Last Updated on September 30, 2020 by Scott Krager
These GPU pairs for the Ryzen 5 are real world picks, not the latest and greatest RTX 3090 that is never going to be in stock. These graphics cards can all be purchased on Amazon today.
The Ryzen 5 3600, 3600X & 3600XT are three midrange CPUs from AMD’s Ryzen 3000 series.
Based on the 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture, both of these processors target a fairly saturated 1080p gaming market and offer better value for money over their Intel counterparts – the i5 9600K and 10600K.
But as powerful as they are, Ryzen 5 3600, 3600X, and 3600XT need an equally capable graphics card for you to get the most fun out of your pc gaming.
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Many motherboards come with an integrated graphics processor to handle less-intensive graphics. Still, suppose you want to play HD (or better) games or do any productive work related to graphics like 3D rendering, video processing, or even crypto-mining tasks. In that case, you must have a dedicated graphics card.
Best Graphics Cards to Pair with a Ryzen 5 CPU
|GPU||Price Range||Current Price|
|RTX 2060 6GB||$300-$400||Check Price|
|RX 5500XT Overclocked 8G||$200-$250||Check Price|
|GTX 1660 Ti||$250-$300||Check Price|
|RX 580 8GB||$175-$225||Check Price|
But before you decide to break your bank balance with a $1000 graphics card, allow me to tell you that you cannot put every graphics card into every system. Because there’s a thing called CPU bottlenecking.
CPU bottlenecking is a scenario when you pair with a high-end graphics card with a not-so-powerful CPU that cannot utilize that much graphical power. If your CPU is unable to keep up with the graphics card, it’ll start to bottleneck.
The negative thing (but equally bad) can happen if you pair flagship CPU with a budget graphics card, and it’s called GPU bottlenecking. My point is that you should always get a graphics card and a CPU that complement each other well, rather than titling in favor of either one of them heavily.
With the power of the current Ryzen 5’s, you will not run into any CPU bottleneck issues. So picking the best GPU to pair with a Ryzen 5 is more about balancing performance and cost. With a Ryzen 5, you are looking to build an all-around reliable PC for gaming, but maybe not the most high-end machine. The best Ryzen CPUs are the 7 and 9 series. But the 5 gives you the most bang for your buck. And will run pretty much any modern game with the right GPU.
Best GPUs For Ryzen 5 3600, 3600X or 3600XT Gaming PCs
With that, here we have listed the best graphics cards to be paired with the new Ryzen 5 3600 / 3600X CPUs.
So, without any further ado, let’s start.
RTX 2060 6GB
Best High-End GPU For AMD Ryzen 5 3600X or 3600XT
The RTX 2060 belongs to the latest RTX line-up by Nvidia which is based on Turing architecture and has a number of competitive advantages over the GTX series’ cards, such as Ray tracing and DLSS.
Coming in at 8.3 x 1.61 x 4.7 (inches), it’s a minimal two-slot graphics card for its category, and will fit in probably any PC chassis out there. Just for a comparison, it’s 0.7 inches smaller than the 2060 founder’s Edition.
In case you don’t know, a two-slot graphics card takes the space of two PCIe slots of your motherboard, despite fitting into only one of those.
There are two 90 mm fans for the required cooling, along with three 6 mm heatpipes connected to an aluminum heatsink. What’s good here is that both of these fans are quiet.
The aluminum backplate makes it more durable and does some passive cooling as well. Thanks to this cooling setup, there’s a good scope for you in overclocking this card.
Since the SLI among RTX cards is only available in 2080 and higher cards, you can’t do multi-GPU setups with RTX 2060 amp.
Like the 2060 founders edition, it has a single 8-pin power connector. Some other vendors also offer an additional 6-pin power connector, but that’s not a big deal. The same can’t be said about the lack of VirtualLink USB type-C port, however, and it’ll prevent you from trying the latest VR headsets.
For connectivity, there’s a single HDMI 2.0b and three DisplayPort 1.4 connectors.
Performance-wise, it goes slightly better than the GTX 1070, in benchmarks, as well as the actual games (such as Tom Clancy: The Division, Far Cry 5, and Rise of the Tomb Raider), despite being cheaper. But in my opinion, the 8 GB VRAM would’ve been even better.
All in all, we found it to be the most suitable graphics card for Ryzen 5 3600X CPU.
- Chipset: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
- Core clocks: 1830 MHz/ 14 gbps
- Memory interface: 192-bit
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PowerColor Radeon RX 580
Best Budget GPU For AMD Ryzen 5 3600XT
By spending so much money on advertising how fast their respective graphics cards are becoming with each passing year, PC hardware manufacturers make the average consumers forget one essential thing: A High-end graphics card isn’t for every PC builder out there.
If you limit yourself to 1080p AAA titles, many ‘budget’ graphics cards can get the job done without breaking your wallet.
One of such GPUs is the Red Devil Radeon RX 580 by the PowerColor. The red color with the black gives it a perfect look. Unlike many GPUs in its range, this one has a metal shroud for the cooler.
In terms of specs, this video card 2304 stream processors + 2000 MHz memory clock speed with an improved 256-bit memory interface. Clocked at 1325 MHz, it takes power from a 8+6 power connection. Thanks to its 6+1 multi-phase design board, it runs more efficiently and overclocks with stability.
To keep the card cooler, it has a nickel-plated heat pipe with two 100 mm fans, while there’s the Mute Fan technology that allows the fan to completely turn off if the temp hits below the 60 c mark. The reason behind this is the large heatsink, but that heatsink also makes it larger than other similar cards.
In terms of connectivity, it comes with 3 DisplayPorts, 1 HDMI port, and 1 DVI port – which means you’ll not have any problem connecting it with different types of display screens. One good thing you’ll note here is that all these connectors come with dust covers.
Apart from the relatively high power consumption, we couldn’t find any real flaws in this card. I used the word real because you can’t expect 1440p gaming in this price range.
So, as I said earlier, if you want to play only 1080p games, it’s a good option to pair it with your Ryzen 5 3600 / 3600X or 3600XT. Yes, it was released way back in 2017 but is still good if you’re looking for an under 200 graphics card.
- Stream processor 2304 units
- Boost clock 1350 MHz
- 8GB 256-bit GDDR5
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Asus Strix RX 5500XT Gaming
Best Overall AMD GPU For Ryzen 5 3600XT
RX 5500XT is one of the new additions in AMD’s graphics cards line-up. Based on Navi 14 Architecture, RX 5500 and RX 5500XT cards are less-powerful siblings of (Navi 10 based) RX 5700 and RX 5700XT, and AMD has targeted the 1080p gaming market with them.
While they have less transistor count and fewer computer units than RX 5700XT, they’re more potent than the older-gen Polaris-based RX 580 we reviewed above – despite occupying less space.
Given the AMD’s relatively better performance record in the midrange GPU market and the fact that RX 5700XT is our recommendation for the best GPU under 350 bucks, we had high hopes for its little siblings as well. Here we decided to include RX 5500XT card by Asus.
Let’s see how it fares.
Design-wise, it has a beautiful pattern of thin lines on its backplate, along with ROG logo. That ROG logo has RGB, and you can customize it through the Aura Sync software. Overall, the card is large and occupies two of your PCIe slots. There are four DisplayPorts, which means you can connect four monitors with it for a maximum resolution of 7680 x 4320.
Like in many other GPUs, the backplate is made up of metal, which gives it good strength and dissipates the heat. For further cooling, it has two axial fans. We found these large-blade fans quieter and slower than fans in other midrange cards in our testing.
Another good thing I found in this card is Dual BIOS. It means that there are two BIOS installed on this graphics card, and they let you run the card in OC and silent mode.
RX 5500XT runs in OC mode by default, but you can change it to silent mode through a dedicated switch at the backside of this card.
To test its power, we decided to compare its performance with a more or less similarly-priced Nvidia GPU – Asus Strix Geforce GTX 1650 Gaming. The latter has 4 GB VRAM instead of 8 GB in RX 5500XT, but as we know that extra VRAM doesn’t improve your gaming performance unless a game demands additional memory, we proceeded.
When we played Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation, RX 5500XT went beyond 60 fps in high settings for 1080p and 1440p resolutions while the scores for GTX 1650 were 50 fps and 40 fps respectively. In Far Cry 5, we got more than 60 fps with RX 5500XT on both 1080p and 1440p (Both High). GTX 1650 Gaming barely crossed 60 fps in 1080p High and got to only 42 fps in 1440p High settings.
The same thing happened in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, where the difference between these two cards was almost 20 percent.
In terms of temperature, this GPU produces almost the same amount of heat as GTX 1650, and significantly lower than what GTX 1660 super and 1660 Ti make. Also, it consumed substantially less power than GTX 1650 in idle as well as under the load.
We found GTX 1660 Ti to be better than RX 5500XT in almost every aspect. That’s why if you have some more money to spend, you can look for other choices as well.
Thanks to its low-power consumption, you don’t require a high-end PSU. Asus has said that a 450W PSU is sufficient to power it up.
All in all, this is the best AMD graphics card for Ryzen 5’s right now if you want to limit yourself to 1080p gaming. It offers more VRAM than GTX 1650 (even more than GTX 1660 Ti for that matter), which can be handy if you’re playing heavy-graphics games, such as Tom Clancy’s The Division 2.
- Axial-tech fan design features longer fan blades and a unique barrier ring to increase air pressure.
- 0dB Technology lets you enjoy light gaming in relative silence.
- 2. 9-slot Design expands cooling surface area to make the most of the two powerful Axial-tech fans.
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MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Gaming X 6G
Best GPU For AMD Ryzen 5 Overall
The next GPU in our list is the GTX 1660Ti Gaming X 6G by MSI. Having been a part of the Nvidia 1650/1660 series, this is one of the few GTX-branded cards to feature the latest Turing architecture.
Both RTX and these new GTX cards feature a 12 nm fabrication process and Turing architecture but what makes them different is the addition of tensor or ray-tracing cores in the RTX cards.
In terms of design, this card has two grey-colored fans sitting over MSI’s Twin Frozr 7 cooling system at the front, while there’s an aluminum plate at the back. Despite having the word gaming in its name, the RGB lighting is minimum here. There’s a single light bar at the top and two thin strips at the underside of each fan.
Thanks to its sound design and exceptional cooling, it has excellent overclocking potential.
Even the cheapest RTX cards aren’t in the budget for most people (and only add ray-tracing, which only a few games support), this 1660/Ti line-up sits in the middle of GTX Pascal cards and the RTX 20-series cards.
All in all, its increased transistor count, larger die-size, more stream processors, and low power requirements makes it an automatic choice over existing GTX 1060/1070 cards.
One problem you might have with this card is it’s lengthy, which may not be suitable for smaller PC builds. There are three DisplayPort 1.4 and one HDMI 2.0b slots at the back, but the DVI port is absent.
Overall, this is a sound midrange graphics card, will play games entirely at 1080p or even at 1440p (by lowering other settings), and is most probably the best graphics card available to be paired with Ryzen 5 3600 unless you want to go beyond that.
- 6GB 192-Bit GDDR6
- Boost Clock 1875 MHz
- 1 x HDMI 2.0b 3 x DisplayPort 1.4
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These were some of the graphics cards we think are ideal for Ryzen 5 CPUs. In case you’ve tested any other GPU with those processors and found promising results, please shoot me an email and let me know what card I should add here.
Last update on 2020-12-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API