Today, we have with us the most affordable piece of hardware that combines two big buzzwords in client computing: "Zen" and "Vega." Priced cheaper than a copy of the year's "Call of Duty," the new Athlon 200GE is targeted at entry-level desktop builds and overcomes a major product differentiation failure of its predecessors over the past couple of generations - the lack of integrated graphics.
The once-flagship Athlon brand, much like Intel Pentium, has been relegated to the entry-level segment of the market. Before "Zen" and AM4, AMD built Athlon-branded processors on its APU platforms, such as FM2+, by configuring them to be essentially A-series APUs with their integrated graphics disabled, turning them into a weird product you had to pair with discrete graphics cards. That meant you couldn't really build mom-and-pop PCs using the A-Series processors. With its Athlon "Zen" generation, AMD finally corrected this mistake.
The Athlon 200GE still very much screams "Radeon Vega" on its retail packaging, and does feature the integrated graphics processor of the "Raven Ridge" silicon, although it is heavily cut down at less than a third of the stream processors present on the silicon. Even the CPU component is halved: you only get two "Zen" CPU cores. Luckily, there's SMT, so the 2-core/4-thread configuration will play fine with some newer games that won't even start with a dual-core CPU. Interestingly, you get the full 4 MB of L3 cache physically present on the chip.
Unlike other Ryzen-based processors, the Athlon 200GE supports only memory frequencies up to 2666 MHz, even when activating AMD's equivalent of XMP profiles.
The CPU component is clocked at 3.20 GHz, with no Precision Boost. You also don't get CPU overclocking as the multiplier is locked. The integrated graphics processor, dubbed "AMD Radeon Vega 3," with the number denoting active compute units, is clocked at 1.00 GHz. This iGPU has 192 out of 704 stream processors enabled. The TDP of the chip is also lowered to 35 W, making it low-profile friendly. At $59.99, we're taking this chip to our bench with very modest expectations to see if it has more bang for your buck than Intel's latest Pentium chips.