I was hesitant about testing AMD Ryzen’s new APUs with Vega graphics because I don’t use integrated graphics in my game-play. Despite my scepticism, after testing their chips, I was pleasantly surprised by the performance of the latest AMD Raven Ridge chips, which bring fresh air to the low-budget hardware boom. How will the AMD Ryzen 3 2200G and AMD Ryzen 5 2400G perform with today’s games? Find out in our review!
See the table below and compare AMD Raven Ridge with Intel processors. AMD has a higher price, but how does it perform? Find out in the next section of our review.
|Model||AMD Ryzen 3 2200G||Intel Core i3 8100||AMD Ryzen 5 2400G||Intel Core i5 8400|
|Number of cores/threads||4/4||4/4||4/8||6/6|
|Number of PCI-E 3.0 lines||16||16||16||16|
|IHS brazed chip||✓||✕||✓||✕|
The new APU AMD Raven Ridge combines the CPU chip and the graphics chip under one IHS (thermal switchboard), thereby pairing AMD processors with Vega 56 and Vega 64, two of the most powerful graphics cores on the market. In my experience, integrated graphics (IGP) are the best for playing videos. I was also surprised to find that the Ravens series handled my demanding gaming needs with ease.
AMD Ryzen's first generation CPUs are reliable, high-performing processors. As I wrote during the introduction of the first Ryzens, like a fine wine, they mature with software optimisation, and both hardware and software performance increases with time. AMD Vega kernels sound tempting too – the AMD Ryzen 3 2200G has eight Vega graphics cores, and the Ryzen 5 2400G includes eleven Vega graphics cores. When compared with 56 and 64 graphics cores from more dedicated cards, you will notice the AMD Raven Ridge is slightly compromised.
The irrefutable advantage of AMD's new processors is their compatibility with existing motherboards. The APU Ryzen Raven Ridge is great for small mini-ITX computer builds, and an excellent base could be the Gigabyte AB350N-Gaming WiFi. You can read my review on this further below. If you are looking for a more affordable option, you can choose the low-budget AB350M-HD3, which I have tested with these new APUs and have found they deliver excellent performance.
In today's article, I will not explain how Ryzen works. You can read about this in my review of the classic AMD Ryzen 5. However, I will tell you my testing procedure and the results. Measuring AMD Raven Ridge and composing results is not easy. I first compared the purchase price of the hardware, and I compared the Intel Core i5 840, AMD Ryzen 5 2400G and AMD Ryzen 3 2200G Intel Core i3 2200G.
For playing results, it was necessary to measure the smallest details due to Intel UHD Graphics 630 performance. More or less, I can say that both the Vega graphics CPU processors and the NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030 2GB are more than just about fine details. The only exception was Counter Strike: Global Offensive. It should also be noted that the results of integrated graphics are measured with overclocked CPUs at 4000MHz and RAM at 3200MHz, where only the XMP profile G.Skill FlareX 3200 is dropped. This is why I was sure that IGP would not hinder anything (or only minimally), and the differences over CPU and RAM on default settings are known. Later, I also measured the 2D classic, and the CPU performance using a strong graphics card.
* Please Note: Because there may be considerable inaccuracies when reviewing hardware under NDA, especially because of BIOS degradation, I have tried multiple motherboards. But with the right BIOS, everything went perfectly.
It's well-known the Cinebench AMD Ryzen is quite successful, but the six cores and the higher IPC Intel Coffee Lake makes it even clearer. The performance of AMD Ryzen 5 2400G and AMD Ryzen 3 2200G performed well with an overclocked RAM to minimise the communication between CCX modules using Infinity Fabric that runs as fast as the operating memory.
GeekBench 3 tests CPUs through real-life scenarios that you can see when working with your computer. The overclocked AMD Ryzen 5 2400G with G.Skill FlareX XMP profile memory at an efficient 3200MHz is offset by the competing six-core, but more expensive, Intel Core i5 8400. Deeper in the review, you'll see both the IGP performance of both processors, and you can personally evaluate what is the better choice for you.
As you can see, Ryzens, including the Raven Ridge APU, is really successful in Cinebench, even with only one working thread.
A classic that we encounter every day - working with WinRAR. A simple example - we might have a lot of vacation photos that we would like to want to reduce their size and back them up in one big cloud or NAS file. The performance is scaled by the number of cores and IPC performance. Considering the specifications of AMD Raven Ridge and Intel Coffee Lake, this would be no problem.
HWBOT H265 is a benchmark of Czech origin from the Havli overclocker. The test measures video encoding performance with H265 codec, which is slowly starting to gain traction, even though videos under H265 are far more robust than those under H264. With the arrival of 4K videos, which are increasingly being used, the use of H265 is the go-to. I often hear that AMD Ryzen is better when working with video, but you can judge for yourself.
Now for the best part! Let's take a look at the APU AMD Ryzen gaming performance of the integrated Vega core graphics chips.
Overall I was surprised by APD AMD Ryzen's performance with the Vega 8 and Vega 11 kernels. Fortnite set to the low presets automatically drops the 3D object scale to a very low value, and because the game looked like a bad dream, I returned the scale to 1920 × 1080. As you can see on the graph, everything except the integrated graphics Intel UHD Graphic 630 has power to spare, so I also measured the settings on the Medium preset.
Intel UHD Graphic 630 is omitted here because the more demanding chip setup couldn't run and the game is not measurable. The good news is that Fortnite looks better on the Medium setup, and with Ryzen 5 2400G and Vega 11, relative fluency is applicable.
CS: GO is an eSport Classic. I chose the overall medium detail settings and turned on some extermination for the game set up. In general, I was happy with the graphics rendering. For CS: GO it is known that the more FPS = the better. I personally think that over 100FPS with the new APU Raven Raven Ridge works is great.
Rocket League is another eSports games, and according to Steam, it is also a feature-packed game. This is an older game, so you'll be playing on IGP and High-Quality settings. If the performance expressed in FPS is not enough, there is enough reserve to compromise the detriment of visual appearance.
I was surprised by the performance in Star Wars Battlefront. On Full HD with minimal details and smoothing, you will have a lot of fun with the AMD Ryzen 5 2400G. But even with Ryzen 3 2200G, you'll get a pretty smooth ride. Since we have some reserve power on the Low Preset, I also measured the Medium.
With some compromise, it felt pretty decent to play with Ryzen 5 2400G. So, it's a great choice as a base for a budget-based PC without a heavy-duty graphics card.
First of all, I must point out that some synthetic tests appear limited to some extent. Why? With such a powerful card as the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, you probably won't get a cheap processor like the AMD Ryzen 3 2200G or mainstream AMD Ryzen 5 2400G. You can probably get the Intel Coffee Lake i7-8700K, which you can buy even in the delid version with a full warranty, or go for the AMD Ryzen 7 1700. However, these tests, which are not GPU-bound (in terms of these tests, a higher processor performance), show the real power of competing processors in the gaming environment.
We followed specific measuring procedures to remain objective and garner the most accurate results. When comparing the performance of multiple processors in games, we set the conditions and environment for each platform fairly. Therefore, whether we measured Intel or AMD platform, AMD quad-core 5 Stamp, or the 2400G dual-core Intel Core i5-8400, we had to set the processors and motherboards (after the secondary components) with the same conditions. For example, we used the same graphics card, SSD disk, PC source, and, when possible, the same memory. On the software side, it was important to have the same updated operating system by having the OS installed according to the format of the disk, and the same version of the video card drivers. We made sure to establish a fair baseline to keep the tests as accurate as possible.
We measured the games using the Fraps tool and log frametimes that record how long it takes for a graphics card to draw one frame after another. With MSI Afterburner, we recorded several other values, such as graphics card usage, CPU usage, temperature, frequency, and more. At the end, logs from both programs were synchronised and ready for a snapshot analysis. The most important part of the whole process is the identical procedure of measuring each game. It is important to choose the right scene that will be consistent and that can be repeatedly used for measuring. If we were to measure scenes with great variability, it would nullify the results. For this reason, it is not possible to include multiplayer. Once we decided what scene to use, we needed to find out how long the scene lasts, so we would always stick to the same timeframe. Most scenes need to be replicated because shaders are compiled during the first scenes, and textures are loaded, etc. For these reasons, we usually measured the second or third waveforms.
We are in a somewhat paradoxical time as graphics cards begin to perform so powerfully that even the best processors are slowly unable to fully support them in Full HD resolution. The performance is not enough for smooth UHD gaming with full details. It is true that the higher the resolution, the smaller the processor demands. In the near future, we will be fine with a powerful graphics card in 4K resolution used with a cheaper and less efficient processor. And, since the performance of processors in the 3840 x 2160 game environment is minimal, we will compare only 1920 × 1080 and 2560 × 1440, where the power of the processors can still be identified.
Fallout 4 is a sequel to the legendary postapocalyptic RPG cult game. The game comes from Bethesda and runs on Creation Engine, which is well known from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Although it is - to put it mildly - a pre-flood engine, the game is still very popular and it's played all around the world. There is no modern game at the moment delivering CPU and DRAM performance like Fallout 4. The game is measured by Fraps at 80 seconds at a location called the Boston Commons, where I chose to test the the processor. Since it is unlikely that another Fallout sequel will run on the same engine, we will continue to keep this jewel in the testing method process. The game was set to the Ultra preset.
Fallout 4 is one of my favourite games. Both in terms of the gamer perspective and the hardware performance comparison. Its memory, performance, and the resulting frequency on the processor core are the most obvious reasons why I like it. However, it is worth mentioning that all of the processors in combination with the GTX 1080 Ti work well. The game is FPS based, so playing over 60FPS isn't natural and therefore is suitable for a synthetic test.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a continuation of the cult genre based on the book by Andrzej Sapkowski. The game comes from the CD Projekt RED game publisher and runs on the RED engine. At also belongs to NVIDIA, The Way It's Meant to Be Played program, and it has GameWorks libraries. The scenes in this game are quite challenging, so I chose an 80-second circuit in the city called Novigrad for CPU testing. This Witcher series has already ended, meaning there won't be any other sequels. Still, I measured it using the processor test methodology, as it is a very popular game. Netflix recently picked it up and is preparing a TV series based on it, so it is quite possible that you'll want to try it out yourself.
The Witcher 3
The Witcher is an ageing game, and since no more DLCs will be released, I might remove it soon from my testing method process. For the time being, Geralt is doing well with measuring CPU performance in the gaming environment that you can see with the 1080px results.
Rise of the Tomb Raider is the latest iteration of the legendary adventure game featuring Lara Croft. The game was created by Crystal Dynamics and runs on the Horizon engine. The game is part of the NVIDIA, The Way It's Meant to Be Played program and it fully supports DirectX 12. The game scene chosen for processor measurement is again different from the scene used to measure graphics card performance. The Geothermal Valley location is very demanding for the processor. If I could point out an example of the processor being limited by the graphics card, it would be right here. The frametimes measurement section is 100 seconds long and the game is set to Ultra details with SMAA smoothing in both resolutions.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Lara seems to appreciate a decent workforce, and that's maybe why the multi-core and fibre processors perform the best. In order to "feed" the strongest graphics card, like the ASUS GTX 1080 Ti Poseidon, the closest that can fulfill this is the Intel i5-8400.
Prey is a game that was released last year. The game made by Arkane Studios runs on the well-known CryEngine. Prey was created with Bethesda Softworks and AMD's main partner, so it's also part of Gaming Evolved program. The testing measurement scene is the Hardware Labs, which is 64 seconds long. The frametimes are recorded by the Fraps tool. As you can see, the game likes a large number of cores/threads, and at 1080px, the latest Intel i7 8700X processor on the Z370 platform performed quite successfully.
This dark first-person shooter game is a testimony to the axiom - the more cores, the better. Of course, not everyone needs 200FPS for single-player gaming. But, since we're looking at CPU performance and how the individual CPU "feeds" a tough graphics card, we gladly hook them up against each other to powerlift them into this style.
PRIME95 is one of the most challenging tests and these results can be seen as the worst case scenario. The temperature measurements are much better during normal operating use.
Similarly, we also measured power consumption. The total power input is measured on the wall, i.e., before the power supply via a conventional home watt meter.
AMD has shifted the performance of integrated graphics chips to a new level thanks to the AMD Raven Ridge desktop, which I personally like. With the Vega 8 and Vega 11 graphics cores, you'll play with some compromise in Full HD with low to medium resolution without losing too much.
For me, APU AMD Ryzen 5 2400G and Ryzen 3 2200G are a great choice for the budget PC market. It is also possible to use low-cost motherboards. All you need is medium-speed memory modules that handle at least 2933 MHz, or even better 3200 MHz +. The other option is, of course, mini-ITX kits that do not need a high-performing graphics card, but the choice is yours.
The new AMD Ryzen processors with Vega graphics chips are the best you'll find on the low-budget market. And, most importantly, I must mention that I expect additional performance gains over the next few months due to AMD's upcoming optimisations, as well as higher performance from motherboard manufacturers, operating system developers, games, and applications. So the 2D and 3D performance that AMD Raven Ridge displayed today appears to be on an upward trend.
APU Raven RidgeProcessors
The APU Ryzen 5 2400G and Ryzen 3 2200G receive our second highest award, the Silver Alzak Award, for the significant progress in the performance of integrated graphics chips that withstand high demanding games at 1080p.
The CES 2018 brought a number of exciting new PC hardware developments. In particular, AMD has embarked on an unprecedented form. The new processor platform AMD Raven Ridge is aimed at not only laptops, but also at classic desktops. What do you have to say about the combination of the quad-core Ryzen and integrated graphics with the Vega core?
At the end of the year, we introduced to you the new AMD Ryzen Mobile. These are Ryzen processors modified for mobile use. AMD has also added integrated graphics with AMD Vega. We expect the release of these items in the first quarter of 2018.
The launch of the AMD Raven Ridge platform for the AM4 slot was February 12th. Compared to AMD Ryzen Mobile, this has an integrated AMD Vega graphics card with a more powerful APU desktop.
AMD officially announced two Ryzen desktop processors with Radeon Vega integrated graphics. The more powerful AMD Ryzen 5 2400G has great potential because its four cores support 8-thread processing. The operating frequency then oscillates between 3.6-3.9GHz. But that's just the foundation because AMD builds on its versions and the processor can be over-clocked easily. Be sure to establish sufficient cooling (over 4GHZ).
Surely you are interested in how the AMD Ryzen 5 2400G and Ryzen 3 2200G look with integrated graphics. However, you should understand that these are not full-fledged Vega graphics, like in the AMD Vega 56 graphics. The integrated chip is labelled AMD Radeon Vega 11 and boasts 11 CU (Compute Units) that is finished off with 704 Stream Processors. When you convert the said numbers to performance, you'll play games like Battlefield 1, Overwatch and Rocket League in Full HD resolution at about 50FPS on new CPUs. It's definitely not a bad result, for example, in terms of the referential Intel Core i5-8400, it exceeds it very well. You can also play eSports games like CS: GO, Overwatch, League of Legends or the popular DotA 2 without any problems.
The weaker AMD Ryzen 3 2200G has the classic 4 cores without SMT. The operating frequency is slightly lower and fluctuates at 3.5-3.7GHz. The integrated AMD Radeon Vega 8 graphics chip has a CU count of 8, which logically drops the value of the Processor Stream to 512. However, the game performance is pretty good, and it's great for eSports games.
In the following table, you'll find the technical specifications of each AMD Raven Ridge processor. Each performance and price targets a unique market. So far, we have no further information on whether AMD will offer an even more powerful model based on the Ryzen 7 Series.
|Comparative Specifications||AMD Ryzen 5 2400G||AMD Ryzen 3 2200G|
|Number of CPU cores||4 cores, 8 threads||4 cores, 4 threads|
|GPU type||Radeon Vega with 11CU||Radeon Vega with 8CU|
|Capacity of L2 memory||512kB per kernel||512kB per kernel|
|Capacity of L3 memory||4MB||4MB|
|Supported memory||DDR4 2933MHz||DDR4 2933MHz|
The AMD Ryzen 5 2400G and Ryzen 3 2200G processors are already on the market. Both have a built-in AMD Radeon Vega graphics chip, with high performing graphics. Playing Battlefield 1 on integrated graphics, and even 50 FPS, sounds like science fiction, but today it's a reality.