AMD have announced a new addition to their family of Radeon Vega CPUs today in the form of the Athlon 200GE. This particular chip is the baby cousin of AMD's Vega-infused Ryzen 3 2200G and Ryzen 5 2400G chips. Described by AMD as a processor ideally suited to "everyday PCs", this diddy little chip will cost just $55 when it launches on September 18 (UK pricing is TBC), and should give Intel's low-end Pentium CPUs a decent run for their money.
Powered by the same x86 Zen architecture as AMD's beefier Ryzen CPUs, the Athlon 200GE will be a dual-core chip clocked at 3.2GHz with three Vega graphics compute units and a tiny power draw of 35W.
Of course, with specs like that, it's hardly going to replace your 2nd Gen Ryzen 5 2600/2600Xs and Ryzen 7 2700/2700Xs, or indeed your Intel Core i3s, i5s and i7s. However, thanks to its onboard Vega graphics, it could be a decent budget option for small media PCs or easy-going esportsing machines.
Indeed, compared to Intel's Pentium G4560 CPU (which costs £58 in the UK and $73 in the US), AMD reckon the Athlon 200GE is 67% faster when it comes to GPU performance in graphics benchmark 3D Mark. Its CPU performance in Cinebench R15 is, admittedly, 3% slower than the G4560 according to AMD's own slides, but that's still pretty impressive considering the G4560 is both more expensive and has a higher power draw of 54W.
I'll have to wait and see how it fares as a proper gaming CPU once I get one in for testing, of course, but AMD's initial figures look reasonably promising – provided you or your children/younger siblings are okay with playing games at 1280x720, that is.
In Fortnite, for instance, AMD claim the 200GE can reach up to 49fps on Low at 720p, while the G4560 can only manage 28fps. There's a similarly big jump in Overwatch on those settings, with the 200GE hitting an average of 59fps compared to the G4560's 32fps.
That might not sound particularly enticing for those of us used to playing everything on High at 1080p or above, but the 200GE isn't just limited to playing games on Low. In Rocket League, for instance, the 200GE can manage 67fps on Medium settings at 720p - the G4560 can only do 40fps - and in League of Legends on Ultra at 720p the 200GE is streaks ahead with an average of 111fps versus the G4560's 67fps. The 200GE can also produce a smooth 71fps in CS:GO on Ultra, beating the 45fps of the G4560.
The only game in AMD's select test group where the 200GE doesn't give you a massive boost in speed is DOTA 2. It still manages a superior 65fps on Low at 720p, but the G4560 isn't far behind with its average of 58fps. Still, considering the 200GE's so much cheaper than the G4560, that's still a pretty compelling advantage if you're looking to build an esportsing PC without spending a lot of money.
The Athlon 200GE will also slot into any existing AM4 socket motherboard as well, which AMD have said they'll be supporting until at least 2020, so you don't need to worry about your PC going immediately out of date the second you get round to actually building one. It also means you can take advantage of all the other conveniences modern gaming PCs have to offer as well, such as DDR4 RAM, USB 3.1 Gen 2 speed and NVMe SSD drives if you fancy it.
Is it a better buy than AMD's Ryzen 3 2200G, though? All will hopefully be revealed once I get my hands on a 200GE review sample.