AMD's desktop Ryzen 4000 "Renoir" APUs mark a big step forward in application performance thanks to the 7nm Zen 2 architecture, while the integrated Radeon RX Vega graphics enable smooth FHD gaming if you're willing to accept lower fidelity settings and a limited selection of titles. The chips also deliver comparatively exceptional performance in 1280x720 gaming.
AMD's decision to target the OEM and SI pre-built markets with these chips makes good business sense, but enthusiasts and DIY'ers pining for more powerful APUs can't help but feel left out. As usual, supply will typically pop up where there's plenty of demand, so we were able to score a Ryzen 7 Pro 4750G at a distributor.
Aside from the performance-impacting memory encryption feature, our Pro model is the functional equivalent of the consumer-focused Ryzen 7 4700G. We simply disabled the encryption feature (TSME) to see what the Ryzen 7 4700G would look like in our standard tests. The charts below outline three areas of performance: The geometric mean of our suite of integrated graphics tests at both 1920x1080 (FHD) and 1280x720 resolutions, the geometric mean of performance with a discrete GPU, and performance in single- and multi-threaded workloads.
If you're after the utmost in integrated graphics performance, the Renoir chips are undoubtedly the new king of the hill. At stock settings, the 4750G's Vega graphics engine performs roughly in line with the overclocked previous-gen Ryzen 5 3400G. After overclocking, the tuned 4750G beats the OC'd 3400G by 23% at the FHD resolution, and by 20% at 1280x720. Meanwhile, the stock Ryzen 7 4750G destroys the Core i7-10700K's UHD Graphics 630 with roughly three times as much performance with the tested FHD and 1280x720 games. After overclocking, the 4750G stretches that advantage to roughly 3.5X.
Turning to performance in desktop applications, the Ryzen 7 Pro 4750G offers 32% faster performance in single threaded workloads than the 3400G, and trails the Core i7-10700F by a mere 1%. In threaded workloads, the Ryzen 7 Pro 4750G delivers more than twice the performance of the Ryzen 5 3400G and trails the 10700F by 2.6%. Overall, Renoir represents a massive generational leap for AMD APUs in both multi- and single-threaded performance, and Intel doesn't hold any clear wins in applications that would drastically impact the purchasing decision for most users.
However, enthusiasts interested in pairing a Ryzen 4000 Renoir APU with a discrete GPU are better served looking elsewhere. AMD's own Ryzen 3 3300X provides more performance at a lower price point. Ultimately the 4750G suffers at the hands of its comparatively small 8MB cache, while the 3300X benefits from 16MB. AMD's "GameCache" marketing may seem hokey, but L3 cache capacity clearly has a big impact on Zen 2's performance in latency-sensitive workloads, like gaming. The 3300X makes a better fit for low-end systems with discrete graphics, or you could pick up a Ryzen 5 3400G for a mere $147 if you're after a less-expensive APU alternative.
Renoir makes a compelling part for small form factor and HTPC builders, and it's also the only option for pairing an APU with a B550 motherboard. Unfortunately, the chips currently sell for inflated pricing through distributors, and warranty support might vary. For instance, while the Ryzen 7 Pro 4750G unofficially commands a $309 price point, we paid $353 for our chip. As such, you can expect to see higher pricing in the grey market than we have listed in the charts, especially if price gouging takes hold. And unlike most of AMD's retail chips, it likely won't come with a bundled cooler without an upcharge. That certainly muddies the value proposition.
The Renoir chips are exceptional overclockers with plenty of room for fine-grained tuning, so we expect that some enthusiasts may pick up a chip just to tinker. But be aware that you'll need a beefy liquid cooler and capable memory kit to match our relatively high overclocks.
The combination of leading integrated graphics and very competitive application performance makes for a compelling part for OEMs and system integrators. Whereas the previous-gen Picasso APUs topped out at four cores, Renoir allows AMD to counter the Intel Core i3, i5, and i7 families with competitive parts in a critical part of the high-volume pre-built consumer desktop market. Meanwhile, the professional features with the Pro series address the needs of professional organizations.
For the rest of us, outside of a narrow cross-section of SFF and HTPC builders (and fanatical tuners), the Renoir desktop APUs don't make a lot of sense — largely because they aren't available at retail at reasonable prices. For dedicated GPU use, you'll often get better performance out of the Ryzen 7 3700X, thanks to its large 32MB L3 cache, at a lower price.
AMD says it has "next-gen" APUs for 400- and 500-series motherboards coming in the future, and Zen 3 processors will come later this year. It would be great to see Zen 3 launch with integrated solutions as well, but that's probably asking too much. Either way, it's probably best to wait and see what comes next rather than buying an OEM-only Renoir desktop chip right now.