Ryzen 5 1600 vs Ryzen 3 1200 – Which CPU is Best?

Full technical specification of AMD Ryzen 5 1600 and Ryzen 3 1200. We compared two desktop CPUs: the 3.2 GHz AMD Ryzen 5 1600 with 6-cores against the 3.1 GHz Ryzen 3 1200 with 4-cores.

Ryzen 5 1600

Ryzen 5 1600 Review

Critic Reviews

“Ryzen 5 bring AMD back into the game as they deliver high-performance multi-threaded computing at prices that will be a major disruption to the competition.”by Vortez

Ryzen 3 1200

Desktop Processor with Wraith Stealth Cooler

Critic Reviews

“AMD has been most relevant in the budget market for the past several years. This is where it retreated to when it couldn’t keep up with Intel’s advances, and it actually did fairly well by cutting prices and repositioning its formerly-high-end products….”by Gadgets360

General

VendorAMDAMD
ReleasedApril 11, 2017July 27, 2017
Launch price219 USD109 USD
TypeDesktopDesktop
CodenameZenZen
SocketAM4AM4
Integrated GPUNoNo

Performance

Cores64
Threads124
Base Frequency3.2 GHz3.1 GHz
Turbo Boost Frequency3.6 GHz3.4 GHz
Bus frequency100 MHz100 MHz
Multiplier32x31x
L1 Cache96K (per core)96K (per core)
L2 Cache512K (per core)512K (per core)
L3 Cache16MB (shared)8MB (shared)
Unlocked MultiplierYesYes

Power

Transistors4.8 billions4.8 billions
Fabrication process14 nm14 nm
TDP65 W65 W
Max. temperature95°C95°C

Memory support

Memory typesDDR4-2666DDR4-2666
Memory Size64 GB64 GB
Max. Memory Channels22
Max. Memory Bandwidth39.74 GB/s39.74 GB/s
ECC SupportYesYes

Misc

Official siteAMD Ryzen 5 1600 official pageAMD Ryzen 3 1200 official page
PCI Express Version3.03.0
PCI Express Lanes2020

Reasons to buy Ryzen 5 1600

  • Two extra physical cores
  • 8 extra CPU threads
  • Higher Base and Turbo Boost frequency
  • 8MB larger L3 Cache size
  • Multi-threading support

Ryzen 3 1200 Features

The Ryzen 3 1200 is one of the most affordable and productive processors out there in the market, costing you just over $100, and offers quite a decent performance. It can easily compete with Intel’s Core-i3 processors, offering an overall better performance and a pretty decent price tag.

The Ryzen 3 1200 is based on AMD’s Zen architecture built on a 14nm manufacturing process, featuring 4 cores. AMD has decided to drop the multi-threading feature from this processor, which means that a single core executes one thread at a time, making a total of 4 threads on the Ryzen 1200. The 4 cores and 4 threads can clock up to 3.1GHz on the Base frequency and 3.4 on Turbo Boost frequency.

With 31x unlocked multipliers, the Ryzen 1200 can overclock and offer higher frequencies. Although it is bundled with the Wraith Stealth cooler, the Ryzen 1200 won’t let you overclock too much; you’ll need a much better aftermarket cooler to achieve higher frequencies.

This processor features a DDR4-2666 RAM with 64GB size and memory bandwidths up to 39.74GB/s. The PCI 3.0 Express version with 20 Express Lanes also reduces loading times and provides an excellent gaming performance.

It packs a 2 MB of L2 cache size and a shared 8MB of L3 cache size, which is enough for the Ryzen 1200 to offer an admirable performance. It also features an outstanding TDP of 65W with a maximum working temperature of up to 95C, making sure to consume less power and be more power-efficient.

Ryzen 5 1600 Features

The Ryzen 5 1600 is AMD’s 1st generation processor released back in 2017 that provides brilliant performance and more value for less money. These 1st generation processors are based on AMD’s Zen architecture built on a 14nm manufacturing process that provides you with decent gaming and multitasking performance.

The Ryzen 1600 features 6 multi-threaded cores, each core executing two threads at once, making a total of 12 threads. The higher core count and more threads make sure to offer excellent gaming performance and also handle heavy workloads without any trouble.

It clocks up to 3.2GHz on the Base frequency and up to 3.6GHz on Turbo Boost frequency. The multipliers are also unlocked, which means you can overclock the Ryzen 1600 to achieve higher frequencies.

Although it features the Wraith Spire bundled cooler to keep the temperature down, it won’t let you overclock it too much. You will need a better aftermarket cooler if you want to squeeze out higher frequencies.

The Ryzen 5 1600 also comes with the DDR4-266 RAM type with 64GB size memory bandwidths up to 39.74GB/s. It also stores a 3MB of L2 and a shared 16MB of L3 cache size, which is comparatively huge than Intel’s Kaby-Lake’s Cache sizes. 

This processor also features an excellent TDP of 65W with maximum working temperatures up to 95C, making sure to consume less power, be more power-efficient and provide outstanding performance.

Contrast

You can notice that the Ryzen 5 1600 takes the lead when it comes to the number of cores and threads. The Ryzen 3 1200 lacks multi-threading support and features 4 cores and threads, while the 1600 features 6 cores with multi-threading support, making a total of 12 threads.

The Ryzen 5 1600 is, without a doubt, a better-performing processor. It offers superior performance both in single and multi-threaded conditions. In single-core performance, the Ryzen 1600 takes the lead, but the gap is not that great, while in multi-threaded performance, the Ryzen 5 1600 is way much better.

The performance gap in multi-threaded conditions is almost double. The superior performance by the Ryzen 1600 is due to its more number of cores and multi-threading support.

However, the 1200’s 4 cores and threads also ensure excellent performance compared to the Ryzen 5 1600. The Ryzen 3 1200 shows quite admirable single-thread performance, and the performance gap with Ryzen 1600 isn’t that significant. It is also relatively cheaper compared to the 1600.

In other words, the Ryzen 3 1200 offers more value for your money; its decent gaming and multitasking performance makes it an ideal processor for people on a tight budget.

Result

We can’t say that either one of the processors is the perfect choice for you because, in the end, it depends on you, your budget, and plans for your CPU. If you’re ready to spend some bucks for a processor that offers superior gaming and multitasking performance, then you get your hands on the Ryzen 5 1600.

But, if you’re on a tight budget, or you want to spend some bucks on aftermarket stuff, then you should buy the Ryzen 3 1200. It will make sure to run almost every latest game quite decently, and the aftermarket upgrades will boost its performance even further.

It offers superb single-threaded performance and decent multitasking performance, that too at quite a reasonable price.  

However, if I were asked to choose one processor between these two, I would choose the Ryzen 5 1600, as it is more commanding in both single-core and multi-threaded workloads.

Related:
Ryzen 3 2200G vs AMD FX-8350
Intel Core-i5 9600k vs Ryzen 7 2700x
Ryzen 5 2600 vs Ryzen 7 1700

Nick Miller

It's Nick Miller a 25 year old tech enthusiast and senior editor at Flexgate, i try to make tech simple for the everyday person. You will find review about tech, tools and Computer hardware here.

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