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The AMD 4700S Desktop Kit probably wouldn't make much sense anywhere except in this silicon-starved world where every chip sells for a premium, but it's still a dicey value proposition even during these dark days of chip shortages.
Below, we have the geometric mean of our gaming test suite at 1080p and 1440p and a cumulative measure of performance in single- and multi-threaded applications. Bear in mind that we conducted the gaming tests with an RTX 3090, so performance deltas will shrink with lesser cards and higher resolution and fidelity settings.
AMD doesn't position the 4700S for gaming. Instead, AMD says it's only suitable for light 3D workloads, and that's likely because it doesn't have either the PCIe bandwidth or low-latency memory needed for a gaming PC. The combination of the PCIe 2.0 x4 interface to the GPU and the high-latency GDDDR6 memory for the CPU certainly isn't a recipe for gaming success.
The 4700S also only officially supports up to either an AMD Radeon RX 590 or Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060, so your upgrade options are limited. That doesn't really matter, though: Our tests show that the 4700S doesn't have the heft to push higher-end GPUs as hard as even the first-gen Ryzen 7 1800X. Bear in mind that the limitations we noticed won't be as pronounced with GPUs from the recommended list as you'll more likely encounter a GPU bottleneck first, but there isn't a sufficient amount of CPU horsepower for upgrades.
AMD says the 4700S Desktop Kit is for mainstream, home office, small business, and enterprise use and that it works well for productivity, multi-tasking, and light 3D workloads, but there are better alternatives for those types of workloads. The 4700S is serviceable for some types of heavily-threaded applications, but the included cooler and fan combo resulted in chip throttling during the heaviest workloads. You could replace the fan with a better model, but we're not sure that would offset the poor quality of the aluminum heatsink. We're not aware of any aftermarket coolers with the same spacing and mounting system, so upgrading the cooler isn't an option.
You'll also have to overlook the sluggish performance in single-threaded workloads. The AMD 4700S provides roughly the same level of single-threaded performance as the 1800X in many workloads, which is a rather extreme sacrifice compared to what you could simply get by going with a newer processor.
The 4700S Desktop Kit's lackluster connectivity is also an issue: A single PCIe 2.0 x4 connection is insufficient in a modern machine, as it will restrict the performance of the graphics card that you absolutely must place in the slot. The single PCIe slot also means you cannot install an M.2 SSD or other PCIe peripherals. Additionally, the system has only two SATA ports, so your storage options are extremely limited. We found the fan to be egregiously loud, but you could swap it out for a better model to reduce the noise level.
Overall the AMD 4700S Desktop Kit requires too many extreme tradeoffs, so it won't find any success in the enthusiast realm. You have little to no upgrade path for the most important components, including the CPU, memory, GPU, cooler, and storage. Additionally, you'll have to accept sluggish performance in lightly-threaded work to gain access to the one positive aspect of the machine, which is the serviceable performance in some threaded applications.
AMD's system integrator partners plan to bring 80 systems based on the kit to market, and from the ones we've seen, they're overpriced considering they are the most basic of low-end machines. That relatively high pricing largely stems from the bundled GPUs that are unnaturally expensive given the current graphics card shortage. There's no doubt the 4700S would make a whole lot more sense if it came with even the most basic of integrated GPUs. If you're looking for a pre-built system, there are better options that don't require as many severe tradeoffs.
You could also buy the 4700S as a standalone kit, but that isn't an attractive option, either. Enthusiasts looking for a more solid building block for a basic system should turn to modern chips like the Ryzen 5 5600G, or look to previous-gen chips that can often be found at reduced pricing. Given the 4700S Desktop Kit's lacking connectivity options and bipolar performance trends, previous-gen (even second-hand) hardware will often provide better overall performance and a more rounded feature set.
Paul Alcorn is the Managing Editor: News and Emerging Tech for Tom's Hardware US. He also writes news and reviews on CPUs, storage, and enterprise hardware.
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