Power & Thermals, Briefly
We love that AMD uses Indium solder between its die and heat spreader on Ryzen CPUs. However, the company broke from tradition and applied non-metallic thermal interface material to its 2000-series processors. AMD claims this is necessary, given their low cost. Both Raven Ridge-based processors are rated for 65W and Ryzen CPUs typically only hit ~4 GHz anyway, so we don't foresee significant problems with heat dissipation from the die to the IHS.
AMD bundles its Wraith Stealth cooler with these processors. The aluminum-core sink is designed for 65W chips, so you'll want a beefier aftermarket solution for aggressive overclocking. The down-blowing design usually helps with additional airflow over voltage regulation circuitry, which is a nice bonus. However, it doesn't come with the bright LEDs like AMD's higher-end models. The company does sell its 125W Wraith Max for $45.
We can generate multiple power consumption and thermal profiles for a processor with such a beefy graphics engine. Some applications tax the CPU cores or GPU, while others spread load between the units. There are a number of ways to represent the data and interpret its impact. As a result, we're splitting that part of our review into a separate story. We also have a couple of slides under The Witcher 3 to give you an idea of how these processors behave in a real-world game.
Overclocking with AMD's Ryzen Master utility is simple. The execution cores responded readily to our efforts, and the Ryzen 5 2400G floated up to 4 GHz with a 1.4V vCore setting. We also adjusted the VDDCR SoC voltage, which is a single rail that feeds the uncore and graphics domains, to 1.25V. That allowed us to dial in an easy 1555 MHz graphics clock rate and push the memory up to DDR4-3200 with 14-14-14-34 timings.
A Noctua NH-U12S SE-AM4 cooler helped us circumvent thermal challenges (we measured 75°C under the AIDA CPU/GPU stress test).
We tested gaming at 1280x720 and 1920x1080, but didn't have time to run comparison tests with the BIOS-enabled UMA frame buffer setting. Increasing this setting allocates more system memory to the on-die graphics, although it also chews into memory available for other tasks. As you can see in the screenshot above, the graphics subsystem consumes system memory at stock settings, so allocating even more is a bit of a trade-off. Shared GPU memory is RAM that the system dynamically provisions between the CPU or GPU based on workload. By default, the operating system limits this shared pool to half of the system memory's total capacity.
AMD says the benefit of a larger UMA frame buffer is evident in the ability to specify higher levels of detail. Just don't expect faster frame rates at 1080p. This should be an interesting setting to experiment with. Right out of the gate, AMD says that a user with 16GB of DDR4 would benefit from assigning 4GB to the graphics engine.
Test Methodology & Systems
AMD's Raven Ridge performs best with Windows 10 Build 1709, so we fully updated our test systems before benchmarking. The latest Windows build adds Multi-Plane Overlay, which provides a more efficient way of rendering video and compositing 2D surfaces. It also saves power by alpha-blending accelerated surfaces and culling the ones you cannot see. That major change means you cannot compare these test results to previous reviews.
AMD sent along the mini-ITX Gigabyte AB350N Gaming WiFi motherboard and a 2x 8GB G.Skill FlareX DDR4-3200 memory kit. We used the bundled Wraith Stealth cooler for testing applications and games at stock settings, then switched over to the aforementioned Noctua cooler for overclocking.
|Test System & Configuration|
|Hardware||Gigabyte AB350N Gaming WiFiAMD A10-9700AMD Ryzen 5 2400GRyzen 3 2200GFlare X 16GB DDR4-3200 @ 2400, 2699, & 3200Intel LGA 1151 (Z370)Core i3-8100Core i5-8400Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon ACG.Skill RipJaws V DDR4-3200 (2x 8GB) @ 2400 & 2666Intel LGA 1151 (Z270)Intel Core i3-7100MSI Z270 Gaming M7G.Skill RipJaws V DDR4-3200 (2x 8GB) @ 2400AllEVGA GTX 1080Samsung PM863 (960GB)SilverStone ST1500-TI Windows 10 Pro 64-bitCreators Update v.1709 (10.0.16299.214)Hydro H115i|
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