Ever since it launched back in 2019, the Ryzen 5 3600 has been known as the de-facto “bang for your buck” CPU in the PC gaming market, offering great performance at a reasonable price. At around $180, it’s been the go-to CPU for many budget PC gamers and streamers.
However, even if you’ve already bought a 3600 or are planning to, you still need to choose a GPU. With the number of options out there from both AMD and Nvidia, it can be kind of overwhelming. Whether you’re targeting high-FPS 4K gaming or 1080p 144Hz gaming, I’ve got something for you.
Although you might already be familiar with the 3600’s specs, going over it could help when choosing a GPU, since we definitely want to avoid a bottleneck.
- Socket: AM4
- Cores and Threads: 6C/12T
- Boost Clock: 4.2 GHz
- TDP Rating: 65W
- Cooler Included: Wraith Stealth
As we all know, GPU prices and availability are all over the place at the moment. However, I’ve done the legwork for you and come up with five great options that pair well with the Ryzen 5 3600 and offer great performance. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the list…
Top 5 Best GPUs for Ryzen 5 3600 in 2022:
1. Zotac Gaming GeForce RTX 3060 Twin Edge OC – Best Overall
- Memory: 12GB GDDR6
- CUDA Cores: 3584
- Base Clock: 1.32 GHz
- Boost Clock: 1.80 GHz
Although the high-end cards in the 3000 series line-up get all the attention, like the 3090 and 3080, the 3060 is also a capable card. With 3584 CUDA cores and 28 RT cores, it lands somewhere between the 2070 and the 2070 Super in terms of raytracing performance.
Talking about this unit from Zotac, it packs many features that sets it apart from the rest. It has a boost clock of 1.80 GHz, which is slightly higher than the default. To keep temps under control, it has a dual-fan configuration and active fan control. In terms of ports, it has three DP 1.4a ports and one HDMI 2.1 port.
Although this card is 8K-ready, I would recommend you pair it with a 4K or 2K monitor to get smooth, high-FPS performance out of it with some headroom left for streaming and video editing.
- Silent even under heavy load
- Features a solid metal backplate
- Cool design
2. Sapphire Pulse AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT Gaming OC – Best on a Budget
- Memory: 4GB GDDR6
- Stream Processors: 1024
- Base Clock: Not Stated
- Boost Clock: 2.82 GHz
The RX 6500 XT is one of the most budget-friendly cards from the latest AMD Radeon line-up. In this unit, Sapphire has implemented quite a few upgrades that are worth considering. First, they’ve perked up the Game clock from the stock 2610MHz to 2685MHz with a factory overclock. In addition to that, the cooling is silent and powerful too.
Although technically raytracing is possible on this card, it’s not really playable. Gamers have reported their FPS counter dropping in half when they enable it in games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Metro Exodus.
Ultimately, one of the main selling points of the RX 6500 XT is its lower price. For gamers and streamers who would prefer investing an extra hundred bucks on a high-capacity SSD or faster RAM kit, this is the GPU to go for.
- Great all-black design with red accents
- Factory overclocked
- Metal backplate for durability
- Only suitable for 1080p gaming
3. EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 KO – Best Value for Money
- Memory: 6GB GDDR6
- CUDA Cores: 1920
- Base Clock: 1.36 GHz
- Boost Clock: 1.68 GHz
Do you feel like the 3000 series cards are a bit overhyped? If so, the RTX 2060 KO might be the way to go. Paired with the Ryzen 5 3600, it’ll give you smooth 1440p or high-FPS 1080p gaming experience along with some extra headroom for streaming and raytracing.
As you’ll notice, the cooler design for this card has been borrowed from EVGA’s own GTX 1660 Ultra SC. Although this makes it cheaper, it comes at the cost of cooling performance. As reviewers have pointed out, it’s not unusual for the fans to ramp up and pass the 40 dBA mark when gaming. Fortunately, if you’re not putting it under a heavy workload, it’s silent thanks to the fan-stop capability.
If you’re wondering, the “KO” extension belongs to EVGA, and it goes along with the marketing line, “knocking out any challenger.” Considering the price point, the RTX 2060 KO provides a great bang for your buck, offering you excellent performance at a reasonable price. Although it could do better when it comes to design and fan noise, it manages to provide great value nonetheless, and that’s why I recommend it.
- Provides great value for money
- Can be controlled with EVGA Precision X1
- All-metal backplate
- Could be quieter in gaming and other workloads
4. MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Gaming X – Best Ultra Budget GPU
- Memory: 4GB GDDR5
- CUDA Cores: 768
- Base Clock: 1.29 GHz
- Boost Clock: 1.39 GHz
OK, I know, but hear me out. Even though it launched back in 2016, the GTX 1050 Ti is still a relevant card in 2022, especially for those on a tight budget. Packing 4GB GDDR6 memory and 768 CUDA cores, it can give you a decent experience in FPS and AAA titles.
This unit from MSI is impressive, featuring a scaled-down version of MSI’s Frozr VI fans in a dual configuration for smooth and silent operation. When it comes to power, it has a 4-phase PCB design with a 6-pin power connector.
If you’re interested in diving deeper and taking a look at some benchmarks, RandomGamingHD has made a great video about it just recently. To conclude, as he said, if you find a GTX 1050 Ti for a reasonable price, consider picking it up and slotting it into your entry-level system or budget rig. It might not be the best, but it surely packs a punch.
- Extremely budget friendly
- Efficient cooling design
- Optimal for 1080p gaming
- Tacky red-and-black design
5. XFX Speedster AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT CORE – Best High-End GPU
- Memory: 12GB GDDR6
- Stream Processors: 2560
- Base Clock: Not Stated
- Boost Clock: 2.58 GHz
If you’re willing to spend a bit more for your Ryzen 5 3600-powered gaming and streaming rig without breaking the bank, the RX 6700 XT is a good option. Under the hood, it has 12GB GDDR6 memory, 2560 stream processors, and is capable of a boost clock up to 2.58 GHz.
Of course, buying an AMD GPU means you also get a bunch of other goodies, like RDNA 2, AMD Radeon Anti-Lag, Radeon ReLive, and Radeon Boost. This definitely sweetens the deal a bit. When it comes to build quality and cooling performance, this unit by XFX doesn’t disappoint. It has an all-metal backplate and triple fans.
Now, which resolution should you target for this card? The answer is 1440p and even 4K, based on your preferences and if you prioritize visual detail or FPS. Overall, get this GPU if you’re looking for an awesome gaming and streaming experience.
- Ample ports (three DPs and one HDMI )
- Triple fans for effective cooling
- Capable of 8K gaming
- Could get noisy under heavy load
Frequently Asked Questions
Will High-End Cards Like RTX 3090 and RX 6900 XT Pair With Ryzen 5 3600?
If you’re willing to spend the high amount necessary for those cards, you can go for it. As I said before, the Ryzen 5 3600 is still a highly capable CPU in 2022, and you likely won’t experience a bottleneck unless you’re playing FPS games at 1080p. If you want to dive deeper into the subject and look at some benchmarks, DannyzReviews has made a great video on this topic.
What’s the Best Tool for Monitoring CPU and GPU Usage?
Picture this: when playing a game, your CPU is running at 100% but your GPU is stuck at 30%. This is generally what you call a CPU bottleneck, and the best way to notice this (along with other issues) is to keep an eye on CPU and GPU usage. In my experience, MSI Afterburner is an excellent tool for this purpose, also allowing for custom fan profiles, video capture, and overclocking. Plus, it’s free!
Over to You
Time to get excited! You’re finally going to get a GPU for your AMD-powered gaming PC. Before you go ahead and make a final choice, one aspect to remember is that don’t be partial to either manufacturer.
A lot of beginners often think that if they’re using an AMD CPU then they strictly need to go with an AMD GPU too. This is not the case. Just go with the GPU that fits in your budget and delivers the gaming performance you’re looking for, along with other streamer-friendly features. Here’s a quick rundown of all the beasts I talked about in this article:
- Zotac Gaming GeForce RTX 3060 Twin Edge OC is Best Overall
- Sapphire Pulse AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT Gaming OC is Best on a Budget
- EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 KO is Best Value for Money
- MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Gaming X is Best Ultra Budget GPU
- XFX Speedster AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT CORE is Best High-End GPU
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