Ryzen 3 2200G: Zen And Vega On The Cheap
AMD's Raven Ridge design combines Zen-based execution cores and the Vega graphics architecture into a highly integrated die complete with DDR4 memory control, PCI Express connectivity, north bridge functionality, and fixed-function accelerators. In our AMD Ryzen 5 2400G Review: Zen, Meet Vega, our expectations of integrated graphics were redefined, as Intel's UHD Graphics 630 succumbed without much of a fight. AMD's on-die graphics even did battle with certain sub-$100 discrete cards.
We do have to temper our excitement, though. These processors are mostly fit for playing games at entry-level detail settings using lower resolutions than a typical Tom's Hardware GPU review includes. Still, they boast impressive specifications. The flagship Ryzen 5 2400G earned our affections for its ability to play every game we tested at 1280x720. Some titles were even playable at higher-quality settings than we expected. Did we mention it overclocks well, too?
But we don't want to overlook the less expensive Ryzen 3 2200G, which at publication time made our list of best gaming CPUs and best CPUs for desktop applications. It includes four cores (without thread-doubling SMT technology) and eight Radeon Vega Compute Units (CUs). AMD aims this processor at an eSports crowd accepting of 720p gaming. Budget-oriented gamers will delight at its sub-$100 price point, easily in striking range of Intel's Pentium processors. Even though Pentiums now include Hyper-Threading, AMD justifies its premium with four physical cores and a much more capable graphics engine.
The Ryzen 3 2200G With Radeon Vega Graphics
Whereas the Ryzen 5 2400G comes with four SMT-enabled Zen cores and 11 Radeon Vega CUs, the Ryzen 3 2200G includes four cores without simultaneous multi-threading and eight CUs, enabling 512 Stream processors. Although Ryzen 3's resource allocation isn't far off from the flagship, it costs $70 less than Ryzen 5 2400G.
To further differentiate the two models, AMD lowers Ryzen 3's base clock rate to 3.5 GHz (though Precision Boost 2 allows frequencies as high as 3.7 GHz when headroom allows). Again, though, that's not particularly debilitating compared to Ryzen 5 2400G's 3.6 GHz base and 3.9 GHz Precision Boost frequency. Both processors also feature the same 4MB L3 cache. If you're interested in learning more about the Raven Ridge design, check out AMD Ryzen 5 2400G Review: Zen, Meet Vega.
Ryzen 5 2400G and Ryzen 3 2200G both populate standard Socket AM4 interfaces on 300-series motherboards. All existing platforms include display outputs; just be sure your board of choice has the connectors you need. Existing motherboards need a firmware update to recognize the new models, while newer models include a "Ryzen Desktop 2000 Ready" badge indicating drop-in compatibility. Unfortunately, most online retailers fail to distinguish between them, so you might need a compatible processor to upgrade your motherboard until old inventory is sold off.
If you find yourself stranded, AMD does offer a "Boot Kit Solution" it says it'll ship to those in need. We don't have any information about what that kit includes, though.
|2 DIMMs - Single Rank||up to DDR4-2933|
|4 DIMMs - Single Rank||up to DDR4-2133|
|2 DIMMs - Dual Rank||up to DDR4-2667|
|4 DIMMs - Dual Rank||up to DDR4-1866|
Ryzen 3 2200G, like Ryzen 5 2400G, includes unlocked ratio multipliers for overclocking. The graphics engine can naturally be tuned as well. A refined memory controller officially supports DDR4-2933 (up from DDR4-2666) for single-rank, dual-channel kits. It's purportedly more overclockable, too. Of course, memory support varies based on the type of memory and configuration you use, as outlined in the chart above. Shoot for the fastest setup possible; lower data rates hurt the bandwidth-hungry graphics engine.
As we discussed in our Ryzen 5 2400G review, the new Raven Ridge processors replace AMD's previous Ryzen 5 1400 and Ryzen 3 1200 models. These new chips support PCIe 3.0 connectivity, with four lanes dedicated to the chipset and four more that accommodate PCIe-based storage. An additional eight lanes are available for attaching discrete graphics. Unfortunately, that's a step backward from the outgoing Summit Ridge-based Ryzens that gave you 16 lanes for graphics. Then again, we don't expect anyone to run a multi-GPU config on an entry-level platform.
AMD also used Indium solder between the die and heat spreader of its Summit Ridge-based Ryzen CPUs. However, the company went with non-metallic thermal interface material for Ryzen 5 2400G and Ryzen 3 2200G. AMD bundles its 65W Wraith Stealth cooler with both models, and while the aluminum-core sink was designed for 65W processors, we recommend a beefier aftermarket cooler for overclocking. We covered Raven Ridge's thermal and power characteristics earlier this week. So now, let's see how Ryzen 3 2200G stacks up next to Intel's Pentium G4620.
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