Transistor and die size: 209.77mm2 / ~4.94 billion
AMD Ryzen 3 2200G
CPU cores: 4 cores, 4 threads
CPU base clock: 3.5GHz
CPU max boost clock: Up to 3.7GHz
Architecture: 14nm FinFET
GPU cores: 8 Radeon Vega CUs
GPU clock: Up to 1100MHz
L1: 64K I-cache, 32K D-cache per core
L2: 512K per core
L3: 4MB shared
DRAM support: Up to DDR4-2933 (dual-channel)
Transistor and die size: 209.77mm2 / ~4.94 billion
So how does the Ryzen 5 2400G stack up in terms of spec against the similarly priced Ryzen 5 1400?
Well, on the upside, for the same dollar you get a faster base and max boost clock speed part. However the Ryzen 5 2400G has half the L3 cache of the Ryzen 5 1400, and half the GPU PCIe lanes (x8 versus x16).
However, according to AMD, the reduction in L3 cache -- a move that allowed for a more compact die size - is offset by the faster clock, and the reduction in PCIe lanes is a non-issue given the sort of workloads that mid-range PCs are expected to undertake.
At the core (pardon the pun) of AMD's Ryzen silicon is AMD's SenseMI technology, a set of sensing, adapting, and learning technologies built into Ryzen chips.
SenseMI uses a "smart grid" of interconnected sensors that are accurate to 1mA, 1mV, 1mW and 1°C polled a thousand times a second, with the data being fed into the processor's Infinity Fabric control loop, and is comprises of:
Pure Power: More than 100 embedded sensors with accuracy to the millivolt, milliwatt, and single degree level of temperature enable optimal voltage, clock frequency, and operating mode with minimal energy consumption;
Precision Boost 2: Smart logic that monitors integrated sensors and optimizes clock speeds, in increments as small as 25MHz, at up to a thousand times a second (and compared to the first incarnation of Precision Boost, this version improves the way that the chip boosts cores under a broader set of workloads);
Neural Net Prediction: An artificial intelligence neural network that learns to predict what future pathway an application will take based on past runs;
Smart Prefetch: Sophisticated learning algorithms that track software behavior to anticipate the needs of an application and prepare the data in advance.
OK, that's enough of the tech stuff. How do these new processors perform in the real world?
In a word: amazingly.
Preview: AMD Ryzen processors with Radeon Vega graphics
Before I go any further, I want to remind you that these are processors that cost between $99 and $149. They are budget to mainstream parts, not high-performance components.
But with that said, the Ryzen 3 2200G and Ryzen 5 2400G redefine what buyers at that budget or mainstream end of the spectrum can get for their money, outperforming Intel silicon in a similar price point (the i3-8100 and i3-7100 for the Ryzen 3 2200G, and the i5-8400 and i5-7400 for the Ryzen 5 2400G.
Pitted up against Intel's UHD 630 graphics, as found on silicon such as the i5-8400, the Ryzen 5 2400G demolishes the competition, despite the Intel chip having a price tag that's $99 more.
When it comes to 1080p gaming, the Ryzen 5 2400G when combined with an RX 580 GPU (package price around $388) manages to hold its own well against an Intel i5-8400 that's paired with the same GPU (package price around $418). A gamer is unlikely to be able to tell the difference between these systems.
When it comes to 720p gaming, the Ryzen 5 2400G and Ryzen 3 2200G can hold their own without a discrete GPU very well against the Intel i5-8400 and i3-8011 chips that are paired with Nvidia GT1030 graphics cards.
AMD supplied a lot of benchmarks for the Ryzen 3 2200G and Ryzen 5 2400G, and this seems to fall in line well with the benchmarking that I carried out on the review hardware I was sent. Using the latest supplied motherboard firmware I also found the Ryzen chips to be stable, even when I experimented with overclocking using AMD's Ryzen Master 1.2 overclocking tool (other than this, I'm going to leave discussion of overclocking for a future article).
So, you're in the market for a budget or mainstream chip, should that chip be a "Raven Ridge" Ryzen with Radeon Vega graphics processor? I really can't see why it shouldn't. As a standalone part it offers excellent performance and bang for the buck on both the processing and graphics front, and it pairs well with discrete graphics if there's a bigger demand. This not only makes the chips a great choice for those on smaller budgets, but it also means that owners can later slot in a discrete GPU if their demand on the PC changes.
The price points at which AMD is selling these new chips makes them particularly disruptive. Sure, you can buy cheaper silicon, but you sure can't buy better for the price. The performance that the $99 Ryzen 3 2200G is pretty hard to believe. There were several occasions during testing where I simply couldn't believe the power that the low-cost chip was pumping out.
But for an extra $50, the Ryzen 5 2400G is even more compelling. If the $50 is make or break, then go for the cheaper chip, but if you can find the extra cash, I would certainly put it towards the extra threads, more Radeon Vega cores, and the bump in clock speed.
Quite simply, if you're looking to put together a PC on a budget, Ryzen with Radeon Vega graphics CPUs should be on your parts list.