AMD's Athlon 240GE and 220GE CPUs are now available for purchase with an MSRP of $75 and $65, respectively. These 35W processors come bearing the Zen microarchitecture paired with an integrated Radeon Vega graphics engine, much like the Athlon 200GE we reviewed earlier this month. That model gained more popularity recently as new motherboard firmwares now allow the supposedly locked processor to receive the overclocking treatment.
|Row 0 - Cell 0||Athlon 240GE||Athlon 220GE||Athlon 200GE||Pentium Gold G5600||Pentium Gold G5400||Ryzen 3 2200G||Ryzen 5 2400G|
|Architecture||Zen||Zen||Zen||Coffee Lake||Coffee Lake||Zen||Zen|
|Cores / Threads||2 / 4||2 / 4||2 / 4||2 / 4||2 / 4||4 / 4||4 / 8|
|Frequency Base / Boost||3.5 GHz / -||3.4 GHz / -||3.2 / -||3.9 / -||3.7 / -||3.5 / 3.7||3.6 / 3.9|
|Integrated Graphics||Radeon Vega 3 (3CU)||Radeon Vega 3 (3CU)||Radeon Vega 3 (3CU)||UHD Graphics 630||UHD Graphics 610||Radeon Vega 8 (8CU)||Radeon Vega 11 (11 CU)|
|Unlocked Multiplier||No||No||Yes, but unsupported||No||No||Yes||Yes|
Like the Athlon 200GE, these dual-core, four-thread processors come with a static base frequency and no Precision Boost, but the two new models have higher clock frequencies that should improve performance in single-threaded applications. The Radeon Vega-based graphics engine is composed of three Compute Units (CUs) that serve up a modest 192 Stream processors.
AMD's release of the Athlon 200GE earlier this year marked the company's first Zen-based processor to tackle the sub-$100 processor market. That's an important step for AMD because Intel typically dominates this high-volume segment of the market with its Pentium processors. The new Athlon models represent a step up the pricing chain that plugs the big pricing gap between AMD's $100 Ryzen 3 2200G and the now-low-end Athlon 200GE.
Like all mainstream Ryzen processors, these chips drop into AM4 motherboards, with the value-centric A320 chipset being the obvious pairing. Recently, motherboard firmware updates from MSI and Gigabyte made it possible to overclock the Athlon 200GE, and it is possible that those same benefits will apply to the new models, as well. According to AMD, however, these new models are locked processors.
The new Athlons aren't performance-oriented processors. Instead, AMD says they're ideal for basic computing tasks like Web browsing, word processing and low-end gaming. The idea here is that you don't need to pair the Athlon 200GE with a discrete graphics card. Its three Vega CUs, with 64 Stream processors each, come together in a very entry-level GPU that is still capable of playable frame rates at 720p in eSports games.
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Paul Alcorn is the Deputy Managing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He writes news and reviews on CPUs, storage and enterprise hardware.
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