AMD unveils 'reimagined' Athlon processor, and Athlon PRO and Ryzen PRO chips

New chips coming out of AMD, both for everyday PC users and commercial users.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

AMD expands its reach into the processor market with new chips targeted at both the "everyday" PC user and those looking for silicon that can handle compute-intensive enterprise-focused workloads.

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On the "everyday" PC front we have a "reimagined" Athlon chip.

This chip is designed to bring the benefits that AMD's Zen architecture has to offer - benefits such as performance, power efficiency, as well as the raft of new features that the new architecture has to offer such as USB 3.1 Gen 2, NVMe, and DDR4 support - to a brand that is trusted among consumers and that has a track record spanning two decades.

Add in Radeon Vega 3 graphics and AMD believes it has a winner.

This chip is the AMD Athlon 200GE. This is a dual-core/4-thread part running at 3.2GHz, AM4 socket part with three built-in Graphic Compute Units that has a TDP of 35W and comes it at the low price of $55.

According to AMD, the Athlon 200GE offers 67 percent more graphics performance and up to two times greater power efficiency and is capable of delivering 84 percent faster HD PC gaming compared to Intel's Pentium G4560 (which is a 54W processor, which means the AMD part is twice as power efficient as the Intel part).

This chip is aimed at the low-demand end of the market. People who want to do some web browsing, casual gaming, home theatre, and simple tasks like homework or handling simple files.

This part takes the place of some A-Series and Athlon X4 processors (neither of these lines are being replaced though, and both will continue).

For commercial users, AMD has new Athlon PRO desktop processor and second-generation Ryzen PRO lineups.

AMD Athlon PRO and Ryzen PRO chips

There are four parts in this line:

​AMD has new Athlon PRO desktop processor and second-generation Ryzen PRO lineups

AMD has new Athlon PRO desktop processor and second-generation Ryzen PRO lineups

What differentiates regular AMD chips from PRO chips? AMD PRO processors are aimed squarely at business users, focusing on modern demands such as reliability, security, and add the capability to handle compute-intensive enterprise-focused workloads.

All AMD PRO processors also offer commercial-grade quality and reliability to help ensure platform longevity. The PRO chips also support open-standard manageability, allowing for greater management flexibility in a multi-vendor client environments.

The Athlon PRO 200GE is aimed at the entry-level commercial users, while the Ryzen PRO parts target power-users. These new Ryzen PRO chips feature improved AMD SenseMI technology, including Precision Boost 2 and XFR2, thee allow the processors to hit even higher clock speeds that their first-generation counterparts.

The Ryzen PRO parts really show a performance advantage when handling heavy computational workloads such as video editing, 3D rendering, and encoding, showing double-digit lead over the competition in most cases.

The Athlon PRO is aimed at entry-level workloads, but where it really shines against the competition is in graphics performance, thanks to its three built-in Graphic Compute Units graphics cores.

AMD PRO chips have been built from the ground up to focus on three pillars - power, security and reliability. Built-in security means integrated GuardMI technology, an AES 128-bit encryption engine, Windows 10 Enterprise Security support, and support for fTPM/TPM 2.0 Trusted Platform Module.

GuardMI technology consists for four features:

  • Transparent secure memory encryption that's OS and application independent, requires no software modifications, and has minimal performance overhead
  • Secure boot process hardware-based root-of-trust
  • Trusted application support, including real-time intrusion detection, whitelisted application support, and fTPM/TPM 2.0 support
  • Secure production environment extending to the assembly line, along with tests to confirm the integrity of the hardware and software chain

Another feature of the PRO line that AMD hopes will appeal to commercial users is the enterprise-grade reliability that the chips come backed with, everything from 18-months of planned software availability, 24-months processor availability, a commercial-grade QA process, 36-month warranty, and enterprise-class manageability.

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