From a physical standpoint, the Ryzen APU uses the same AM4 hardware platform that we saw released with the Ryzen CPU. The same motherboards and coolers will work with the Ryzen platform today will work with the Ryzen APUs with Vega graphics, giving potential buyers a wide and immediate potential install base.
With the price point of the Ryzen 5 2400G and the Ryzen 2200G where they are at, we hope consumers are smart enough to limit themselves to appropriately priced components. That means B350 motherboards and air cooling (more than likely). Overclocking is possible but spending $100+ on a high-end liquid cooler just doesn’t make sense.
For our testing AMD sent along the Gigabyte AB350N-Gaming Wi-Fi motherboard and a 16GB kit of G.Skill FlareX memory running at DDR4-3200. While a $99 motherboard is a great pairing with these processors, the memory kit is currently selling for $250 on Newegg. While I understand that rising memory prices aren’t AMD’s fault, pairing a $170 CPU with a $250 kit of memory is hard to swallow.
The problem of course is that graphics performance scales very well with memory speed, so getting it as fast as possible will help. For AMD’s goal of getting positive reviews and impressions of the hardware to reviewers, I get it. But for a consumer buying a system today, something along the lines of 2400 MHz memory is going to be more amenable at around $170. Even that is a tough pile to swallow…
For our testing, we are using that aforementioned motherboard and memory, but running at 2400 MHz because of the above. I think we will revisit the combination of memory speeds and Ryzen APU performance in the coming days in order to properly gauge the value of the memory speed increases, and then weight the cost/benefit of those upgrades. We used our Corsair H100i GTX – overkill for the 65 watt processor but an already-integrated part of our CPU test bed.
If you have an existing AM4 motherboard or are looking to pick one up, keep in mind that you should be able to boot and update the BIOS with the new Ryzen APU parts. There is a chance that an older board, stuck in a warehouse or on a shelf for a while, might not be able to – which is a big pain in the ass for a new system build. Some motherboards support a BIOS flashback capability to allow upgrades without a CPU even installed, so keep an eye out for that. Otherwise…it’s a return that will be in order.
System Setup and Testing Methodology
- 7-zip Compression
- Audacity MP3 Encode
- Cinebench R15
- Euler 3D
- SiSoft Sandra
- SYSmark 2014 SE
- X264 Encode
The full testbed configuration is listed below.
|Test System Setup|
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 5 2400G
AMD Ryzen 3 2200G
AMD Ryzen 5 1400
AMD Ryzen 3 1200
Intel Core i5-8400
Intel Core i3-8100
|Motherboard||Gigabyte AB350N-Gaming WiFi
ASUS STRIX Z370-E Gaming
|Memory||16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4-3200 (running at DDR-2400 on all configurations)|
|Storage||Corsair Neutron XTi 480 SSD|
|Graphics Card||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB|
|Graphics Drivers||NVIDIA 390.77|
|Power Supply||Corsair RM1000x|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Pro x64 RS3|