AMD Athlon 200GE Assessment: $55 Zen CPU

Today we're taking a look at the new Athlon 200GE, AMD's most affordable Zen-based processor. We covered the specs extensively last week when AMD officially announced the processor. That said, we'll go through the basics again.

While Ryzen processors are usually known for packing lots of cores, we've seen quad-core variants like the Ryzen 3 1200 and more recently the 2200G. The Athlon 200GE is a dual-core processor, but before your Shrek is louder than the coil whine of a cheap graphics card, you should consider the price. This is a processor for $ 55.

The two cores of the Athlon 200GE are clocked at 3.2 GHz, there is a total of 5 MB cache and the integrated Radeon GPU contains only 3 processing units. The TDP power was set to only 35 watts. You also get SMT. Although it is a dual core, it supports 4-thread processing. So it's locked like a traditional Intel Core i3 and like a traditional Core i3. In fact, AMD is now blocking desktop processors.

AMD claims to have a Pentium G4560-like performance that isn't great by today's standards, but isn't bad for $ 55 either. The fact that this happens on the AM4 platform is a plus. AMD also claims that the integrated GPU isn't nearly as useless as it sounds on paper, even though it contains over 60% fewer computing units than the 2200G.

They say the Athlon 200GE is perfect for students and casual gamers who are used on the family PC to surf the Interwebs, fire up emails and do homework, whichever is the last, but serious about Stay school and work hard, young readers …

In any case, it is an inexpensive Zen CPU that can use existing AM4 motherboards. You can either buy a dirt cheap – and frankly dirty – A320 motherboard and build the ultimate brand new budget banger. Or you can stick it on a slightly more expensive but better worldwide B350 or B450 motherboard and upgrade to the Ryzen 7 2700X for one year a dollar a day, upgrading from a casual gamer to a full-time basement dweller. But I digress.

Since we're deep in the GeForce RTX tests right now (tomorrow, yay!), We didn't have unlimited time to test them, but we are confident that what we have will be enough. Although the name is very different as it is called Athlon, what we have here is quite familiar. It's a Raven Ridge APU, basically the 2400G with two cut cores, almost a quarter of the integrated GPU, and a third of the price.

We had to use DDR4-2666 on the Gigabyte AB350N gaming WiFi motherboard that was used for this test. The 2200G and 2400G worked well with 3200 memory, but when this setting was enforced in the BIOS with the Athlon chip, the frequency stick was not displayed, so we could reach 2666. AMD claimed that the 200GE was "ready for DRAM overclocking" in its media presentation. So I'm not sure what's going on there.

It's a Raven Ridge APU, basically the 2400G with two cut cores, almost a quarter of the integrated GPU, and a third of the price.

For comparison, we have a bunch of budget CPUs from AMD and Intel. There are also some iGPU tests and a comparison with older discrete graphics cards and then some performance and temperature tests and a simulated overclocking to see what we're missing …

Benchmarks

When using DDR4-2666, which we had to use with the Athlon 200GE, we see a memory bandwidth of approximately 29 GB / s, which is comparable to the Core i3-8100. Compared to Zen-based processors with DDR4-2933 memory, we found that the bandwidth was reduced by about 15% and that this larger than expected margin is also due to the lower core clock rate.

If we move to Cinebench R15, we find a very dual core with an SMT-like score of 360 points. This made the 200GE 6% slower than the Pentium G4560 and 13% slower when considering single-core performance, and similar margins were found compared to the Pentium G5400. As expected, this $ 55 processor won't blow off socks, but it's a lot better than the low-priced bulldozer offerings on the AM4 platform, like the $ 110 A12-9800.

Next we have the Corona benchmark and here the 200GE was 10% slower than the Pentium G4560 but 31% faster than the A12-9800. It was also 32% slower than the Ryzen 3 2200G, so overall not great results, but not a bad result considering the price.

These results are important now, especially if you are running workloads that use AVX instructions because this instruction set is not supported by the Pentium G4560. As a result, the 200GE was 24% faster than the G4560 in this test, which gave the Athlon chip a massive advantage in AVX workloads.

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