A Ryzen 5 3600 is a great all-around processor. It’s not as expensive as the latest top-end models but it’s got plenty of power whether you’re looking to play the latest games, or just multitask while you work.
But how much power does it consume, and how much of a bearing will that have on your choice of power supply for your PC? Let’s take a look.
How Many Watts Does A Ryzen 5 3600 Use?
A Ryzen 5 3600 processor will normally use around 65 watts of power under normal duress. It may use less when you leave the PC idle, depending on the background tasks running. Under extra stress, it will normally rise to around 85 watts.
That’s not a lot when compared with some other processors. As a guide, the top-tier Ryzen 9 5950X processor will average at 105 watts with a maximum of 142 watts. This makes the power consumption of a Ryzen 5 3600 pretty reasonable, especially since it has enough processing power to handle some hefty tasks (source).
Processors are always working, even if you don’t touch your PC. There’s a lot going on in the background when your PC is switched on, so unlike a graphics card there aren’t really ‘idle’ times. You can expect your Ryzen 5 3600 to average 65 watts the entire time it is switched on.
AMD Ryzen 5 3600
- Powerful mid-range processor
- 6 cores and 12 processing threads
- Includes an AMD Wraith air cooler
How Many Watts Does A Ryzen 5 3600 Use Per Hour?
A Ryzen 5 3600 uses 65 watt-hours per hour when your PC is running, which is the same as 0.065 kilowatt-hours per hour. The typical PC user in the US uses their PC for an average of 3.5 hours per day, meaning a weekly use of 1.6 kilowatt-hours.
It’s always best to consider power consumption in kilowatt-hours since that’s how electricity is billed. The average cost of a kilowatt-hour of electricity is $0.14, which means that a Ryzen 5 3600 is going to cost you around $0.22 per week to run.
Remember though that this is just the processor. Your power supply will be feeding power directly to the processor but also to the motherboard and potentially to other components too, including any SATA storage and your graphics card.
Normally a processor is the second-most power-hungry component in a PC, using more than most motherboards, memory and storage but falling some way behind graphics cards.
If you’re trying to work out the total power consumption of your PC, you need to make sure you include everything drawing power – not just the processor.
Read more: How many watts does a Gaming PC use?
Best Power Supply For A Ryzen 5 3600
It’s impossible to give a recommendation for a power supply for a Ryzen 5 3600 without knowing the rest of a PC’s build. As an absolute minimum, you will need a power supply capable of providing 300 watts, but that needs to be higher with most graphics cards.
Because a Ryzen 5 3600 uses only 65 watts of power, it’s easily covered by most power supplies. However, if you’re adding a graphics card to your system, it’s going to add a lot more to your PC’s total consumption.
If you aren’t building a gaming PC then that’s not a concern. And when you add together the power consumption of your Ryzen 5 3600 and other components, it might only come in at around 220 watts total, potentially even less.
But it’s always best to add 20%, and then round up to the next rounded number for your power supply. That extra 20% is important for handling any spikes in power, which can happen at any time and overload a power supply if it’s not got a big enough capacity. The spikes last milliseconds but can easily cause your PC to restart if the PSU can’t handle them.
With that in mind, it’s best to aim for at least a 300-watt power supply. But more if you’re adding a graphics card.
Raidmax 300W XT Series Power Supply
- Budget power supply suited to Ryzen 5 3600
- Suitable for non-gaming PCs
- Quiet fan
How To Reduce Power Consumption For A Ryzen 5 3600
To reduce the power consumption of your Ryzen 5 3600, make sure you’re using adequate cooling – liquid cooling will be best in most cases but is unnecessary if you have a good air cooler. Make sure you close programs you aren’t using too.
Any processor’s worst enemy is heat. Processors get very hot when they’re put under a lot of pressure, which increases their resistance – meaning they have to draw more power from the mains just to do the same tasks.
This is why it’s really important you have a good processor cooler in place. If you buy the Ryzen 5 3600 brand new it’ll come with a stock Wraith air cooler, which is pretty good by stock cooler standards.
Using a liquid cooling solution would be more effective, but you’re talking about a difference of a couple of watts saved at most, and some liquid coolers will use inefficient pumps which use more electricity than you’d save anyway.
But if you’re buying second-hand, make sure it’s not a cheap air cooler. If it is, buy a brand new one – they’re cheap and it’ll keep your PC working better in the long term.
Cooler Master A71C
- Compatible with AMD Ryzen Sockets
- Provides excellent heat dissipation
- Powerful airflow with low noise
Also close down any programs you aren’t using, as well as internet tabs. While this normally clogs up your RAM rather than your processor, it won’t be helping. The savings are minimal but it’ll all add up.
What PSU do I need for Ryzen 5 3600 and RTX 3070?
With an RTX 2070 graphics card consuming an average of 220 watts of power, you’ll want at least a 650-watt power supply for a PC that uses a Ryzen 5 3600 with this card. That gives you the necessary 20% leeway to handle spikes and potential overclocking.
You might be OK with a 600-watt power supply, but the cost difference to step up to 650 watts is minimal so it’s worth paying the little bit extra.
Read more: RTX 3070 Power Consumption Guide
What power supply do I need for RTX 2060 and Ryzen 5 3600?
A Ryzen 5 3600 processor uses an average of 65 watts while the RTX 2060 averages around 160 watts, but can reach around 200 watts. You should aim for a power supply with a minimum capacity of 550 watts to cover all your components, plus extra capacity for power spikes.
The RTX 2060 and Ryzen 5 3600 are a good match as both are reasonable, mid-range components. And so a mid-range 550-watt power supply should be plenty.
Read more: RTX 2060 Power Consumption Guide
What PSU do I need for Ryzen 5 3600 and GTX 1660 Super?
It’s best to get a power supply capable of around 500 watts or more for a PC with a Ryzen 5 processor and a GTX 1660 Super graphics card. This’ll cover everything your PC needs, along with extra capacity for any sudden spikes in the power without the PSU being overloaded.
A GTX 1660 Super only normally draws around 120 watts, so it’s quite a low-powered card. A 500-watt PSU should be more than enough, but will limit your upgrading options in future.
Read more: GTX 1660 Power Consumption Guide
A Ryzen 5 3600 won’t draw a huge amount of power, but as it’s normally a processor used in low- to mid-range gaming PCs, you’ll need to know which graphics card you’re buying before you can decide on a power supply.
It’s a great mid-range processor so building a mid-range PC to play the latest games on average settings shouldn’t cost the earth, and normally you’ll be looking at power supplies in the 500-650 watt range rather than the really expensive ones that top 750 watts.