AMD takes on the Intel Pentium Gold G4560 with the Athlon 200GE for just US$55
AMD has announced the Athlon 200GE series CPUs for the entry-level PC market. For perhaps the first time, the Athlon CPUs feature integrated Radeon Vega graphics; earlier Athlons had the GPU part of the APU disabled. There are three SKUs in the new Athlon series and AMD has detailed the Athlon 200GE for now with information about the 220GE and the 240GE set to be disclosed closer to availability in Q4 2018. There are also Pro variants of the Athlon 200GE series for commercial customers.
We came to know a few months ago that there are new Athlons incoming thanks to a Geekbench listing. AMD pits the Athlon 200GE against 'Bristol Ridge' APUs such as the A6-9500E, A10-9700, and the now dated Intel Pentium G4560.
Budget CPU Lineup
Here's a comparison of some of the sub-US$100 CPUs that the Athlon 200GE will be competing against (Ryzen 3 1300X included for sake of comparison) —
|Athlon 200GE||Pentium Gold G5600||Pentium G4560||Ryzen 3 1300X||Ryzen 3 2200G|
|Architecture||14nm Zen||14nm++ Coffee Lake||14nm Kaby Lake||14nm Zen||14nm Zen|
|Cores / Threads||2 / 4||2 / 4||2 / 4||4 / 4||4 / 4|
|Base Clock / Boost Clock (GHz)||3.2 / -||3.9 / -||3.5 / -||3.5 / 3.7||3.6 / 3.9|
|L3 Cache (MB)||4||4||3||8||4|
|Integrated GPU||Radeon Vega 3||UHD Graphics 630||UHD Graphics 610||N/A||Radeon Vega 8|
The Athlon 200GE will fit snugly into any Socket AM4 motherboard but is multiplier-locked making it the first Zen CPU to be non-overclockable. But given the target market of these CPUs, having a locked multiplier is not surprising. Therefore, it seems that the Athlons are best paired with a A320-chipset based motherboard for maximum value. The A320 chipset does not support CPU overclocking but supports memory overclocking, which should help squeezing a bit more performance from the integrated Radeon Vega 3 graphics. Another interesting aspect of the new Athlons is support for the AVX instruction set.
Performance-wise, the Athlon 200GE fared significantly better than 'Bristol Ridge' APUs and although it suffered a minor setback in CPU-intensive tasks against the Pentium Gold G4560, it more than made up for it with the GPU performance. Of course, these are AMD's numbers so they are prone to marketing bias. Nevertheless, we do get a hint of the kind of improvements on offer. It should also be noted that despite the lower 35W TDP envelope and lower clocks than the Pentium Gold G4560, the Athlon 200GE managed to come pretty close in CPU-related tasks. A comparison with the current Pentium Gold G5400 or G5600 would have been much more appropriate but AMD has probably left it for reviewers to benchmark these CPUs against each other.
Gaming though, paints a totally different picture. When paired with a discrete GPU like the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050, the Athlon 200GE seems to have put an impressive show at 1080p Ultra often coming close to the Pentium Gold G4560 in titles such as CS:GO, GTA V, Fortnite, PUBG, and Overwatch. With the integrated Radeon Vega 3 graphics, AMD says that entry-level 720p gaming should be easily achievable. Numbers for the Athlon 220GE and 240GE were not shown but we can expect slightly better clocks and graphics performance.
Athlon Pro and Ryzen 2 Pro
Alongside the Athlon 200GE CPUs, AMD also announced the enterprise oriented Athlon Pro and the Ryzen 2 Pro. The available processors include the Athlon Pro 200GE, Ryzen 7 Pro 2700X, Ryzen 7 Pro 2700, and the Ryzen 5 Pro 2600.
The specifications of the Pro CPUs are exactly the same as their consumer counterparts. However, the Pro versions feature a few extra goodies tailored for the enterprise such as a dedicated security co-processor, AMD GuardMI, transparent secure memory encryption (TSME), a 24-month availability guarantee, and a 36-month warranty.
Systems powered by the Athlon Pro and Ryzen Pro CPUs are expected to be available as and when OEMs such as Dell, HP, and Lenovo release them.