-channel DDR4 memory controllers, which are capable of even higher memory frequencies.
Within AMD's product stack, AMD is positioning the Ryzen 7 5700G a notch below the Ryzen 7 5800X, and the Ryzen 5 5600G just below the Ryzen 5 5600X. The 5700G is filling in for the lack of a "Ryzen 7 5700X" (a successor to the popular Ryzen 7 3700X), while the 5600G has the equally important task of succeeding the immensely successful Ryzen 5 3600. AMD's sell here is that the monolithic design of the Cezanne silicon has some inherent advantages, such as lower latencies since the CPU cores, memory interface, and PCIe are sitting on the same die. Both chips do come with unlocked multipliers, so you can take a crack at overclocking them.
Priced at $260, the Ryzen 5 5600G is not cheap and sees strong competition from the Intel Core i5-11600K and AMD's own Ryzen 5 5600X.