There is a certain kind of people (not our reader-base), that do not want to fork out cash for a dedicated graphics card. These guys and gals hardly play games, and when they do .. they really do not care too much about resolution and quality. Then there's the kind of person that wants to build a PC merely for the Windows PC experience, browsing websites, work a little, and multimedia. It's for these two types of people where the Ryzen 3 2200G and 5 2400G make a bunch of sense.
For the rest of you hardcore gamers and PC aficionados', you are far better off with a dedicated graphics card and something Ryzen 5 or better of course. For what it is, AMD offers a good base platform. At 169 USD, the Ryzen 5 2400G might be a notch pricey though, but you do get four cores and a total of 8 threads at your disposal. Having that said, throughout testing both the 2200G and 2400G APUs, I really continuously felt like I would have preferred 6 cores here. But hey, 99 bucks for the 2200G is downright value. The 2400G as stated could be priced a notch lower, sub 150 bucks would be great.
While you will not reach tremendous high-end levels of CPU performance, there definitely is plenty to be found to drive a mainstream PC with a mid-range dedicated graphics card. So that's not an issue either. Pricing wise you need to be comparing these new APUs to the Core i3 series, and not the Core i5 series. So why are there no Core i3 products in our charts you might wonder? Well, when Intel was still providing review samples we asked many times, but they always refused irrevocably to send them out. To date that has not changed. Ryzen 3 2200G, for example, rips open a HUGE segment in the market for a starting price of 99 USD, you get four cores and an integrated Radeon Vega IGP that will beat down any intel IGP to date. You have seen the results, you can clock the 2400G to 3.9~4.0 GHz, but that 4 GHz domain has been the same for all Ryzen procs to date. If you take a cheapo B350 motherboard, select your memory wisely and fire off a Ryzen 2000G processor on there with say, a Radeon RX 570 or GeForce GTX 1060, well you are there, rock-solid gaming performance. Make no mistake, I feel that we all need to move to 6 and 8-core processors as these simply offer a snappier and faster PC ecosystem with all the things we do simultaneously on a PC these days. That doesn't count as much for gaming though, a 4-core CPU in many scenarios offers the better value.
On the IGP side of things, the performance is there, the driver will need some updating though. At default 1 GB of your system memory will be dedicated to the Radeon Vega unit, while that is HUGE for an IGP, it's still limiting a lot of gamers very much. We've seen some weird stuff in Tomb Raider, Ghost Recon Wildlands would crash each benchmark run and there have been a few others. That's all based on Low or Medium quality setting.
A seriously awesome feature ...
Ever since starting testing the Ryzen 2000 G series I noticed that the APU reserves and uses 1 GB of your system memory. Compared to Intel, that's huge. But you'll agree with me, 1 GB is still very little. AMD is going to offer you flexibility here as you may increase that framebuffer size.
Basically in your BIOS look for UMA Size, the BIOS will default to 1GB Frame buffer. For best performance, this should be set to 2GB from the BIOS.
- MSI BIOS: go to Settings / Advanced / Integrated Graphics Config and set “Integrated Graphics” to “Force” and “UMA Frame Buffer Size” to 2GB
- Gigabyte BIOS: Go to Chipset and set “Integrated Graphics” to “Forces”, UMA Mode to UMA Specified and UMA Frame buffer size to 2GB.
Boom all of the sudden you have a 2 GB framebuffer - Upcoming BIOS versions will support even larger options such as 4GB and 8GB (!)
Intel HD 630 IGP for example used in the 8700K we've shown, is over half slower, utilizes just 256 MB and hardly runs any game if it works at all. The four-core Ryzen 3 & 5 G series offers solid value for money. I am also happy to report that the memory compatibility and stability has been enhanced greatly. If you pick your memory right, you will not have any issues. In the BIOS enable the XMP, and you'll boot straight into Windows with your new timings. But again, I find four-core processors to be less attractive as playing with all the six and eight core processors recently simply feel faster and better in your desktop environment and applications, but it is a very fine and very sufficient processor series though.
Prices and value
So in the above a mathematical plot, we take the CB score from CineBench 15. We normalize the value and basically plot how much money it takes to calculate the CB score. All processors are clocked at default frequencies, this plot would look different if you'd math in tweaked clock frequencies and thus get higher CB scores. Also, you need to take the number of CPU cores into account (as in what number of CPU cores is relevant for you). But this is very simple math, have a peek at the chart (the higher a CPU is positioned the better). Value for money wise (Cinebench) shows that the entire Ryzen lineup offers the perf you get in return for your money. This is a subjective chart as it is based on just one test, but it does paint a certain picture value wise. And please do not confuse the chart as to 'what is the better processor'.
The gaming performance
We already discussed the IGP, it's great for what it is supposed to be and annihilates anything that Intel has to offer (for now). Whether it's good enough for you is something only you can decide. The APU with a dedicated graphics cards might be more interesting. Especially if you take the 2200G and tweak it to 3900 MHz on all cores, that's golden stuff at 99 bucks. As we all know, 1080p gaming performance has been a bit of a thing with the Ryzen launch. You will need faster memory to help you out there, hence 2933 MHz is where you need to start. The G.Skill FlareX memories at 3200 Mhz we've been playing around with have amazed me though, but sure, that CL14 kit does come at a price premium, and that is the conundrum in the year 2018. AMD might be offering cheaper processors, but the need for faster memory pretty much equalize that effect. For Ryzen 3 2200G, 1080p game performance is a non-issue as we do not think you would ever pair a 500 USD graphics card to Ryzen 3. Hence a Radeon RX 570 or GeForce GTX 1060 would be a far better match, and with more GPU limitation your 1080p gaming performance will be as good as a 1000 USD processor. So the 1080p game performance is slowly becoming a non-issue as far as I am concerned but will come at the expense of more expensive higher-frequency memory (and DDR4 memory is expensive at the moment). The 2400G might offer you a bit more bite with SMT enabled, but yes ... it is the more expensive APU, while both can be clocked to 3900 MHz on all cores. One short note, Hybrid Crossfire as in GPU+APU is not supported at driver level. Some games might simply support mGPU mode from the windows side, but there is no active Crossfire support on the driver level.
We mentioned DDR4 memory a couple of times already; the new AGESA based BIOSes have improved a lot. 3200 MHz is a non-issue with the right memory, we recommend 2933 MHz or better when you build a gaming rig. And if you will be playing games over the APU, faster memory is always better as your Radeon Vega IGP will be actively utilizing that system memory.
With this processor now fabbed at 14 nm FinFET the TDP sticks at 65 Watts. A full PC at idle will sit in the 27 Watt range, with a dedicated graphics card installed (GeForce GTX 1080 / 16 GB memory / SSD and the motherboard) that rises towards roughly 40 Watts. When we stressed the processors with a Prime 1024M run we reached roughly 80~90 Watts, that's low enough for what it needs to be, but a bit higher than I anticipated it to be. Overall though, this is certainly decent enough to see. So overall, these are acceptable values with a four-core product.
Both the Ryzen 3 2200G and Ryzen 5 2400G have been able to reach 3900 MHz on all four cores with merely a crappy stock cooler. The 2400G, however, needs a lot of voltage, I halted at 1.475V at the close to 4 GHz domain. But it would have liked a bit more. Perhaps liquid cooling could have solved a thing or two, as again I have been testing with the stock cooler. The Ryzen 3 2200G I left at default voltage, as it reached 3900 MHz on all cores perfectly fine. That's a great tweak, offering good value for this 99 USD part.
2017 has been the year for anything AMD CPU related, Ryzen did rise in many versions and threads. Now at the beginning of 2018, AMD unleashes its first APUs. Performance wise these units make total sense in a mid-range segment, the Radeon vega based IGP compared to the competition is blazingly fast, however, remains to be just that low-entry level gaming. Hey, I'm not complaining, I'm just stating the obvious. Personally, I would like to see a slider in the Radeon driver to allow to allocate more system memory opposed to the 1GB the IGP default right now. It would make all the difference. Processor wise you get quad cores with the 2200G and quad-cores with SMT to 8 threads on the 2400G. The 2400G definitely feels snappier and faster, and as such for more complex workloads it is the better processor to get. However the 2200G at 99 bucks, well you cannot argue that man. If you can forfeit on the 8 logical threads, tweak the proc to 3.9 GHz, then this might be the finest Ryzen processor (in value) that AMD has got to offer. That is great entry level priced stuff, that will get you going towards that mainstream level perf. The Ryzen 2000G series does, however, has fewer PCIe links available. Your graphics card will get just eight Gen 3 PCIe links, no biggy in the performance segment, but worth a note I'd say. Also, you get half the L3 cache as there is just one CCX onboard the APU. However, AMD did increase the base clock for the APUs compared to regular Ryzen, and that does show in raw CPU performance as you have been able to check out in all our benchies. People that have a need for just an Internet or HTPC will love this gear. When you build a gaming PC with a dedicated graphics solution, the sky is the limit. We do need to factor in though that for Ryzen gaming you need reasonably fast frequency memory, and that is more expensive on the total bill. I am not sure that all processors will reach 4 GHz, but the chance and likelihood they can all do an all core 3.9 GHz seems high in certainty. Combined with a B350 motherboard and SSD that leaves you with a really properly fast enough PC for your everyday workload and gaming experiences. Well done AMD, as both these processors offer proper performance for the money and overall are a terrific deal.
- Hilbert out