AMD’s New Ryzen APUs: 1080p Gaming Without Discrete Graphics?

If you’re interested in PC gaming but you’re on a low budget, you don’t really have a lot of options, especially in 2018. There’s a GPU shortage thanks to cryptocurrency miners buying out GPUs, rendering the price of a gaming rig with discrete graphics pretty darn expensive. Luckily for you AMD has launched their new Ryzen APUs, and they’re packing quite a punch.

About a year ago you could easily score a great $500 gaming PC. Unfortunately that’s not really the case anymore. Sure you can build a gaming PC for $500, but with the recent price movement of discrete video cards and RAM, you wouldn’t get nearly the same performance per dollar. The GTX 1060 once sat at a comfortable $220; now it’ll run you an upwards of $400.

There are a few other options available to those on a tight budget. Prebuilt gaming PCs haven’t moved in price, and waiting for GPU prices to come down again is also a possibility. Although, buying a decent prebuilt would still cost you a decent amount and you wouldn’t get the PC building experience. With AMD’s new APUs you get the best of both worlds. They’re providing an option that provides insanely good performance per dollar.

Ryzen 5 2400G Specs:

3.6 GHz / 3.9 GHz Turbo
4 Cores
8 Threads
11 Vega Compute Units

Ryzen 3 2200G Specs:

3.5 GHz / 3.7GHz Turbo
4 cores
4 threads
8 Vega Compute Units

Both chips offer great performance per dollar, but we’re going to be mainly focusing on the Ryzen 5 2400G as it offers the best performance per dollar. For just $150 you’re getting a quad-core, 8 thread CPU with built-in Vega graphics.

One thing that’s important to take note of are the new Ryzen X470 motherboards. Don’t panic, they’re not required for the use of the new CPUs. Your old AMD B350 and X370 are forwards compatible. AMD plans to keep AM4 socket-type boards around for a while.

However, just because these boards are forwards compatible doesn’t mean they’re necessarily going to be the best option for your rig. You may be missing out on important next-gen features if you pair your new CPU with an old motherboard. The X470 motherboards offer improved performance, better overclocking capabilities and more.

Although, it does seem like the performance boost is largely due to improvements to the CPU rather than the chipset. This means you should be fine if you decide to use your old motherboard rather than paying more for a new X470 board.

As you can see, these CPUs look pretty beefy on paper, especially for their low price tag. But how do they compare in real benchmarks?

The results may surprise you. Take a look:

Ryzen APUs

NOTE: the data above is directly from AMD’s tests, so it’s safe to say these are the best possible outcomes.

The Ryzen 5 2400G and Ryzen 3 2200G both perform very well considering their price. When you factor in the current prices of discrete video cards they become even more appealing.

As you’d probably expect, games like PUBG, Battlefield 1, The Witcher 3 and other demanding titles don’t run as well without a discrete graphics card. However, many of the more demanding titles are still playable. E-Sports titles like CS:GO, League of Legends, Dota II and more will perform extremely well with these chips.

I’m not going to try to paint a perfect picture for you by stating that these new Ryzen APUs can dominate every title in 1080p with maxed out settings and 60 FPS; that’s simply not true. What I will tell you is that these chips do a great job at what they’re designed to do: provide a great budget alternative, allowing you to affordably play some lighter games.

AMD compared the gaming performance of the $170 AMD Ryzen 5 2400G with the $180 Intel Core i5-8400 paired with the $90 GT 1030 discrete video card, and their results show that the 2400G is on par with Intel’s offering paired with a low end GPU.

Furthermore, the Ryzen 5 2400G and Ryzen 3 2200G totally outperform the Ryzen 5 1400 and Ryzen 3 1200 in just about every application. With that in mind it’s safe to say that these chips are not only great APUs, but great CPUs as well.

If you decide to build a budget rig right now with these APUs, you could very easily wait for the prices of discrete cards to drop and add one to your rig. You’d have a powerful CPU and GPU which combined would create an awesome PC gaming rig without overspending or having to wait to play your favorite PC games.

The battle between Team Red and Team Blue continues with AMD’s release of these new Ryzen APUs. It started back in the summer of 2017 with Ryzen 7, 5 and 3. Intel followed up with their Coffee Lake generation, and now we’re seeing AMD return fire. Whether you’re backing Team Red or Team Blue, one thing is clear: the new Ryzen APUs kick butt, and they’re a great alternative!

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