Ryzen 5 5600 5500

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Intel’s competitive Alder Lake chips have upset AMD’s dominance with its Ryzen processors, particularly in the lower price ranges, but the new $199 six-core 12-thread Ryzen 5 5600 and $159 Ryzen 5 5500 are designed to plug key gaps in the company’s portfolio. These new chips come as part of AMD’s broader launch of seven new Ryzen 5000 models that aim to shore up the company’s rankings in CPU benchmarks and retake its position on the Best CPUs for gaming list.

AMD’s Ryzen 5000 chips fully eclipsed Intel’s performance lead in desktop PCs when they launched back in 2020, but the company has long neglected to launch any sub-$250 chips with the potent Zen 3 architecture. That’s kept the bar for entry unattainably high for value seekers.

AMD’s new chips are long overdue, arriving a year and a half after the first wave of Ryzen 5000 chips, but they’re badly needed. Intel’s Alder Lake launch caught AMD uncharacteristically flat-footed, wresting away AMD’s performance lead. Intel’s aggressive pricing also brought superior value in every price range while exploiting AMD’s glaring lack of any sub-$250 Zen 3 chips.