Here we are with another graphics card launch, but this time we’re taking a look at a product from Team Red. Yes, AMD has finally released another Radeon 7000 graphics card after a number of interesting SKUs from NVIDIA we’re excited to finally get our hands on a brand new graphics card. So far the RX 7600 is pretty solid, this card aligns itself more with the 6750 XT which was an excellent 1440p card, but this GPU is a fraction of the price.
AMD seems to be firmly placing themselves in the budget end of the market based on the price of this card, and we’re pretty happy to see GPU pricing become normal again. However, we’re not here to talk purely about AMD’s new GPU today, in this article we’ll be delving into the best CPUs to pair up with AMD’s latest RX 7600.
We’ve rounded up a range of different CPUs from both AMD and Intel, and we’ll be taking a look at each one individual with a general overview of why they’re all excellent options to use for a fresh build!
Suggested Article: AMD Radeon RX 7600 Review – Gigabyte Gaming OC Edition
1. Intel Core i3 13100F
👑 The best budget option for the RX 7600.
Starting off our roundup we’ve picked out Intel‘s Core i3 13100F. The Core i3 is Intel’s cheapest budget SKU, coming in well below the $200 mark. This CPU is a great option for price conscious consumers, especially those on a more restrictive budget. Specs wise the Core i3 13100F offers four cores and eight threads at a boost speed of 4.5GHz, which is perfect for budget gaming.
We’re a big fan of the 13100F, as this CPU is an upgraded version of the 12100F which we were massive advocates of when 12th-Gen was all the rage. Needless to say the 13100F is a solid option for a budget build. If you’re kind of consumer looking to pick up an incredibly cheap CPU that can handle 1080p gaming with ease, then this is the option we’d recommend.
|Key Specs||Intel Core i3 13100F|
|Max Boost Clock Speed||4.5GHz|
|Max Turbo Power||89W|
Things We Like
Excellent 1080p performance: The Core i3 13100F is perfect for 1080p gaming. The high clock speed gives it plenty of legs to handle 1080p without frame drops or stutters when paired up with the right GPU.
Price is difficult to argue with: The 13100F is one of the cheapest options on the market right now sitting at $110-$130 sometimes even less than this. If you’re on a budget, this is a CPU with a price tag you won’t want to miss.
Things We Don’t Like
Not ideal for 1440p: If you plan on picking up a 1440p display, we’d recommend looking at alternative CPU options. The Core i3 13100F won’t really be able to handle a 1440p resolution due to the performance overhead, so we’d definitely urge consumers to pick up a more powerful processor.
Platform will become deprecated: Intel’s 13th-Gen platform is unfortunately at the end of it’s life cycle and will be deprecated soon. If you plan on upgrading to a potential 14th-Gen you’ll likely need to pick up a new motherboard and RAM alongside a new shiny CPU.
The Core i3 13100F serves as a great starting point for consumers putting together a budget-level 1080p gaming PC. Whilst this CPU isn’t the strongest option on the market, I feel the low price point justifies this, and if performance doesn’t match up, there are other Intel SKUs that will prove even better when it comes to gaming or productivity related applications.
Value for Money: 4.2/5
Where to Buy
Buy the Intel Core i3 13100F on:
2. AMD Ryzen 5 7600X
👑 The best budget AMD CPU for the RX 7600.
For our second CPU recommendation we’ve picked out the Ryzen 5 7600X, to pair up with the Radeon 7600. Of course it would be AMD to create a CPU and GPU that share the exact same set of numbers. We understand that this is a little confusing, so we’ll be addressing both of these by either Ryzen 7600X, or Radeon 7600. The Ryzen 7600X was one of AMD’s first CPUs to launch on the new AM5 platform, with all of the new CPUs boasting massive upgrades to the specs making them ideal for consumers looking to build a modern system.
AMD were met with some harsh criticism initially due to the overpriced CPUs, motherboards and RAM, but since prices have dropped, a Ryzen 7000 build is becoming a more worthwhile consideration. The Ryzen 7600X offers strong single core metrics, making it ideal for gaming. During our testing we found the 7600X to perform the best in both 1080p and 1440p games, with some legs in 4K, but the 7600X was one of the weaker options at this resolution. Needless to say, this CPU should last for quite a while when it comes to modern titles.
|Key Specs||AMD Ryzen 5 7600X|
|Max Boost Clock Speed||5.3GHz|
Things We Like
Solid single core metrics: The Ryzen 7600X is an awesome gaming CPU, offering strong single core performance across a multitude of titles. During our benchmarking we found this CPU to be more than capable of playing games at 1440p and 1080p at high framerates.
Longer platform longevity: The AM5 platform is likely to be supported for quite a few years to come, similar to AM4. If you’re looking to upgrade relatively soon, AM5 is the best positioned to offer this benefit.
Things We Don’t Like
Ryzen CPUs run very hot: During all-core workloads, Ryzen 7000 CPUs are some of the hottest (quite literally) CPUs on the market. If you plan on pushing this CPU with some more intense workloads, we recommend picking up a solid liquid cooler to offset the high temperatures.
Build cost can be quite pricey: Although motherboards and RAM have dropped a fair amount in price since launch, they still come with a significant premium. All of the new features and the requirement for DDR5 comes with a massive price tag.
AMD’s Ryzen 5 7600X is an awesome entry from AMD on their latest AM5 platform. Although this CPU does tend to run quite hot during an all-core workload, its single core metrics more than pay for this. Consumers can expect strong performance at 1080p and 1440p with some room for 4K. If you’re looking for a platform that’s going to last for a few years and offers easy upgradeability, this is where we’d urge you to look.
Value for Money: 4.2/5
Where to Buy
Buy the AMD Ryzen 5 7600X on:[adrotate banner=”8″]
3. Intel Core i5 13600K
👑 The best value CPU for the Radeon 7600.
Next up is Intel’s Core i5 13600K, an underdog from Intel’s 13th-Gen CPU range. This CPU was the most surprising entrant from the 13th-Gen line-up due to its performance and pricing. The majority of us were expecting the 13700K and 13900K to be the golden standard of CPUs, as is norm during most Intel product launches. However, the 13600K absolutely blew it’s previous generation option out of the water, alongside any of the new Ryzen 7000 SKUs, all whilst maintaining a low price point.
Price wise, the 13600K comes in around the $300 mark with prices varying between vendors. The 13600KF (which is effectively the same CPU but without integrated graphics) is also considerably cheaper too, which is worth considering if you’ve picked up a discrete GPU. Performance wise, the 13600K compares to a 12900K when it comes to single core workloads, which makes it perfect for some top-end gaming, even at 4K. Although this CPU isn’t the best option for workstation applications when compared to the rest of the market, it will still offer decent metrics in the vast majority of applications.
|Key Specs||Intel Core i5 13600K|
|Base Clock Speed||3.5GHz|
|Boost Clock Speed||5.1GHz|
|Max Turbo Power||181W|
Things We Like
Awesome gaming performance: The Core i5 13600K offers great performance at 1080p, 1440p, and 4K. If you plan on picking up a 4K display later down the line, this CPU will be a great processor to pick up.
Competitive price point: The 13600K is one of the best price options on the market right now, especially compared to alternative options. Consumers can secure this CPU for around $300 or so, which is excellent for a mid-range CPU.
Things We Don’t Like
Not geared towards budget systems: Although the 13600K is pretty reasonably priced, I’d say this is probably out of the price bracket for the majority of consumers on a budget. If you’re being a bit more price conscious, we’d recommend looking at some cheaper alternatives.
Platform soon to be deprecated: Much like the 13100F, Intel’s 13600K is on a soon to be deprecated platform. If you plan on picking up an upgrade later down the line, you’ll need to secure a new motherboard and RAM on top of the CPU option.
Intel’s Core i5 13600K is one of the best value options on the market, striking a fine balance between pricing and performance. This CPU can easily handle 4K gaming, and has solid metrics in productivity applications too. If you’re willing to spend a little bit more on a mid-range option, the 13600K will serve you well.
Value for Money: 4.3/5
Where to Buy
Buy the Intel Core i5 13600K on:
4. AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D
👑 The best performing CPU for the Radeon 7600.
Finalising our recommendations, we’ve picked out AMD‘s more recent market entrant, the Ryzen 7 7800X3D. This CPU is one of the best performing options right now, and is the leading option when it comes to 4K gaming. This CPU is absolutely hot stuff right now, and is the go-to for a multitude of consumers right now building a Ryzen 7000 PC. Although this CPU is a pricier option and could be overkill, it is definitely worth a consideration if you’re looking for the best performing option that money can buy.
Performance wise, the 7800X3D is well positioned and can handle 4K gaming with no issues, which means it is also ideal for 1440p and 1080p too. It isn’t the best CPU for workstation applications as the 3D Cache isn’t particularly useful in this instance, but the high core count gives it decent legs in all-core workloads. Consumers also get the added benefit of being able to easily upgrade to future generations due to the longer surviving AM5 platform.
|Key Specs||AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D|
|Max Boost Clock Speed||5GHz|
Things We Like
Ideal for 4K gaming: The 7800X3D is perfect for 4K games due to the proprietary 3D V-Cache. This cache boosts framerates in a multitude of games, allowing consumers to high refresh rate displays too.
Doesn’t run as hot: The 3D Ryzen SKUs tend to run much cooler compared to their non-3D variants. This means consumers can pick up a slightly weaker cooler without having to worry about thermals.
Things We Don’t Like
Not overclockable: If you’re looking to unlock some extra performance, unfortunately you won’t be able to with the 7800X3D. This particular SKU has a locked core multiplier due to the thermal restrictions of the 3D V-Cache.
Not cheap: Although this isn’t the most expensive CPU that we’ve seen, the 7800X3D is not by any means cheap. Consumers will likely need to shell out around $450 or so to pick up this CPU.
AMD‘s Ryzen 7 7800X3D is one of the best options on the market for a gaming focused system. If you plan on playing games at 4K this will be the go-to choice for you. Whilst this CPU is more expensive than other options, you won’t be disappointed with the excellent performance.
Value for Money: 4/5
Where to Buy
Buy the AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D on:[adrotate banner=”12″]
Is the AMD Radeon RX 7600 Any Good?
So far the Radeon 7600 seems to be a promising entrant in the 1080p and 1440p gaming space. AMD have pointed this graphics card more towards the budget end of the market, especially based on the lower price point, but despite this, the 7600 offers solid performance at a slightly higher resolution. Admittedly, consumers will see lower framerates at 1440p, but consumers should have a more than playable experience at this level.
As to whether the RX 7600 is good entirely depends on your preferences as a consumer. For us, the reason why we’re a big fan of this card is down to the pricing. The 7600 is one of the first sub-$300 cards to hit the market in quite some time, which means users on a budget will actually be in a position to build a proper budget PC for around $1000.
We haven’t seen this in quite a while, and its exciting to see GPU prices somewhat go back to normality. NVIDIA and AMD have caused a lot of frustration with their new graphics card launches, so this could be a potential fresh start for both Team Red and Team Green. The RX 7600 is the start of a promising future for graphics cards, and we’re hoping that other AMD launches share a similar story to that of the 7600. Needless to say, if you’re looking for a solid 1080p or 1440p capable GPU, but you’re on a budget, the 7600 is a great option to consider.
First off, in F1 2022 at 1080p ultra high settings with FSR enabled, we saw exceptional framerates. The RX 7600 was able to reach 197FPS on average which was extremely impressive. This card is leaning on FSR to a degree, but it makes sense to use it when it’s available. 197FPS is well above the 144Hz sweet spot which allows us to have a buttery smooth display experience on top of the smooth framerates.
Unfortunately, this card wasn’t quite able to surpass the performance of the RTX 4060 Ti, but at framerates this high, the performance difference to the eye would effectively be negligible. We’d definitely urge consumers building a budget 1080p PC to steer themselves more towards the RX 7600, as this is definitely the forte of this particular card.
In Overwatch 2, we kept the resolution at 1080p and dialled the settings up to ultra. In this benchmark we saw some absolutely insane performance from the RX 7600, with our average framerate sitting around 221FPS. This is more than enough for consumers with high refresh rate displays to enjoy a buttery smooth visual experience, with minimal drops, or stutters.
Again, the RX 7600 wasn’t quite able to reach the performance of the RTX 4060 Ti in this case, but at these framerates, you really won’t notice the difference. 1080p is clearly where this card thrives, and this is represented by the exceptional performance in all of the titles we’ve tested. The Radeon RX 7600 is a definitive winner for AMD in the 1080p gaming space.
For our final benchmark, we tested Apex Legends, and dialled the resolution up to 1440p. This card was one of the weaker options compared to the rest of the market, but I’d say ‘weaker’ is relative considering the framerate. The RX 7600 was able to reach around 145FPS which just sits above the 144Hz sweet spot, which is perfect for a high intensity game like Apex.
There were other cards that beat out the RX 7600 in this benchmark, but I’d say that 145FPS is more than reasonable at this resolution and the vast majority of consumers would be happy with this. Whilst 1080p is clearly the strong suit of the RX 7600, this gives consumers some peace of mind if you plan on picking up a higher resolution display later down the line.
DDR4 vs DDR5 RAM – Which Should I Choose?
When it comes to the DDR4 vs DDR5 RAM argument, there are some important factors to address. First off is compatibility. Whilst Intel users can choose between DDR4 and DDR5 RAM dependent on the motherboard they’ve picked out, AMD users don’t have this benefit. The new AM5 platform runs entirely off of DDR5, which means you’ll need to pick up an accommodating kit of DDR5 RAM to match the kind of performance you’re looking to reach. This does make choosing much easier, but DDR5 RAM is inherently more expensive than DDR4.
Speaking of which, another important factor is budget. If you’re being price conscious about your purchases, DDR4 is the immediate option as these DIMMs are very cheap, but this entirely rules out Ryzen 7000 CPUs as an option. This is a major consideration to think about before picking up a RAM kit, as your budget will massively determine which generation of RAM you end up picking.
The final point is use-case. As a general rule of thumb for gaming, DDR4 and DDR5 are pretty much the same performance wise. You will effectively see zero difference by choosing one over the other. However, with workstation systems DDR5 will become the go-to for many consumers in the future. DDR5 is faster, and with lower latency kits becoming more available in the market, DDR5 is starting to show it’s advantage. Either way, if you’re gaming, DDR4 or DDR5 is perfectly fine. But if you’re pushing your system a little bit harder with some all-core workloads, DDR5 is a better choice.
Why You Can Trust Us
If you’ve taken a look at the recommendations above, you’re probably wondering what makes us qualified to suggest all of these CPUs to pair up with the RX 7600. Well, our team of hardware enthusiasts work tenuously to test all of the latest products and components as soon as we get a hold of them in our office. These components are put through a number of tests including gaming and productivity benchmarks which allows us to forge a general overview of each product along with advantages and disadvantages. Be sure to check out the About Us section for more information about our editorial team.
How We Tested the Best CPUs for the RX 7600
In order to test and evaluate the best CPUs for the RX 7600, there are a number of factors that we take into account, these are:
- Value for Money
Best CPU for the AMD Radeon RX 7600: AMD Ryzen 5 7600X
Finishing up our CPU roundup, we’ve picked out AMD’s Ryzen 5 7600X at the best option to pair up with the Radeon 7600. This CPU offers solid metrics at 1080p and 1440p and is likely to last for a while. Although the 7600X isn’t the cheapest selection out of the bunch I believe it is the best positioned when it comes to upgradeability and comes in at a pretty solid price point overall.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will My CPU Affect My Gaming Performance?
Yes and no. At lower resolutions a slower CPU will bottleneck your graphics card resulting in lower framerates. At higher framerates a Core i5 versus a Ryzen 7 CPU won’t really affect gaming as the performance is dependent on your graphics card.
Will My Motherboard Affect Performance?
No, your motherboard shouldn’t affect gaming performance. The only time performance will ever be affect is if you’re overclocking. Weaker and less VRM power phases will determine how much you can overclock your CPU.
How Many Cores Do I Need for Gaming?
In short, most games will only ever use one or two cores at a time. This means you can get away with picking up a cheaper CPU, or a CPU that has less cores if you’re not utilising productivity applications.
Will My RAM Affect My Framerate?
As a general rule, no your RAM won’t affect framerates in your games. It is important to ensure you have enough RAM for your games, but RAM speed and generation won’t massively change performance.