AMD's Raven Ridge processors have barreled into the budget gaming market with Zen execution cores paired with the Vega graphics architecture. We've tested the processors from every angle and published a total of 27 pages chronicling our efforts. If you don't have time to sift through all of that, we've condensed all of our gaming results into this single cheat sheet. (For everything else we've written on Raven Ridge, head here.)
AMD's Vega redefines our expectations for integrated graphics, but you still need to keep our hopes in check. The Raven Ridge processors are mostly fit for playing games at entry-level detail settings using lower resolutions than you can unlock with a beefy discrete graphics card.
The flagship Ryzen 5 2400G comes packing four Zen cores with simultaneous multi-threading and 11 CUs, yielding 704 Stream processors. It's priced around $170. AMD positions that model for up to 1080p gaming with reduced graphics detail.
The Ryzen 3 2200G slots in as the extreme budget offering with four physical cores (without SMT) and eight CUs (512 Stream processors) for a mere $100. AMD positions this processor for the esports crowd interested in 720p gaming. Both models have unlocked multipliers, so overclocking is on the menu.
We tested 1080p and 720p gaming with both processors. We also tested 720p gaming with Intel's integrated graphics and AMD's Bristol Ridge, but they aren't up to snuff for most bare-minimum gaming. We paired the Intel processors with discrete graphics cards to make things more interesting, but that increases platform costs dramatically (as listed below). We also include overclocked results for the AMD processors, but be aware that you might need more expensive memory and a better cooler to match our results.
|Platform Cost||Ryzen 5 2400G||Ryzen 3 2200G||Pentium G4620||Ryzen 3 1300X||Core i5-8400||Core i3-8100||Core i3-7100||AMD A10-9700|
|Total Platform Cost||$169||$99||$174||$218||$276||$208||$206||$99|
Keep pricing in mind as you peruse the test results. We have more detailed graphics performance analysis and a breakdown of our test systems in our standalone reviews, but here's the quick story.
Raven Ridge 1080p Gaming
Our 99th percentile FPS chart provides a geometric mean of the 99th percentile results, converted into an FPS measurement, of all the games in our test suite. Those figures represent smoothness and boil the story down rather nicely, although we've also provided the performance results in each game so you can see how the Raven Ridge processors fare in your favorite titles.
We found that the Ryzen 5 2400G lives up to AMD's claims that it's suitable for 1080p gaming, though your mileage may vary depending on the title. Our Ryzen 5 2400G sample also overclocked easily. With some extra time, we think we could have squeezed even more performance from it.
Speaking of overclocking, a bit of tuning even boosts the Ryzen 3 2200G into contention at 1080p, but don't expect it to happen with a wide range of AAA titles. In either case, any 1080p capability from a $99 processor is fantastic, even if it does come with the added expense of a better cooler and RAM.
Raven Ridge 720p Gaming
We also find both processors delivering impressive performance in our 720p testing, especially when we factor in pricing for the Intel systems with discrete graphics cards. One look at the Bristol Ridge A10-9700 clarifies how far AMD has come since its last generation of APUs, while Intel's UHD Graphics 630 highlights how far that company needs to go to bring its onboard graphics up to par with AMD's Raven Ridge.
Intel's Pentium lineup finds itself facing serious price-for-performance competition for the first time in years, which is great news for gamers on a tight budget. Memory performance has a big impact on gaming performance with these processors, so you'll need to choose a capable kit. Memory prices are still in the stratosphere, so be sure to plan accordingly.
You'll also need to take steps to make sure that your motherboard has the correct BIOS for the new processors. Existing motherboards need a firmware update to recognize the new models, while newer models include a "Ryzen Desktop 2000 Ready" badge that signals drop-in compatibility. You'll need another AMD processor to update the BIOS, but if you find yourself stranded, AMD has a Boot Kit solution to help out.
Both Raven Ridge models took home our Editor's Choice award. These processors make a great pairing for HTPCs and small form factor desktops. The Ryzen 3 2200G is a great solution for gaming with low-detail settings at 720p, and the Ryzen 5 2400G ups the ante to 1080p gaming at low detail settings with some AAA titles.