Buyers Guides CPUs

The Best CPUs to Buy for the RX 7600 XT

FI_Best CPUs for RX 7600 XT

The CPU market is filled with a bountiful set of options to choose from for the budding PC gamer. Whether you’re building a system from scratch, or looking for an upgrade, there are a plethora of processors at your disposal. With the RX 7600 XT hitting the graphics card space, it makes perfect sense to pick up a powerful CPU and start building. But how do you decide which is the best CPU to buy for the RX 7600 XT?

Determining which CPU is the right option for your system can be a difficult task. We’ve tested and benchmarked a myriad of CPU options that we believe are the best pairings for an RX 7600 XT, suited to a range of buyers.

Best CPU for the RX 7600 XT: AMD Ryzen 5 7600

Read on for our full testing, but here’s our quickfire verdict:
PI_AMD Ryzen 7000 in Front of Motherboard

AMD’s Ryzen 5 7600 is a powerful CPU geared towards the budget gamer. This 6 core 12 thread option is more than capable of handling 1440p and 4K gaming when paired up with the right graphics card. While the core count of this CPU will affect some tougher multi-core workloads, the low price point of the Ryzen 5 7600 is well worth considering for those looking to secure a competitively priced option.

$241.69 at Amazon
Last updated: 2024-02-27 00:38:17 ET

The Best CPUs for the RX 7600 XT

1. AMD Ryzen 5 7600

$241.69 at Amazon
Last updated: 2024-02-27 00:38:17 ET

AMD’s Ryzen 5 7600 is one of the best value options on the market for the budget PC gamer. The competitive price point is particularly worth highlighting, as you’re only seeing a slight drop in boost clock speed, along with a loss of official overclocking support. Despite this, excellent gaming performance is one of the many strengths of the Ryzen 5 7600

Due to the lower core count and clock speed, the Ryzen 5 7600 is very capable of reaching its rated boost speed during an intense session of gaming without any problems. This means you’ll be hitting 5.1GHz consistently, resulting in solid framerates across a myriad of titles. For this reason, the Ryzen 5 7600 is an extremely solid gaming CPU, ideal for 1440p or 4K gaming.

In terms of thermals and efficiency, the Ryzen 5 7600 is power limited so its default TDP sits at 65W, compared to the 105W power draw of the Ryzen 5 7600X. This effectively means that Eco Mode has been pre-applied, resulting in a lower power draw even during intensive workloads.

Key SpecsAMD Ryzen 5 7600
Core Count6
Thread Count12
Base Clock Speed3.8GHz
Boost Clock Speed5.1GHz
Max Cache38MB
Default TDP65W
CPU SocketAM5
OverclockableNo

Unfortunately, the biggest weakness of the Ryzen 5 7600 is its limited multi-core performance compared to the rest of the market. While the Ryzen 5 7600 will be able to handle some lighter threaded workloads, those looking to push their system with more threaded applications will want to consider looking at alternative CPUs with higher core counts.

Pros

Cons

Suggested Article: The Best Budget Ryzen 7000 PC Build – Ft. RX 7600 XT

2. AMD Ryzen 5 7600X

MPI_Ryzen 5 7600X
Original Review by Jay Harris: AMD Ryzen 5 7600X Review – Architecture, Gaming Benchmarks & Thermals
$213.99 at Amazon
Last updated: 2024-02-27 00:38:17 ET

Stepping things up a notch slightly, we’ve picked out the Ryzen 5 7600X, which is the overclockable sibling of the Ryzen 5 7600. The reason why the Ryzen 5 7600X is a solid alternative comes down to its overclocking support, and the slightly enhanced boost speed capability. For those who looking to push their system a bit harder, overclocking can be worth it, as you’ll see performance gains across certain applications and games.

The higher boost clock speed compared to the Ryzen 5 7600 brings performance uplifts. Although there’s only a 200MHz increase up to 5.3GHz, the Ryzen 5 7600X is able to consistently hit this during intense games. You can easily push the boost speed using AMD’s Ryzen Master software, which will save an element of manual configuration.

Key SpecsAMD Ryzen 5 7600X
Core Count6
Thread Count12
Base Clock Speed4.7GHz
Boost Clock Speed5.3GHz
Max Cache38MB
Default TDP105W
CPU SocketAM5
OverclockableYes

While the Ryzen 5 7600X is pretty efficient, especially with Eco Mode enabled, thermals will be a slight concern for some. We’ve found during higher core count workloads (e.g. 4 or more), the Ryzen 5 7600X can hit quite high temperatures due to the way it boosts. For this reason, if you plan on pushing your Ryzen 5 7600X and RX 7600 XT a bit harder with some threaded workloads, you’ll want to make sure you pick up a solid cooler.

Pros

Cons

3. Intel Core i5-14400F

MPI_Intel CPU Back Blue Background
$209.99 at Amazon
Last updated: 2024-02-27 00:38:17 ET

Intel’s Core i5-14400F is our final CPU choice to pair up with the RX 7600 XT. This 14th-Gen option offers a slight core count increase versus the Ryzen 5 7600 and 7600X. Despite offering a slower clock speed in comparison to the AMD options that we’ve provided, the Core i5-14400F holds up very well in modern games, providing solid performance across 1080p and 1440p resolutions.

The higher core count of the Core i5-14400F opens up options for buyers looking to build more of a multifaceted system with their RX 7600 XT. This CPU should be able to handle more intense threaded applications, making it an excellent option for those that need a bit more oomph.

On the efficiency and thermals front, the Core i5-14400F is a very well-rounded option. 14th-Gen CPUs are well known for their higher power draw, which has a resultant effect of weaker thermals, but the Core i5-14400F doesn’t have this issue. We found that the 14400F offers reasonably low average temperatures, even when all of the cores are maxed out. The efficiency cores really help keep power draw to a minimum within tougher workloads.

Key SpecsIntel Core i5-14400F
Core Count10
Thread Count16
Base Clock Speed3.5GHz
Boost Clock Speed4.7GHz
Max Cache29.5MB
Default TDP65W
CPU SocketLGA1700
OverclockableNo

The biggest caveat of picking up the Core i5-14400F is its gaming performance. While this CPU is able to handle 1080p and 1440p relatively well, the weaker boost clock speed does result in weaker gaming performance when compared to AMD’s equivalent Ryzen 5 7600 and 7600X.

Pros

Cons

How We Tested the Best CPUs for the RX 7600 XT

Informing product recommendations requires a plethora of data and testing so that we can analyse the performance and assess the value proposition that each component offers. All of the CPUs in this buyers guide have been tested thoroughly within a range of popular Esports games and AAA titles. To ensure that our testing is fully repeatable and fair, all of the settings that we’ve used have been detailed within a how we test CPUs article.

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Do I Need DDR4 or DDR5 RAM?

AMD Ryzen 7000 CPUs only support DDR5 RAM, while Intel’s 14th-Gen options support DDR4 and DDR5 memory.

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Which CPUs Can I Overclock?

For AMD CPUs, any processor that has an ‘X’ at the end of their name can be overclocked. For Intel, a ‘K’ at the name tells you that you can overclock your CPU.

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Is More Cores Better for Gaming?

Most games only ever use 2-4 cores at the maximum, so higher boost clock speed will be better over more cores.

editor
Jay Harris is an expert in everything PC hardware! With a degree in Cybersecurity, and a PC hardware background Jay has all of the technical knowledge required to make informed recommendations. Jay is an avid keyboard builder and gamer, with a major passion for tech. In fact, Jay's personal rig boasts a white RX 7900 XTX graphics card, inside of the Lian O11D Mini - a true enthusiast's dream!