Even at full price, AMD's Ryzen 5 5600X is a compelling chip, and the best CPU for gaming if you're looking to book one of the least expensive flights into Zen 3 territory. However, paying full price has hardly been a requisite. It certainly isn't right now—Newegg has it marked down to just $267.99 (after applying coupon code 93XRU57 at checkout).
That's the lowest price it has ever been on Newegg or Amazon. And yes, I'm aware you can waltz into a Micro Center and pick it up for $259.99, plus save another $20 if bundling it with a compatible, eligible motherboard. But with only around two dozen locations, you have to be fortunate to live near one to make it worthwhile. Gas isn't cheap, after all.
If you do live near one, by all means take a trip, that's your best bet.
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X | 6 Cores, 12 Threads | 3.7GHz to 4.6GHz |
$289.99 $267.99 at Amazon (save $22)
One of the best CPUs for gaming, the Ryzen 5 5600X, has never been cheaper at Newegg or Amazon than it is right now. It comes with a cooler too, which is good enough if you plan to stick with the stock settings.
For those who don't, this is a great price for buying the 5600X online. Adding to the overall value proposition is the inclusion of an air cooler, the Wraith Stealth. It gets the job done, though if it's in the budget and you plan to overlock, you'll still want to bring your own cooler to the party.
This is a 6-core/12-thread processor with a 3.7GHz base clock, 4.6GHz max boost clock, and 32MB of L3 cache. That's enough to deliver "awesome gaming performance," as highlighted in our Ryzen 5 5600X review, and good enough for dabbling in 3D rendering and video encoding (though you'll want more cores and threads if either of those are your primary focus beyond gaming).
The only thing that muddies the water a bit here is the arrival of the Ryzen 5 5600G, an APU based on Zen 3 with integrated Vega graphics. It can be had for a little less—$259 on Newegg or $258.98 on Amazon—and is also worth considering, especially if you don't already own a discrete GPU. They are in short supply these days, after all.
Outside of onboard graphics, the differences between the two boil down to clock speeds and cache. The 5600G is 200MHz faster on the base clock (3.9GHz), but 200MHz slower on the more important max boost frequency (4.4GHz), and also has half the amount of L3 cache (16MB). It's still a good chip, just you're going to sacrifice a bit of gaming performance compared to the 5600X, to save around $11.
Either way, you have some good options for taking the plunge into the AMD Zen 3 world.