When it comes to budget gaming rigs, AMD has always been the go-to company. These days, cos’ of the cryptomining insanity, GPU prices have skyrocketed. AMD has come up with their budget Ryzen-Vega APUs (namely the Ryzen 5 2400G and Ryzen 3 2200G) at the perfect time.
AMD Ryzen 3 2200G
The AMD Ryzen 5 2400G is for gamers who just want the game to run at acceptable settings and produce decent frame-rates. That means 720p-60fps or 1080p-30fps. These new APUs are going to compete against the Intel i3 processors. We’ll give you a heads up, they are cheaper and perform much better in general in comparison to the thread starved i3s.
The Ryzen 3 2200G features four Zen cores without symmetrical multi-threading (SMT), which is AMD’s version of Intel’s Hyper-Threading. The cores have a base clock of 3.5GHz with a boost clock of 3.7GHz. The GPU consists of eight Vega compute units (CUs). This APU costs 99$, and is comparable to GPUs of the same price.
The Ryzen 5 2400G is also a quad-core chip, but with SMT enabled for a total of eight threads. The base clock is also increased to 3.6GHz and the boost clock to 3.9GHz. As for graphics, the CU count has been bumped to 11 Vega compute units.
Both chips are AM4-based, but unlike the Intel i3 CPUs, AMD is allowing overclocking of these budget parts.
Cinebench, based on Maxon’s professional rendering engine, is well known test that scales remarkably with the core and thread count. The Ryzen 3 2200G beats the Core i3 by 42 percent. The SMT’d Ryzen 5 2400G is another 35% faster, thanks to the additional threads.
For encoding, we use the open-source program Handbrake. Again, Handbrake will chew as many cores/threads you throw at it. As a result the i3 gets a thrashing.
Using the widely used utility 7-zip, we test the AMD APUs. The i3 isn’t all that slower than the 2200G, but the Ryzen 5 2400G once again due to SMT is out of reach for the dual threaded Intel chip.
Rainbow Six Siege
In Rainbow Six Seige, the Ryzen 5 2400G manages to perform on par with the Radeon RX 550 and manged to even beat it with higher-clocked RAM. The Ryzen APUs are powerful enough to run Rainbow Six Siege at 1920×1080. The Ryzen 5 2400G nets 51fps here while the Ryzen 3 2200G comes in with 40fps.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
However, this game was unplayable at 1080p, but so if you’re planning on playing at that resolution it’s a no-go. The Radeon RX 550 was still only 5fps ahead of the Ryzen 5 2400G.
These days pretty much every modern GPU can at least run Crysis and Crysis 3, but lets face it. This is an integrated GPU. Intel’s iGPUs can barely run games even at 720p. So yeah, this is a welcome surprise.
Impact of RAM
You probably might have noticed this by now. The system memory has an appreciable impact on GPU performance. I mean like it’s clearly noticeable. The reason behind that is iGPUs use the system memory as shared GPU memory, unlike dedicated GPUs that have their own memory.
To see how much of an impact RAM has on with the GPU performacne, we recorded performance from 2,133MHz to 3,200MHz of DDR4 RAM on the Ryzen 3 2200G. We also recorded how much of a hit you take by switching from dual-channel mode to single-channel.
We used 3DMark’s Fire Strike Graphics test:
The results show how with every bit of increase in memory speed, the performance also goes up. Increasing from 2400 to 3200 nets you about 9.5 percent more performance. Is it worth it? That depends on how much you’re paying for the higher-speed RAM.
At the time of writing, 8GB of Corsair Vengeance DDR4-2133 was available for $102. On the other hand, the cost for 8GB of Corsair Vengeance DDR4-3200 was $115. That entails you’d be paying about 13 percent more for a 9.5-percent performance bump. That’s rather worth it, especially if you can find a cheaper kit.
Lastly, it would be a really bad idea to opt for single channel memory. That will most certainly handicap your performance in GPU intensive tasks.
If you are looking for a budget gaming chip, then the Ryzen 5 2400G certainly fits the bill. It matches the equally priced RX 550, even beating it when fitted with faster memory. However, please note that if you play at 1080p, these APUs aren’t exactly cut out for that resolution.
The important part is that the timing of these APUs is more of a blessing for people who want to build a make-do budget rig, since the prices are at an all-time high at the moment. These APUs aren’t for enthusiasts or even for gamers who need 1080p-60fps, but for those out there who play at sub-1080p resolutions, it’s the perfect solution.