AMD today released its Ryzen 2000 family of processors with integrated AMD Radeon Vega graphics. 2017 was probably the best year in a decade for AMD’s client CPU business. The company’s Ryzen family of desktop processors, powered by its latest “Zen” microarchitecture, is surprisingly fast and stirred up competition enough to force Intel to increase CPU core-counts to catch up. AMD now has a reasonably competitive processor for every price point from $120 to $999, including HEDT processors, to compete with Intel’s Core X family. The trouble is that none of these chips come with integrated graphics, a department in which AMD has traditionally outclassed Intel eversince it started making APUs.
Backed by its Radeon GPU expertise, strong integrated graphics had been the only selling point of AMD’s client CPU lineup until good CPU performance from “Zen” came along. The company took the logical next step of combining its latest CPU microarchitecture with its latest GPU architecture, “Vega,” to create its new 14 nm “Raven Ridge” silicon. Why “Vega” and not “Polaris,” you ask? Because “Vega” has AMD’s latest video decode acceleration engine and 6th generation Graphics CoreNext compute units (you’d want the most IPC from your limited SIMD resources). The company debuted this chip in the mobile space in late-2017 and is now launching it in the desktop segment with two SKUs – the Ryzen 3 2200G and Ryzen 5 2400G, which we’re reviewing today.
Both models combine a quad-core “Zen” CPU with a “Vega” based integrated graphics core (iGPU), a dual-channel DDR4 integrated memory controller, and a platform I/O interface. Differentiating the two SKUs, the Ryzen 5 2400G gets SMT (AMD’s equivalent of HyperThreading) and more iGPU stream processors, besides higher CPU and iGPU clock speeds. AMD surprised us with a larger-than-expected iGPU, and a smaller-than-expected CPU. The iGPU is endowed with up to 11 “Vega” NGCUs (next-generation compute units), which translate into 704 stream processors and 44 TMUs. On the Ryzen 5 2400G, you get all of them, and hence, the resulting iGPU is labeled “Radeon Vega 11.” The Ryzen 3 2200G gets just 8 NGCUs, so 512 stream processors, and the “Radeon Vega 8” iGPU model. The CPU component is smaller than expected. By this generation, we expected AMD to increase core-counts on its APUs from the traditional quad-core setups. It’s still quad-core, but the L3 cache is just 4 MB, half that of quad-core SKUs based on the iGPU-devoid “Summit Ridge” silicon, such as the Ryzen 3 1200.
Both the Ryzen 3 2200G and Ryzen 4 2400G work on existing socket AM4 motherboards based on AMD 300-series chipset, provided they have the latest BIOS. You can finally plug your monitor to the display connectors of your motherboard and not end up with a blank screen. AMD recommends the A320 and B350 chipsets as the ideal companions for these two chips, although the high-end X370 chipset will very much support it. There is, however, a big catch. You will not be able to use the second PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot on your X370 motherboard. This is because the integrated PCI-Express root complex of “Raven Ridge” has just 8 PCI-Express 3.0 lanes for PCI-Express Graphics (PEG), 4 lanes toward the chipset-bus and 4 lanes toward an M.2 PCIe slot. Any graphics cards you may choose to install on a machine powered by these chips will be limited to PCI-Express 3.0 x8 bandwidth no matter the chipset or motherboard.
AMD is pricing the Ryzen 3 2200G and Ryzen 5 2400G rather conservatively. The 2200G is priced at US$99, and the 2400G at US$169. AMD is hedging its bets on the entry-level crowd that combines a $70-ish Pentium/Celeron processor with an entry-level graphics card, such as the GeForce GT 1300 or the Radeon RX 550. This chip will prove particularly appealing to gaming iCafe operators in emerging markets or those who want a desktop with a super high-resolution (think 4K or 5K) monitor, who don’t intend to game. The DIY HTPC crowd will also find these chips appealing for their feature-rich iGPUs that have sufficient muscle and DRM features for smooth 4K HEVC content playback with a degree of future-proofing.
|Pentium G4560||$100||2 / 4||3.5 GHz||N/A||3 MB||54 W||Kaby Lake||14 nm||LGA 1151|
|Ryzen 3 1200||$110||4 / 4||3.1 GHz||3.4 GHz||8 MB||65 W||Zen||14 nm||AM4|
|Ryzen 3 2200G||$100||4 / 4||3.5 GHz||3.7 GHz||4 MB||65 W||Zen||14 nm||AM4|
|Core i3-7100||$120||2 / 4||3.9 GHz||N/A||3 MB||51 W||Kaby Lake||14 nm||LGA 1151|
|Ryzen 3 1300X||$130||4 / 4||3.4 GHz||3.7 GHz||8 MB||65 W||Zen||14 nm||AM4|
|Core i3-7300||$160||2 / 4||4.0 GHz||N/A||4 MB||51 W||Kaby Lake||14 nm||LGA 1151|
|Ryzen 5 1400||$165||4 / 8||3.2 GHz||3.4 GHz||8 MB||65 W||Zen||14 nm||AM4|
|Ryzen 5 2400G||$170||4 / 8||3.6 GHz||3.9 GHz||4 MB||65 W||Zen||14 nm||AM4|
|Core i3-8350K||$180||4 / 4||4.0 GHz||N/A||8 MB||91 W||Coffee Lake||14 nm||LGA 1151|
|Ryzen 5 1500X||$180||4 / 8||3.5 GHz||3.7 GHz||16 MB||65 W||Zen||14 nm||AM4|
|Core i5-7400||$190||4 / 4||3.0 GHz||3.5 GHz||6 MB||65 W||Kaby Lake||14 nm||LGA 1151|
|Core i5-8400||$190||6 / 6||2.8 GHz||4.0 GHz||9 MB||65 W||Coffee Lake||14 nm||LGA 1151|